On August 2, 2010 the Holy Father appointed Father Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., Superior General Emeritus, a member of the Province of Denver, as Secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic life with the rank of Archbishop. Details for his Episcopal ordination will be forthcoming.
In June of this year the Holy Father asked Father Tobin to be one of two apostolic visitors for religious orders of men in Ireland to assist the Irish Church in the wake of the sex abuse scandals.
Father Tobin succeeds Archbishop Gianfranco Agostino Gardin, O.F.M. Conv., as Secretary for the Congregation for Religious, who was named Ordinary of the diocese of Trevino, Italy on December 18, 2009. (Archbishop Gardin, incidentally, holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Alphonsianum.)
The current Prefect of the Congregation for Religious is Cardinal Frank Rodé, CM (Congregation of the Mission) of Slovenia.
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (Congregatio pro Institutis Vitae Consecratae et Societatibus Vitae Apostolicae; CIVCSVA) is the congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for everything that concerns institutes of consecrated life (orders and religious congregations, both of men and of women, secular institutes) and Societies of Apòstolic Life regarding their government, discipline, studies, goods, rights, and privileges.
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has its origins in the "Sacred Congregation for Consultations about Regulars" established by Pope Sixtus V on May 27, 1586. Its name was changed in 1908 to the Congregation of the Affairs of Religious; changed again to the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes in 1967 by Pope Paul VI; and finally to its current name by Pope John Paul II in 1988
Father Michael Brehl, successor to Father Tobin as Superior General, expressed the reaction of the Redemptorist Congregation: "The Redemptorists are very proud of Fr. Joseph Tobin as he accepts this new mission. He served our Congregation and the Church very well as our Superior General. This appointment will bring his gifts and experience to the service of all Religious priests, brothers and sisters. His love for God and the people of God, and especially his love for the poor and abandoned, will be the heart of this ministry.”