INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin was on a weekend trip to Southern Indiana when word came that he had been elevated to cardinal.
"I thank Pope Francis, who made this announcement yesterday in St. Peter's Square. I interpret it as a vote of confidence in my work, not only here in Indianapolis, but my work for him," Tobin said at a press conference on Monday.
Tobin is not sure how much his role will change, but he hopes to stay in Indianapolis.
“I heard about Hoosier hospitality, but I thought it was some cutesy slogan that Visit Indy had thought up," he said. "It’s a reality that people, wherever you are, accept you and they welcome you."
Tobin is one of three Americans named as cardinals on Sunday. Francis also named Archbishop Blase Cupich of the Chicago Diocese and Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas.
Tobin was involved in a public battle with Gov. Mike Pence last year over the governor's efforts to ban Syrian refugees from resettling in the state.
Elected officials, including Pence, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Sen. Joe Donnelly, offered their congratulations to Tobin.
Upon learning the news Sunday morning, Tobin told his Twitter followers that "I am shocked beyond words by the decision of the Holy Father. Please pray for me."
He will make a trip to Rome on Nov. 19 when the Pope is scheduled to elevate the new cardinals at a formal ceremony. Cardinals are among the highest-ranking officials in the Catholic Church.
Mayor Joe Hogsett released the following statement;
“I am happy to offer my sincere congratulations to Indianapolis Catholics and Archbishop Joseph Tobin for his well-deserved naming as a cardinal. Our city has been blessed by both his spiritual and civic leadership, and I look forward to working with Cardinal Tobin and the Catholic Church as we seek to end poverty and inequality here in Indianapolis.”