INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Pope Francis on Tuesday named Monsignor Charles Thompson as the seventh archbishop of Indianapolis.
Thompson, a canon lawyer, replaces Joseph Tobin, whom Francis elevated to Cardinal and moved to Newark, New Jersey, in November.
“I could never have imagined that I would serve as archbishop of Indianapolis,” Thompson said. “Following Cardinal Joseph Tobin is more than a daunting task.”
The 56-year-old is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Bellarmine College in Louisville in 1979 with a degree in accounting. He later studied and taught canon law at the Saint Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana.
He was ordained in 1987. His previous assignments include associate pastor of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, parish administrator of St. Peter Claver Parish in Louisville, and pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Louisville. He’s been bishop of Evansville since 2011.
Thompson said while southwestern Indiana will always hold a special place in his heart, he’s ready to turn his attention to Indianapolis.
“I pledge to dedicate myself to you without hesitation or reservation. Together we’ll build upon an incredible foundation that already exists,” he said at a news conference in Indianapolis.
An installation mass is scheduled for July 28.
Tobin made headlines in 2015 after arguing with then-Gov. Mike Pence, who wanted to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana. At the news conference, Thompson made it clear that he also supports immigrants, saying: “We stand with them, we embrace them.”