Cardinal McCarrick’s Resignation Not Accepted at this Time
September 06, 2005
Last night, during the annual Labor Day gathering for the priests of the Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick told them he had been notified that Pope Benedict XVI has decided the Cardinal should continue as Archbishop of Washington at this time. He was notified of the Pope’s decision by a letter from the Apostolic Nuncio. He likely will continue to serve as archbishop for another two or so years. As required under canon (Church) law, Cardinal McCarrick had offered his resignation to the Holy Father on his 75th birthday, July 7, 2005.
“I accept the Holy Father’s decision with gratitude and confidence,” Cardinal McCarrick said. “The confidence is based on the fact that I can count on the help of God for the grace to continue to serve the people of the Archdiocese whom the Lord loves so much. The gratitude comes from the privilege of working my brother bishops and priests, deacons and religious, whose generosity and zeal I have already experienced over the last four and a half years.”
Canon 401 in the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law requires a diocesan bishop to “present his resignation from office to the Supreme Pontiff, who will make provision after he has examined all the circumstances,” when the bishop reaches his 75th birthday.
Cardinal McCarrick has been a priest for 47 years and a bishop for 28. Originally ordained for the Archdiocese of New York, he served as the first Bishop of Metuchen (NJ) and as Archbishop of Newark. In January 2001, he succeeded 80-year-old Cardinal James A. Hickey as Archbishop of Washington.
Since arriving in Washington, Cardinal McCarrick has established the Redemptoris Mater seminary, reorganized and expanded the Archdiocese’s social services ministries, and focused on serving the growing immigrant community. He also is a leading advocate for educational choice and continues his work on international human rights. Cardinal McCarrick participated in the April 2005 conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI as successor to Pope John Paul II.
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