Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"A Man of the Center"

As Archbishop-elect Donald Wuerl of Washington prepares to say his farewell Mass in his hometown this coming Sunday, the apostolic administrator of the archdiocese appeared on CNN earlier tonight, where he was effusively praised -- and rightfully so -- by none other than Wolf Blitzer.

Fielding questions on immigration, the marriage amendment and the new phase of his ministerial journey, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick -- shown here at a DC Catholic school yesterday -- indicated that, in the debate on marriage, the prospect of civil unions was something "we can live with."

Blitzer acclaimed the cardinal, who steps away from governance two weeks from tomorrow, saying that "a lot of us think you're hitting your prime right now.

"It's almost a pity you're retiring. Are you being forced to retire? You've been a beloved figure here in Washington," the CNN anchor told Uncle Ted.

From the full script.... McCarrick on Immigration:
If a little kid comes up to you and says, "I'm lost, can you give me some money to get home," we're not going to say, "Show me your papers first." Or if an older lady comes to you and says, "Look, I need medicine badly," I'm not going to say, "Show me your papers." We don't work that way. You can't work that way. I don't think any religious body in the country works that way.

And so I've said to everybody, I think every Catholic priest, everyone who works for the Catholic Church, is going to know that if somebody comes to them in need, you don't ask them any questions. You don't say you're Catholic, you don't say anything. You say, "Are you in need?" If you're in need, then we help you. I think that's what it's all about, and that's what we'll continue to do, whatever the law might be.
McCarrick on Marriage:
[Senator] Ted [Kennedy] and I have -- do have differences from time to time. And this is a real big one. It seems to me that we really have to continue to define marriage as we've defined marriage for thousands of years as a union between a man and a woman.

Now, I think the legislation as it is proposed would not throw out the possibility of a civil union. And I think we can -- we can live with that if this is what -- if this is what the Constitution will provide for. But to say that you can take this concept of marriage, this word of marriage and use it in ways that it has never been used before, as far as I know, in the history of the world, I think that makes no sense.
McCarrick on his successor:
So now the Holy Father felt that it was good to have a younger man who's going to be -- who's going to be wonderful. He's the best possible archbishop of Washington, I think, is Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh, who is going to succeed. And I think he's a great teacher. He's a man of the center. He's articulate. He's courageous. The people are going to love him, and he's going to love the people.

I think I'm really happy that we have a good man coming. I keep saying this is going to be the golden age of the archdiocese. They're in the Bronze Age now. We're going to make good progress.
To steal Wolf's words, per usual the good cardinal's "being modest." And how I'd love to see the video of this right now.

Reuters/Larry Downing