A Legacy of Kindness
Less than one month from the age of mandatory retirement for Catholic bishops, Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick said he hopes to leave a legacy of kindness after his 28 years as a bishop in New York, Metuchen and Newark, N.J., and Washington.
"Every priest needs to be kind," he said. "Every bishop needs to be kind... If I try to be kind, that's the most important thing. Get the bad people made good, get the good people made better. That's my legacy."
Anyone concerned about the image of the church in the US should be on their knees, praying the man doesn't go anywhere soon.
"I am energetic enough [to stay]," the cardinal said, "but I have a lot of things I could do in retirement. I want to get myself ready to go home [to heaven], you know? [Retirement] would give me more time to do that."As I've always said of McCarrick, as Molly Ivins once said of someone else, "His manners are so much better than anyone who's ever trashed him, it is a monument to his momma."
It would also give him more time to go fishing, he said, especially in New Jersey, where he lived for 23 years. However, John Paul II, near the end of his reign, extended several cardinals' terms well past retirement age. Benedict XVI could follow suit.
"If he wants me to continue, I'm open to that, too," the cardinal said. "Whatever. I'm easy, I really am. I learned years ago you always do what the Lord tells you to do. ... Whatever the Lord tells me through the Holy Father, I am open to whatever he wants."