.- Theodore Cardinal McCarrick is looking forward to his retirement but says he would continue to serve as archbishop of Washington if the Pope asks him to do so.
After 28 years as bishop, Cardinal McCarrick will submit his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI on his 75th birthday next month, July 7, in accordance with canon law.
Cardinal McCarrick has served as a bishop in New York, Metuchen, Newark, and Washington. Reflecting on his ministry, the cardinal told the Washington Times the he hopes he has been able to leave a “legacy of kindness.”
He told the newspaper that every priest and bishop “needs to be kind.”
“If I try to be kind, that's the most important thing,” he said. “Get the bad people made good, get the good people made better. That’s my legacy."
He also said he is especially proud of his 12 “sons”, priests that he had ordained as bishops.
Despite his resignation, it is possible that Pope Benedict will extend the cardinal’s term, depending on whether a successor is ready in the wings.
"If he wants me to continue, I'm open to that, too," the cardinal said about the Pope. "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."
The cardinal feels that he has enough energy to continue to serve, but he told the Times that he would also like retirement to “get myself ready to go home” to the Father.