.- Washington DC’s Cardinal Theodore McCarrick says that it could be time for him to retire. In July, the 75-year old Cardinal submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI, as mandated by Church law, but was asked to remain for the time being.
He now speculates however, that it may soon be time to step down as shepherd of some 560,000 Catholics.
According to the Washington Post, he said recently, "I am getting the sense that this is going to happen soon."
In an interview with the Post, Cardinal McCarrick, who came to the Archdiocese of Washington from New Jersey in 2000 said that he feels at peace with the chance to retire.
In May, the archdiocese will ordain 12 new priests--the highest number since 1973 and it has successfully avoided major economic fallout from the recent priestly sexual abuse scandal.
The cardinal made headlines during the 2004 presidential election adding his voice to the debate over reception of Communion by pro-abortion Catholic politicians. McCarrick said that while “life issues are primary”, he thought “confrontations at the altar” should be avoided.
“I'm afraid”, he said, “there are a lot more people in the church who think that things are black and white…No one can really read another person's conscience. . . . I hope it is not cowardice, I hope it is prudence -- we must always give people the benefit of the doubt."
Upon retirement, Cardinal McCarrick told the Post that he plans to divide his time between work with Catholic Charities, which he sits on the board of, and the Papal Foundation, a charity he helped establish.