.- In a gathering with priests of the Archdiocese of Washington DC, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick announced that Pope Benedict XVI has asked him to remain Archbishop of Washington despite the 75-year old’s offer of retirement.
Under Canon Law, bishops are required to submit resignations upon turning 75, but the Vatican retains power to accept or deny the bids after examining individual circumstances.
“I accept the Holy Father’s decision with gratitude and confidence,” Cardinal McCarrick said yesterday. “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.”
According to the Archdiocese, the Cardinal was informed of the Vatican’s decision by way of a letter from the Apostolic Nuncio. He is expected to remain in his post for another two years or so.
Cardinal McCarrick, who has been a priest for 48 years and a bishop for 28, was appointed to the Archdiocese of Washington in 2001. He succeeded Cardinal James Hickey.