Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, Priest, and Human Rights Activist, has been an advocate for the dignity and rights of all people, and is noted for his civility, especially when dealing with controversial and divisive issues. A native of New York City, Cardinal McCarrick was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in 1954, and subsequently in 1958, a Masters of Arts in History, from St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, NY. He later was awarded a Master of Arts in Social Sciences and a Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology, both degrees from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1958.
Early in his priesthood, he held administrative and pastoral positions at The Catholic University of America. From 1965 to 1969, he served as President of The Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce, where he was responsible for its development as a major institution. From 1969 until 1977, then Monsignor McCarrick served as Associate Secretary of Education, Assistant Pastor, and the Cardinal's Secretary in the Archdiocese of New York. In 1977, Pope Paul IV named him Auxiliary Bishop of New York. In 1981, Pope John Paul II appointed him to be the first Bishop of Metuchen, NJ. From 1986 until his appointment to the Archdiocese of Washington, he served as Archbishop of Newark.
On January 2, 2001, then Archbishop McCarrick was installed as Archbishop of Washington; on February 21, 2001, he was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II. Among his accomplishments as Archbishop of Washington were the development of a multi-cultural and social service center in Wheaton, Maryland; the opening of a new seminary to educate diocesan missionary priests; a most successful fundraising campaign to support education, vocations, parish, and social needs; and the planning of a new Catholic high school, scheduled to open in Fall 2007.
As Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal McCarrick served as Chancellor of The Catholic University of America and President of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Cardinal McCarrick is past Chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committees on Domestic Policy, International Policy, Migration, and Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. From 2004 to 2006, he led a task force examining Catholics in public life. He is President of the Board of Trustees of The Papal Foundation, an organization that provides humanitarian aid internationally, as well as a Board Member of Catholic Relief Services. In 2000, he was named an "Officer of the Order of the Cedars of Lebanon" by the President of Lebanon; the President of the United States awarded him "The Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights" that same year.
In recognition of his lifelong distinguished ministry and leadership in the Church, advocacy for human rights, and commitment to humanitarian assistance throughout the world, Siena College honors Theodore Cardinal McCarrick by awarding him the honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology.