Full transcript of the June 7, 2006, CNN interview with Cardinal McCarrick
The following is the full transcript of the June 7, 2006, CNN “The Situation Room” interview of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, by the cable news network’s Wolf Blitzer, which Catholic Online received from CNN:
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to “The Situation Room.” I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.
President Bush took his calls for immigration reform to Nebraska today. In Omaha, the president highlighted two of his ideas for reform, assimilation of foreigners into the American society and tougher border enforcement.
Meanwhile, despite heavy pressure from the president, the Senate today rejected a constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage. Opponents of the ban included a number of Republicans.
So how might the Catholic Church feel about these issues?
BLITZER: And joining us now is Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the archbishop of Washington, D.C.
Your Eminence, always good to speak to you, especially now as you're wrapping up your tenure. More on that coming up.
Let's talk about immigration first. Your colleague, Cardinal Roger Mahony, in Los Angeles, has been very outspoken on this issue, as you have been. Let me read to you what he said the other day.
He said, "I've received a lot of criticism for stating that I would instruct the priests of my archdiocese to disobey a proposed law that would subject them, as well as other church and humanitarian workers, to criminal penalties. But I stand by my statement."
He's referring to the House version of the legislation that would make it a felony – that illegal immigrants in the country would be deemed felons. The Catholic Church presumably would have to report them if they came in to seek sanctuary.
How do you feel about this?
CARDINAL THEODORE McCARRICK, ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON, D.C. : Well, I've made it clear, too. I think we're basically on the same page.
If a little kid comes up to you and says, "I'm lost, can you give me some money to get home," we're not going to say, "Show me your papers first." Or if an older lady comes to you and says, "Look, I need medicine badly," I'm not going to say, "Show me your papers." We don't work that way. You can't work that way. I don't think any religious body in the country works that way.
And so I've said to everybody, I think every Catholic priest, everyone who works for the Catholic Church, is going to know that if somebody comes to them in need, you don't ask them any questions. You don't say you're Catholic, you don't say anything. You say, "Are you in need?"
If you're in need, then we help you. I think that's what it's all about, and that's what we'll continue to do, whatever the law might be.
BLITZER: So even if this House version were to become the law of the land, would you instruct priests to disobey the law?
CARDINAL McCARRICK: I don't think I'd have to instruct them. I think they would know. They would know that the law of God tells you to take care of your neighbor. You have to do that.
I think all my priests and I would hope anyone who worked for Catholic charities throughout the archdiocese would always know, you don't turn away somebody who's in need. You don't turn away somebody in trouble.
You do the best you can for them.
This is why I have been very critical about the – that version, because even though people have said, no, it doesn't really mean that, but if it – it should mean what it says. And what it says is very difficult for us to accept. I don't think we're going to meet that.
I cannot see the United States passing the House version. I'm sure that when we get a new comprehensive immigration reform bill, out of the Congress, it will be something that, please God, we'll be able to support.
BLITZER: Another very sensitive issue that's being dealt with in the Senate right now involves a constitutional ban on same sex marriage.
Sen. Ted Kennedy said this yesterday. He said, "A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry, pure and simple." You disagree with him, don't you?
CARDINAL McCARRICK: On this one, I do. Ted and I have – do have differences from time to time. And this is a real big one. It seems to me that we really have to continue to define marriage as we've defined marriage for thousands of years as a union between a man and a woman.
Now, I think the legislation as it is proposed would not throw out the possibility of a civil union. And I think we can – we can live with that if this is what – if this is what the Constitution will provide for. But to say that you can take this concept of marriage, this word of marriage and use it in ways that it has never been used before, as far as I know, in the history of the world, I think that makes no sense.
BLITZER: So just ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- SHOCKING: Senator says IRS set to pay out $70 million in employee bonuses
- Agents think they'll find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa - after 40 years
- Did Pocahontas save explorer John Smith here? Native American site of Werowocomoco fascinating regardless
- Poorly prepared teachers steering nation's classrooms
- Cheers Star: We Didn't Need Surveillance When We Were Kids - 'We Had God'
- IN SEARCH OF SUNKEN TREASURE: Divers plunge into Lake Michigan to search for 17th Century ship
- No-one Can Change the Truth About Fatherhood. Love Your Father. Be a Good Father
- Archbishop Chaput Cuts Through the Double Talk About Religious Liberty
- Courageous Cardinal George of Chicago Defends Marriage, Calls for Public Conversion
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?