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Cardinal McCarrick Advocates for Religious Freedom for Muslims, Releases Collected Writings

April 13, 2011

Notre Dame, IN—Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington and internationally known advocate for justice and civil rights, testified before Congress on March 29, 2011, in a Senate judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights, and human rights hearing titled “Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims.”

“Freedom of religion is a fundamental civil right and it is more than that,” McCarrick said during his testimony, “It is a natural human right that flows from the nature of the human person. Without the right to religious freedom, no other human right is secure.”

A beloved figurehead to so many American Catholics, McCarrick now offers a collection of his writings. Thinking of You: The Weekly Columns from the Catholic Standard gathers together McCarrick’s columns from the Catholic Standard written between 2000 and 2006, when he was archbishop of Washington.

McCarrick presided as the archbishop of Washington during a momentous period of American Catholic history—including the terrorist attacks of September 11, the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the beginning of the war in Iraq, the presidential election of 2004, and the death of Pope John Paul II.

In his columns, McCarrick writes with honesty and a personal flair, reaching out to readers, engaging both intellect and heart. “In all the things I will try to do,” he wrote in 2001, “I must always be thinking of you and your needs. You know of course that thinking of you guarantees that I will be praying for you all the time, too. That is a two-way street, isn’t it? It comes with the plea that you will always pray for me.” McCarrick narrates aspects of his work in the diocese and beyond, reflecting on its importance for the life of the Church—locally, nationally, and globally.

Catholics of all types will benefit from this testament to McCarrick’s intelligent pastoral leadership, constant dedication and hard work, love for the liturgy, and deep devotion to prayer.

About Theodore E. McCarrick

Born and raised in New York City, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick was ordained to the priesthood in 1958, following formation at St. Joseph’s Seminary. McCarrick pursued graduate work to earn a Ph.D. in sociology at The Catholic University of America, where he also held several administrative positions before being selected as president of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 1965. Later appointed an auxiliary bishop of New York, McCarrick was named by Pope John Paul II as the first bishop of Metuchen in New Jersey, and later served as the archbishop of Newark and of Washington. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2001.

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