WASHINGTON (May 16, 2006)—Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington and appointed Bishop Donald W. Wuerl of Pittsburgh as his successor.
The Pope accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph L. Imesch of Joliet, Illinois and named Bishop J. Peter Sartain of Little Rock, Arkansas as Bishop of Joliet.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcements.
Donald W. Wuerl was born in Pittsburgh on November 12, 1940, and received graduate degrees from the Catholic University of America, the Gregorian University in Rome, and his doctorate in theology from the University of St. Thomas in Rome, in 1974. Ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1966, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle December 3, 1985 and ordained January 6, 1986.
He was installed as the 11th bishop of Pittsburgh on February 12, 1988, where he is spiritual leader of some 800,000 Catholics in 214 parishes throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.
To many, Bishop Wuerl is known from the television program "The Teaching of Christ," broadcast on the Christian Associates cable channel, and through its national syndication. His best-selling adult catechism of the same name, now in its 30th year of publication, has been
translated into more than 10 languages and is used throughout the world. His most recent publication, The Catholic Way, was published by Doubleday in September, 2001.
Bishop Wuerl serves on numerous national and international bodies, is Chairman of the Committee on Catechesis of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and serves on a number of boards including the Catholic University of America, the North American College in Rome, the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and the Pope John Paul II Intercultural Forum.
He has been honored by numerous organizations, including the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the American Red Cross, and B'nai Zion. He was the recipient of the Elizabeth Ann Seton award from the National Catholic Educational Association for his ongoing work as a teacher and educator.
Theodore Edgar McCarrick was born in New York City on July 7, 1930. He received his elementary and high school education at Incarnation School and Fordham Preparatory School, both in New York City.
He studied for the priesthood at the New York Archdiocesan Seminary, St. Joseph's, in Yonkers, New York, and was ordained a priest on May 31, 1958.
After ordination, Father McCarrick pursued studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and the Catholic University of Puerto Rico. He then served at Catholic University as assistant chaplain, dean of students and director of development.
Monsignor McCarrick returned to the Archdiocese of New York to serve as associate secretary for education from 1969 to 1971, and then secretary to the Archbishop, Servant of God Cardinal Terence Cooke, from 1971 to 1977.
He was named Titular Bishop of Rusibisir and Auxiliary Bishop of New York on May 24, 1977, and ordained a bishop on June 29.
Cardinal McCarrick was named the first bishop of the diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, on November 19, 1981, Archbishop of Newark on May 30, 1986, and Archbishop of Washington on November 21, 2000. He was installed as Archbishop of Washington on January 4, 2001.
He was elevated to the College of Cardinals on February 21, 2001.
Cardinal McCarrick has served on numerous committees of the USCCB. He has chaired those on Migration, International Policy, and Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. He has also served as Chairman of the Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Politicians.
The Archdiocese of Washington comprises the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles Counties, Maryland. It has a Catholic population of approximately 579,000 out of a total population of 2.6 million.
The Province of Washington has as a Suffragan the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
The new Bishop of Joliet, James Peter Sartain, was born in Memphis on June 6, 1952. He attended local Catholic elementary and secondary schools. He began preparations for the priesthood at St. Meinrad Seminary, Indiana, and completed them at the North American College in Rome, where he attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum). He was ordained a priest of the diocese of Memphis on July 15, 1978.
Besides various parochial assignments, Father Sartain served the Memphis diocese as director of vocations, secretary for priests and deacons, vicar for temporal administration and for clergy personnel, chancellor and moderator of the Curia, and vicar general. He was serving as vicar general and pastor of St. Louis church, Memphis, when he was appointed Bishop of Little Rock, on January 4, 2000.
Joseph L. Imesch was born June 21, 1931, in Detroit. He studied at the North American College in Rome and the Gregorian University, and was ordained a priest of the Detroit archdiocese on December 16, 1956. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Pomaria and Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit on February 8, 1973 and ordained April 3, 1973. He was appointed Bishop of Joliet June 30, 1979, and installed August 28, 1979.
Established in 1948, the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois has a Catholic population of approximately 636,862 in a total population of about 1,768,390. It comprises the counties of Du Page, Kankakee, Will, Grundy, Ford, Iroquois and Kendall in the State of Illinois.