Cardinal Gerald Emmett CARTER

From: "Canadian Who's Who 1986"
Ed. Kieran Simpson, University of Toronto Press, 1986

CARTER, His Eminence G. Emmett, C.C., L.Th., M.A., LL.D., D.D., D.H.L., Ph.D.; Cardinal (R.C.). Born Montreal, Que. 1 March 1912; son of Thomas Joseph Carter and Mary (Kelty) Carter.

Educated at St. Patrick's Boy's School, Montreal; Montreal College: University of Montreal, B.A. 1933, B.Th. 1936, M.A. 1940, Ph.D. 1947; LL. D., Univ. of Western Ont., LL. D. (hon.) Concordia University 1976, University 1976, University of Windsor 1977; D. D. (hon.) Huron College, University of Western Ontario 1978; D. Litt., St. Mary's University, Halifax, 1980; LL.D. McGill University, Montreal, 1980; LL.D. Notre Dame University, 1981.

Elevated to Sacred College of Cardinals, June 1979; appointed Member Secretariate for Non-Christians and Secretariate for Christian unity 1979; ARCHBISHOP OF TORONTO, since June 1978; Titular Bishop of Altiburo, 1961 (consecrated 2 Feb. 1962); 

Ordained Priest 1937; Supervisor, Montreal Catholic School Commission, 1937-39; Founder and Principal, The St. Joseph Teachers College; Charter member and first President, Thomas More Institute for Adult Education,1945; English Commissioner of the the Montreal Catholic School Commission, 1948-61; Rector, St. Lawrence College, Quebec, 1961; Chaplain, Newman Club of McGill University 1941-56; three terms as National Chaplain, Canadian Federation of Newman Clubs; elevated Hon. Canon of the Basilica of Our Lady Queen of the World, Montreal, 1953; Commdr. of Order of Scholastic Merit of Quebec, 1958; Conventual Chaplain, Kts. of Malta, 1960; Auxiliary Bishop of London, 1961-64; Bishop of London, 1964-68; appointed Chancellor. Assumption University, 1964; appointed by Pope Paul VI Cando. Rep. at Consilium for Liturgy, Rome, 1966; Chairman, Canadian Liturgy Comm. (English Sector) and President, Office of Liturgy (English Sector) C.C.C.B., 1966; Vice-President, Doctrine and Faith Department C.C.C.B., 1969; C.C.O. 1971-73; C.C.C.B. 1973-75; President, C.C.C.B. 1975-77; member, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship 1970; Permanent Council of the Synod, 1978; Chairman, International Committee for English in the Liturgy 1971.

"Catholic Public Schools in Quebec" 1957
"Psychology and the Cross" 1959
"The Modern Challenge to Religious Education" 1961
"A Shepherd Speaks" 1982

Appointed Companion Order of Canada 1983

Address: 355 Church Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1Z8


From The Toronto Star:

Apr. 6, 2003. 10:28 PM

                   Cardinal Carter dead at 91
                   Former Toronto archbishop's influence reached beyond Church

                   MICHAEL MCATEER
                   SPECIAL TO THE STAR

Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter, the Montreal Irish Catholic typesetter's son who became a prince of the Roman Catholic Church and spiritual leader of Canada's largest English-speaking diocese, has died.

In and out of hospital in recent weeks, Cardinal Carter died today. Catholics had been asked recently to include him in their prayers. He turned 91 on March 1.

"He was, first and foremost, a man of the Church. All that he accomplished, and he accomplished much, was in the service of God and of his Church," said Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic, the Archbishop of Toronto.

"He was a priest, a pastor, a bishop, a Father of the Second Vatican Council. He spoke the word of God and acted on it with wisdom, with perspicacity, with regard for the gifts of others, and with visionary decisiveness, meeting the vast variety of needs in the Church."

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael's Cathedral at Bond and Shuter Sts. 

Carter was a Bishop over the course of forty years, and a priest for nearly sixty-six.

"Cardinal Carter was part of the dying breed that represented the intellectual contributions Irish Canadians made to the church and this country in the later half of the 20th Century," said his biographer Douglas Letson. "He was well educated, articulate and very thoughtful. His type is much needed and sorely missed."

Cardinal Carter was installed as archbishop of the Toronto diocese in 1978 and was created a cardinal by Pope John Paul II a year later. He retired as Toronto archbishop on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1990.

In 1981, Cardinal Carter, a keen tennis player, swimmer and skier, suffered a haemorrhage of a blood vessel in the brain, which left his left leg and arm almost paralysed. He fought back, and although he was never the same again physically, he was able to carry the responsibilities of running the diocese until his retirement.

"He had been a very energetic guy and the stroke was very hard on him because it limited his mobility. But it made him much more reflective and pastoral," said Letson, co-author of a 1990 biography of Carter, My Father's Business.

Carter mused on old age and lamented the loss of physical prowess in a poem in an introduction to the book. "But I grow old and do not comprehend/How youth and strength can fail so soon/ No more the swish of the snow on skis, the whistle of the wind, the steep descent/ The thrill of swing and turn and check/ No more, the dominance of muscle and eye/ O'er motion and reflex, o'er competing skill/We die so slowly, friends we do not see/The silent approach, the thief in the
night/Who takes from us what we cherish most..."

Observers of Pope John Paul II's arrival in Toronto last summer recall the touching encounter between the two aged churchmen, who had been so active in the prime. 

"The Holy Father was seated and so was Cardinal Carter and they were looking at one another eye to eye. You could see them, brother to brother, so intense in their conversation," said Sister Margaret Myatt, General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. "The Holy Father blessed the Cardinal and they grasped each other's hands, you could see two people who respected and loved each other. When the Cardinal was moved away in his chair, you see he was very emotional, and you could see the Holy Father watching him as the wheelchair was moving away."

Educator, author, high profile churchman, papal advisor, and a father of the historic Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, Cardinal Carter also moved comfortably in political and business circles claiming friends among the province's power brokers.

A gala dinner at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in May 1987, marking his 75th birthday, his 50th anniversary as a priest, and his 25th anniversary as a bishop, showed just how far the cardinal's sphere of influence extended. The dinner was attended by some 3,000 people and the 120-member head table read like a who's who of church, politics and business.

"He was wildly criticized for associating with the social elite but he did," said biographer Letson, adding that Carter was instrumental in converting financier Conrad Black to Catholicism.

"Cardinal Carter was extremely bright and attracted intelligent people. He had taken Toronto Catholicism from a semi-invisible position, to a position of some authority and respect. It wasn't merely a matter of an accident of time, but of his personality. Influential people like to be around influential people."

Cardinal Carter's thinking could be seen in the documents of Vatican II dealing with human dignity and education he may not have authored the documents, but they reflected the themes that had intellectually engaged him.

He was critical of religious education that had traditionally been based on rote learning and memorization. "If people didn't grasp things intellectually, they didn't grasp them at all," Letson said.

Cardinal Carter's career bridged the pre- and post-Vatican Council church and he said that being a bishop during the council and the years after was one of the great privileges of his life. They were often turbulent years for the church as it struggled to adapt to the reforms ushered in by the council. Cardinal Carter called the years exhilarating, exciting and rewarding.

"We have lived in troubled times and there's no fun in sailing when there is no wind and God knows we had wind enough," he said at his triple anniversary dinner. "We all know that in sailing we have to put our weight against the wind. I have tried to do that in the leadership required of me in the church. That is why I have been variously described at some moments of being progressive or liberal, at other times conservative and reactionary."

Suzanne Scorsone, spokesperson for the Toronto archdiocese, recalled him saying: "If the wind is blowing heavily from the right, I lean a bit to the left; if it is blowing heavily from the left, I lean a bit to the right. That way I can try to walk forward with a reasonable and steady balance."

She added, "He took what was essential in the teaching of the church and made is understandable in the context of here and now without sacrificing an iota of content."

Cardinal Carter hired Scorsone to head the archdiocese office of family life the first married woman in North America to hold that position, she said. "The people who worked for him adore him."

An outspoken man with strong opinions, Cardinal Carter came in for his share of criticism from both the church's conservative and liberal wings. Conservatives chastised him because of what they perceived to be his less than enthusiastic support for Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul V1's 1968 encyclical that reaffirmed the church's opposition to artificial birth control.

He had been influenced by the ideas of Cardinal John Henry Newman on freedom of conscience, independent thought and the intellectual life. In the Canadian response to Humanae Vitae, Cardinal Carter wrote that Catholics were responsible for understanding the teachings of the church, but if they found they couldn't follow those teachings to the letter, they were obliged to follow their conscience.

Cardinal Carter was also targeted by the Catholic pro-life movement for not taking a more active role in the anti-abortion fight. Supporters of women's ordination took him to task for his strong endorsement of the church's stand against women priests.

"If you were a woman, liberal and active, you would probably find his position on women very traditional and somewhat frustrating," said Letson.

But he was also responsible for opening the Toronto archdiocese to lay men and women employees and improving salaries and benefits for working parents, holding jobs previously held by clergy and religious. He saw the 21st Century as the century of the laity, Letson said.

Social activists faulted him for an alleged lack of support of social justice issues. But during his 12 years as head of the Toronto archdiocese, Cardinal Carter was praised for helping to improve race-relations, for his collaboration with the provincial government in creating a housing program for the homeless, and for his support of the educational rights of Catholics. More than anything else, Cardinal Carter will probably be remembered best as the man who helped bring about the fulfilment of the Ontario government's promise to provide full funding to Catholic high schools.

"He was constructively persistent in his pursuit of that objective," said former Ontario Premier Bill Davis. "In spite of what some have written, he was never threatening. But there's no question, he provided a great deal of leadership."

Davis said Cardinal Carter's contributions went beyond the Catholic community. "He had a truly ecumenical point of view. He had a great mind; he was a very sensitive person and was fun to be with. He was always stimulating."

"He'll be missed not only by members of his own faith, but many others in the province and the country for his contributions that went beyond his own faith."

Toronto's Anglican Archbishop Terrence Finlay recalled Cardinal Carter's broad grasp of Canadian history and his intellectual engagement in conversation. "I have lost a good friend," he said.

Cardinal Carter was the youngest of eight born to devout, Irish Catholics of modest means in Montreal's east end. His brother Alexander - who died last year at age 93 - also entered the priesthood and became a bishop and two of his sisters became nuns. His typesetter father, a strong union man, was fired from his job for trying to organize a union at the Montreal Daily Star.

Following his ordination to the priesthood in 1937, Cardinal Carter was appointed ecclesiastical inspector of Montreal's English-language Catholic schools. The appointment was the start of a long and distinguished educational career.

In 1946 he was co-founder and first president of the Thomas More Institute for Adult Education in Montreal. In 1955 he founded St. Joseph's Teachers College, Montreal for English- speaking Catholics in Quebec. In those years he wrote a book, Psychology and the Cross, which was considered groundbreaking in its efforts to reconcile Catholic teaching with the psychology of Freud.

In 1961 he was named auxiliary Bishop of London. Three years later he was named eighth bishop of the London diocese. On June 5, 1978, he was installed as Archbishop of Toronto following the resignation of Bishop Philip Pocock.

As a bishop, Cardinal Carter represented Canada at two Synods of bishops and was elected a member of the permanent Synod of Bishops in Rome. He served as president of the International Committee for English in the Liturgy, president of the Canadian bishops' liturgy commission, and encouraged the publication of the new Sunday Mass Book for Canada. In 1981 he was appointed to serve on a cardinals' committee studying the Vatican's financial situation.

Cardinal Carter's doctoral degree was in education and after his retirement received many honorary degrees. In 1983 he was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada.

                   With files from Leslie Scrivener and Canadian Press

From The Montreal Gazette:

Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter, archbishop emeritus of Toronto, dies at 91
                   Canadian Press 
                   Sunday, April 06, 2003

TORONTO (CP) - Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter, archbishop emeritus of Toronto, died Sunday at the age of 91 after a brief illness. 

"He was, first and foremost, a man of the Church. All that he accomplished, and he accomplished much, was in the service of God and of his Church," said Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic, the  archbishop of Roman Catholic archdiocese Toronto. "He was a priest, a pastor, a bishop, a Father of the Second Vatican Council. He spoke the word of God and acted on it with wisdom, with perspicacity, with regard for the gifts of others, and with visionary decisiveness, meeting the vast variety of needs in the Church." 

He was installed as archbishop of Toronto in 1978 and was made a Cardinal the next year. 

Carter was born in Montreal, where he spent his first 25 years in the priesthood working in various educational fields. He founded the St. Joseph's Teachers College in Montreal - a college for English-speaking Roman Catholics in Quebec - and was a member of the Montreal Catholic School Board for 15 years. 

He was a professor of catechetics for 25 years and published several books including, The Modern Challenge to Religious Education, and Psychology and the Cross. 

Carter was a bishop over the course of 40 years, and a priest for nearly 66 years. 

He is credited with expanding pastoral services, Catholic education and social services. He helped with the opening of the Covenant House for street youth under 21 in Toronto, and in launching an agreement with the Ontario government to provide affordable housing for the elderly and disabled. 

He retired in 1990 as archbishop of Toronto, a diocese of 1.4 million Catholics. 

His funeral mass will be held Thursday morning at St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto. 

© Copyright 2003 The Canadian Press

See Also:
His brother Rev. Alexander Carter   

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