Archbishop McCarrick

Here is a heraldic oddity. It involves the reduction in rank or demotion of a prelate. Now that Theodore McCarrick has resigned from the College of Cardinals he will no longer enjoy the privileges associated with it. For the time being he retains a coat of arms, although, I suppose that remains to be seen as well, and it bears the personal arms he assumed when he first became a bishop as Auxiliary Bishop of NY. He retains the double-barred cross and galero with 20 tassels of an archbishop because he is the Archbishop-emeritus of Washington, DC. The arms of theSee of Washington are not impaled with his personal arms because he is no longer the incumbent of that See. Having laid aside the dignity of a Cardinal he reverts to being Archbishop McCarrick.



3 thoughts on “Archbishop McCarrick

  1. David F. Phillips

    I would think even if he is degraded from his title of archbishop emeritus, which seems well possible after the process is concluded, he would retain the coat of arms, which is personal, including the motto, but would lose the episcopal cross and would revert to the single-tassel black galero of a priest. Even if he is removed from the priesthood I think he keeps his arms and motto, which are not (or at least not exclusively) a papal grant but which he adopted as an American under the ancient free law of arms.

  2. Robert Tempe

    What about Bernard Law? Did he lose anything? Did he give up his American citizenship?

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. guyselvester Post author

      Well, he’s dead. So, his situation is over now. But, the comparison isn’t even close. Law was seen by many to have mishandled cases of abuse by other priests under his authority and of covering up abuse, none of which was ever credibly proven. McCarrick is accused credibly of having committed child sexual abuse and the sexual harassment of adults himself.


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