It is with great pleasure that we welcome His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington D.C. to the HCEF Advisory Board. Cardinal McCarrick is a longtime friend and staunch supporter of HCEF, as well as a recipient of HCEF's Path to Peace Award in 2008. Attesting to HCEF's pivotal role, he declared "some of the great success of the visit of the Holy Father to the Holy Land earlier this spring owes in good part to the continuous, courageous and outstanding work of the Foundation [HCEF]."
His Eminence has served for several years on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, and currently holds a position as counselor at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, in addition to working on countless other initiatives through which he so tirelessly brings together peoples of different faiths for the common good of all. We congratulate him most especially for empowering and strengthening the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, which brings together leaders of the three Abrahamic faiths–Judaism, Christianity and Islam–to work in unison for peace.
Political and religious leaders across the Middle East have sought Cardinal McCarrick out for his counsel and good offices. For over two decades he has played an especially central role in building worldwide support for the Church in the Holy Land, as a member and sometimes chair of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on International Policy.
It was under his leadership that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) built an especially strong relationship with the Church of the Holy Land. In 2000, then-Archbishop McCarrick helped arrange for special aid from the USCCB to support the Church of Jerusalem in connection with Saint John Paul the Great's millennial pilgrimage. Sir Rateb Rabie, HCEF President/CEO,who was also part of the pope's entourage, along with Cardinal McCarrick, says "Since that time, he has been an inspirational and supportive friend of HCEF and Palestinian Christians, developing bonds of solidarity and friendship with many of them, and with their leaders. Cardinal McCarrick is a man of faith, peace and justice."
In 1998, he chaired the organizing meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land. Since 2002, the representatives of European and North American bishops' conferences and councils of conferences have met annually in January in the Holy Land to consult with the Assembly of Ordinaries of the Holy Land and to be in solidarity with the Church there. He has frequently used his good offices to help resolve particular problems in the Holy Land. He played a special mediating role with the White House in the resolution of the long-running dispute over the construction of a mosque adjacent to the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth in 2002 and 2003. In 2007, under exceptionally difficult circumstances, he visited Gaza on a humanitarian mission with Catholic Relief Services.
On behalf of the Board, staff, friends and supporters of HCEF, we welcome him warmly and look forward to his long association with HCEF as we pursue our mutual mission of preserving the presence of the living stones of the Holy Land.