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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 06.04.2003]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


CARTER Card. Gerald Emmett




Cardinal Emmett Carter, Archbishop emeritus of Toronto, was born on 1 March 1912 in Montreal. After having attended the Collège de Montréal with good results throughout Junior and Senior High School, he entered the Major Seminary which was run by the Fathers of St. Sulpice. He graduated in philosophy and obtained the Licentiate in theology at Montreal University.

On 22 May 1937 he received priestly ordination in Montreal. Thus began a period dedicated not only to the pastoral ministry but also to teaching. For many years he was a member of the provincial education office for the Catholic schools of Montreal. The foundation of St. Joseph’s school was due to him and he taught Crhistian doctrine there to Catholic teachers. For 25 years he taught catechesis in his native city. His pastoral fervour took concrete shape in the Thomas More Association of which he was director, and in the activity of chaplain of all the Canadian Newman Clubs.

On 1 December 1961, he was elected Auxiliary Bishop of London and was consecrated on 2 February 1962. Two years later, on 12 March 1964, he became the eighth residential Bishop of London.

In 1965 he was nominated a member of the Council for the Liturgy during the Second Vatican Council, and President of the Office for the Liturgy in Canada. In 1969 he as elected Vice-President of the Commission for Doctrine and Faith of the Canadian Episcopal Conference. From 1971 to 1973 he was Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference of Canada. He took part in the 1974 Synod of Bishops and upon return was nominated president of the Episcopal Conference of Canada. In 1977 he took part in the fifth Synod of Bishops and was called to be a member of the Council of the secretariat.

On 27 April 1978 he was nominated Archbishop of Toronto and took possession of the diocese on 5 June of the same year.

Archbishop emeritus, resigned 17 March 1990.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 30 June 1979, of the Title of St. Maria in Traspontina.

Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter died on 6 April 2003.


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