By John-Henry Westen

Cardinal McCarrickWASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2006 ( – The just-retired Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, Theodore E. McCarrick has issued a “clarification” to remarks he made on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, which aired June 7, 2006.Â

In the context of a discussion on the failed marriage amendment, the Cardinal brought up the issue of same-sex civil unions saying, “I think we can – we can live with that”. When Blitzer followed-up on the point asking, “So just explain. You think that you could live with—you could support civil unions between gays and lesbians, but you wouldn’t like them to get formally married, is that right?” Cardinal McCarrick replied, “yes”, and went on to discuss his opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

In the clarification dated Friday June 9, Cardinal McCarrick states: “I’m afraid that I misspoke last Wednesday when I was being interviewed on CNN.” He said his comments were “in no way in favor of a lifestyle that is contrary to the teaching of the Church and Scripture.”

It was Blitzer himself who first noted the surprising nature of the Cardinal’sÂremarks about same-sex civil unions. In the teaser Blitzer offered prior to airing the interview, Blitzer stated, “Does a Catholic cardinal agree with the Catholic Church, certainly against gay marriage? You might be surprised to see how he feels about same-sex civil unions.”

Cardinal McCarrick said in his defence, “I realized that my words could have given the wrong impression to someone who did not take my remarks in context.” He concluded his clarification letter saying, “I regret any confusion my words may have caused because I did not make myself sufficiently clear.”

See related coverage:

Washington Cardinal McCarrick Says He Supports Same-Sex Civil Unions on CNN

See the full clarification letter online: