Gerald Emmett Carter
Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto
See Toronto
Enthroned April 29, 1978
Reign ended March 17, 1990
Predecessor Philip Francis Pocock
Successor Aloysius Ambrozic
Ordination May 22, 1937
Created Cardinal June 30, 1979
Other Bishop of London
Personal details
Born March 1, 1912(1912-03-01)
Montreal, Quebec
Died April 6, 2003 (aged 91)
Toronto, Ontario
Buried Holy Cross Cemetery

Gerald Emmett Carter, CC (March 1, 1912—April 6, 2003) was a Canadian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Toronto from 1978 to 1990, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1979.

Styles of
Gerald Cardinal Carter
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Toronto (emeritus)


Youth and ordination

The youngest of eight children, Gerald Carter was born in Montreal, Quebec, to an Irish Catholic family. His father was a typesetter for The Montreal Star, his brother, Alexander, would become Bishop of Sault-Sainte-Marie, and two of his sisters would become nuns.

Carter attended the Collège de Montréal before studying at the Grand Seminary and the Université de Montréal, where he obtained his Licentiate in Theology in 1936. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Alphonse-Emmanuel Deschamps on May 22, 1937.

Parish work

Carter then did pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Montreal until 1939, whence he became the first director of the English section of École Normale Jacques-Cartier.

During his tenure as chaplain to the Catholic students at McGill University from 1942 to 1956, he was also named director of the English section of Catholic Action (1944) and president of the Thomas More Institute for Adult Education (1946), and earned his doctorate in theology (1947).

Archbishop of Toronto

He was Bishop of London, Ontario from 1964 to 1978, when he was appointed Archbishop of Toronto. He retired in 1990 and was succeeded by Aloysius Matthew Cardinal Ambrozic.

In 1982 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. The library at King's University College at the University of Western Ontario in London is named after him, as are Cardinal Carter Catholic High School in Aurora, Ontario and Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School in Leamington, Ontario.

An important figure in Montreal’s education system, founding St. Joseph’s Teachers College for English-speaking Catholics, Cardinal Carter was a member of the Montreal Catholic School Commission for 15 years, and active at McGill University’s Newman Club and the St. Thomas More Institute.

Pastoral programs

In Toronto, Cardinal Carter was responsible for expanding the Archdiocese’s pastoral programs, Catholic education and social services as well as implementing the reforms of Vatican II. He was involved with the opening of Covenant House for street youth and worked with the Province of Ontario to provide affordable housing to the elderly and disabled.

Cardinal Carter died in Toronto and is buried at the Bishops’ Mausoleum at Holy Cross Cemetery north of Toronto.

Gang of Five

Bishops Philip Pocock, George Flahiff, Joseph Aurele Plourde and the Carter brothers (Alexander and Emmett) became close friends who dubbed themselves and became known as the “The Gang of Five.” The five wielded a significant influence upon their fellow bishops and hence upon the face of Roman Catholicism in Canada. [1]


  1. The Gang of Five
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Christopher Cody
Bishop of London
Succeeded by
John Michael Sherlock
Preceded by
Philip Francis Pocock
Archbishop of Toronto
Succeeded by
Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic
no:Gerald Emmett Carter

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