His Eminence 
John Joseph Carberry
Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of St. Louis
See St. Louis (emeritus)
Enthroned March 25, 1968
Reign ended July 31, 1979
Predecessor Joseph Ritter
Successor John May
Ordination July 28, 1929
Consecration July 25, 1956
Created Cardinal April 28, 1969
Other Bishop of Columbus (1965-68)
Personal details
Born July 31, 1904(1904-07-31)
Brooklyn, New York
Died June 17, 1998 (aged 93)
Kirkwood, Missouri
Styles of
John Cardinal Carberry
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See St. Louis

John Joseph Cardinal Carberry (July 31, 1904—June 17, 1998) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of St. Louis from 1968 to 1979, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1969.

Early life and ministry

The youngest of ten children, John Carberry was born in Brooklyn, New York, to James Joseph and Mary Elizabeth (née O'Keefe) Carberry. His father was a clerk at Kings County Court and his mother a homemaker. He attended Cathedral College in Brooklyn and then furthered his studies in Rome, where he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Francesco Marchetti-Selvaggiani on June 28, 1929. He obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy (1929) and a doctorate in Sacred Theology (1930) from the Pontifical Urbaniana University.

Upon his return to the United States in 1930, Carberry served as an assistant pastor at St. Peter's Church on the North Shore of Long Island for a year before attending the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning his doctorate in canon law in 1934. He was an assistant pastor at St. Patrick's Church in Huntington from 1934 to 1935, whence he became secretary to Bishop Moses E. Kiley and assistant chancellor for the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey. He also taught at Cathedral High School in Trenton from 1939 to 1940.

Carberry, returning to New York, joined the faculty of St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay before teaching at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington from 1941 to 1945. He sat on the Diocesan Tribunal from 1945 to 1956, and also served as diocesan director of Radio and Television. Carberry was raised to the rank of Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on February 3, 1948, and Domestic Prelate of His Holiness on May 7, 1954. In 1955, he was elected president of the Canon Law Society of America.

Episcopal career

Bishop of Lafayette in Indiana

On May 3, 1956, he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Lafayette in Indiana, and Titular Bishop of Elis by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following July 25 from Bishop Raymond Kearny, with Bishops George Ahr and John Grellinger serving as co-consecrators, at the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. He selected as his episcopal motto, Maria, Regina Mater, meaning, "Mary, Queen and Mother."

Carberry succeeded John G. Bennett as the second Bishop of Lafayette upon the latter's death on November 20, 1957. From 1962 to 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council; during its third session, he addressed the Council on the Declaration on Religious Liberty.

Bishop of Columbus

Carberry was named the seventh Bishop of Columbus, Ohio, on January 16, 1965. During his tenure in Columbus, he called for involvement in the civil rights and ecumenical movements. He also served as chairman of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and became the first Catholic bishop to receive the Protestant Ohio Council of Churches' annual "Pastor of Pastors" award in January 1968.[1]

Archbishop of St. Louis

On February 14, 1968, Carberry was promoted to Archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri. Formally installed on March 25 of that year, he was considered more theologically conservative than his predecessor, Joseph Cardinal Ritter.[1] One publication even described him as being "threatened by a world he does not understand."[2] He strongly defended Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI's controversial encyclical on birth control.[2]

Paul VI created him Cardinal Priest of S. Giovanni Battista de Rossi a via Latina in the consistory of April 28, 1969. In 1972, Carberry established the Urban Services Apostolate for inner-city parishes in the St. Louis archdiocese. During the 1976 presidential election, he criticized Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter for opposing a Constitutional amendment to ban abortion. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the conclaves of August and October 1978, which selected Popes John Paul I and John Paul II, respectively. Carberry helped lead an internal campaign against the liberal Apostolic Delegate Jean Jadot, whom he perceived as "destroying the Catholic Church in the United States."[3]

Carberry opposed the reception of Communion in the hand, believing it was irreverent and risked the possibility of stealing Hosts to use at Black Masses[4], but later permitted the practice in his Archdiocese in 1977. He was a vocal critic of the television sitcom Maude, which he said "injected CBS-TV as advocate of a moral and political position that many not only oppose but find positively offensive as immoral...The decision to secure an abortion or the decision to have a vasectomy, even for those who choose them, is hardly a joke."[5] After eleven years of service, he resigned as Archbishop on July 31, 1979.

Carberry died at St. Agnes Home in Kirkwood, at age 93. He is buried in the crypt of the metropolitan cathedral basilica of St. Louis.


Carberry's entry at Archdiocese of St. Louis

  1. 1.0 1.1 "New Bishop for St. Louis". TIME Magazine. 1968-03-01.,9171,941224,00.html. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Papal Oddsmaking". TIME Magazine. 1978-07-17.,9171,916295,00.html. 
  3. Dick, John A. (2009-01-21). Cleric who shaped US 'pastoral church' dead at 99 "Cleric who shaped U.S. 'pastoral church' dead at 99". National Catholic Reporter. Cleric who shaped US 'pastoral church' dead at 99. 
  4. "Replying to A Call to Action". TIME Magazine. 1977-05-16.,9171,918976-2,00.html. 
  5. "Tidings". TIME Magazine. 1973-01-22.,9171,903716,00.html. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Joseph Cardinal Ritter
Archbishop of St. Louis
Succeeded by
John L. May
Preceded by
Clarence George Issenmann
Bishop of Columbus
Succeeded by
Clarence Edward Elwell
Preceded by
John George Bennett
Bishop of Lafayette in Indiana
Succeeded by
Raymond Joseph Gallagher
Template:US-RC-bishop-stub no:John Joseph Carberry