2000-05-13 / Editorial/Opinion

Farewell To A Great Man

Last week the world lost a great man… John Cardinal O’Connor. Being residents of New York City, we are touched in a special way by the passing of the Cardinal. His presence was felt in churches, homes, schools and the hearts of millions of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. His spirit and lessons live on in the many people he touched.

Cardinal O’Connor moved the Church in a new direction, strengthening relations between Catholics and other religious groups. This was evident by his efforts to develop a strong dialogue between Jews and Catholics, denouncing anti-Semitism and leading the way for the Vatican to apologize for any part that Church members might have taken in the Holocaust.

The Cardinal is remembered for many reasons, but his staunch support and belief in the quality and value of life, from moment of inception until its last natural breath, is probably the single most memorable teaching of this great man. He is also remembered for his staunch support of Catholic school education, even when faced with funding problems.

We wish O’Connor’s successor, Archbishop-elect Edward Egan, good fortune in his new role as head of New York City’s archdiocese. His expertise in financial management is well known and probably what gave him the extra edge in being chosen for O’Connor’s job. We hope that Archbishop-elect Egan will be able to tackle the archdiocese’s financial situation while embracing O’Connor’s deep commitment to the thousands of children attending the Catholic schools under his purvue.

Farewell to Cardinal John O’Connor - a great leader among leaders, a great priest among priests, a great man among men. He will be missed.

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