WASHINGTON (May 3, 2000) -- Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference, issued the following statement on the death of Cardinal John J. O'Connor of New York:
- "The Church in New York, and throughout the world, has lost a great and beloved churchman. As parish priest, Chief of Chaplains, United States Navy, Auxiliary Bishop of the Military Archdiocese and Bishop of Scranton, and for the past sixteen years as Archbishop of New York and as advisor to the Holy Father, Cardinal O'Connor was a person who embodied the mercy and goodness of Our Savior to all those with whom he came in contact. He was a champion of the poor, the immigrant, the sick, and the unborn, and he spoke and acted on their behalf with eloquence, vigor, and an extraordinary measure of wit. Indicative of the esteem in which he was held by so many, he was the recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal, and, on two separate occasions, of the Legion of Merit. Speaking for the Bishops of the United States, and for so many others, I offer my condolences and prayers to the Cardinal's family and the people of New York. I give thanks to God for the light that shined through Cardinal O'Connor and I pray for the happy repose of his soul."