Cardinal O'Connor was an extraordinary figure in the Catholic Church in
the United States. He was a truly faithful shepherd and an outstanding witness to faith and human
dignity. He performed his priestly duties in the most passionate manner, always helping those in
need. His presence will surely be missed......
- Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls
It was a great honor to work alongside Cardinal O'Connor in the
establishment and formation of the Sisters of Life, a community very dear to his
heart, as well as in the founding of my own community. He was a wonderful
personal friend and will be greatly missed by all.....
- Mother Assumpta Long, Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist
(a community also founded by the Cardinal) Ann Arbor, MI
Cardinal O'Connor's motto
was "there can be no love without justice" and
he certainly lived both to the fullest. His love for the
Holy Father and faithfulness to the Church's Magisterium
was outstanding and a great example to be lived by all
Catholics. For the Cardinal's truth was all important and
compromise was not part of his vocabulary....
- Bill Steltemeier, President of EWTN
A legend has been called
home to God. As a leader and teacher, Cardinal O'Connor
was absolute in his love for the church and indefatigable
in his defense for his most vulnerable among us. I know my
friend was grateful he could lead his beloved New York
archdiocese into the third millennium. What a remarkable
and accomplished way with great compassion and common
sense.. and with that wonderful glint in his eye. ..
- Adam Cardinal Maida , Archdiocese of Detroit
The Jewish community over
the years, the last 17 years, grew to love him and respect
and the deeds are indelible and they're in history books
and they're irrevocable and we've lost a great champion.
He was the chief architect, in my judgment, of
establishing diplomatic relations between the state of
Israel and the Vatican....
- Rabbi James Rudin of the American Jewish
Cardinal O'Connor is a great religious leader, and he's become a very, very important New Yorker, someone who really expressed the conscience and the morality of many, many New Yorkers, Catholic, non-Catholic and others. You don't have a lot of people in public life who speak their mind. And whether you agree with him or you disagree with him, you know precisely what he's thinking, why he's thinking it, and it always comes out of love and concern for everyone
- New York Mayor Giuliani
It was with profound sorrow
and a great sense of personal loss that I learned that
John Cardinal O'Connor entered into eternal life last
evening. I was honored by his close, personal friendship.
He was that 'good and faithful servant whom the Lord put
in charge of His household.' Tireless until his very last
days, he lived a life of holy integrity and was a model
and mentor to priests as well as a fearless but gentle,
sensitive shepherd to all in his charge.
More than half of his priestly life was selflessly
dedicated to our men and women in uniform, serving as a
Navy and Marine chaplain, and later as Auxiliary Bishop
and Administrator of the Military Vicariate (now the
Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA). Whether
interacting with an admiral or general, seaman or grunt
Marine, spouse or child, he was their devoted, brave
champion, their faithful friend. I have known no other
whom so many call 'my friend.' His profound influence upon
not only Catholics, but also God's people of all faith
groups, is his living legacy.
I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the Cardinal's family,
the people of the Archdiocese of New York, and his
countless friends across this Nation and around the world.
As we all fondly remember Cardinal O'Connor, we pray that
the Good Shepherd will remember him forever in His Eternal
- Edwin F. O'Brien,
Archbishop for the Military Services
With a deep sense of personal loss I have received the
news of the death of Cardinal John J. O'Connor and I offer
my prayerful condolences to you, the auxiliary bishops and
the priests, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of New
York. With gratitude to God for the Cardinal's many years
of dedicated and courageous witness to the Gospel as
Chaplain in the Armed Forces, as Bishop of Scranton and as
Archbishop of New York, I join you in commending this
faithful servant of the Church to our heavenly Father's
eternal love. As a deeply spiritual man, a warm and
zealous pastor, an effective teacher of the faith and a
vigorous defender of human life, Cardinal O'Connor modeled
his own life and ministry on the figure of the good
shepherd who to the end 'gives his life for the flock'.
Through the years he has been of great support to me in
the service of the universal Church, he worked tirelessly
to build better ecumenical and inter-religious relations,
and for Catholics and other Christians and men and women
of goodwill throughout the world he was a source of
inspiration in serving God in our less fortunate brothers
- Pope John Paul II
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....
- Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza President of NCCB/ USCC
No one in the history of the Church in the United States has been more powerful in advocating
the inviolable dignity of every human person from the first moment of conception to the last moment
of natural death. He, like the Church he served so well, affirmed the right to life of unborn children
and the right to compassionate care for those facing natural death. He championed the rights of
workers and opposed capital punishment. He was the proud recipient of the Congressional Gold
Medal of Honor and was a ceaseless advocate for peace.
His shepherd’s heart knew no strangers. The person before him was always viewed as the image of a good and gracious God.
He was most of all a pastor, totally dedicated to the faithful of the Archdiocese of New York
whom he loved. Nothing gave him greater satisfaction than to celebrate Mass at Saint Patrick’s
Cathedral, to visit the sick, to console the dying and the bereaved.
He was also my friend....
- Bernard Cardinal Law, Archdiocese of Boston
He was a great friend
and mentor, who was not afraid to take on any issue, but
which he did with charity....
- Bishop Thomas Daily, Diocese of
For more than 50 years, he
reached out with uncommon fortitude to minister to the
needs of America's Catholics. The courage and firm faith
he showed in his final illness inspired us all...
- President Bill Clinton
His legacy for the city is
that he as an individual transcended his own religion and
became the spiritual leader of the city. I think the most
important aspect of the Cardinal's legacy is the love that
flows from the entire city to him - and from him to the
city. It is unique that he created such an extraordinary -
almost physical - bond with everyone in the city....
- Friend and former New York Mayor Ed Koch