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POPE PRAISES "DEDICATED AND COURAGEOUS WITNESS TO THE GOSPEL" OF CARDINAL O'CONNOR

Vatican City, 5 (NE) Pope John Paul II expressed yesterday his gratitude to Cardinal O'Connor for his many years of service and Christian witness. In his telegram sent to Auxiliary Bishop Robert Brucato after the Archbishop's death, the Pope said that "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 modelled his own life and ministry on the figure of the good shepherd who to the end 'gives his life for the flock'". 

As it was announced yesterday through the Holy See Press Office, Pope John Paul II has decided to send Cardinal Angelo Sodano, State Secretary, to the funeral service of Cardinal O'Connor, to take place on Monday at 2 p.m.