New York, 9 (NE) Cardinal John O'Connor, who headed the Archdiocese of New York over the last 16 years, was buried yesterday beneath the altar in St. Patrick's Cathedral, in the crypt
where the Archbishops of the archdiocese are traditionally buried. The crowd present in the Cathedral burst into applause as the Cardinal was carried into the crypt. Groups of faithful gathered as well outside the temple to pay their homage to the Archbishop.

Present during the ceremony was Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican State Secretary and Pope John Paul II' Special Envoy for the funeral. Also present was Cardinal Bernard Law, Archbishop of Boston, who recalled "the great legacy" Cardinal O'Connor left in "his constant reminder that the Church must be unambiguously pro-life". During the ceremony Cardinal Sodano read a message sent by the Holy Father, who remembered the Cardinal as "one of the great bishops and cardinals of modern times."

Also present were several important political dignitaries, among them President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, former President George Bush and his son, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the Republican presidential candidate, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. 

During the last days, thousands of faithful in the New York Archdiocese have participated in the different ceremonies held in memory of the late Cardinal, who died last Wednesday after a long illness brought on by complications from cancer.