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HOLY FATHER "DEEPLY SADDENED" BY CARDINAL O'CONNOR'S DEATH

VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2000 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls, following the news of the death last evening of Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor, archbishop of New York, released a declaration stating that "the Holy Father is deeply saddened by the news of Cardinal O'Connor's death." He announced that the Pope will send Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodanoo as his personal envoy to the cardinal's funeral.

"Cardinal O'Connor," said Navarro-Valls, "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."