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 Committee. 

 

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 else.... 
 - 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 Kingdom.
- 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 and sisters....
- 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 Brooklyn

 

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