On Lent
There is something developing within our Church. There is a revitalization of faith. I have been here as archbishop for 12 years now. I remember in the early years, come the cold, dark weather, for many, many weeks this cathedral would be virtually empty. But now you are here! The spirit of God is moving among you, God's people. This is countercultural! The culture says you should be sleeping now. The culture says you should stay in where it is nice and warm. The culture says this is your only free day, enjoy yourselves. But you are here. This choir heightens my admiration Sunday after Sunday. So many of them come here from distances. Some of them are Catholic and some are of other religious persuasions. They come to give us the glorious music of this Mass. They are not supposed to do things like that in this culture. That is countercultural. That is of the spirit of Lent—to give, to give, to give, to deprive oneself. 

From the text of Cardinal O'Connor's remarks and homily at Sunday Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral Feb. 18, 1997. The entire homily may be found at /library/BISHOPS/LIFEPILG.HTM


On School Distribution of Condoms
I'm not going to argue that too many condoms are defective, or improperly used, or induce a false sense of security, so that kids end up with AIDS or a venereal disease or get pregnant. Those arguments are absolutely true, but there's a much more critical argument about pushing condoms on kids: It's wrong! It's corrupting thousands of kids. It's telling them they have no personal moral responsibility for their actions. It's telling them that the only real sinners are those who deny them condoms. It says: "It's not your fault if you get AIDS or give someone else AIDS. It's the fault of those who try to push moral values down your throats--those killers--those Catholic priests and bishops, those Protestants and Jews and Muslims who believe in Divine Law and personal responsibility.

From an article appearing in Celebrate Life March-April 1994. The entire article may be found at /library/ISSUES/CONDOMOC.HTM


Violence at Abortion Clinics
I conclude for the record: I categorically abhor and denounce violence. I categorically denounce the hypothesis that to kill an abortionist is justifiable in order to save babies. I have publicly denounced the violence of an abortion clinic bomber. I have signed every renunciation of the use of capital punishment published by the Roman Catholic bishops in New York and the nation. I have publicly denounced even verbal violence in labor negotiations and strikes. I have consistently denounced violence against persons based on their sexual orientation. Such denunciations and many more have been heard by thousands of people in this cathedral, millions throughout the world. That is a matter of record which cannot be blotted out by any efforts to indict my pro-life efforts or those of the church as inciting murder or other violence. Anyone who would make such charges would have to be desperate, indeed, and has my sincere sympathy.

From a homily, 8 Jan 1994 at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. The entire homily may be found at /library/BISHOPS/OCONABOR.HTM


On Priests
Indeed, we thank You for choosing them from among us, so that they understand us as we understand them, suffer with us and rejoice with us, worry with us and trust with us, share our beings, our lives, our faith. 

We ask that You give them this day the gift You gave Your chosen ones on the way to Emmaus: Your presence in their hearts, Your holiness in their souls, Your joy in their spirits. And let them see You face to face in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread.

The entire Prayer for Priests may be found at /library/PRAYER/PRAYPRIE.HTM