For those who missed it, the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston preached at the funeral of his close friend John O'Connor, the Cardinal Archbishop of New York. O'Connor was a bold and fierce preacher on the subject closest to his heart: the sanctity of human life.
The funeral, broadcast live nationwide, was attended by the president and vice president, their wives and numerous dignitaries including the mayor of New York City.
At one point in the sermon, O'Connor's hand picked homilist said, "What a great legacy he has left us in his constant reminder that the Church must always be unambiguously pro- life."
There was a beat and then applause broke out. It grew louder, increasing as the cameras fixed on the Clinton-Gore party showing them on screens throughout the cathedral. Cardinal Law attempted to quiet the crowd with his hand, when suddenly the congregation began to stand up, applauding in a wave that moved from the back of the church to the front. If it hadn't been a funeral they would have cheered. It was a defiant, pivotal moment.
Then the bishops and cardinals in the sanctuary stood up. The elder George Bush stood up applauding, as did his son somewhere off camera. The camera panned back to the Clinton- Gore party who looked bemused and bewildered.
Having no water glasses to reach for as they did in 1994 when Mother Teresa received a thunderous ovation for telling the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington that there could be no peace as long as a mother could kill the child in her womb, Clinton leaned back and started whispering in Hillary's ear. Gore's face was as blank, flat and white as a sheet of paper. Behind them another abortion "rights" supporter, Rudy Giuliani, began to applaud, albeit weakly, and stood. And lest they be the only ones left seated, the Clintons and Gores lamely stood up but refrained from applauding.
It was not Cardinal Law's intent to embarrass anyone. He was merely doing his job and honoring his friend. The vehement applause came from the people.
When the applause subsided, Law quipped, "I see he hasn't left the pulpit." Even a news commentator said it was as if O'Connor himself had spoken "from beyond the grave." Even through the TV screen you could feel the presence of that humble but larger than life churchman fill St. Patrick's Cathedral one last time, driving home the message he lived.
A lot of people don’t know that a majority of the members of O’Conner’s denomination broke with Catholic tradition in 1984, and voted pro-life republican that year.
Reagan won reelection in a landslide.
My lovely archbishop! I will never forget this man who put up with so much nonsense during the AIDs epidemic. A true gentleman. Thank you for posting, NYer.
**It began when the archbishop said during a press conference: I do not see how a Catholic, in good conscience, can vote for an individual expressing himself or herself as favoring abortion.**
God bless Archbishop O’Connor!
Oh, to an earlier post asking for a Catholic intellectual to replace Buckley. I thought of George Marlin but since I hadn't heard much from him in recent years I figured he as not in the running. Now this article.
Perhaps he was miffed.
Pope Mario the Pious is a supremely arrogant man who has passed the seed of hubris to his son Andrew. But as a politician he knew when to back & fill. The funeral of Cardinal O’Connor was an example. Cuomo shakes the angry wagging finger worse than Ayman al-Zawahiri, but when push comes to shove, he becomes what his detractors on the left call “Hamlet on the Hudson”.
Why didn’t Mario run for President? In his own words, “I’m too ethnic, too urban, too liberal, too northeastern”.
And now, just too old.
Dolan is too much of a backslapping politician himself to ever call out the current Cuomo NY governor on his pro abortion, homo “marriage” support. No one will ever accuse Dolan of being strict defender of the faith because he’s not. The church needs more defenders of the faith like Cardinal O’Connor and no politicians like Dolan