Biography of Cardinal John O’Connor


Catholic prelate, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. After his ordination (1945) he taught at high schools, worked with retarded children, and earned advanced degrees in philosophy, psychology, and political science. He then spent 27 years as a US Navy chaplain, becoming chief of chaplains before retiring as a rear-admiral (1979).

In 1979-83 he was auxiliary bishop of New York, with special responsibility over US military chaplains, and after serving briefly as Bishop of Scranton, PA, he was named Archbishop of New York (1984) and then made a cardinal (1985). A highly influential figure, he espoused generally conservative views, and was outspoken, for instance, in condemning Catholic politicians who took ‘pro-choice’ positions on abortion. In March 2000 he was awarded a US Congressional Gold Medal.


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