Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop-Emeritus, 12th bishop and 9th archbishop and 7th Cardinal of the See of New York, died today.
The cardinal was pronounced dead at NYU Langone Medical Center at 2:20 p.m. The cause of death was cardiac arrest, according to a statement from the archdiocese. Funeral arrangements are pending.
In a statement released on the archdiocesan web site, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan said. “I am saddened to tell you that our beloved Cardinal Edward Egan…has gone home to the Lord.
“Thank God he had a peaceful death, passing away right after lunch today, with the prayers and sacraments of his loyal priest secretary, Father Douglas Crawford, in his residence at the Chapel of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.”
Cardinal Dolan added, “Join me, please, in thanking God for his life, especially his generous and faithful priesthood.
“Pray as well that the powerful mercy of Jesus, in which our Cardinal had such trust, has ushered him into heaven.
“My sympathy to his natural family, who will grieve for their uncle, and to you, his spiritual family here in the Archdiocese of New York.”
America Editor-in-Chief Matt Malone, S.J., commented, “New York has lost a good and holy pastor. America magazine has lost a true friend.”
Father Malone added, “He ordained me a priest, just before I took over as editor-in-chief. He opened doors for me in this city and elsewhere, always championing our work and the all the ministries of the Jesuits. He was a quiet, but truly generous man."
Cardinal Egan was born on April 2, 1932, in Oak Park, Illinois. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on December 15, 1957.
Cardinal Egan was consecrated a bishop in 1985. From 1985 to 1988, Cardinal Egan served as Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar for Education of the Archdiocese of New York. In 1988 he was appointed the Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport by Pope John Paul II. In the year 2000, he was appointed Archbishop of New York and made a cardinal in 2001.
During Cardinal Egan’s tenure as Archbishop of New York, the number of registered parishioners increased by 204,000, the budget of Catholic Charities more than doubled, enrollment in Catholic elementary and secondary schools grew by 15,400 and the Archdiocesan newspaper became the largest in the nation. He managed the archdiocese during a time of financial turmoil, which he addressed, and was its shepherd during the trauma of 9/11 and in 2007, during what at the time had been the largest round of parish closings in the city's history.
In May of 2009, at the age of 77, Cardinal Egan retired as Archbishop of New York. He maintained and assisted in the works of the archdiocese, while serving on a number of offices of the Vatican.
Like much of the U.S. church, as bishop of Bridgeport and cardinal of New York, Cardinal Egan struggled to come to terms with the sexual abuse crisis. His handling of cases on Bridgeport and New York was criticized, though he supported and helped implement the zero tolerance policy which eventually became the official stance of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.