Cardinal Edward M. Egan, who served as Archbishop of New York from 2000 to 2009, passed away Thursday at the age of 82.
Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo issued a statement on Cardinal Egan late Thursday night:
"Cardinal Egan was a courageous leader of the Catholic Church: in New York, on the national level and at the Vatican. A gracious priest, he served the Church with great faithfulness, was an inspiration to others and was a friend to the Diocese of Buffalo, as evidenced by his presence last month for the 25th anniversary celebration for Bishop Edward Grosz. He was a wise advisor to me and my brother bishops. May God grant him eternal rest."
Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, also issued a statement on the death of Edward Cardinal Egan, who served as president emeritus of the Catholic Conference:
"We are so saddened to learn of the death of our beloved former Conference President, Edward Cardinal Egan, archbishop emeritus of New York. Cardinal Egan was a dear and true friend and he will be terribly missed by those who knew and loved him.
"The cardinal's contributions to the work of the New York State Catholic Conference cannot be overstated. As the founder of the Catholic Action Network, he had the vision to use the potential of the Internet to fundamentally reshape our grassroots education and advocacy. It was a model copied not only by other state Catholic Conferences throughout the country, but by advocacy organizations of all kinds.
"He was a tireless defender of the poor and vulnerable, the unborn, the sick and the elderly. He had a particular devotion to Catholic education, calling it the Church's most important charitable ministry, and he raised untold millions to ensure its viability.
"I personally will miss his friendship, his wise counsel, his sense of humor, and the example he showed as a man of holiness. His episcopal motto, 'In the holiness of truth,' summed him up perfectly. Cardinal Egan was a man of truth, who recognized the holiness of that virtue.
"May he rest in the peace of the Lord whom he loved and served so faithfully here on earth."
Cardinal Egan visited Buffalo many times while serving in New York, most recently last month to celebrate Bishop Edward M. Grosz's 25th anniversary of episcopal ordination. Cardinal Egan talked about his relationship to Bishop Grosz during a Mass on Feb. 1 that you can hear below: