Cardinal Edward Egan, the former Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, has died. He was 82. The cause was cardiac arrest, the Archdiocese of New York said in a statement.
Egan, who was archbishop during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, died this afternoon at NYU Langone Medical Center.
In a statement, Cardinal Timothy Dolan offered his condolences to Egan’s “natural family, who will grieve for their uncle, and … his spiritual family” in New York.
The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest who is editor at large of America, a Catholic magazine, said Egan “was a dedicated bishop, a hardworking priest and a kind man. His Eminence was also extremely supportive and caring of the Jesuits in his archdiocese and of me personally.”
Pope John Paul II named Egan, a native of Oak Park, Ill., archbishop of New York in 2000. He was named to the College of Cardinals a year later. Egan retired as archbishop in 2009.
Born in 1932, Egan was ordained as a priest in 1957 and consecrated as a bishop in 1985. For the next three years, he served as auxiliary bishop and vicar for education of the Archdiocese of New York, according to his biography. He was appointed bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., in 1988, a position he served in until he was named archbishop in 2000.
The New York Times said Egan was “a stern defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy” and the “spiritual head of a realm of 2.5 million parishioners, an archipelago of 400 churches and a majestic seat at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.”
Egan, the newspaper said, “was one of America’s most visible Catholic leaders, invoking prayers for justice when terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001, and escorting Pope Benedict XVI on his historic visit to the city in April 2008.”