Archdiocese of New York
OFFICE OF THE ARCHBISHOP
October 29, 2000
My Dear Friends in the Lord:
Since coming to serve the faithful of the Archdiocese of New York four months
ago, I have been edified by the goodness I see all around me. The liturgies in
our parish churches, the dedication of our catechists and Catholic school
educators and the multitude of charitable works quietly and professionally
carried forward by parish and Archdiocesan agencies have been for me nothing
short of inspiring.
Likewise, I have been deeply impressed and greatly encouraged by the
commitment of the People of God of the Archdiocese of New York to the protection
of human life. Twice in the past month I have heard the basic, civic argument
against the horror of abortion - and particularly partial-birth abortion -
articulated with extraordinary clarity and immense effectiveness.
One young Catholic put it this way: "The pro-abortion groups pretend that
this is a solely religious matter; but they, and we, know better. Until you can
prove that the being inside the mother is not a human being with an inalienable
right to live, do not kill it. This is basic law for civilized persons of all
religious persuasions or none."
The same kind of honest, direct approach has been evident in a number of
meetings that I have attended regarding the protection of the lives and
dignity of the aged, the infirm, the handicapped and those most in need in the
distressed communities of our Archdiocese. All manner of euthanasia, cruelty,
discrimination and injustice has been roundly condemned; and plans have been
drawn up to address such evils with courage and self-sacrifice. How often I have
reminded myself what an honor it is to have become a part of such a noble and
In two weeks all of us will have an opportunity to choose leaders for our
nation, our state and our local communities who share our commitment to
fundamental rights for the unborn, those advanced in age, the sick and the
needy. As you cast your ballot, I prayerfully urge you to take a stand worthy of
the Community of Faith of which you are a member.
Similarly, I would remind you that in the coming election, in addition to
issues of basic human rights, there will also be addressed the question of
parents' rights to decide how their children are to be educated. The nation is
at last awakening to the need to reform a system in which only one approach to
educating our children is made available to all. This is a welcome development
that needs and merits our support. It is the parents' tax money that is being
collected for the instruction of their children. It is the parents who need to
determine how that money of theirs is to be properly used.
Permit me to end as I began. The clergy, religious and laity of the
Archdiocese of New York have welcomed me with uncommon warmth and truly inspired
me with their courage, compassion, wisdom and goodness. For all of this I thank
the Lord each and every day, as I renew my pledge to serve you, the Lord's Holy
people, with all the strength and dedication at my disposal.
Asking Our Savior and His Mother to bless you and all of your loved ones, may
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Edward M. Egan
Archbishop of New York