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Archbishop Egan of New York on the Elections

Archdiocese of New York


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 holy people.

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 I remain

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Edward M. Egan

Archbishop of New York

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 •