Egan Is Installed in NYC Ceremony

By Trotta, Liz | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 20, 2000 | Go to article overview

Egan Is Installed in NYC Ceremony


Trotta, Liz, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


NEW YORK - Archbishop Edward Michael Egan was installed as head of the New York Catholic Archdiocese yesterday in a majestic ceremony attended by princes of the church, lords of the state, and his first-grade teacher.

Grabbing hands, hurrying across the gray marble floor of St. Patrick's Cathedral in a loping gait, the tall and commanding successor to Cardinal John J. O'Connor made a point of reaching out to as many people as time allowed in the three-hour ceremony.

But in his homily, he made it very clear that he comes to the country's most influential diocese as a canon law theologian who upholds the church's traditional teachings, especially on social issues like abortion.

"May we stand idly by while the being within the mother is killed, even though no one has ever been able to prove that it is other than a human being with an inalienable right to live?" he asked the 3,500 guests who responded with applause.

Traffic was closed in front of the cathedral as a lengthy, colorful procession wound its way from behind the cathedral on Madison Avenue to the great central doors of St. Patrick's. Hundreds of New Yorkers and tourists stood behind barricades to catch a glimpse of the historic event. Proceeding in inverse order to their status in the church were eight cardinals, including Archbishop James Hickey of Washington, 18 archbishops, more than 100 bishops, 700 priests, Knights of Malta and scores of nuns, deacons, seminarians and students.

An array of dignitaries awaited the entrance of the new archbishop who presided over the Mass of Installation. Among them: Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Gov. George E. Pataki, Sen. Charles E. Schumer and dozens of local and state officials. Rep. Rick A. Lazio, who shook hands and chatted with guests, sat one row behind first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, his opponent in the Senate race in New York.

Wearing a white mitre, a hat that is the symbol of a bishop, and white vestments symbolizing the continuity of the church, the 68-year-old archbishop was second to last in the procession. …

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