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Genealogy shows Cardinal O’Connor’s mother was Jewish

By Alison Leigh Cowan, nytimes.com

June 10, 2014 | 10:04 am

<em>Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor</em>

Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor

In his 16 years as the Catholic Church’s top official in New York, Cardinal John Joseph O’Connor was a staunch friend and defender of the Jewish people.

He spoke often about what he had seen at Dachau as a Navy chaplain. He used his platform as head of the Archdiocese of New York to support Soviet Jewry, and played a role in the Vatican’s recognition of the state of Israel. Mayor Edward I. Koch, a Bronx-born Jew who worked closely with the cardinal, proclaimed that he loved him “like a brother.”

Yet there was something Cardinal O’Connor apparently never knew: His mother was born a Jew, the daughter of a rabbi and butcher.

Read more on nytimes.com.

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