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Cardinal O'Connor's mother was born Jewish, family tree reveals

April 30, 2014

The mother of the late Cardinal John O'Connor, the Archbishop of New York, was born Jewish, the Religion News Service reports.

Mary O'Connor Ward, the sister of the late cardinal, was doing research into the family genealogy when she noticed that her maternal grandparents were buried in a Jewish cemetery. Further investigation revealed that her mother had entered the Catholic Church at the age of 19, before her marriage.

Cardinal O'Connor was noted for his warm relations with New York's Jewish community. His sister says that the cardinal was probably unaware of his own mother's Jewish roots.


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  • Posted by: garedawg - May. 05, 2014 8:59 PM ET USA

    According to Jewish law, that makes him Jewish, right? Jewishness is reckoned through the mother, and I think it is something you can't "convert" out of.