Cardinal on Protesters: ‘Why Don’t You Just Ignore Them?’

Edward Cardinal Egan snapped at reporters covering a protest outside the Capuchin monastery on West 31st Street yesterday afternoon, telling them they shouldn’t be covering protesters who buttonholed him after a mass he said there.


30 or 40 protesters, angered at the closing of Our Lady Queen of Angels church on East 113th Street, met the Cardinal outside the monastery Sunday, chanting and holding signs. The cardinal stopped to tell reporters: “Why don’t you just ignore them? Grow up. We’ve had enough of this.”

He was then driven away without addressing the protesters.

The church was closed in February as part of the Cardinal’s unpopular program of closing and consolidating neighborhood parishes around the city to rescue the Church’s ailing bottom line. The Archdiocese of New York has argued that there are other parishes nearby, and that O.L.Q.A. served too few parishioners to remain open. Neighborhood activists have claimed the church was closed because the neighborhood has too little influence with the Archdiocese.