He noted assertions made by some pro-abortion groups that pro-life leaders "bore some responsibility for anti-abortion violence by their followers," and said, "[T]he more I thought about my being accused of being the man behind the man who killed the abortion doctor, I wondered if this accusation was really aimed at me, or at those public officeholders and those campaigning for public office who are pro-life."
He said, "Was this, is this, a ploy, immediately before elections all over the United States, to make a pro-life public officeholder, or a pro-life contender for public office, appear to be a threat to freedom and to human life, instead of a defender of life?"
Cardinal O'Connor took pains not to recommend any candidate; the New York Times reports that he "gave no less than seven disclaimers" that his sermon should not be taken as an endorsement. However, pro-abortion groups accused the archbishop of giving a "transparant[ly]" political message three days before voters choose either pro-life Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) or pro-abortion Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as their senator. (Halbfinger, New York Times, 11/2).