Birth Date: April 2, 1932
Cardinal Since: Feb. 21, 2001 Title: Cardinal Priest of Santi Giovanni e Paolo
Parishioners: 2.4 million

Egan was named in May 2000 to lead the New York archdiocese and its 2.4 million Roman Catholics, succeeding the late Cardinal John O'Connor. He has been an uncompromising defender of the Vatican's ban on abortion and birth control. His many years in Rome give him good insider knowledge of the Vatican.

He formerly served as bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., auxiliary bishop of New York and Chicago archdiocesan administrator. He also spent 13 years as a judge on a Vatican court.

In one of the flashpoints of the scandal. Egan faces accusations that he helped hide cases of abuse during his time as bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport. A Connecticut priest accused of sexually assaulting a boy was allowed to continue at his post for more than a year after the allegations became known. After a request from the Manhattan district attorney's office, the New York Archdiocese provided a list of cases involving priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors.