NEW YORK ( - Cardinal John O'Connor said on Friday that he will not attend any Major League Baseball games this year, because many professional teams played on Good Friday.

      "I love the Yankees. I love the Mets. I love baseball," Cardinal O'Connor wrote in his weekly column in the newspaper Catholic New York. "But I will not go to a game because major league teams played on Good Friday." While 15 teams played on the holy day, the cardinal was particularly upset at the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians because they started the games at 1:05 pm, in the midst of the hours from noon to 3 pm that mark the time of the crucifixion.

      The cardinal had praise for the Boston Red Sox because they delayed the start of their home-opener to 3:05 pm in deference to Christians and Jews, who began the celebration of Passover on the same day, while also banning beer sales for the day. A spokesman for the archdiocese emphasized that the cardinal's decision is a personal one and not a call for Catholics to boycott baseball.

      Yankees spokesman Rick Cerrone said the team is willing to reconsider its tradition of making its home opener a day game. "With the respect that we have for Cardinal O'Connor, we will certainly give consideration to his concerns and his suggestions in the future," Cerrone said in the New York Post. The Indians asked the American League in a letter to "be more sensitive" about scheduling games on Good Friday.

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April 20, 1998 volume 9, no. 76         DAILY CATHOLIC