NEW YORK, March 5 (UPI) -- Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the former archbishop of the New York Archdiocese died Thursday in Manhattan. He was 82.
Egan died of cardiac arrest at NYU Langone Medical Center, Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, told The New York Times.
"I am saddened to tell you that our beloved Cardinal Edward Egan ... has gone home to the Lord," the statement read. "Thank God he had a peaceful death, passing away right after lunch today, with the prayers and sacraments of his loyal priest secretary."
Egan presided over the New York Archdiocese from 2000-09 during an era of financial trouble. During his tenure, the number of registered parishioners in the archdiocese increased by 204,000, enrollment at local Catholic schools grew by 15,000 and the budget of Catholic Charities more than doubled.
Prior to taking over the archdiocese, Egan served as bishop in Bridgeport, Conn., from 1988-2000 and prior to that he was ordained as bishop in 1985 in New York.
One month before he retired, Egan questioned whether priests should be allowed to marry.
"I think that it's going to be discussed; it's a perfectly legitimate discussion," he said on Albany radio station Talk 1300. "I think it has to be looked at. And I am not so sure it wouldn't be a good idea to decide on the basis of geography and culture not to make an across-the-board determination."