Cardinal Bevilacqua dead at 88
February 01, 2012
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who served as Archbishop of Philadelphia from 1988 until his retirement in 2003, died in his sleep on January 31 at the age of 88. His death came days after a Pennsylvania judge ruled that he was competent to give testimony in the trial of a former aide.
Born in 1923 in Brooklyn, the future cardinal was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn in 1949 and was named an auxiliary bishop of the diocese in 1980. He became Bishop of Pittsburgh in 1983.
The prelate was “progressive on some social-justice issues, staunchly orthodox on matters of doctrine and sexuality, and unfailingly deferential to the will of Rome,” the Philadelphia Inquirer stated in its obituary.
In a telegram to Archbishop Charles Chaput, the current leader of the Philadelphia archdiocese, Pope Benedict XVI paid homage to the deceased prelate, mentioning in particular “his longstanding commitment to social justice and the pastoral care of immigrants, and his expert contribution to the revision of the Church's law in the years following Vatican Council II.”