Last evening at 9:15pm, Anthony Joseph Cardinal Bevilacqua, 88, 7th archbishop of Philadelphia, died in his sleep in his quarters at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. He retired from his episcopal duties in 2003.
The Pope’s note of condolence to Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia:
HAVING LEARNED WITH SADNESS OF THE DEATH OF CARDINAL ANTHONY BEVILACQUA, ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS OF PHILADELPHIA, I OFFER MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO YOU AND TO ALL THE FAITHFUL OF THE ARCHDIOCESE. I JOIN YOU IN COMMENDING THE LATE CARDINAL’S SOUL TO GOD, THE FATHER OF MERCIES, WITH GRATITUDE FOR HIS YEARS OF EPISCOPAL MINISTRY AMONG CHRIST’S FLOCK IN PHILADELPHIA, 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 THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL. TO YOU, AND TO ALL THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS AND LAITY OF THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA, AND TO THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY, I CORDIALLY IMPART MY APOSTOLIC BLESSING AS A PLEDGE OF CONSOLATION AND PEACE IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
May God be merciful to His Eminence.