Anthony J. Bevilacqua, Retired Cardinal of Philadelphia, Dies at 88

The New York Times


Published: February 1, 2012

Anthony J. Bevilacqua, a former cardinal and archbishop of Philadelphia whose passion for Roman Catholic causes like helping the poor and fighting abortion was eclipsed in retirement by accusations that he had covered up sexual abuse by priests, died on Tuesday at a seminary in Wynnewood, Pa. He was 88.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced the death. Cardinal Bevilacqua had dementia and an undisclosed kind of cancer.

Cardinal Bevilacqua was archbishop from 1988 until his retirement in 2003. Pope John Paul II elevated him to cardinal in 1991.

In Philadelphia, as in previous leadership positions in Pittsburgh and Brooklyn, he pushed the church to help immigrants, presided over cutbacks in Catholic parishes and schools, spoke out against homosexuality and abortion, and built up a lay ministry to compensate for the declining corps of priests.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.