The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — Retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who led the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia for more than 15 years, championing the Vatican line on homosexuality and abortion but later coming under fire by two grand juries investigating child sex abuse allegations, has died. He was 88.
Bevilacqua died in his sleep Tuesday night at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, a Philadelphia suburb, after battling dementia and an undisclosed form of cancer, an archdiocese spokeswoman said. He had been the spiritual leader of the 1.5 million-member Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1988 until his retirement in 2003.
Bevilacqua, trained in both civil and canon lawyer, was sharply criticized but never charged by two Philadelphia grand juries investigating child sex abuse complaints lodged against dozens of priests in the archdiocese. His death comes just days after lawyers battled in court over his competency as a potential witness in the upcoming trial of a longtime aide.
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