The spiritual life of the cardinal

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jim Remsen

This story was originally published by The Philadelphia Inquirer on Oct. 5, 2003.

As Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua nears the end of his 15-year tenure as Philadelphia archbishop and moves into new quarters at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, he also has moved into a reflective state of mind.

This was clear in an interview Monday that delved into the cardinal’s faith life. The 80-year-old prelate spoke candidly about issues that he normally holds close: his religious devotions, his prayer strivings and struggles, his own mortality.

Sitting at archdiocesan headquarters, in the 12th-floor executive office nearly cleared of his belongings, Bevilacqua began by discussing his “theology of presence,” by which he delegated many administrative tasks to free himself for pastoral visits to churches, schools, hospitals, prisons and the like – 2,330 visits over his tenure, according to an archdiocese tally.

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