The AP is reporting that Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died in his sleep Tuesday night at the age of 88.
The retired head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was an uncharged central figure in a child sex-abuse case that involves the alleged shuffling of predator priests to unwitting parishes, the AP reports.
Bevilacqua died days after lawyers battled over his competence to testify at an upcoming trial at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary—in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood—after battling dementia and an undisclosed form of cancer, an archdiocese spokeswoman told the AP.
He had been the spiritual leader of the 1.5 million-member Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1988 until his retirement in 2003.
The Post-Gazette is reporting after he retired in 2003, he left the cardinal's residence on City Avenue for the apartment at the seminary and rarely appeared in public.
Cardinal Bevilacqua, who was bishop of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese from 1983 to 1987, was emblematic of the church to which he had devoted himself since age 14: progressive on some social-justice issues, staunchly orthodox on matters of doctrine and sexuality, and unfailingly deferential to the will of Rome, according to the PG.
The story continues:
He was a private man, yet he delighted in public appearances and was known for his personal touch.
To read his full obituary on the PG, click here.
To read the full AP report, click here.