News Update :

U.S. Vatican spokesman dies

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vatican City, Cardinal John P. Foley, who served as head of Vatican communications for more than two decades, died early Sunday in Pennsylvania. He was 76. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced his death, without indicating the cause. However, Foley was suffering from leukemia.

Foley's comments provided U.S. television viewers of the Mass of the Holy See Christmas midnight for 25 years. His last appearance on the NBC national broadcast of television of the Mass was in December 2009.

In 1984, Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Foley and named a chief operating officer of the Vatican press as president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Foley served in office until 2007.

"Everyone who had known Cardinal Foley admired and loved him for his kindness and his spirituality," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio.

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named Foley the great master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, which offers spiritual and financial support of the Catholic Church in Jerusalem and its surroundings and helps to maintain the Christian shrines in the region.

Foley was promoted to cardinal the same year.

"Cardinal Foley was a man of apostolic power. Anyone who knew him immediately realized his intense love for the Church and his zeal for the communication of the gospel," said Archbishop Charles Chaput Philadelphia, in a statement.

"His charisma and gentle spirit will be sorely missed throughout the universal Church."

Foley died in Villa St. Joseph in Darby, according to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He said funeral arrangements are pending.

Born November 11, 1935 in the same city. He attended the University of San Jose and entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1957, where he was ordained priest. He later obtained a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

During his stay in Rome, he served as assistant editor and Vatican correspondent for the Spanish-language newspaper of the Archdiocese, the Catholic Standard & Times, becoming its editor in chief from 1970 to 1984.

On his return to Philadelphia in 1966, Foley was named coadjutor of the parish St. John the Evangelist and served on the faculty at Cardinal Dougherty High School from 1967 to 1984.

Monday, AFP
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