Coroner: Bevilacqua died of natural causes

    A coroner is scheduled to announce the cause of death of a former Archbishop of Philadelphia who died a day after he was ordered competent to testify in the child-endangerment trial of a former aide.

    Update, 1:10 p.m. Health & Science reporter Carolyn Beeler tells us the coroner has declared Bevilacqua’s death the result of natural causes. His nurse was by his side as he died, and toxicology tests came back normal. No correlation was found between Bevilacqua’s death and a jduge’s recent ruling that he is competant for the priest sexual abuse trial.

    Eighty-eight-year-old Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died Jan. 31 at a suburban seminary. Officials say Bevilacqua, who served as archbishop from 1988 to 2003, was suffering from dementia and cancer.

    Prosecutors asked the coroner to investigate due to the timing of the death, a day after a judge ruled Bevilacqua competent to testify at the trial of Monsignor William Lynn. Lynn is accused of transferring priests suspected of molesting children to unwitting parishes.

    Montgomery County Coroner Walter Hofman says he will release the cause of death at a news conference Thursday.


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