The Philadelphia Archdiocese says Cardinal John Patrick Foley died this morning at the age of 76 at Villa St. Joseph in Darby, Delaware County.
Archbishop Charles Chaput issued a statement, saying Cardinal Foley was “a man of great apostolic energy.”
“Anyone who met him was immediately aware of his intense love for the Church and his zeal for communicating the Gospel,” Archbishop Chaput said in a statement.
Among many accomplishments, Cardinal Foley provided commentary for American television viewers of the Christmas Midnight Mass from Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome for 25 years. His last appearance on NBC-TV’s national broadcast of the Mass was in December of 2009.
In November of 2007, then-Archbishop Foley was elevated by Pope Benedict XVI to the Cardinalate at a Consistory in Saint Peter’s Basilica and named Cardinal-Deacon of the Church of San Sebastiano al Palatino in Rome. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says he was the seventh priest ordained for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to be elevated to the College of Cardinals.
The Philadelphia Archdiocese tells WPVI-TV Cardinal Foley died around 3:00 a.m. this morning at a retirement home in Delaware County.
Cardinal Foley retired earlier this year after being diagnosed with leukemia.