|ARCHBISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA
ANTHONY JOSEPH BEVILACQUA
|Birth Date: June 17, 1923
Cardinal Since: June 28, 1991
Title: Cardinal Priest of Ss. Redentore e S Alfonso in via Merulana
Parishioners: 1.5 million
A Brooklyn native, Bevilacqua was one of 11 children born to Luigi and Maria Bevilacqua. Following his 1943 graduation from Cathedral College, he attended Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y., where he completed the six years of philosophy and theology requirements and was ordained on June 11, 1949, at St. James Cathedral, Brooklyn.
In 1956, he received his doctorate in canon law, summa cum laude, from Rome's Gregorian University. He attended Columbia University. where he received his master's in political science in 1962. Ten years later, he began his studies in civil law and in 1975 a received a degree from St. John's University Law School in Queens, N.Y.. He later taught at both the seminary and the law school.
In 1971, he established Brooklyn's Catholic Migration and Refugee Office, which he led until 1983. In 1976, he was named Chancellor of the Brooklyn Diocese. In 1980, he was ordained a Bishop and in 1983, he was appointed Bishop of Pittsburgh. Four years later, he was named Archbishop of Philadelphia. Cardinal Bevilacqua was the first and only Cardinal in the world to host a live weekly radio call-in program.
The archdiocese said it has credible evidence that 36 priests had abused about 50 minors since 1950. Several priests were relieved of their duties, and Bevilacqua apologized to the victims.