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Funeral Ceremonies Begin For Late Cardinal John Foley


By Mark Abrams

LOWER MERION, Pa. (CBS) -- Two days of funeral rites for Cardinal John Foley, a Delaware County native and beloved cleric from Philadelphia, are now under way.

Cardinal Foley's coffin was carried by seminarians into the main entrance of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Lower Merion, where prayers of greeting were offered and a procession then commenced to St. Martin's Chapel, where Foley's body will lie in state through Friday morning.

Story continues below photo...

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(Bishop Daniel Thomas offers prayers alongside the casket of Cardinal John Foley. Credit: Mark Abrams)

Foley studied at the seminary, was a philosophy professor there, and while on assignment in Rome always considered it his Philadelphia home.

Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Thomas, who led the opening rites, says he had a long relationship with Cardinal Foley that began when Thomas entered the seminary at the age of 18.

"He was my spiritual director for eight years in the seminary," recalls Thomas, "and then after I was assigned to study and then to work in Rome at the Vatican, he took up that role again for me as spiritual director. So, in many ways (he was) a spiritual father and a very dear priest friend."

Cardinal Foley will be moved to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, on Logan Circle, on Friday morning for another public viewing.

His funeral mass will be celebrated at 2pm Friday (see related story), followed by burial in the cathedral crypt below the floor of the high altar (photo below).

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Msgr. Arthur Rodgers, rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, shows the cloth-covered tomb prepared for Cardinal John Foley. Credit: Bill Roswell)

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