Roman Catholic Cardinal. From 1988 until 2003, he served as the leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. One of eleven children raised in Queens, New York he was born to Italian immigrants from poverty, his father was a stone cutter and cobbler. Although Catholic, his parents by accident became parishioners of an Episcopalian church however as fate would have it, Anthony became inspired by the pastor to a great degree and decided to enter the Cathedral College. Upon graduation in 1943, he attended Immaculate Conception Seminary and after completing the necessary requirements, he was ordained on June 11th, 1949. He continued acquiring knowledge and earned a Doctorate in Canon Law in 1956, an advanced degree in church law from Rome's Gregorian University, a degree in Political Science from Columbia University and a degree in Civil Law from St. John's University of Law. Immigration was always a matter he took to heart and in 1971, he was named Founding Director of the Catholic Migration and Refugee Office. In 1980, he was ordained a Bishop and served as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Three years later, Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of Pittsburgh Diocese. In 1987, when it was announced Philadelphia's Cardinal John Krol was to retire, Pope John Paul II named Bevilacqua as his replacement (installed on February 11th, 1988). On June 28th, 1991, he was elevated to the College of Cardinals. During his tenure, he made it a point to be visible and take an active interest within the region. He made great strides to reach out to the Jewish community and promote better understanding of other faiths. He fought for the canonization of Mother Katharine Drexel which took place in 2000. In 1998, Bevilacqua reached the age of 75 and according to Canon law, he submitted his letter of resignation to Pope John Paul II. However, it would not be accepted until July 15, 2003. He was succeeded by Justin Rigali. In recent years prior to his death, the Philadelphia Archdiocese endured a horrific sex-abuse scandal of which he drew harsh criticism for his lack of dealing with the matter.∼Anthony Joseph Bevilacqua (June 17, 1923 – January 31, 2012) was an American cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Philadelphia from 1988 to 2003, having previously served as Bishop of Pittsburgh. He was created a cardinal in 1991.
Bevilacqua was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Luigi (1884–1961) and Maria (née Codella, 1893–1968) Bevilacqua, who were Italian immigrants. One of eleven children, he had four brothers, Michael, Angelo, Rocco, and Frank; and six sisters, Josephine (died of meningitis at age 2), Isabella, Virginia, Mary Jo, Gloria, and Madeline. Bevilacqua's father was born in Spinazzola and worked as a bricklayer, and his mother was born in Calitri. Luigi immigrated to the United States in 1910, and was soon followed by his wife and oldest son, Michael. The family lived in New Rochelle; Hartford, Connecticut; and Brooklyn before settling in Woodhaven, Queens, where Luigi operated a hair dying shop and shoe shine shop.
Bevilacqua attended Public School No. 60, St. Thomas the Apostle School, and Richmond Hill High School. He then studied at Cathedral College, where he won prizes in mathematics and science and earned a trip to Washington, D.C. for an essay on the Immaculate Conception. He graduated from Cathedral College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1943, and then entered the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington.
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