December 12, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Cardinal John Patrick Foley of Philadelphia passed away on December 11 at the age of 76 after struggling in a battle with leukemia.
In 1984, John Paul II appointed Foley as the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications. His nomination came as something as a surprise for this priest from Philadelphia. He spoke about it with ROME REPORTS in 2007.Archbishop John Foley“I got a call from the papal nuncio that the holy father had it in mind to name me to this position. I said 'there are many more people in Rome more experienced than I' and he said 'si'. 'Certainly there are many people in Rome who speak Italian better than I' and he said 'Si si'. And I said 'do I have a choice'? And he said 'not really', so I took a promise of obedience to my cardinal and whatever he tells me or the Pope tells me I will do.”
Benedict XVI sent a telegram to Philadelphia's Archbishop Chaput expressing his condolences, adding that the cardinal's service in the media served as an inspiration for others.
Cardinal Foley was also well known in the United States for serving 25 years as the voice for Vatican's Christmas midnight Mass for American viewers.
The death of Cardinal Foley also reduces the number of elector cardinals to 109, these are the cardinals that would vote in the election for the next pope.