Philadelphia Rejoices for Native Son

Archbishop Foley to Get Red Hat

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PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, OCT. 17, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is celebrating the announcement that its native son, Archbishop John P. Foley, is one of two U.S. prelates to be named as new cardinals.



Archbishop Foley, 71, is the pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. He was born in Darby, a suburb of Philadelphia.

Benedict XVI announced the names of 23 new cardinals today after the weekly general audience. The consistory, the second of the Pope's pontificate, will be held Nov. 24, the eve of the solemnity of Christ the King.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, said today in a statement: "From the place where he first learned the Catholic faith, heard the call to priesthood and entered its fullness as bishop, the faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia rejoice in their native son."

"I have held Archbishop Foley in great esteem over the many years that we have both served the Church," he added. "I am confident that, as a cardinal, he will remain a model of deep faith and dedication."

The former president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications is well-known for his English-language commentaries for the midnight Mass celebrated by the Pope in St. Peter's Basilica.

John Patrick Foley was ordained a priest in 1962 for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

He received a licentiate degree in philosophy in 1964 and a doctorate in 1965 from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in Rome.

In 1966, he received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York and then was named editor of the Catholic Standard and Times, a post he held until 1984.

On April 5, 1984, Monsignor Foley was appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and was elevated to archbishop that same year.

He also served as a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America from 1984 until 1989 and was a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Archbishop Foley was appointed by Benedict XVI pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem last June.