Cardinal John P. Foley, first President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, dies at 76

Here is the article in the New York Times:

Cardinal Foley had a wonderful sense of humor that served him well as a member of the Vatican curia for so many years. He was a terrific representative of the church in the US and an ambassador for authentic communication and communicators wherever he found them.

A dinner with Cardinal Foley was always a joy.

I asked him one time about the requirements for a priest or religious to work in communication and he said two things: prayer and community. Yes, one had to love communication and media, but passion was not enough.

Here is what Frank Morock, President of the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals sent to the members today:

Dear Catholic Academy Colleagues,

It is with a sad heart that I write to inform you that our beloved Cardinal John P. Foley died today (Sunday) in Darby, PA. Cardinal Foley was 76.  As we know he was suffering from leukemia, which forced him to announce his retirement earlier this year after more than 20 years of service at the Vatican. Ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1962, he had the opportunity to work in the field of communications as the assistant editor of the Philadelphia archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Standard and Times, and was its editor in chief from 1970 to 1984.  That year, Blessed Pope John Paul II elevated him to Archbishop and appointed him President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He held that post until 2007, when Pope Benedict named him the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and elevated him to the rank of Cardinal.

In 2005, the Catholic Academy presented Cardinal Foley with its President’s Medallion. In June, 2011, at the annual CMC gathering, the Catholic Academy Board of Directors presented him with a special Gabriel Award for Lifetime Achievement.  It was the first Lifetime Achievement honor ever given in the more than 45 years of the Gabriel Award. As always, he was most gracious in his acceptance, sharing with the gathering of CA and CPA members humorous stories as only Cardinal Foley can tell. Please join me in a special prayer for a holy man who loved Our Lord and His Blessed Mother and did so very much for Church communications and its relationship with the secular media.

The Catholic Academy website will have a more complete story on Cardinal Foley.

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