By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is the final good-bye for beloved Philadelphia cleric cardinal John Foley who died last Sunday at the age of 76.
His body is being moved today from St. Charles Borromeo seminary in Lower Merion, Pa. where it has been on public view since Thursday to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
This is the last day the faithful will have to pay their respects to Cardinal Foley, as a public viewing begins Friday morning at the cathedral and his funeral Mass is to be celebrated Friday afternoon. He will be buried in the crypt underneath the high altar of the cathedral.
Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, who has known Cardinal Foley for more than 40 years of his priestly life – is coming from the Baltimore archdiocese to serve as principal celebrant for his friend’s funeral.
“He was a man of great integrity and honesty. He would speak the truth very directly – no matter who the listener was or regardless of what the listener wanted to hear. He was very direct, always polite, always reverent, obviously, and respectful.”
O’Brien is heading to Rome to take over the position Cardinal Foley retired from in February as overseer of the Catholic churches in the Holy Land and a worldwide organization which supports them.
O’Brien says Foley admitted to him several weeks ago that he nominated O’Brien for the job, and the pope took Foley’s suggestion.