By Tim Jimenez and Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The first of two days of mourning for Cardinal Anthony Bevilacuqa was Monday. His body was transferred to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul Monday evening for a public viewing.
At around 5 p.m. the hearse carrying the late Cardinal’s body arrived at the Cathedral Basillica. After a brief prayer from Archbishop Chaput, pallbearers carried the casket inside for the public viewing.
Those paying respects recalled personal moments they shared with the Cardinal, including Jim, a deacon from Delaware County.
“I put my hand on the Cardinal’s ring and remembered that ring on my head when he imposed hands at ordination. And it brought back a lot of those memories,” he said.
A woman from Yardley teared up after she left the viewing. She brought pictures of the Cardinal visiting with her late husband and father.
“When my father was a quadriplegic from cancer. (Cardinal Bevilacqua) was so loving and compassionate to my dad and our family,” she said. “He’s up there with my husband and my father, bringing peace and love to everyone.”
As for Bevilacqua’s handling of the child sexual abuse scandal?
“People tend to pass judgement and not forgive,” one woman said. “God forgives us and whether he was right or wrong, in his heart and soul, now he’s at peace.”
“That’s between him and God,” Jim said.