Reporting Suzanne Monaghan
By Suzanne Monaghan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Today marks the start of two days of mourning for Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. Bevilacqua died last week after battling dementia and cancer.
Following a private viewing at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Archbishop Charles Chaput will receive Bevilacqua’s body at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 5:30.
A public viewing follows at the Cathedral until 9 p.m. There will be an additional public viewing on Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Bevilacqua served as Archbishop of Philadelphia for 15 years, succeeding Cardinal John Krol. But editor of a blog that follows the Catholic Church, Rocco Palmo, says the arrangements for Bevilacqua are nothing like those for Krol in 1996.
“The plans for this funeral are conspicuously different and conspicuously much more low profile. It’s a commentary on the change of time. But it’s also a commentary, to be frank, that Bevilacqua never really had the level or regard inside the church.”
Palmo says it’s difficult to determine what the Cardinal’s legacy will be.
“There are a lot of variables that still have to shake out above all the trials,” Palmo says. “But at the same time, those of us who knew him and got to see his quiet kindnesses, I think that we will remember a spirit of great goodness.”
Palmo says the clergy sex abuse scandal overshadowed the final years of Bevilacqua’s life.
“He was born and raised in a very different world from the world that we live in today and I saw him grappling with that even before the national scandal broke in 2002. But again the complete record is going to take a lot of time to determine. I have many fond memories but at the same time, I know he wasn’t perfect.”
A funeral mass will begin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, followed by the Rite of Committal in the Cathedral Crypt.