Philadelphia, PA – Cardinal John P. Foley, an American priest who served as President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications at the Vatican for a quarter of century, and was a warm and influential force in Catholic media worldwide, died December 11.
The Cardinal, who was honored by the Catholic philanthropic community in 2009 for his distinguished leadership and vision, was a dear friend and frequent presence at FADICA gatherings, especially when FADICA’s members gathered in Rome over the past three decades.
“The Catholic grantmaking community often depended on Cardinal Foley’s informed and fair-minded perspective on a wide range of church needs, and his warm and humorous approach to life made him a joy to know,” said Francis J. Butler, FADICA’s president. “We will miss his wisdom,” he said. “It was a special grace to have his counsel and encouragement,” he added.
In 1984, Cardinal Foley was appointed to lead the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the principal agency then overseeing the Holy See’s relations with the press and Catholic media worldwide. This appointment followed fourteen years as editor-in-chief of the Catholic Standard and Times, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
For more than twenty years Cardinal Foley was the voice for the papal Christmas Midnight Mass television broadcasts from St. Peter’s in Rome.
In 2007 Cardinal Foley was appointed the grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, a charity with interests in serving the poor of all faiths, especially in the area of Jerusalem.