WASHINGTON (July 15, 2003) -- Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua as Archbishop of Philadelphia and appointed Archbishop Justin F. Rigali of St. Louis to succeed him.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcement.
Both Cardinal Bevilacqua and Archbishop Rigali will serve as Apostolic Administrators with all of the faculties of a residential bishop in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Archdiocese of St. Louis respectively until Archbishop Rigali is installed as Archbishop of Philadelphia.
Justin Francis Rigali was born in Los Angeles on April 19, 1935. He was educated at St. John's Seminary, Camarillo, California, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on April 25, 1961. He earned an S.T.B. degree at the Catholic University of America in 1961 and the J.C.D. at the Gregorian University in Rome in 1964. In that same year he entered the Vatican diplomatic service.
Archbishop Rigali was ordained titular archbishop of Bolsena by Pope John Paul II on September 14, 1985. From 1985-1989 he served as President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the diplomatic school of the Holy See.
He was serving as Secretary to the Congregation for Bishops and also Secretary to the College of Cardinals when he was appointed Archbishop of St. Louis, January 25, 1994.
Anthony Joseph Bevilacqua was born in Brooklyn, NY, June 17, 1923. He studied at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, NY, at Columbia University, where he earned an M.A., at Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in Canon Law, and St. John's University Law School in New York. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn on June 11, 1949.
Appointed Titular Bishop of Aquae Albae in Byzacena and Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn on October 7, 1980, he was appointed Bishop of Pittsburgh on October 7, 1983. Cardinal Bevilacqua was appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia December 8, 1987 and elevated to the College of Cardinals on June 28, 1991.
Observing the golden jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood on June 11, 1999, Cardinal Bevilacqua told The Catholic Standard and Times, the Philadelphia archdiocesan newspaper, that Christlike service to others has always been a goal of his priestly life. "I can't think of any other life that would have been happier for me," he said. "And I thank God for the gift of the priesthood."
Philadelphia was established as a diocese in 1808 and erected as an archdiocese in 1875. It comprises all the city and county of Philadelphia, and the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery in the State of Pennsylvania. It has a Catholic population of approximately 1,500,000 in a total population of about 3.8 million.