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John Patrick Foley

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His Eminence 
John Patrick Foley
Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
See Neapolis (titular)
Enthroned June 27, 2007
Predecessor Carlo Furno
Successor incumbent
Ordination May 19, 1962
Consecration May 8, 1984
Created Cardinal November 24, 2007
Rank Cardinal Deacon of S. Sebastiano al Palatino
Other President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (1984-2007)
Personal details
Born November 11, 1935(1935-11-11)
Darby, Pennsylvania
Styles of
John Foley
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See none

John Patrick Foley (born November 11, 1935) is an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Since 2007, he has been Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, having previously served as President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications from 1984 to 2007. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2007. He provided the commentary for the American television viewers of the Christmas Midnight Mass from St Peter's Basilica, Rome. However, in 2009, he retired from that role after 25 years. The commentary has been taken over by Father Tom Powers.


An only child, John Foley was born at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania, to John and Regina (née Vogt) Foley. He was raised in Sharon Hill, a suburb of Philadelphia, and belonged to Holy Spirit Parish. After graduating from the local parochial school, he attended St. Joseph's Preparatory School from 1949 to 1953, and briefly considered a Jesuit vocation.[1] He later attended St. Joseph's College, where he was elected student body president in 1956 and obtained a Bachelor's degree summa cum laude in history in 1957. He then studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, earning a Bachelor's in Philosophy in 1958. Foley was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop John Krol on May 19, 1962.

He furthered his studies at Columbia University's School of Journalism, earning his master's degree in journalism. As a graduate student at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, he received his Licentiate degree in Philosophy in 1964 and his Doctorate cum laude in 1965 from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)[2] with a dissertation on Natural Law, Natural Right and the Warren Court. He served as assistant editor and Rome correspondent for the archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Standard & Times. From 1970 to 1984 he was the newspaper's editor, and in 1976 he became a Monsignor.

Role in the Roman Curia

On April 5, 1984, Foley was appointed President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and Titular Archbishop of Neapolis in Proconsulari by the late Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 8 from Cardinal Krol, with Bishops Martin Lohmuller and Thomas Welsh serving as co-consecrators.

Foley, as the Council's president, was the longest-serving head of a Curial dicastery until receiving this appointment; Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, former Secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, was appointed as his successor. In 1989, he published a document on Pornography and Violence in the Media. [3]

The Archbishop has sat on various organizations, including the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission and National Conference of Catholic Bishops.


On October 17, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would make Foley a Cardinal. Foley was elevated to the College of Cardinals in the consistory at St. Peter's Basilica on November 24, 2007.[4] Cardinal Foley was named the Cardinal-Deacon of San Sebastiano al Palatino.[5] He is the seventh priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to be elevated to the College of Cardinals.[1]

Pope Benedict XVI named him as Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre on June 27, 2007, replacing Carlo Furno. The Grand Masters of the two Orders are thus Papal Viceroys who provide Vatican diplomacy with procedural support for making motions, proposing Amendments and requiring votes in the sphere of international diplomacy.

On 12 June 2008 in addition to his other duties he was appointed by Benedict as a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.[6]


During his tenure, the Archbishop once sparked outrage in the homosexual community by describing the AIDS pandemic as a "natural sanction for certain types of activities."[7]

He also defended the Church's exclusively male priesthood, once saying, "Jesus clearly did not ordain women to the priesthood, nor did he authorize the Church to do so."[8] Upon the death of John Paul II on April 2, 2005, Foley and all major Vatican officials, in accord with custom, automatically lost their positions during the sede vacante. He was later confirmed as the Council's president by Pope Benedict XVI on April 21 of that same year.


  • Foley would rise at 6:00 a.m. to watch CNN, in order to "know what to pray about."[9]
  • Foley was the English liaison for Pope John Paul II's 1979 visit to the United States.[10]
  • He is a teetotaler[11] and self-described chocoholic.[12]
  • He was awarded honorary degrees by St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia (1985); the Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (1990); The Catholic University of America, Washington (1996); Assumption College, Worcester (1997); Regis University, Denver (1998); John Cabot University, Rome (1998); University of Portland (2007).
  • He was made Commander Grand Cross, Order of the Northern Star, Kingdom of Sweden (1991); knight commander with circle of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (1991); commander with grand cross in the Order of Bernardo O'Higgins of the Republic of Chile (1996); commander with grand cross in the Order of Libertador General San Martin of the Republic of Argentina (2003).

Preceded by
Andrzej Maria Deskur
President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications
5 April 1984—27 June 2007
Succeeded by
Claudio Maria Celli
Preceded by
Carlo Furno
Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
27 June 2007—present
Succeeded by

See also


External links

uk:Фолі Джон Патрік

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