Late cardinal should inspire use of media to spread Gospel

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped the legacy of the late Cardinal John P. Foley would inspire others to make the Gospel known through mass media.

In a telegram to Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia Dec. 12, the pope expressed his sadness and condolences for the death of Cardinal Foley, who died Dec. 11 in Darby, Pa., after a battle with leukemia.

The College of Cardinals now has 192 members, 109 of whom are under age 80 and eligible to vote.

“I recall with gratitude the late cardinal’s years of priestly ministry in his beloved Archdiocese of Philadelphia, his distinguished service to the Holy See as president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and most recently his labors on behalf of the Christian communities of the Holy Land” as grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, the pope wrote.

The pope prayed that the cardinal’s “lifelong commitment to the church’s presence in the media will inspire others to take up this apostolate so essential to the proclamation of the Gospel and the progress of the new evangelization.”

Archbishop Claudio Celli, who succeeded the U.S. cardinal as president of the communications council, said Cardinal Foley “stressed the positive potential of the media in informing, instructing and inspiring others, as a key component of the church’s mission and pastoral outreach in spreading the Gospel.”

The cardinal combined his journalistic training, professionalism, a friendly and approachable manner with his wisdom, humor and “passion to share the good news of God’s infinite love for every person,” the archbishop said.

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