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Public viewing held for Philly Cardinal Bevilacqua

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – People have begun paying their respects to the former spiritual leader of Philadelphia’s 1.5 million Catholics.

The first of two public viewings began Monday evening for the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH’-kwah) at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

The former archbishop of Philadelphia died last week at the age of 88.

Another viewing is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, with a funeral Mass to follow.

Bevilacqua led the archdiocese for more than 15 years, retiring in 2003. But in recent months he’s become central to a child sex abuse case involving former priests and a high-ranking church administrator who served under him.

Bevilacqua will be entombed beneath the cathedral’s altar following Tuesday afternoon’s funeral Mass.

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