With sadness I learned of the death of Cardinal Bevilacqua. We had worked together during my years as president of The Catholic University of America on the implementation of the apostolic constitution on Catholic universities and colleges, “Ex Corde Ecclesiae”. I greatly admired his keen intellect and grasp of both canon and civil law as well as the issues confronting Catholic higher education in our country.
He possessed a tireless commitment to the pursuit of Church teaching and its application to contemporary life. As Shepherd, he did not suffer fools easily or well which, sometimes, prevented people from seeing his truly kind and loving heart. Despite his shyness in some social settings, Cardinal Bevilacqua had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh.
I was fortunate to have come to know him. He was a good friend. He suffered greatly in the last years of his life and was often judged harshly, even cruelly. I only pray that God’s mercy will turn those judgments into the peace and rest that the whole of his priestly life and dedication to the Church deserve.