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June 2, 2000


"I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of former Governor Robert P. Casey. Governor Casey was a man deeply devoted to his family and to his Catholic faith. He was a compassionate public servant, who worked tirelessly for the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During his long and notable political career, he served the people with courage and conviction, even while enduring serious and life threatening illness.

Governor Casey served unselfishly all his constituents, regardless of political affiliation. He was particularly mindful of those who could not help themselves, the poor, the elderly and children. He succeeded in providing programs for children in the areas of health, nutrition and insurance. Governor Casey will be remembered especially as a passionate defender of human life. He was responsible for the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act which raised Pennsylvania to a position of being one of the most pro-life states in the nation.

I extend my deepest sympathy to his wife and eight children. I ask the faithful of the Archdiocese and all people of good will to pray for the happy repose of his soul," said Cardinal Bevilacqua.

Governor Casey took office in January of 1987, while Cardinal Bevilacqua was Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Cardinal Bevilacqua, as Archbishop of Philadelphia, maintained a cordial relationship with Governor Casey. When Governor Casey fell ill this year, Cardinal Bevilacqua extended his prayerful support in a letter to him, dated May 15, 2000.

In a particularly poignant quote from an address delivered at the University of Notre Dame on April 6, 1995, the former Governor said, "Adherence to truth begins with the realization that the message of respect for human life is not just a religious message. It is a truth reflected not just in the Catholic religion, but in most organized religions. It is also a universal truth embraced by those of all faiths, and those of no faith."


Editor's Note: Cardinal Bevilacqua is out of the country on an archdiocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes and Fatima. It is uncertain if he will be able to attend Governor Casey's funeral Mass on Saturday.

Catherine L. Rossi

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