Bevilacqua, ex-head of Philly archdiocese, dead

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Retired cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH'-kwah), who served as head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for more than 15 years, has died. He was 88.

Spokeswoman Donna Farrell says Bevilacqua died Tuesday night is his sleep at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, where he lived. He had cancer and dementia.

Bevilacqua was criticized but never charged by two grand juries investigating child sex abuse in the Catholic church.

He was the spiritual leader of the 1.5 million-member Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1988 until his retirement in 2003.

Bevilacqua's conduct was criticized by both grand juries on the handling of sexual abuse allegations, but the reports cited a lack of direct evidence against him and he was never charged.