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Cardinal Foley died at the Villa St. Joseph in suburban Darby, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said. The cause of death was not given.

In 1984, Cardinal Foley was appointed to lead the Pontifical Council of Social Communications, which spearheaded Vatican initiatives under the media-savvy Pope John Paul II to get out the Church’s message through the media.

In a world of prelates who were often ill at ease when speaking with journalists, or who used convoluted phrases to express a concept, Cardinal Foley’s down-to-earth, straightforward manner of engaging with the public was a refreshing departure.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi described Cardinal Foley as being a man “truly of great spiritual level.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports