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Joseph 'Cardinal' Bernardin
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Religious Figure
    (April 2, 1928-November 14, 1996)
    Ordained a priest on December 15, 1952
    Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta, GA (April 26, 1966-November 21, 1972)
    Archbishop of Cincinnati, OH (December 19, 1972-July 10, 1982)
    Archbishop of Chicago, IL (August 25, 1982-November 14, 1996)
    Elevated to Cardinal (February 2, 1983)
    He was accused of sexually molesting a young man who was studying for the priesthood in 1991.
    He had to endure a 'trial by media' while the charges were investigated.
    His accuser later recanted his accusations and admitted to lying to police, citing a 'faulty memory.'
    He publicly asked people to forgive his accuser, stating he 'prays that this young man should never have to feel such desperation to resort to such actions.'
    He called for more humane treatment of homeless people, battered women, and other people looked down upon by mainstream society.
    The grace and dignity he showed while facing false sexual molestation charges are an inspiration to many.
    When diagnosed with prostate cancer, he showed the same grace and dignity.
    If he had not died before Pope John Paul II, experts say he would have been the first American Pope.
    He was an eloquent public speaker.
    Despite his high status as a Cardinal, he was not afraid to incorporate humor and fun into his sermons.

Credit: Blossman


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