Cardinal William Keeler, who headed the Archdiocese of Baltimore from 1989 to 2007 died on March 23 while under the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Martin’s House for the Aged in Arbutus, MD. He was 86.
Ordained to the priesthood in 1955 he quickly rose through the ranks of the Catholic Church. He earned a doctorate in canon law in 1961 and worked in the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa. Harrisburg Bishop George Leech invited him to accompany him to the Second Vatican Council.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Harrisburg in 1979 and named bishop of Harrisburg in 1984.
Cardinal Keeler was president of the then National Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1992-1995.
According to the Catholic News Service (March 23, 2017), Cardinal Keeler developed a reputation for effectively building interfaith bonds. He is particularly noted for his work in furthering Catholic-Jewish dialogue. He was appointed moderator of Catholic-Jewish Relations for the USCCB.
In addition, Cardinal Keeler was an ardent promoter of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the sanctity of all human life. He twice served as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities and testified at all levels of government on legislation ranging from abortion to euthanasia to capital punishment.
As of this writing, funeral arrangements are pending.
For the CNS report, click here.
For the Baltimore Sun (March 23, 2017) report, click here.