Cardinal Deacon of San Sebastiano al Palatino
Cardinal Foley was born on 11 November 1935, an only child. He studied in Philadelphia before doing graduate studies in Rome at the Angelicum and at Columbia University's School of Journalism.
He was ordained on 19 May 1962 by John Cardinal Krol for the clergy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
He was sent to Rome for his graduate studies during the final years of the Second Vatican Council and was Rome correspondent for the Archdiocesan newspaper The Catholic Standard and Times during that time.
On returning home, he held various pastoral, teaching and communications roles within the Archdiocese. He was editor of the newspaper from 1970 to 1984. He was also Press Secretary for meetings the US Bishops' conference from 1969 to 1984, and was English-language Press liaison for the Pope's visits to Ireland and the US in 1979 and the Synod of Bishops in Rome in 1980.
Pope John Paul II appointed him President of the Pontifical Commission for Communications on 5 April 1984, raising him to the episcopate. He was consecrated titular bishop of Neapoli di Proconsolare on 8 May 1984 in the Cathedral of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol.
The Pontifical Commission became a Pontifical Council in the restructuring of the Curia that occurred in 1988. Cardinal Foley retired as President on 27 June 2007. On that date, Pope Benedict XVI named him Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, one of the papal orders of chivalry. Upon being made a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on 24 November 2007, he became Grand Master.