John Krol Biography

Cardinal John KrolClaim to Fame: Roman Catholic Bishop
DOB:Oct. 26, 1910
Date of Death: March 3, 1996
Diabetes Type: unknown

John Joseph Krol was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 26, 1910, to Polish immigrant parents. By the time he was 18, John Krol was manager of the meat department of a large chain store. However, when a Lutheran co-worker asked him some challenging questions about his faith, John began to turn his attention to matters of religious faith, which is when he first felt called by God to the priesthood. He enrolled in St. Mary's College, Orchard Lake, MI. From there, he entered St. Mary's Seminary, Cleveland. On February 20, 1937, Krol was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph Schrembs of Cleveland.

Krol obtained his Doctorate in Canon Law in 1942 at Pontifical Catholic University, Washington, D.C. He was appointed professor of Canon Law at St. Mary's Seminary, Cleveland, a position he held until December 1943. During the papacy of Pius XII, Monsignor Krol was consecrated Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland and Titular Bishop of Cadi on September 2, 1953.

Archbishop John Krol was installed in the College of Cardinals at the Consistory in the Vatican on June 26, 1967. During the years after his appointment as Archbishop of Philadelphia on February 11, 1961, Cardinal Krol was a leading Roman Catholic conservative who spoke out for nuclear disarmament, abortion, marriages, and contraception. He also helped to reorder Vatican finances. He used his influence to fight communism, abortion, and what he saw as the erosion of morality. He also supported government aid to parochial schools and prayer in public schools.

On December 8, 1987, Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Cardinal Krol, who had served the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for exactly twenty-seven years. Krol resigned from this position due to health complications, specifically diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is a weakening of the muscle in the colon wall and can cause a number of problems and can ultimately lead to colon cancer. 

Cardinal Krol died on Sunday, March 3, 1996 from diabetes-related kidney complications and a heart ailment. He was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

Ten years after his death, Cardinal Krol received a lot of negative attention due to accusations of his involvement in the archidocese's sex abuse scandal. The Grand Jury stated that Krol knew that his priests were molesting and even raping young boys and girls and did nothing to prevent these heinous acts. On a more positive note, E. Michael Jones published a biography of Krol's life, particularly his journey from a meat manager who eventually became the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Reviewed by dLife staff 02/15 

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Last Modified Date: February 11, 2015

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by Brenda Bell
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