The passing of Cleveland Bishop Emeritus Anthony M. Pilla was announced in a statement from the Diocese:
“It is with deep sadness that I share with the Catholic community of the Diocese of Cleveland the news of the passing this morning of Bishop Anthony M. Pilla. Bishop Pilla died peacefully at his personal residence. In my short time as the bishop of Cleveland I came to know Bishop Pilla as a very warm, kind-hearted and deeply faithful shepherd, always dedicated to the people of the diocese. He was generous with his time and sharing his knowledge and concern for the diocese with me. As a leader in the national Church, Bishop Pilla was an inspiration and example to me throughout my priesthood and in my years as a bishop. I felt so welcomed by him when I came to the Diocese of Cleveland, a Church that he loved so much. As a leader in the community and a friend to so many, he will be greatly missed.” – Bishop Malesic
Cleveland’s current Bishop Malesic will be the main celebrant of the funeral Mass in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, with Pilla being interred in the Resurrection Chapel inside the cathedral.
Pilla, former President of the USCCB, received similar praise from current President Archbishop Gomez:
“His Excellency, Anthony M. Pilla, bishop emeritus of Cleveland, passed away yesterday at the age of 88. He led the bishops’ conference in the 1990s as president, and those who worked with him have expressed that his deep love for the Church was evident through his faithful commitment and desire for unity within the Church which he expressed through his pastoral leadership of the Conference. I offer my prayers and sympathy to Bishop Pilla’s family, friends, and the many people whose lives he touched through his ministry over the years as a priest, and then bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland. May the Lord grant him eternal rest.”
As leader of the Diocese of Cleveland, Pilla became known for his deep love of the Church and his hometown, starting the “Church in the City” initiative to bring together urban, suburban, and rural parts of the Diocese.
Vespers and the funeral Mass will be livestreamed at dioceseofcleveland.org on Monday at 3pm EST and on Tuesday at 11pm EST.
Read more about the life of Bishop Pilla here.