Roman Catholic bishop of Harrisburg dies suddenly

PHILADELPHIA - The Roman Catholic bishop of Harrisburg has died, church officials said.

Bishop Joseph McFadden died unexpectedly Thursday morning at a hospital in Philadelphia, officials said. He had been attending a meeting of the Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania.

McFadden awoke feeling ill and was taken to a hospital, officials said. A cause of death has not yet been announced. He was 65-years-old.

"Kris and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Bishop McFadden," said U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. "A native of Philadelphia, the Bishop was called to serve whether he was coaching basketball or ministering to many of us as the Tenth Bishop of Harrisburg. His love, caring, and spiritual guidance will be missed by all who benefited from his wisdom over the years."

"I was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Bishop McFadden," said U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., "I worked with him closely through the years on a number of issues.  He was a forceful advocate, an effective leader and a much beloved shepherd for the people of Harrisburg, Philadelphia and all of Pennsylvania."

McFadden, born in Philadelphia, was installed as the bishop of Harrisburg in August 2010. The diocese serves about 250,000 Catholics in 15 counties in central Pennsylvania.

Diocesan officials have eight days to elect an administrator who will be in charge of daily operations until a new bishop is appointed by Pope Francis.

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