BALTIMORE (CNS) — Cardinal William H. Keeler of Baltimore suffered a broken ankle and a retired priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., was killed in an Oct. 7 automobile accident in Italy.

Another Harrisburg diocesan priest, Msgr. Thomas H. Smith, who was driving the vehicle through the city of Terni, broke several ribs.

Information about the accident was not released until Oct. 9 so that relatives of the deceased priest, Father Bernard Quinn, 78, could be notified.Cardinal Keeler and Msgr. Smith, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Lancaster, Pa., were hospitalized in Italy.

According to an Associated Press report, Father Quinn was in the back seat of the vehicle and Cardinal Keeler in the front passenger seat when a car struck the passenger side.Baltimore archdiocesan communications director Sean Caine said the three priests were friends and vacationed together often.”

They’ve known each other for many, many years and basically, when they took vacations, they took them together, so this would be an annual or a semiannual thing,” Caine told the Baltimore television station WJZ.Cardinal Keeler, who served in the Harrisburg Diocese as a priest, auxiliary bishop and bishop from 1955 to 1989, submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI when he turned 75 in March, as required by canon law.

Father Quinn, who for several years was a Glenmary priest and was research coordinator for the Glenmary Research Center in Nashville, Tenn., had been in residence at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Lancaster since his retirement in 2001.

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