Former Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died of natural causes, Montgomery County Coroner Walter I. Hofman said Thursday afternoon.
Hofman said he found no evidence of strangulation, suffocation, or other types of wounds or injuries on Bevilacqua's body.
Bevilacqua was on several medications, which Hofman said were found in the body in expected amounts, allowing for irregularities caused by the introduction of embalming fluid. Bevilacqua's body was examined after it had been prepared for interment by an Upper Darby funeral home.
The official cause of death was listed as arteriosclerotic heart disease, Hofman said.
"Elderly people with pre-existing diseases often die quite suddenly," Hofman said.
Bevilacqua died on Jan. 31 in Wynnewood at the age of 88, a day after Common Pleas Court Judge Teresa Sarmina ruled that he could be compelled to take the witness stand in the child sex abuse trial of three priests who served in the archdiocese during his 15-year leadership.
Hofman said he received "hate mail" and letters from "wannabe toxicologists" questioning the validity of the examination.
Patch editor James Myers attended Hofman's press conference in Norristown. He'll have more on this story later today.