updated 11/18/2006 12:11:49 AM ET 2006-11-18T05:11:49

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, who has been in seclusion for weeks, attended a visitation Friday for his father, who died this week of complications from cancer.

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Foley checked himself into an Arizona facility Oct. 1 for what he said was treatment for alcoholism.

“It’s just been a real hard time,” Foley told The Associated Press.

Foley resigned from Congress on Sept. 29 after being confronted with sexually explicit computer messages he sent to male teenage pages who had worked on Capitol Hill.

Soon afterward, his attorneys announced that Foley was gay, suffered from alcoholism and had been molested by a priest as a teenage altar boy in Florida.

The Rev. Anthony Mercieca, who has retired to Malta, has admitted having inappropriate encounters with Foley, including massaging him in the nude and skinny-dipping together, but he denies having sex with Foley. Church officials are investigating whether Mercieca had inappropriate contact with others.

On Friday, reporters and photographers were camped out on every corner surrounding the Quattlebaum-Holleman-Burse Funeral Home in West Palm Beach, as Foley’s friends and family milled about inside.

Services for Edward Foley, who was 85 when he died Tuesday, were set for Saturday.

Criminal probe
Florida authorities said Thursday they had opened a criminal investigation into whether Foley broke any laws related to his lurid communications. Federal authorities are also investigating.

Foley’s attorneys have said he never had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor. Meanwhile, a House ethics committee is looking into whether senior GOP officials hid what they knew about the computer messages.

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