Illness will prevent Chicago cardinal from attending canonizations


CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago has resumed his chemotherapy that had been delayed because of an infection he incurred in late March, according to an archdiocesan statement.

Upon the advice of his doctors, the cardinal has decided to remain in Chicago and not travel to Rome for the April 27 canonization of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII, as he had originally planned, the April 8 statement said.

Cardinal George plans to maintain his schedule for Holy Week and Easter services at Holy Name Cathedral. He also was to hold a briefing April 11 for Chicago-area media about the upcoming canonizations.

His recent activities have included opening the Lumen Christi Institute’s sixth annual conference on economics and Catholic social thought in early April. On April 8, the cardinal was at St. Xavier University to offer his reflections about “the living legacy” of the Second Vatican Council. It was the final lecture of the university’s 2013-14 Catholic Colloquium series.

In early March, the archdiocese announced that Cardinal George, 77, would undergo a new round of chemotherapy to address “current signs of activity of cancer cells surrounding his right kidney.”

His chemo was suspended when he was hospitalized March 14 to March 21 at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. He was treated for dehydration and received antibiotics for an infection his doctors had identified.

The cardinal was diagnosed with urothelial cancer in August 2012 and underwent chemotherapy at that time. The cancer, dormant for well over a year, is still confined to the area of his right kidney