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Cardinal Francis George faces new cancer battle

August 18, 2012 7:01:17 AM PDT
Cardinal Francis George had surgery after cancer cells were found in his kidney and liver.

A cancerous nodule was removed from his liver, according to a statement from the Chicago Archdiocese, on August 15 during surgery at Loyola University Medical Center. Cancerous cells were also found on his kidney. They will be treated.

"His doctors will work with the Cardinal to plan a course of treatment," the statement said.

In 2006, Cardinal George had his bladder removed after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Neither the archdiocese nor hospital will comment on whether this recent diagnosis is connected to the bladder cancer.

"Really, really sad. Cancer is just really serious, and like I said, I deal with it at home. My dad has cancer, so you know, what he's going through, I see it on a daily basis and I can do nothing but pray for him and say my prayers for him," Robert Johnson said Friday outside Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago. Other faithful also offered their prayers and wellwishes for George on Friday.

Cardinal George, 75, has served as the Chicago archbishop for 15 years. In January, he submitted his request to retire to the pope after reaching the mandatory retirement age. No decision has been made on that. Cardinal George is resting at his home this weekend and will go on a retreat next week.

George submitted his request to retire after 15 years as the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago last January when he hit the mandatory retirement age. The Vatican has not yet made a decision on his resignation.

George's predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, also had cancer while service as archbishop here. Cardinal Bernardin's pancreatic cancer spread to his liver and he died in November 1996.


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