Cardinal Francis George, archbishop emeritus of Chicago died at 10:45 this morning of cancer. He was 78.
CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop emeritus of Chicago and among the most influential Church leaders of his generation, died today at age 78, after a long battle with cancer.
“A man of peace, tenacity and courage has been called home to the Lord. Our beloved Cardinal George passed away today at 10:45am at the [cardinal’s] residence,” announced Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, in a statement marking his predecessor’s death, at a press conference.
“He was a man of great courage who overcame many obstacles to become a priest,” said Archbishop Cupich, who noted his critical role as the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the 2002 clergy sexual-abuse crisis and the counsel he provided to the Vatican during three pontificates.
Archbishop Cupich touched on Cardinal George’s devotion to the faithful in his native city.
“Here in Chicago, the cardinal visited every corner of the archdiocese, talking with the faithful” and pursuing “an overfull schedule — always choosing the Church over his own comfort and the people over his own needs.”
“Most recently, we saw his bravery firsthand as he faced the increasing challenges brought about by cancer,” said the archbishop.
“Let us heed his example and be a little more brave, a little more steadfast and a lot more loving.
“This is the surest way to honor his life and celebrate his return to the presence of God.”
The archdiocese has stated that there will be public visitations at Holy Name Cathedral on Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of the funeral Mass on Thursday.