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The Vatican Begins The Search For Cardinal George's Successor

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 22, 2014 9:20PM

Cardinal Francis George, in a photo from 2010. (Photo credit: Handout/Getty Images)

The search for a successor for Cardinal Francis George has begun, according to Pope Francis’ American ambassador. Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganĂ², papal nuncio to the United States, informed George he started the process to name George’s replacement as archbishop of Chicago and that the process should be completed by late autumn.

George urged the Vatican to begin looking for his successor last month after he canceled traveling to Rome for the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul to continue chemotherapy treatments to fight his latest recurrence of cancer. George said at the time that, although he was confident this latest round of chemo would lead to remission, “the fact that my health is uncertain” warranted the search begin post haste.

George submitted a formal resignation letter to the Vatican in 2012 on his 75th birthday, per Vatican requirements. He underwent radical surgery in 2006 to have a cancerous bladder and prostate removed, and a checkup revealed his cancer had returned to his liver and kidneys in August 2012. Chemo treatments led to a good bill of health later that year before the cancer returned to his kidneys in March. Since then George has been urging the Vatican to begin his succession process. “It’s just not fair to the archdiocese to have someone who may not be able to do the job as well as I believe it should be done,” he said.