Process begins for choosing Cardinal George successor

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Vatican has informed Chicago's Francis Cardinal George that it has begun the process to select the cardinal's successor.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Papal Nuncio to the United States, has informed Cardinal George that he has begun the consulting process to identify his successor as Archbishop of Chicago, the Chciago archdiocese said in a statement.

The process is expected to be completed in late fall, the archdiocese said.

George asked the Catholic Church to begin the process of choosing his successor. He revealed his intention to step down after he spoke in April about how a ''strenuous'' round of chemotherapy led him to cancel an important trip to Rome.

The cardinal, 77, said he has spoken with Vigano, who is also the conduit between American Catholic bishops and Rome.

"It's just not fair to the archdiocese to have someone who may not be able to do the job as it should be done. So I told him, in light of that, it makes sense to begin the process," Cardinal George said.

Vigano will ask Cardinal George and other American cardinals and archbishops for a list of potential successors. The months-long process arrives at three potential names. That list is then sent to Pope Francis, who can either appoint one of them or choose someone else entirely.

Cardinal George had hoped to have a private meeting with the pope in April. However, because that trip was canceled, he hopes to speak with Pope Francis in person at another time.
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