Cardinal Francis George of Chicago Dies at 78

The archbishop emeritus of Chicago passed away Friday.

CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop emeritus of Chicago, passed away Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The 78-year-old cardinal was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006 and underwent a five-hour surgery to remove his bladder and other parts of his body affected by cancer. In 2012, his doctors discovered that the cancer had returned, this time to his kidney and liver.

In an effort to battle the returning cancer, Cardinal George took part in a cancer drug clinical trial last year, which experimented with helping the body recognize cancerous cells through the immune system. After it was determined that his trial was proving to be ineffective, he halted the treatment in January.

The first Chicago native to become the city’s archbishop, Cardinal George retired in 2014 amid his battle with cancer and was succeeded by Archbishop Blase Cupich. He had shepherded the archdiocese since 1997.

Last year, he said that the cancer would likely be the cause of his death, but that he was counting on prayers, so that he “might be of service to the Lord and his Church in the time left.”