By PAUL LIKOUDIS
(Editor’s Note: We welcome Paul Likoudis back to our pages for this commentary on Francis Cardinal George, OMI, whom Paul covered extensively as The Wanderer’s news editor. Paul continues his battle with cancer; the prayers and the support of Wanderer readers are greatly appreciated.)
+ + +
Francis Cardinal George, OMI, archbishop of Chicago, died April 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Appointed bishop of Yakima in 1990, archbishop of Portland, Ore., in 1996, and then archbishop of Chicago a year later, Cardinal George was the towering intellect in the U.S. episcopacy, and a prelate whom Pope St. John Paul II could rely on to reorient the Church in Chicago with its notoriously “independent” clergy and the equally notorious Americanist hierarchy “hanging loose” from Rome.
There have been many tributes to the late cardinal testifying to his kindness, generosity, and incredible stamina as he served his 2.3 million-member flock, and also to his service to the Holy See as a member of many key curial offices; this tribute looks back to some of his enduring words.
Shortly after his arrival in Chicago, the dissident clergy dubbed their new archbishop “Francis the Corrector,” but George, named a cardinal by John Paul II on January 18, 1998, would live up to the name, especially as a leader in the ten-years-plus “liturgy wars” where he was the Holy See’s greatest advocate in implementing the necessary liturgical reforms which John Paul had set as a priority early in his pontificate, and which encountered enormous opposition in this country. … Continue Reading