Saturday, April 18, 2015

Cardinal Francis George, RIP

Cardinal Francis George died yesterday at the age of 78. He had suffered from a prolonged illness since he was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006.

He was the eighth archbishop of Chicago and was made a cardinal in 1998. The well-known Father Robert Barron is the first professor of the Cardinal George chair of faith and culture at the University of St. Mary's near Chicago. Cardinal George called Fr. Barron "one of the Church's best messengers".

In 2010, Cardinal George spoke to a group of priests and he made an unscripted remark that was recorded and has since gone viral. However, it is most common to only read or hear the first part of the remark. His concluding statement is most often left out. Tim Drake, a reporter with the National Catholic Register, tracked this down in order to verify the statement and to ensure that it is quoted in its entirety.

"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."

Read more:
The Cardinal also wrote the following which is well worth reading:
God sustains the world, in good times and in bad. Catholics, along with many others, believe that only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb, no matter their nationality, are on the right side of history. Those who lie about him and persecute or harass his followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up ringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression. There is nothing “progressive” about sin, even when it is promoted as “enlightened.”
 The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters. The Synod on the New Evangelization is taking place in Rome this month because entire societies, especially in the West, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history.

Every generation has a few clear voices that are prophetic. I think that Cardinal Francis George was one of those. May he be received with great rejoicing into the heavenly kingdom.


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