Cardinal Francis George resumed chemotherapy after a brief hiatus due to flu-like symptoms, but has again been grounded from travel and will miss a trip to Rome for the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII as he battles cancer.
“Of course I will miss going…but they spelled out the dangers, and I can’t risk another infection,” George said during an address Tuesday night at Saint Xavier University. “It would be foolish if I went over there and got sick.”
George just resumed chemotherapy after a break in treatments during which he was hospitalized for several days to address an an infection and flu-like symptoms. He decided to skip the trip to Rome on the advice of his doctors. “You miss a lot of things…it’s not the end of the world,” he said.
It’s the second trip George has cancelled in the last few weeks. While hospitalized, he cancelled a visit to communities in Oregon and Washington, where he had previously served as bishop and archbishop.
George said last month that his cancer — which had been in remission for more than a year — was again showing signs of activity.
He was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006, and in 2012, he again fought the disease when it returned to his kidney and liver.
George started his address with a joke.
After a long and flattering introduction by a member of the university, he took the stage and said: “One of the advantages of being seriously ill, is that you hear your obituary before you die.”
George stood at a podium and lectured on church doctrine for 80 minutes before answering a few questions from the crowd.
He said he intends to maintain his scheduled participation in Holy Week services and Easter Sunday Mass at Holy Name Cathedral.