Francis Cardinal George made his first public appearance Monday since starting a new experimental cancer treatment three weeks ago.
The cardinal is one of a few hundred in the clinical trial designed to aid the immune system in fighting the cancer cells. He hopes to hear good news in order to go to Spain and Rome in November.
“I hope to talk to the Pope sometime during that period,” he told WGN at a blessing ceremony on the South Side.
That conversation will likely include talk of the cardinal's successor. He asked the church to begin the process of choosing a new Chicago archbishop in the spring.
“I expect it to happen sometime in the Fall but I don't know. Everyone's going to be very surprised in two years and I'll be sitting here talking to you asking when are you going to retire, but you just don't know. I expect it to happen in the not too distance future anyway,” he said.
If the Cardinal knows of a timetable to name a successor, he didn’t let on. He still plans to attend the U.S. conference of bishops meeting in Baltimore and take that trip to Rome – both in November.