Chicago, Ill., Aug 25, 2013 / 15:20 pm
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago's "intellectual vigor" and "forceful defense of the Church" may be why Pope Francis has yet to allow the 76-year-old cardinal to retire, one religion news observer has suggested.
"Cardinal George's newspaper column often reads now like a battle plan against government overreach," Nicholas G. Hahn III, the editor of RealClearReligion.org, said in the Wall Street Journal Aug. 23. "The cardinal takes a particularly grim view of what this intrusion by government could mean for church and state relations."
The cardinal has famously said, "I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square."
As required by canon law, the cardinal submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI last year upon turning 75, but neither Pope Benedict nor Pope Francis have accepted his resignation.