Chicago, Ill., Mar 4, 2015 / 13:11 pm America/Denver (CNA).
After being dropped from a cancer drug trial over a month ago, Cardinal Francis George, retired archbishop of Chicago, has been admitted to the hospital for testing and further evaluation of his health.
On Sunday, March 1, Cardinal George was received at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. His stay is expected to last for several days, where he will undergo various tests to assess his current state of wellbeing, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“The cardinal continues to count on the prayers of so many who have written to wish him God’s blessings,” the archdiocese said in March 3 statement.
The 78-year-old cardinal was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006 and underwent a five-hour surgery to remove his bladder and other parts of his body affected by cancer. In 2012, his doctors discovered that the cancer had returned, this time to his kidney and liver.
In an effort to battle the returning cancer, Cardinal George took part in a cancer drug clinical trial last year, which experimented with helping the body recognize cancerous cells through the immune system. After it was determined that his trial was proving to be ineffective, he halted the treatment in January.
The first Chicago native to become the city’s archbishop, Cardinal George retired in 2014 amid his battle with cancer and was succeeded by Archbishop Blase Cupich.
In order to evaluate his condition after ceasing medical treatment for his cancer, Cardinal George will stay at Loyola University Medical Center over the next few days for tests to assess his health and determine what steps should be taken in the future.
Last year, the cardinal stated that the cancer could be the cause of his death, but that he was counting on prayers so that he “might be of service to the Lord and His Church in the time left.”
At a press conference in late January, Cardinal George told journalists that he is generally able to maintain a schedule that includes hearing confession regularly at the Chicago Cathedral.
However, he noted that much of his life is determined by his state of health, and his schedule often revolves around doctor appointments and physical therapy.
Still, he voiced gratitude for his life. “I’m in the hands of God, as we all are,” he said.