(Aggregated from multiple news sources and the Knights of Columbus)
On Friday January 30, Chicago’s Archbishop Emeritus, Cardinal Francis George, OMI held a press conference after receiving an award from the Knights of Columbus at a luncheon in Chicago.
During the conference, the Cardinal conceded that his doctors have given up trying to cure his cancer. WLS-TV quoted him saying, “They’ve run out of tricks in the bag, if you like. The normal treatments now have been exhausted and so we have to see, there’s still a few things that are helpful from a palliative point of view but basically, we’re, I’m in the hands of God.”
Nevertheless, Cardinal George remains hopeful saying his illness has not followed a typical pattern so far and he doesn’t expect it to do so in the future. He would still like to attend a consistory in Rome on February 14-15 at which Pope Francis will elevate new members to the College of Cardinals. He will decide whether or not to make the trip within the next few days depending on how he feels.
The press conference was preceded by the presentation of the Gaudiom et Spes (Joy and Hope) Award to Cardinal George from the Knights of Columbus. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the 132 year-old Catholic fraternal organization and it included a cash prize of $100,000.
The Gaudium et Spes Award was established by the Knights of Columbus in 1992, with Blessed Teresa of Kolkata as its first recipient. The award is named for the Second Vatican Council’s apostolic constitution on the Church in the modern world.
Cardinal George is the award’s eleventh honoree. In addition to Mother Teresa, previous honorees have included l’Arche founder Jean Vanier, Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz of Krakow, and Cardinals William Baum and James Hickey, former archbishops of Washington.
In his acceptance speech to the Knights Cardinal George called it, “…a moment for all of us I think, to thank God and to thank one another.” He said he intends to donate the money to Chicago’s archdiocesan schools and Catholic Charities.