Cardinal George Mum On Whether A Chicagoan Will Take His Place

(CBS) — Francis Cardinal George was the first Chicagoan to be named Catholic archbishop of Chicago.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports from the Bishops Conference in New Orleans, asking: Will the same be true of his successor?

Was Cardinal George speaking with his successor today? Bishops Conference President Joseph Kurtz of Louisville is considered one of the favorites.

Unlike the cardinal, he has no ties to Chicago.

A number of bishops with Chicago ties are considered possible candidates. There’s Chicagoan Wilton Gregory, now archbishop of Atlanta; former Chicago Auxiliary bishops Gustavo Garcia Siller, now archbishop of San Antonio, and Jerome Listecki, now archbishop of Milwaukee.

Another Chicagoan, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, has been mentioned as well.

Cardinal George won’t say whether a Chicagoan is on the list of three candidates that he’s submitted. But he leaves the conference looking forward to a fall meeting with the pope, who’ll make the choice.

“I haven’t had a chance to do that really since he’s been elected,” George says. “Every time a meeting has come up and he’s there at the same time, I haven’t been able to make it, so I haven’t seen him for over a year.”

The pope naming a successor before that would be unusually fast, and there are some who believe the cardinal will celebrate his 78th birthday next January still archbishop of Chicago.

Cardinal George is hoping to be at the Vatican for the beatification of Pope Paul VI in what is likely to be his last visit as archbishop of Chicago. He will remain eligible to vote in papal conclaves until he turns 80.

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