Joe Scheidler (left) and Cardinal Francis George, 2011
Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago, died today after a long battle with cancer. We at the Pro-Life Action League mourn the loss of this man who led the Catholic Church for so many years in our headquarter city of Chicago.
Over the years Cardinal George was a bold defender of all human life, speaking at pro-life events, leading prayer processions to abortion clinics, urging the faithful to become active in the pro-life movement, and much more.
Even in his years as the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a high-profile national figure, his door was always open to us, and we could always count on his close cooperation in events like the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rallies against President Obama’s HHS Mandate, and so many more pro-life events over the years.
Pro-Life Action League founder and national director Joe Scheidler released the following statement:
Cardinal George and I first became friends at the dedication ceremony of a home for unwed mothers run by the Missionaries of Charity in 1997, shortly after he had been appointed Archbishop of Chicago. I had attended the Mass celebrated by the Cardinal and the sisters were serving us snacks in a small recreation space when someone told me to stand by the Cardinal and have our picture taken together. I said, “Cardinal George doesn’t want his picture taken with a Federal Racketeer.” Cardinal George heard the exchange and said “Yes he does.”
We had our picture taken, shook hands, and have been good friends ever since that moment so long ago.
Once after a pro-life banquet held in Chicago’s western suburbs, a local pro-lifer was giving the Cardinal a long list of jobs he should do to promote the pro-life cause. Looking somewhat exasperated, he responded, “Why don’t you do these things yourself?” Then nodding to me added, “Like he does.”
I will greatly miss this outstanding Leader of the Flock.