RELIGION

Catholics prepare to say final farewell to Chicago's Cardinal George

  • FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, retiring Cardinal Francis George is seen at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. A funeral Mass is planned for George on Thursday, April 23, 2015, who died last Friday at age 78 after a long battle with cancer. The Chicago native who grew up in a working-class neighborhood was appointed leader of the nation's third-largest archdiocese in 1997 by Pope John Paul II. George will be buried in his family's plot at All Saints Cemetery in suburban Des Plaines. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File) The Archdiocese of Chicago said Tuesday, March 3, 2015, that George was admitted to the hospital Sunday, March 1, for evaluation after he stopped treatment for kidney cancer more than a month ago. Archdiocese officials say he'll stay there several days while tests are done. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, retiring Cardinal Francis George is seen at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. A funeral Mass is planned for George on Thursday, April 23, 2015, who died last Friday at age 78 after a long battle with cancer. The Chicago native who grew up in a working-class neighborhood was appointed leader of the nation's third-largest archdiocese in 1997 by Pope John Paul II. George will be buried in his family's plot at All Saints Cemetery in suburban Des Plaines. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File) The Archdiocese of Chicago said Tuesday, March 3, 2015, that George was admitted to the hospital Sunday, March 1, for evaluation after he stopped treatment for kidney cancer more than a month ago. Archdiocese officials say he'll stay there several days while tests are done. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, retiring Cardinal Francis George is seen at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. A funeral Mass is planned for George on Thursday, April 23, 2015, who died last Friday at age 78 after a long battle with cancer. The Chicago native who grew up in a working-class neighborhood was appointed leader of the nation's third-largest archdiocese in 1997 by Pope John Paul II. George will be buried in his family's plot at All Saints Cemetery in suburban Des Plaines. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, retiring Cardinal Francis George is seen at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. A funeral Mass is planned for George on Thursday, April 23, 2015, who died last Friday at age 78 after a long battle with cancer. The Chicago native who grew up in a working-class neighborhood was appointed leader of the nation's third-largest archdiocese in 1997 by Pope John Paul II. George will be buried in his family's plot at All Saints Cemetery in suburban Des Plaines. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Incense is spread during the funeral Mass for Cardinal Francis George at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, Thursday, April 23, 2015. George died Friday, April 17 at age 78 after a long battle with cancer. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, Pool)

    Incense is spread during the funeral Mass for Cardinal Francis George at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, Thursday, April 23, 2015. George died Friday, April 17 at age 78 after a long battle with cancer. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Catholics are preparing to say their final goodbyes to the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who had a reputation for being an intellectual leader in the church.

A Thursday funeral Mass is planned at Holy Name Cathedral. George will be buried in his family's plot at All Saints Cemetery in suburban Des Plaines.

George died last Friday at age 78 after a long battle with cancer.

The Chicago native who grew up in a working-class neighborhood was appointed leader of the nation's third-largest archdiocese in 1997 by Pope John Paul II.

George became known as a vigorous defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy.

He retired last fall a few months before announcing his treatment for kidney cancer had failed. He was replaced by Archbishop Blase Cupich (blayz SOO'-pich).