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Francis George

Cardinal announces school closures, mergers in Chicago archdiocese

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In a major restructuring, the Chicago archdiocese announced Wednesday that 14 elementary schools would be closed or merged at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year.

"This restructuring is the result of our ongoing efforts to strengthen and support sustainable Catholic schools over the long term," said Thomas McGrath, chief operating officer for Catholic schools. "Although difficult in the immediate term, we know taking these steps will increase access for families and students to excellent Catholic school education, now and in the future."

Search for Cardinal George's successor has begun

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The process to find a successor for Cardinal Francis George has begun.

The Chicago archdiocese confirmed Thursday that George was informed by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the papal nuncio to the U.S., that he has begun the consulting process and expects to complete it in late fall.

The archdiocese said it has no further information at this time.

George, 77, submitted his resignation in 2012, per canon law requirements for bishops when they reach the age of 75. That same year in August the cardinal was diagnosed with cancer in his right kidney.

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