Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, a leading liberal of the Roman Catholic Church, has been diagnosed with a possible pancreatic tumor, his doctor said Friday.
Bernardin, 67, likely will undergo exploratory surgery next week at Loyola Medical Center in suburban Maywood, said Dr. Warren Furey.
Tests indicated he has a tumor in the pancreas and an abnormality of the right kidney that could be a tumor.
“The possibility is very, very great that this is a malignancy,” Furey said at a news conference.
Bernardin said he hoped the surgery would be successful but that he was prepared for whatever occurs.
The head of the 2.3 millionmember Archdiocese of Chicago, Bernardin has supported church doctrine on controversial issues such as abortion and women as priests, but also gained a reputation for tempering the authority of the traditional church hierarchy with a consensus-building approach.
The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen that produces insulin.