NEW YORK, Feb. 29 (AP)--Cardinal John O'Connor, who underwent surgery for a brain tumor last year, is weak and remains in his residence under doctors' care.

The cardinal's eyesight has been failing recently and he was unable to play host to a book party scheduled at his residence Monday night. He is able to read only very large print, said his spokesman, Joe Zwilling.

The 80-year-old cardinal, who had surgery in September and later underwent radiation therapy, did not celebrate Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday.

Zwilling said O'Connor is ``suffering from some pronounced weakness. He has not been able to function as he has in the last several weeks...He's not been able to work normally at his residence.''

He said doctors had not determined the cause of the weakness but were not considering placing O'Connor in a hospital.

O'Connor spends considerable time in bed but is not bedridden, Zwilling said.

O'Connor offered his retirement when he turned 75, as church rules require, although the pope did not accept it then. Cardinals lose their power to vote for a new pope when they turn 80, and John Paul II is expected to name a replacement for O'Connor in the next few weeks.

Zwilling said O'Connor was aware of the contents of the letter sent to him by Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

``He has not made any comment on the letter at all,'' Zwilling said.

The Republican presidential candidate sent the letter to explain his appearance at Bob Jones University, a South Carolina institution associated with anti-Catholic views.

Copyright 2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Legal Disclaimer - Copyright ©2000 - iSyndicate, Inc.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad