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Chicago cardinal breaks hip

April 8, 2007 at 2:40 PM

CHICAGO, April 8 (UPI) -- Cardinal Francis George of Chicago will miss his impending trip to the Vatican after breaking his right hip when he slipped on holy water and fell.

The 70-year-old cardinal was in "very good shape" at Loyola University Medical Center and won't need surgery, but will have to forego his scheduled trip to Rome next week, the Chicago Sun-Times said. George will remain hospitalized for a few days as he undergoes physical therapy.

"He'll use a walker for probably a week, so that he doesn't put pressure on (his hip) while it heals," archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Dolan said.

The cardinal, who had polio as a child and wears a leg brace, fell while blessing children's Easter baskets at a Chicago church Saturday.

"In his exuberance with the holy water ... the marble floor got wet," Dolan said. The cardinal "didn't see the water on the floor and ... went down."

George, who was still recovering from cancer surgery last summer, got back on his feet and finished with the ceremony but then went to the hospital when pain persisted.

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