KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– Cardinal Justin Rigali, 87, is “awake, alert and resting comfortably” after being hospitalized Jan. 16 for “what we can only describe as a ‘medical condition,'” a spokesman for the Diocese of Knoxville told OSV News.
Since his retirement as archbishop of Philadelphia in 2011, Cardinal Rigali has lived in Knoxville. He shares a residence with Knoxville Bishop Richard F. Stika.
Cardinal Rigali was expected to “remain hospitalized for at least a few days” while his doctors evaluate his condition, spokesman Jim Wogan said in a statement emailed to OSV News late Jan. 17. A statement also has been posted to the diocese’s website, https://dioknox.org.
“Initial word” of the cardinal suffering “a possible stroke, and later a possible heart condition, were only speculative,” Wogan said. “Officially, doctors are still not certain what has happened. Cardinal Rigali will remain hospitalized in Knoxville while doctors continue to run tests.”
“Bishop Stika said tonight that Cardinal Rigali is receiving excellent medical care from his doctors,” he added.
A native of Los Angeles who was ordained a priest for the Los Angeles archdiocese in 1961, Cardinal Rigali has had a long career serving in various Vatican posts, most in diplomatic positions. He was the archbishop of St. Louis from 1994 to 2003, the year he was named a cardinal. He headed the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 2003 until his retirement.