Cardinal Francis George
Occupation: Archbishop of Chicago
His cancer recurrence and his letter of resignation, both in 2012, have some wondering if his departure is imminent. But George (who completed chemotherapy in January) remains archbishop of the country's third-largest diocese and a kindred spirit of the like-minded Pope Benedict. He therefore remains a force in the Catholic universe (his recent pastoral letter arguing against gay marriage garnered national attention).
Photograph: TERRENCE ANTONIO JAMES/CHICAGO TRIBUNE