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Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster offered prayers for King Charles III after Buckingham Palace announced Monday that the king would step away from some public duties amid treatment for cancer.

“I am saddened to learn that King Charles is now facing a time of treatment for cancer. On behalf of the entire Catholic Community in England and Wales, I offer His Majesty our warmest wishes and assurance of steadfast prayers for his full and speedy recovery. God bless the King,” Nichols, who heads the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said in a Feb. 5 X post. 

King Charles, 75, underwent treatment recently for an enlarged prostate, and an unspecified cancer was discovered during that treatment, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. The king remains “wholly positive about his treatment,” which has already begun, the statement said. The statement did not say what kind of cancer or at what stage it is. 

“His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer,” the statement concluded. 

King Charles ascended to the throne in 2022 following the death of his mother, Elizabeth II, and was crowned last spring. 

The English monarch is supreme governor of the Church of England, which broke away from the Catholic Church in 1534 under King Henry VIII. At his coronation last May, during which Charles took an oath to uphold the Protestant faith, Cardinal Nichols was the first Catholic prelate to take part in the coronation since the Reformation, offering a blessing after the crowning. 

By Jonah McKeown

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