Crain's Chicago Business February 1998 :Chicago's Archbishop Francis George, 61, was elevated to cardinal by Pope John Paul II during ceremonies in Rome. The new cardinal led a special mass in Vilnius, Lithuania, in honor of Valdas Adamkus, 71, the Chicago-area resident who was sworn in last week as Lithuania's new president. . .
So I'm wondering, rhetorically for the purposes of a Sunday column, what do we call this relationship, again? This Illinois custom of quiet sharing of power across party lines for the benefit of a fat connected few? . . .What is it? What is it, again? John Kass, Chicago Tribune
The Combine! The Illinois Combine! That Illinois peace in the valley when the 'two parties can be as one when there's money on the table,' Brother Kass! Praise Mammon and bless his name.
Now, it appears that the once secular band of boodlers opened its arms to Holy Mother Church via our media darling Archbishop.
I do not recall a caravan of Illinois politicians, grifters, hangers-on and venture capitalists going to Rome for the elevation of Archbishop Francis Eugene George, O.M. I. to Prince of the Church , a kid from Portage Park and St. Paschal's Parish.
I recall members of his family and childhood pals making the pilgrimage. Cardinal George returned to Chicago as 'Francis our Neighbor' and was treated to having his house and person egged, T-p'd and porch poop-bagged at least twice a month by theological room temperature I.Q.s of the Chicago Tribune, Sun Times, WTTW and the likes of Manya Brachear, Cathleen Falsani, Michael Sneed, Elizabeth Brackin and Carol Marin, as well as all the political creeps at City Hall and the County Building.
Agenda and Grievance politics played out in the media against a real priest, who took it all with grace, patience and good humor. Chicago Values conflicted regularly with traditional - some might say ultramontane - values.
Francis Cardinal George was a Lion of the Church and simple parish priest, who could have cared less what Jay Levine, Chuck Gowdy, Windy City Times or Toni Preckwinkle thought of him. But touch his flock, or mock his faith and Cardinal George would throw down, like a Canaryville tough guy on St. Paddy's Day.
The media detest straight froward people.
I was gobsmacked by the embrace of the Catholic Church by the very people who made Cardinal George's life a bed of nails, even during his final days. Here are the members of the Chicago entourage for Blase Cupich:
The mayor and first lady of Chicago Amy Rule will lead the delgation (sic) at which Cupich will be elevated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica on Nov. 19, a dinner in support of Catholic Extension in Rome that evening and a celebratory Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Nov. 20.
Among those joining Emanuel’s entourage: Father Tom Hurley of Old St. Patrick’s Church; Reverend Stan Davis, co-Executive Director of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago; Bishop Wayne Miller, President of the Council of Religious Leaders; Jo Ann Rooney, President of Loyola University; Dennis Holtschneider, President of DePaul University; Gov. Bruce Rauner; Senator Dick Durbin; State Senate President John Cullerton; State Comptroller-elect and current City Clerk Susana Mendoza; Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke; Congressman Mike Quigley; Aldermen Ed Burke, Pat O’Connor, Danny Solis, Michelle Harris and Marge Laurino; Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer; Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd; Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of Walgreen Boots Alliance; Desiree Rogers of Choose Chicago; Don Edwards, CEO of Flexpoint Ford; Daniel McCaffrey, CEO and Chairman, McCaffery Interests; Margaret Houlihan Smith of United Airlines; Wynona Redmond, of Wyn-Win Communications; Cherryl Thomas of Ardmore Associates; Senator Renato Turano of Turano Bakery; former NBA star Isiah Thomas; Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson; Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago; Rocco Claps, director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights; a Cristo Rey Jesuit High School student and a Christ the King High School student–both of whom work in the mayor’s office. Shia Kapos in Chicago Sun Times 11/ 15/2016
The only name I read above without having the feeling that I was wearing spun-glass underwear is Father Tom Hurley.
I was surprised Pat Quinn didn't make the trip.
Perhaps, this is signals a new spirit of cooperation between Church and State, a cismontane rapprochement. Maybe it is just all Civic Spirited, good fellowship. Maybe. Maybe, I should lace up my Converse Chuck Taylors and pound the boards against Dwayne Wade.
Or, maybe, . . . . perhaps the sleaze of the Illinois Combine will be now sanctified. That would be dispiriting.
Cardinal Kilroy has some funny pals.
Mass will be interesting all this week.