End of a Catholic era in Chicago?

The New York Times magazine notes that if Rahm Emanuel wins election for Chicago mayor next week, as is widely expected, it will mark Emanuelthe first time in 80 years, save once, that the city hasn't been led by a Roman Catholic mayor. But Emanuel, who is Jewish, appears to have some close connections to the church:

And while Emanuel is reluctant to discuss the role of faith in his political views, he does say that during his first Congressional campaign in 2002, he came to regard the Rev. John Cusick, who heads the young-adult ministry for Chicago’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese, as “another rabbi.” On the day Emanuel was sworn in, he phoned Cusick on the way to the Capitol to give Cusick his cellphone number. “Father,” Cusick says Emanuel told him, “if you ever think I’m doing something wrong, I want you to call me.”

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Kang Dole
7 years ago
"it will mark the first time in 80 years, save once, that the city hasn't been led by a Roman Catholic mayor."

In other words, it will mark the first time since 1987 that the mayor hasn't been Roman Catholic.
we vnornm
7 years ago
on Mayor Daley I and II and #II's retirement:

http://americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&entry_id=3452
ed gleason
7 years ago
When I read the title of the blog I thought it was about the end of Catholic initiatives that made Chicago 'The Church Center of US Catholicism.' .. I guess that too is down the road..           )o: 
Martin Gallagher
7 years ago
I agree iwith Abe.   Harold Washington was Methodist and was in office 4 years.  Rather than saying, "the first time in 80 years, save once," they should have said "the first time in 80 years, save four" or the "the first mayor of x mayors, save one."  I had to re-read that a couple of times before I understood what they meant.

Knud Rasmussen
7 years ago
I don't see how Emanuel's apparent friendship with a priest (in this case, a fairly prominent one in Chicago) suggests that he has "close connections to the church" in general. To be candid, the way Emanuel highlights the connection strikes me as opportunistic as well as disappointing - opportunistic because he presumably chose to highlight his link to Fr. Cusick to try to win favor with Catholic voters, and disappointing because he chose to do this rather than talk about how his Jewish faith informs his public service. I'd rather hear Emanuel talk about his own faith than about how many Catholic priests he knows, particularly given that he has the reputation of being religiously observant and in light of the fact that he would be Chicago's first Jewish mayor if he is elected.

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