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The Wit and Wisdom

Of the late Mayor Ed Koch of New York:

I loved Cardinal OConnor as a brother. Since his death, I have kept his funeral memorial card on my desk. When Im depressed, which occasionally I am, I hold the card and become reinvigorated. Indeed, I believe holding his photo when I was in the hospital for six weeks in June of 2009 cured my spinal stenosis. Ive been free of pain ever since. I told this story to President Obamas former Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago. He asked me if he could borrow the photo.Edward Cardinal Egan visited me in the hospital when I was in danger of dying from complications of quadruple bypass surgery. I said to him, Your Eminence, Im not afraid of dying. Ive had a very good life, and if God now needs a good Jewish lawyer, Im happy to go to Him. He replied, Dont worry, Hes not calling you and youre not going. Your rates are too high. He was right and here I am.

May Ed Koch rest know the fulness of peace!More here.

About the Author

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.



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Didn't the two of them write a book together? "His Honor [or Hizzoner] and His Eminence?" or something like that? (I am not now and never have been a New Yorker).

Nicholas,right title, wrong order:"His Eminence and Hizzoner: A Candid Exchange : Mayor Edward Koch and John Cardinal O'Connor"Looks like it's out of print.(As for your parenthetical animadversion, as the fox tells the Little Prince: "rien n'est parfait!")

His law office was in the same building where I used to work. He was always very visible in the lobby, and especially difficult to avoid on election days when he would encourage, er harass, people to vote.More on the Koch-O'Connor friendship from Christopher Ruddy, publisher of Newsmax:Each year, Koch would attend Christmas Eve vigil mass and sit in the front row. Cardinal OConnor would comment before the mass began, For those of you Catholics who are returning to church and have forgotten when to stand and kneel, just watch Monsignor Koch, he knows what to do. Everyone would roar. I recall, shortly after Kochs open heart surgery that kept him in the hospital for weeks, visiting him at his Greenwich Village apartment as he was convalescing. His apartment was simple not much furniture, books, few knick-knacks, or papers. But what really struck me were the mementos of Cardinal OConnor on the wall. As you entered the apartment, a large poster for a book Koch and OConnor co-authored was framed.

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