Funeral Sums Up Cardinal’s Role
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s funeral Wednesday completed three days of mourning that brought together White House officials, Vatican dignitaries and millions of Chicagoans, both Catholic and nonCatholic, who had been touched by the life and death of a soft-spoken, endlessly painstaking and patient church leader.
The funeral procession through city and suburban streets summed up the cardinal’s role here: a religious leader who transcended class and race and even creed.
The ceremonies Wednesday combined the prayers and beliefs that mark the passing of all Catholics, from the lowliest worshiper to the pope, with the magnificence accorded to a prince of the Roman Catholic Church. But they also represented much that was special about the life and leadership of this particular churchman.