Nearly 300 Chicagoans will travel to Rome this week to witness the installation of Archbishop Blase Cupich as cardinal and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is leading the delegation of elected representatives and civic leaders as they head to the Vatican.
Cupich is set to become one of just 120 leaders of the Roman Catholic Church as Pope Francis calls for a consistory.
“For Catholics, it’s a very, very significant event,” Emanuel said in an exclusive television interview with NBC 5.
Cupich is succeeding Cardinal Francis George, who the Vatican considered the lead American Catholic Cardinal.
Joining the mayor’s delegation is Gov. Bruce Rauner, Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressman Mike Quigley, City Clerk Susana Mendoze and about 300 others. City Hall also invited two high school students and their teachers from Cristo Rey and Chris the King high schools.
“I wanted to make sure that all the people in the city of Chicago could see in their lifetime that elevation and what it speaks to and I wanted to make sure that we included everybody that we could,” Emanuel said.
The timing of the trip, days after the surprising outcome in the U.S. presidential election, Emanuel said is even more reason to consider Pope Francis’ common themes on inclusion.
“If we speak with one voice, we include everybody,” Emanuel said.