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Robert Novak’s Funeral Brings Out The Press

August 22, 2009

From the Chicago Sun-Times.

Monsignor Peter J. Vaghi recalled Friday how relentlessly inquisitive Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak was when Novak was studying with the priest to become a Catholic.

Novak brought the “classic work ethic that defined him as a reporter” to his Catholic conversion, said Vaghi. Week after week, he would ask “very challenging and complicated questions of me. At times I thought I was on ‘Crossfire’.”

Vaghi’s quip came at Novak’s funeral at St. Patrick’s Church, a simple, very religious send-off for one of the nation’s most influential print and broadcast journalists. About 500 people filled the 26 rows of wooden pews, with extra chairs set up for the overflow crowd. The downtown church was stuffed with reporters and broadcasters with familiar names and political figures — including Karl Rove — but two priests who knew Novak well were the only ones to speak. That’s how Novak, who died Tuesday morning after a struggle with brain cancer, wanted it. He was 78.

The funeral drew a who’s who: many of Novak’s print friends in the Gridiron Club; a large contingent from CNN; MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, host of “Hardball”; Betsy Fischer, executive producer of NBC’s “Meet the Press”; Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard; the Capital Gang — Al Hunt, Mark Shields and Kate O’Beirne; conservative Pat Buchanan, plus Democratic strategists Robert Shrum, Donna Brazile and Paul Begala.

One Comment
  1. june permalink
    September 4, 2009 1:24 AM

    after reading the comments about Kennedys’ funeral the thought came to mind that converts always treat the Church as it should be with respect and humility ! Why should Pope Benedict praise a catholic who always pushed the abortion issue and had a hand in Judge Borques dismisal and gave Obama a boost into the white House?? The funeral was a disgrace!!

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