Sneed hears rumbles Chicago CardinalBlase Cupichmay be in line to add another job to his powerful Vatican resume.
Cupich, a member ofPope Francis’powerful inner circle — is now rumored as a possible replacement for the recently disgraced CardinalGeorge Pellto lead the Vatican’s secretariat for the economy.
Cupich, personally handpicked in 2014 by Pope Francis to lead one of the nation’s largest archdioceses, is being mentioned among Jesuit circles as a possible replacement for Pell.
Pell, who is now in hot water over the clerical child abuse scandal, was mandated to help clean up what has been described as the church’s “muddied” finances and bring about financial transparency.
•Bankshot: Soon after Pell’s appointment, he acknowledged that hundreds of millions of euros had been “tucked away” off the Vatican’s books.
•Backshot: Cupich, who is helping to rework the ancient Vatican bureaucracy into a new pontifical direction, is now practically a monthly visitor to Rome.
•Blankshot: A call to the Chicago Archdiocese went unanswered; but then again, Sneed has been advised “they” don’t respond to rumors.
Merry Harry . . .
Dateline: The Royal grapevine.
It’s a good bet England’sPrince Harry— who has been publicly reflecting on the legacy of his famous mother, Princess Diana— will retrace the Chicago footsteps of his late mum when he hits town at the end of the month.
Da Prince, who headlines a youth violence and leadership speech at the Obama Foundation onOct. 31, is expected to visit Northwestern University, where his royal mum carried a bouquet of Lillies of the Valley during a stroll through the school’s sculpture garden in 1996 with then-President Henry Bienen.
• Hmmm. And might Harry also choose to have the same garden stroll with his beautiful girlfriend, Canadian actress Meghan Markle,who is also a Northwestern grad?
The Balbo battle . . .
Sneed hears an alliance of Chicago’s Italian American community and Jewish organizations is being formed to defend Italian historical figure Italo Balbo, the namesake of Balbo Drive, who has been under attack for being former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s air marshal during World War II.
“The alliance being formed is also aware of both Balbo’s role in opposing the 1938 anti-Semitic laws in Italy as well as of the role of the Italian military and civilians in saving over 80 percent of the Jews in Italy during the Holocaust,” said a spokesman for Chicago’s Italian American community.
The tax ax . . .
$$$: Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison, the fiscally conservative chair of the Cook County Republican party who thwacked the soda tax, seems rather loose with the county’s checkbook.
• To wit: Sneed hears two members of Morrison’s office staff recently received hefty pay raises; one getting a 15 percent bump, and the other 19 percent — and both were listed as “salary increases” and not promotions.
• Backshot: Morrison, a big Donald Trump backer, also was a vocal critic of the county’s ordinances to slowly raise the minimum wage over several years and provide earned sick leave for low-paid workers.
• Buckshot: Looks like it pays to work for Commissioner Morrison, even when the county is now facing a $200 million hole in its fiscal 2018 budget — the result of the soda tax repeal that Morrison sponsored.
Your order, please?
Watch for a battalion of Chicago Hilton hotel employees to gather next Friday at the Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile to cook up ways to “repurpose” unused hotel food for the city’s poor.
• To wit: As part of the Hilton’s Worldwide Global Month of Service, the hotel brigade is hoping to find delicious and healthy ways to use commonly unused menu food like scrambled eggs, potatoes and chicken to whip up foods like stir-fried rice, potato soup and Cobb salad.
• The reason: Their plan to donate more than 5,000 pounds of food to the city’s shelters and community organizations in 2018.
Sneedless to say…
Yipes! My vacation got extended because of a serious knee injury, thereby hampering my ability to kick anyone in the political shin. So a huge shout-out to Jovan Loncar, the owner of LSD painting and decorating, who managed to catch me in mid-flight down the garage stairs, haul me into Iris McCaffery’s car — and to Dr. Jeff Vendor and wife, Bobbie, who helped me maneuver through the medical maze of a very painful day. Blessings and thanks.
Sneedlings . . .
I spy: Blackhawks President John McDonough celebrating his wife’s birthday last week at Harry Caray’s in Rosemont. . . . Hall of Fame Chicago Bear Richard Dent also spotted at Harry Caray’s in Rosemont on Thursday night. . . . NBC “Chicago Fire” star Taylor Kinneydining last week at Katana. . . . Same for Cubbies Jen-Ho Tseng and Albert Almora Jr.. . . Former mayor Rich Daley spotted at La Scarola last Monday night. . . . Ditto for Hamilton star Chris Lee. . . .Saturday’s birthdays: Usher, 39; Ralph Lauren, 78; and Stephen A. Smith, 50. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Tito Jackson, 64; Keyshia Cole, 36; and Dominic Sandoval, 32.