NEW YORK —Rudy Giuliani attended midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan early Wednesday, kneeling and praying throughout the solemn Christmas service.
The former New York mayor —who stoked controversy this week by saying in an interview that he’s “more of a Jew” than George Soros despite the fact he’s Catholic —kept his head bowed and stayed silent for most of the service, sitting in one of the front pews flanked by his son, Andrew, and an unidentified woman.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan struck a somber message in his sermon and called on parishioners to see the mass as the start of a new chapter.
“There’s darkness in the world, folks. There’s darkness in us,” Dolan told the packed cathedral. “Midnight tells us we’re at the start of a new day. A new chapter, yet another chance. It’s God’s gift of hope and renewal.”
After praying and listening to Dolan’s message, Giuliani walked up to the altar and received Communion. He also gave Dolan a cheery greeting.
Dolan didn’t note Giuliani’s attendance ahead of his sermon. The cardinal did note that newly minted NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson were at the cathedral.
On Christmas morning, Giuliani —who’s under criminal investigation and facing intense scrutiny over his role in the Ukraine scandal that led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment —tweeted out a couple of photos from the service with captions that misidentified Dolan as his late predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan.
He deleted those photos and replaced them with a single one correctly identifying Dolan.
“Cardinal Dolan serves Midnight Mass and reminds us all of the miracle of the birth of Jesus,” Giuliani captioned the photo.
Giuliani’s midnight Mass appearance came on the heels of his controversial comments about Soros and Judaism.
In an interview with New York Magazine published Monday, Giuliani floated the anti-Semitic suggestion that Soros isn’t a real Jew because he’s not vehemently pro-Israel.
“Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros,” Giuliani, who was raised a Roman Catholic, told the magazine. “He’s a horrible human being.”
Giuliani consumed at least two Bloody Marys during the interview and reportedly at one point tumbled into a wall in front of the story’s writer.
Soros, a billionaire Holocaust survivor and Democratic Party megadonor, is a frequent target of anti-Semitic far-right conspiracy theories, and critics said Giuliani’s comments amounted to anti-Jewish bigotry.
But Giuliani pushed back Tuesday and told the New York Daily News that he can’t be anti-Semitic because he’s “probably one of Israel’s strongest supporters.”
“The whole wall placed around Soros that if you criticize him you are anti-Semitic is absurd,” he said. “Another left-wing phony connection.”