“He will have a special place in my prayers, and in those of the Catholic community he loved and worked closely with,” said New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, EWTN News reported.
As mayor, Koch received special greetings from Pope John Paul II and maintained strong friendships with the Roman Catholic Church, especially with Cardinal John O’Connor.
Cardinal Dolan told EWTN that the relationship between Koch and O’Connor was what “symbolized” New York to him as a young priest.
“These two men showed how, despite some deep philosophical disagreements, they could not only work together for the good of the city of New York, but could become close personal friends,” he said.
The two became so close that Koch accompanied O’Connor to Rome when he was elevated from archbishop to cardinal.
Adding to Koch’s legacy with Christians, he was buried at Manhattan’s Trinity Cemetery— which is associated with the Episcopal Church—on Feb 4.
Koch, who considered himself a secular Jew, chose the location because it is one of the only cemeteries in Manhattan still accepting burials.
“I don’t want to leave Manhattan, even when I’m gone,” Koch told the Associated Press in 2008.