The most powerful Roman Catholic leader in the United States had
humble beginnings. Timothy Michael Dolan was born in Maplewood,
Missouri in 1950. From an early age, those around him knew that he
would become a priest. Through college and seminary, his power and
spirituality grew. He was formally ordained in 1976. In 2009, he
was made Archbishop of New York. Several months later he was
elevated to cardinal. There were clear signs that the ailing Pope
Benedict XVI saw him as a bright hope for the future. During the
2013 conclave, Vatican experts seriously wondered if he would be
chosen to lead the Catholics of the world. The cardinal's rise is
not, however, without its controversies. He was one of the Catholic
leaders who dealt, harshly say some, with abusers and the abused in
the church's sex scandal. He is a consummate player who doesn't shy
away from picking a political battle. Christina Boyle's "An
American Cardinal" is a book about power and the Roman Catholic
church today framed by the life of a man who might someday become
the first American pope.
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