The Cardinal's Virtues

PLINIO LEPRI / AP

RIGHT-HAND MAN: Ruini's support helped to secure Pope Benedict's election

Church and state rub shoulders in the Eternal City — two adjacent cultures with their own rhythms and pageantry. The crowd packing a conference room at Rome's Villa Aurelia last Friday morning — nearly all men, most in business suits — look like members of a political tribe. They greet each other with kisses on each cheek and chatter away as they await one of the most influential public figures in Italy, who is expected to deliver a key policy speech. At a few minutes after 10 a.m. the hubbub ceases, and all eyes turn to the man at the microphone....

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