Roman Catholics: Who Fired the Cardinal?

There seemed — to the outside world, at least — nothing exceptional about the announcement last February. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported that Giacomo Cardinal Lercaro had resigned as Archbishop of Bologna "for reasons of advanced age and health." Although he looked healthy enough, Lercaro was slightly over 75, the Pope's proposed optimum retirement age for bishops. The cardinal, moreover, had accordingly submitted his resignation to the Pope, which had initially been turned down.

But did Lercaro retire — or was he pushed out of office? According to a bestselling...

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