Roman Catholics: The Unlikely Cardinal

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From the pulpit where he stood one day last week, Richard James Cardinal Cushing, 68, looked down not at the familiar Irish faces of his own Boston congregation but rather into the docile and questioning gaze of brown Peruvian eyes. The occasion was the blessing of a new brick-and-concrete Roman Catholic church in a slum suburb of Lima.

"Mindful of the fact that you live in an agricultural country," rumbled Cushing, "I presume you know what an ass is. We read in the New Testament that our blessed Lord rode on an...

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