Religion: The Candid Cardinal

Men who are born in South Boston, according to an old tradition, go either into politics or into the priesthood. Richard James Gushing was born there 63 years ago, but he almost did neither; once, discouraged by low grades at Boston College High School and worried about family finances, he almost quit school to find a job. But with his blacksmith father's encouragement, he stuck it out to become a priest—and those early bad grades were soon forgotten. He was a bishop at 43, and an archbishop at 49, when he succeeded Boston's autocratic old William Cardinal O'Connell in 1944.

Unlike his...

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