Carrying On

The Roman Catholic Church is a far-flung hierarchy, ruled from the top. As Pope, John Paul II runs both Vatican and church with imperial power. But the autonomous city-state from which he governs is one of the oldest and most organized bureaucracies. If the Pope dies, administrative power goes automatically to the Vatican's Camerlengo, or Chamberlain, until a new Pope is elected. But when a Pope is sick or traveling, command goes to the Secretary of State, in this case Agostino Cardinal Casaroli, 66, the church's top diplomatic negotiator and the Pope's hand-picked and devoted No. 2 man. When John Paul...

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