The Vatican's Quiet American

While Pope Benedict XVI is busy filling the shoes of John Paul II, a quiet American is trying to do the same in Benedict's old job. So how's it going for William J. Levada, former Archbishop of San Francisco, whom Benedict tapped to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith? "I'm past the deer-in-the-headlights phase," he told TIME last week in his first interview since he took office in August.

Good thing. The most influential U.S. prelate in Roman Catholic history, Levada is tasked with maintaining doctrine and discipline among the 1.1 billion faithful at a time when several...

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