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knowing when it's time to leave

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 18, 2009

 Change is coming to the archbishop's residence in Baltimore. Archbishop Edwin O'Brien is moving in; Cardinal William Keeler is moving out.

But wait, you say. That's very stale old news. Archbishop O'Brien was installed in Baltimore, and Cardinal Keeler resigned, in July 2007.

True. But although he was no longer the Archbishop of Baltimore, the cardinal stayed in the archbishop's residence. He gave up the job, but not the perks-- at least not this particular perk. The incoming archbishop apparently didn't want to press the issue; he found an apartment for himself. Finally this week Cardinal Keeler announced plans to move into a retirement home.

This isn't unprecedented. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the former Vatican Secretary of State, arranged to have his retirement delayed for several weeks after it was officially announced, so that Vatican bureaucrats would have ample opportunity to pay their respects before he left town. Except that he didn't leave town. His replacement, Cardinal Tarciso Bertone, waited and waited for Sodano to vacate his office. Then he waited still longer for his predecessor to move out of his apartment.

Now approaching his 82nd birthday, nearly three years after his official retirement, Cardinal Sodano remains in Rome, still holding on to his spot as dean of the College of Cardinals, still pulling strings at the Vatican.

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