Often lost in the shadow of the Archdiocese of New York, and its larger-than-life cardinal, Timothy Dolan, the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., is attracting national attention these days for all the wrong reasons.
Word is that Dreamworks, a sub-studio of Disney, is about to make a movie on the Boston Globe's January 2002 investigative report on pedophilia and the Archdiocese of Boston. If Dreamworks practices moviemaking artfully, then grace might shine through.
The new pope can do small, seemingly trivial things that can have a huge symbolic effect and show people that, while he may not be able to fix everything that is wrong and unjust within the Church, he "gets it."
However it came about, the Vatican is now ruled by a Jesuit pope committed to helping the powerless and the poor, and his election was apparently made possible by the downfall of the privileged and the greedy.
Nothing is "more important" than refocusing the Church's ministry on global poverty and, at the same time, changing the Church's overt style and deep-seated culture from one that glorifies the rituals and realities of power to a style of humility and culture of service.
But at the very same time as the cardinals sat clandestinely in Rome worrying about leaks, survivors of childhood sex abuse and visionary legislators across the country like Marge Markey have been demanding bright sunshine here in the United States.
Wounded by physical, psychological and spiritual assaults, they keep insisting that something is terribly wrong with an institution that pays millions in attorneys fee to keep secret its conspiracy to hide the facts and help clergy avoid prosecution.
As Roman Catholic cardinals gather in the magnificent Sistine Chapel to select a new pope, their conclave is at a critical crossroads. Will the cardinals vote for a pope who can re-energize the faithful, and restore the trust that has been missing for millions of lapsed Catholics?