As he departs his sinecure in Rome, more and more emerges about how Mr. Law - who came as close to being America's prelate as can be - continued to hold enormous sway over the personnel and policy of the church in America, if not beyond (Ireland, at least?).  Sinecure, indeed, but far more.  Rather than being sidelined, he was raised up, and then - in the church's finest fashion - concealed and insulated.  Sound familiar?

Want to venture who had (OK, as all now must acknowledge, "has") primacy in this archdiocese: Mr. Law or Mr. O'Malley?  Mr. Ratzinger was deputy pope under Mr. Wojtyla.  And Mr. Law has had Mr. Ratzinger's ear the whole time.  This isn't just a symptom.  This is the Catholic church.  The beat goes on.