For a day last week Rafael Merry del Val stepped reluctantly out of the shadow of the retirement in which he has lived since the death of Pope Pius X, his beloved friend. He celebrated the silver jubilee of his elevation, at the hands of Pius X, to the cardinalate.
All the incense and intrigue of another papal conclave is upon us again. Well, sort of.
If director Ron Howard hopes religious controversy will help sell tickets to "Angels & Demons" the way it boosted his "Da Vinci Code," the Catholic Church is not playing along with his script. Howard, who premiered the follow-up in Rome, Italy, this week, said there was “residual antagonism from ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ ” but Vatican officials ignored the movie by not responding to suggestions that the church was offended.