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The most powerful Roman Catholic leader in the United States had humble beginnings. Timothy Michael Dolan was born in Maplewood, Missouri in 1950. From an early age, those around him knew that he would become a priest. Through college and seminary, his power and spirituality grew. He was formally ordained in 1976. In 2009, he was made Archbishop of New York. Several months later he was elevated to cardinal. There were clear signs that the ailing Pope Benedict XVI saw him as a bright hope for the future. During the 2013 conclave, Vatican experts seriously wondered if he would be chosen to lead the Catholics of the world. The cardinal's rise is not, however, without its controversies. He was one of the Catholic leaders who dealt, harshly say some, with abusers and the abused in the church's sex scandal.

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