Letter from Rome

02 January 2014 | by Robert Mickens

A word to the wise: buckle up, because this promises to be a very fast-paced and interesting year of changes at the Vatican. Pope Francis, who turned 77 a few weeks ago, shows no signs of taking his foot off the accelerator as we move into the New Year. We’re expecting him to roll out the list of new cardinals either tomorrow or, more likely, on Monday, the traditional 6 January date for the Feast of the Epiphany. We’ll be carefully analysing the personalities of those church leaders he calls forth to the 22 February consistory to discern how their selection is likely to set the tone for the months and years ahead. It seems likely that Francis will give the red hat to those leading archdioceses historically headed by cardinals. And, despite calls from some reform-minded Cathol

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