06 March 2014, The Tablet

Style is not enough

by Eamon Duffy

Analysis of Pope Francis’ first year: the academic

The current successor to Peter is certainly a breath of fresh air, but is Pope Francis really up for a radical reform of the Catholic Church? A Christian historian admires his approach and ideals but is not yet convinced of the outcome From the first moments of his pontifi­cate, Papa Bergoglio’s humanity and shrewd sense of the power of gesture have given the papacy a new cultural credibility. The “Buona sera” from the balcony, the canteen meals in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the shabby saloon car in place of a whispering Mercedes, the insistence on the poor as the Church’s overriding priority, have all worked wonders. When Guardian journalists single out the Pope as an icon of left-leaning liberal values, it is obvious that something remarkable is afoot. After
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