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Pope Francis goes back to the future

The change heralded by the new Pope is less radical than it at first looks

By David Lehmann  

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In 1958 the College of Cardinals elected an avuncular 76-year old as the new Pope. John XXIII, formerly Archbishop of Venice, was expected to be a do-nothing stop-gap. Instead he initiated a process of “aggiornamento,” bringing the Church in line with the times. He called together a Council—the highest doctrinal body of the Church—comprising all the bishops from across the world, whose last meeting had been the…

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