David Quinn: Pope Francis must reform church to meet challenges of a changing world
MORE quickly than expected, we have a new Pope. He was not one of the favourites. He was in the reckoning last time, but the Vaticanistas barely had him in their reckoning this time, namely Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a 76-year-old Argentinian, Pope Francis.
His age is a surprise. He cannot be anything other than a transitional figure, a man elected partly to sort out the Curia and bequeath his successor with a better functioning governing structure, one that is not, in the words of our Taoiseach, "elitist and dysfunctional".
The election of a South American pope also indicates how important that part of the world is to the church. A third of the world's Catholics live there, more than in Europe.