Pope Francis will need support for his daunting task
FOR all Catholics – and for many millions of other faiths and of none – the overwhelming emotion last night was one of joy unconfined. After only two days in conclave, the College of Cardinals had filled the vacancy for the most awe-inspiring office in the world, created by the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict had been right to acknowledge his declining powers and resign. The cardinals were equally right to move swiftly to elect a successor. They thereby removed uncertainty, with its many dangers.
They also confounded commentators who had speculated that the election would show up a rift between Europe – represented, supremely, by the Curia, the governing body of the church – and the developing world.