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Who Is the Pope?

posted on February 9, 2015

In The New York Review of Books, Eamon Duffy frames three biographies of Pope Francis with an examination of his work within and outside of the Catholic Church. Popularly considered to be friendly to progressive changes to church policy, in reality Francis’ goal is to lead the episcopate into what Duffy calls “a new openness”—and not to explicitly change Catholic doctrine. It is a notable shift away from the model of his predecessors, Duffy writes, concluding, “No pope, however charismatic, can change the church alone: they need the help of their civil servants. For as they say in Rome, popes come and go, but the Curia is immortal.”

Read at The New York Review of Books