When Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation last month, the shock generated by his decision was soon replaced by global admiration. Here is a man at the apex of the powerful Roman Catholic Church which commands more than 1.2 billion members across the globe. Yet the 85-year-old pontiff dared to do the unthinkable. Citing his advanced age, he decided to step down to let the new pontiff take on the challenges which he admitted were beyond his physical capabilities.
Yesterday, the world rejoiced in welcoming the new pontiff, Pope Francis, whose well-known humility and dedication to the poor in his former capacity as Argentina's archbishop of Buenos Aires _ and also as the first non-European pope in the modern era, the first Latin American, and the first Jesuit _ has renewed hope for reform in the Vatican.
His decision to assume the name of St Francis of Assisi who was revered as the reformer of the Church also speaks volumes of his character and mission.
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