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(From Guardian Unlimited)
Jeremy Lott : New pope signals Catholicism is globalizing
Is Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I, a liberal or a conservative? Does he represent reform or regression? These questions, which we will hear all too often over these next few days, represent the triumph of ideology over observation. Let me suggest that the practice in the British and American press of presenting Rome as an extension of our own domestic squabbles is supremely misguided.
What we have seen in the election of the last three popes is a cautious reaching out of the majority-Italian College of Cardinals to the rest of the Catholic world, a fact recognized by Francis in his opening address on the balcony over St. Peter's Square. We had a Polish pope and then a German pope and now an Argentinian, albeit one with strong ties to Italy and Germany.
In the case of John Paul II, a prince of the church from Soviet-dominated Poland, you could argue …