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Pope Francis

The white smoke... the baited breath... the announcement in Latin... the ceremonial robing and first public appearance... the expectations thrust onto the shoulders of this man who can never go back to what he once was...

There is a really good little blog post here that responds to the news.

I do not envy Pope Francis his role/task one iota, one jot, one tittle.  To be the figure head for the largest single Christian grouping on the planet, to have to try to shape and lead such a diverse community, and to do so in the public eye.  A very tough call.

But I do pray for him, that he will be able to maintain his integrity and vision amidst the clamouring voices that will assail him; that he will not become disillusioned or disappointed; that he will be supported and encouraged by those of all theological hues within the Roman Communion, and respected by those outside of it.  Above all, I pray that he will be able to hear clearly what God's Spirit says to him, and have the courage and strength to follow that leading, though it be surprising or risky.

Because of how my brain works, I realise I said nothing about the appointment of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury.  My prayers for him match those for Pope Francis.

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