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A Reader's Guide to the Papal Transition

Originally published in America: The National Catholic Review

03-01-2013
A New Blog by James L. Franklin
Now that Pope Benedict XVI has officially left office, follow the journey to the next pope with our new blogger, James L. Franklin. Every day until a new pope is elected Mr. Franklin, an editor at the Boston Globe, will provide "A Reader's Guide to the Papal Transition," featuring summaries and links to media stories worldwide. For daily reporting on the papal transition there is no better place to begin.

"I hope you find this a useful way to check each day on the climate of public opinion, as evidenced in the press," Mr. Franklin writes in his first post. "My bias is toward formal professional journalism, both that published for the general-circulation press and for a specifically Roman Catholic audience. I wrote about religion for many years for my own newspaper, The Boston Globe, and covered the two conclaves of 1978. That makes me aware of both the possibility of useful insights and the likelihood of imperfection in such coverage. I hope you find these pointers useful, and I would welcome suggestions for improving this guide as the next few weeks go on."

Today, Mr. Franklin surveyed the media on Pope Benedict's final day as Bishop of Rome:

"It was a solemn leave-taking in Benedict’s last meeting as pontiff with the College of Cardinals, subdued, almost anticlimactic after the emotional encounter in Piazza San Pietro Wednesday. That it was unprecedented, really, can be seen in his solemn promise of “unconditional reverence and obedience” to his successor. Our experience of papal loyalty has rather been to their apostolic predecessors.
"His final tweet as #pontifex: "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the center of your lives." The 140-character mini-sermons were notable most of all for their following on Twitter, 1,605,112, at least in English on Thursday.  And do not forget that it is an audience less likely to read a local diocesan newspaper."

Read the full post here.