Lampedusa island, July 8, 2013: Pope Francis condemned the ‘global indifference’ to the plight of migrants fleeing the horrors of war and conflict (source: dpa)

Pope Francis, diplomat extraordinaire

Whether navigating the Barque of Peter through the rough waters of international politics – or the even rougher waters of Church politics – Pope Francis is proving to be far more skilful and more adept than many of his detractors anticipated. In part, this is because he knows his own mind and refuses to be manipulated. If Francis has become a diplomat extraordinaire, confidently walking the world stage, and if we may be witnessing a golden age of Church diplomacy, it is also thanks to the shrewd appointments that he has made.

<i>GIS editors’ note: This essay is in some respects different from reports and cautious assessments that we typically publish in our service. GIS expert ...

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 David Alton, Lord Alton of Liverpool
Coming from Latin America, where 40 per cent of the world’s Catholics live, Francis has markedly different political priorities from many of the curial cardinals. Having lived through violence and dictatorship, he is acutely aware of the criticism levelled at the Church when it has appeared not to have been sufficiently outspoken
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