A new Bishop of Rome

Thomas O?Loughlin

We welcome and pray for Pope Francis. But as many look to him for signs of new directions, we must own our responsibilities for the problems facing Catholicism, writes Thomas O'Loughlin, professor of historical theology at the University of Nottingham.

Whenever a new Pope is elected a tide of optimism comes over Latin Catholic Christians: a new Pope is like a new year ? it is a moment full of promise and optimism! This is not just some sense that anyone or anything that is ?new? is a fresh start, but based in the Christian conviction that the Holy Spirit is always renewing the churches, breathing into us new life ? and in a Bishop of Rome we have a visible instance of this constant renewal of the community.

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