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Creeping Franciscanism

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The buzz around the Vatican's face-saving effort to wriggle out of a bad situation is that its mildly benevolent tone was further evidence of Pope Francis' unquestionably humane manner. The pope is widely imagined to be casting a spell of compassion and charity over his vast domain, from the church's center on out. His influence is seen at every turn where light shines through anticipated darkness and, like all charismatic leaders, he gets credit for things that have nothing to do with a born-again papacy.

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