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Global media greet new pope, see signs of change in church

'Surprise pope' says Der Spiegel

Global media greet new pope, see signs of change in church

Rome, March 14 - Global media outlets greeted the election of Pope Francis late Wednesday and Thursday pointing out the new pontiff's humble origins and wishing him well. In its online edition Wednesday, The Guardian titled "Buonasera, Pope Francis". In its story, the British publication pointed out the election of a Jesuit from Argentina represented "an extraordinary leap" from the "conservative and cautious nature of the previous two papacies". The Times took a more critical stance defining the new pope "the friend of the people who was at ease with the dictators" - a reference to Francis' dealings with the military junta which ruled Argentina in the late 1970s. French daily Le Figaro headlined: "Francis, the pope of brotherhood", and wrote in an editorial that he was a "figure of hope". Other leading French daily Le Monde opened with the headline "The pope of new horizons", and wrote how "the challenges which await the 226th pope are large, in a church which faces a multiplicity of controversies, from corruption to the sex scandals". Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said Francis was a bold choice: "The election of the Argentine Jesuit Bergoglio forewarns of a turning point in the Church". Der Spiegel wrote how Francis is a "surprise pope, an ascetic intellectual, a second-row man" even though "in his past there is a dark stain," it wrote referring, again, to Argentina's military dictatorship days. Another leading German daily, Suddeutsche Zeitung, wrote how the new pope is "considered a man from the reform camp and demonstrates humility". However, the publication also pointed out that "his role in Argentine history and his declarations on gay marriage make him a controversial figure". Spanish publication El Pais headlined: "A giant challenge for a different pope", while El Mundo, in an editorial, led with "The humble pope". In the United States, the New York Times wrote about "a conservative in tune with the people," even as it, also, pointed to the pope's past dealings with the Argentine dictatorship. The paper also said wrote how the choice was, in the end, not as revolutionary as it may first appear. Despite his Argentine nationality, the New York Times points out how Bergoglio is "a conservative with Italian origins who vigorously supports the positions of the Vatican on abortion, gay marriage and ordination of women". Meanwhile, the Washington Post headlined: "Francis, a first for the papacy".

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