A new pope:

The new pope, who was born in Marktl am Inn, Germany, and turned 78 on Saturday, was one of the closest collaborators of John Paul II. As the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he has been the Church’s doctrinal watchdog since 1981. He has been described as a conservative, intellectual clone of the late pontiff, and, as the Dean of the College of Cardinals, he was widely respected for his uncompromising – if ultraconservative – principles and his ability to be critical. As cardinal, he had shut the door on any discussion on several issues, including the ordination of women, celibacy of priests and homosexuality, defending his positions by invoking theological truth. In the name of orthodoxy, he is in favor of a smaller Church, but one that is more ideologically pure. On Monday, at a Mass before the conclave convened, he delivered an uncompromising warning against any deviation from traditional Catholic teaching.


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