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This Insights eNewsletter was sent to subscribers on October 4, 2013.

eNewsletter Subject: The Pope at Center Stage

Pope Francis continues to occupy center stage for Catholics, as we all try to more deeply perceive the character of his pontificate. Today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, after whom Pope Francis chose his name.

The Pope therefore made a pilgrimage to Assisi today, where he reflected on the significance of St. Francis for the Church today: Strip away worldly attitudes, Pope exhorts the faithful.

The Pope is very much in the news for several reasons. First, a preliminary report on the work of his special committee of advisors suggests that curial reform will be extensive: Pope, cardinals discuss 'substantial' overhaul of Roman Curia. Nonetheless, it will take months to draw up the blueprint.

Francis is on the tips of our tongues as well because of his startling interview with the atheist Eugenio Scalfari. I've written a major piece on that, in an effort to nip needless uproar in the bud: Reading Francis: The Furor Continues....

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