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Pope Francis–Instant Reaction

It’s a good pick. As the National Catholic Reporter says, “the general consensus is that Bergoglio was indeed the ‘runner-up’ last time around. He appealed to conservatives in the College of Cardinals as a man who had held the line against liberalizing currents among the Jesuits, and to moderates as a symbol of the church’s commitment to the developing world.” That, the unpretentious way of life for which he’s known, and his choice of name—new but not odd, and a small-c catholic pick coming from a Jesuit—all suggest the right mix of the traditional and modern. And he starts, I think, with a relatively clean slate: no one will be greatly polarized by this choice, notwithstanding the perennially discontented left and right.

about the author

Daniel McCarthy is the editor of Modern Age: A Conservative Review, and Editor-at-Large of The American Conservative. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, The Spectator, The National Interest, Reason, and many other publications. Outside of journalism he has worked as internet communications coordinator for the Ron Paul 2008 presidential campaign and as senior editor of ISI Books. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied classics. Follow him on Twitter.

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