A street vendor holds the new Italian magazine Il Mio Papa published by Mondadori on March 9, 2014 prior to the Pope's Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican.(AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS)
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A year on, Pope Francis struggles with reform hopesIn the year since his surprise election, Pope Francis has raised so many hopes of imminent changes in church teaching that managing all those expectations may prove to be a challenge. A poll from the Pew Research Center in Washington last week showed Francis was "immensely popular among American Catholics," but many still differed with some Vatican teachings.Gaillardetz said the big change Francis wanted was to spread a new interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, which set out to turn the tightly hierarchical church into a more horizontal structure sharing responsibility and power between Rome and national churches and between clergy and laity.Under Popes John Paul and Benedict, synods were scripted sessions with little debate. If the bishops don't open up this time, he said, it would be "a major blow" for Francis. While many bishops still seem cautious about following Francis' example, Faggioli said surprises could still come.
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