Shortly after the proclamation of the new pope, a US television reporter told his audience that the Catholics of Latin America "have waited 20 centuries for a pope to come from this region".
There were, of course, no Catholics in Latin America until about 500 years ago. We all make mistakes, but in this case, the error is probably explained less by exuberance at the selection of a new pontiff than by the inexorable demand of the medium for unceasing chatter.
Contrast the endless and largely pointless chit-chat of the modern world with the minutes Pope Francis spent standing silently on the balcony before addressing the tens of thousands in St Peter's Square and the hundreds of millions around the world. The silence was beautiful and eloquent, projecting both a sense of peace and a sense of occasion.
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