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The defining feature of the conclave that is choosing a new pope is a secrecy rare in the modern world, and that secrecy bestows on the election both mystery and majesty.
April 19, 2005
VATICAN CITY — Benedict XVI always cast himself as the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps to the public glare and the majesty of Vatican pageantry. And on Monday, the Vatican announced that the leader of the world's billion Roman Catholics was stepping down — the first pontiff to do so since 1415.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina's conservative Catholic church.