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From the Balcony

That was about as dramatic as it gets. What a great camera angle: From behind Cardinal Ratzinger -- excuse me, make that Pope Benedict XVI -- as he stands on the balcony. The coverage had described Ratzinger as the ultimate hard-liner, a defender of orthodoxy, contemptuous of fashionable theologies, feminism, mysticism, Marxism, and so on, and I had expected to see someone with a scowl, someone just a little bit angry at all this mushy modernization of the church. But no: Here came this kindly old man, almost shy, and utterly believable when he said he was a humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.

Read more at the Vatican's site.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 19, 2005; 1:05 PM ET
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