Call it the pope effect. But interest in the Catholic Church has surged to such level in the months since Pope Francis took office that the leading newspaper in Massachusetts in terms of circulation has hired a top Vatican reporter and mulled the sense of launching an entirely new publication, dedicated solely to the religion.
The Boston Globe reported it has hired John Allen, a well-respected corresponded for the National Catholic Reporter who also serves as an analyst on Vatican issues for CNN.
“There is a resurgence of global interest in the Catholic Church, inspired by the words and deeds of the newly installed leader, Pope Francis,” said newspaper editor Brian McGrory, in a written statement posted on the paper’s website.
The paper’s also discussing the possibility to launch a free-standing publication dedicated to covering the Vatican and Catholic Church, and all issues related, the Boston Globe statement said.
Boston especially is famous for its large Irish-Catholic populations.
Meanwhile, the pope has generated a widespread interest in the Church from all faiths — not to mention, from lapsed Catholics — due in part to his reach-out to the poor, and public denouncement of a Church that showcases riches yet fails to take care of the less fortunate.
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Pope Francis has also made waves with the likes of photographs that capture him stroking the deformed face of an ailing man and embracing a mischievous boy who stormed his stage and interrupted his sermon.