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The Boston Globe

World

Amid praise for pontiff, some see chance for change

RIO DE JANEIRO — From the parishes of Poland to the churches of Chile, Roman Catholics around the world were stunned Monday at the first papal resignation in six centuries, even as many prayed for a new charismatic pontiff who could lead the church into a new era after decades of disaffection and mistrust.

News of the pope’s resignation surprised even the most prominent Roman Catholic prelate in the United States — the cardinal who leads the nation’s bishops.

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