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The Boston Globe

World

John L. Allen Jr. | Analysis

Italy’s young leader captures politics of Pope Francis

ROME – Journalists and pundits alike are fond of contemplating how the moderate, socially engaged emphasis of Pope Francis might translate into secular politics. As it happens, one answer is already out there, and his name is Matteo Renzi.

The Italian premier took over his center-left Democratic party nine months after Pope Francis took over the Catholic Church, and despite obvious contrasts between the two men in both age and style, Renzi appears to want to position himself as Francis’ political analogue – a younger, hipper version of the maverick reformer, clad in a leather jacket rather than a cassock.

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