Live on the Frontier

How is it that a man as humble and self-deprecating as Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the highest office in one of the largest institutions in the world? By all accounts, the Catholic Church is a vast bureaucracy of fiefdoms, pockets of power, and cronyism; yet Bergoglio, who arrived at the conclave with no expectation that he would be elected, had few ties to the powerful cliques in Rome. Bergoglio was a 44-to-1 underdog according to oddsmakers, and he knew it going in. So how did he do it?

Francis lives on the frontier while still exercising power and living by a self-imposed code of radical humility. Recall the Chapter 7 example of the nurse who tripled Bergoglio’s prescribed dosage of antibiotics when ...

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