Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


New Popes—On The Cover Of The Georgia Bulletin

By MARY ANNE CASTRANIO, Staff Writer | Published March 28, 2013

We’ve been looking at The Georgia Bulletin with a heightened sense of history during these last few months, as we celebrate a jubilee milestone here at the newspaper. After spending hours on the announcement of Pope Francis for the last issue, the staff looked up the covers of the issues announcing new popes over the years in The Georgia Bulletin and found some differences, as well as some comforting similarities. While the early covers vary in appearance, the reporting, hopes and prayers remain constant.

In the June 27, 1963, issue, when Pope Paul VI was elected pope, The Georgia Bulletin noted, “Pope Paul VI is a man of courage and strong faith; like Pius XII, experienced in the administration of the Church; like John XXIII, humble and compassionate.”

August 31, 1978, saw the beginning of the brief tenure of Pope John Paul I. He was chosen quickly, according to the paper, and was not at all a leading candidate. The Georgia Bulletin said, “Although he was relatively unknown outside Italy, many who do know him describe him as witty and intellectual but humble and unassuming.”

When Pope John Paul I died after a short time as pontiff, the next pope, John Paul II, was elected in October 1978—The Georgia Bulletin noted that this pope was a change from the norm. The editor, Msgr. Noel Burtenshaw, said, “After four and a half centuries of Italian Papacies, this new Father has come to us out of the East. We can expect him to be wise, to be pastoral, to be open. His first words said it all. He leads with the help of God and man.”

The front page of the April 21, 2005, issue of The Georgia Bulletin, announcing the election of Pope Benedict XVI, was the most colorful of the covers, saying simply, “Dear brothers and sisters, I announce to you a great joy: ‘We Have A Pope.’”

Indeed, once again, we did have the blessing of a new Holy Father, then and now. Habemus Papam.