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The Catholic Church is a global church. And for the 1.2 billion adherents to the faith worldwide, it is a decisive moment. The faithful are looking to a new pope to bring a time of healing — and better governance — to a church tarnished by scandal and deeply divided.

Picturing a global church

For its 1.2 billion adherents worldwide, the Catholic Church is at a fateful crossroads.


The face of the Catholic Church is changing--not just in the Vatican, but in the makeup of adherents around the world. Less than 24 percent of Catholics now live in Europe, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Catholics from Colombia to Nigeria, Brazil, and the Philippines, are waiting to find out who their next leader will be, and which path the church will follow.