In The Guardian:

People power is all around: think the Arab spring, the protesters outside St Paul’s Cathedral, the national outpouring of outrage over phone hacking and, before that, MPs’ expenses. This week, popular democracy came crashing in on yet another institution in desperate need of reform ā€“ the Catholic church, which has been a bastion of power for one of the most tightly-knit, elderly male oligarchies of all time.

What has happened over the past few days might not have looked particularly dramatic, but it has shaken the powers that be in the Catholic church in this country to their core. And although ordinary people didn’t seem to be in the vanguard in the same way they were in the Arab spring, they have played a key role.

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