The mass exodus of the 2.3 million Christians from Syria is not a secondary matter. Of the previous 60,000 Christians in Homs, less than 1,000 remain. Christians are being killed and tortured while their women are being raped and their churches destroyed.
By means of the decision to elect a non-European, the Catholic Church has clearly accepted and given prominence to the fact that the center of gravity of world Christianity has shifted to the global south. Although popes from Poland and Germany were already a step away from Italy, the new step is away from Europe entirely, to the regions where the masses of Christians live.