(CNN) -- For an institution that moves glacially, instant analysis is as impossible as it is unwise. Yet first impressions are important. Our initial glimpse of the new pope was curiously disconcerting. He stood there impassive and unemotional. He looked stunned, without almost any reaction at all except, perhaps, awe or even fear of the moment.
Suddenly, his eyes seemed to open wide, as if he was really seeing the position for which he had been chosen less than an hour before. And then he spoke, not with the power of physical force or energy but with something stronger: humility.
With the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as pope, the Roman Catholic Church enters the next chapter of her history. And yet, as often happens in the church, she turns to her past for inspiration and even innovation...