A Letter From The Publisher, Aug. 21, 1978

Italians like to dramatize an extraordinary occasion by describing it with a singular expression. It happens, they say, ogni morte di Papa — only when a Pope dies. The death of a Pope is indeed a momentous news event, and to cover the death of Paul VI and the beginning of the process to choose his successor TIME took some extraordinary measures. Rome Bureau Chief Jordan Bonfante, detached temporarily to New York, flew back immediately. Rome Correspondent Roland Flamini heard the bulletin of the Pope's death while packing his bags for a...

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