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In this headline:

Wie Franziskus die Machtachse der Kirche verschiebt

there is this word, Machtachse, which I haven't been able to find anywhere (so I don't even know if it's really a word).

In the same headline there is also verschiebt, which, presumably, is the present of the verb verschieben, which means either to move / to shift, or to change, even to postpone.

Unfortunately, I cannot infer what this verb means in this context unless I have a translation for Machtachse.

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Substantivkombinationen existieren real, sobald man sie ausspricht, aufschreibt oder vor sich hindenkt. Es gibt keine Zertifikationsbehörde der man sie vorlegen muss und keine Inkubationszeit. –  user unknown Jul 28 '13 at 22:31

2 Answers 2

Machtachse means axis of power. Verschieben in this context best translates to shift, I think. So the sentence would be:

How Franziskus shifts the church's axis of power

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I think Franziskus stands for the new pope. –  c.p. Jul 27 '13 at 12:05
    
@c.p. Ah, yes, sure. I'm not quite used to the new guy, yet. But chirlu deleted my edit anyway. –  bouscher Jul 27 '13 at 12:06
    
@bouscher: Oh, sorry, I didn't notice you were editing as well. There was no warning about a conflict. –  chirlu Jul 27 '13 at 12:59
    
@chirlu NP, you saved me from having my ignorance exposed by associating Franz von Assisi with Franziskus rather than Bergoglio –  bouscher Jul 27 '13 at 13:02
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And I thought the article talked about the CEO of Franziskaner Weissbier getting influence in the catholic church by special sponsoring. –  Toscho Nov 23 '13 at 10:32

Macht means power, and Achse means axis. Together, it means the axis of power. I didn't read the article, but the headline express how possible it is that the "axis of power" (or rather part of it) could be translated from the Vatican to Latin America.

Just as a hint, if you don't find a word in the dictionary, you can divide it in words which you know (or which you might find in the dictionary). Sometimes it is sufficient to identify just one of them.

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So die Machtachse der Kirche actually means the church's axis of power doesn't it? With der in der Kirche being the genitive marker: of the church, correct? –  indoxica Jul 27 '13 at 12:06
    
@indoxica genau, richtig! –  c.p. Jul 27 '13 at 12:08
    
Danke schön! Great. –  indoxica Jul 27 '13 at 12:19

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