Pope Francis is ‘Time’ magazine’s Person of the Year

Pope Francis is ‘Time’ magazine’s Person of the Year

PERSON OF THE YEAR: Pope Francis listens to a speaker delivering his message translated in different languages during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 11. Photo: Associated Press/Alessandra Tarantino

By Elizabeth Dilts

(Reuters) – Time magazine named Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, crediting him with shifting the message of the Catholic Church while capturing the “imaginations of millions” who had become disillusioned with the Vatican.

“So much of what he has done in his brief nine months in office has really changed the tone of what is coming out of the Vatican,” Time Editor Nancy Gibbs said in announcing the choice on NBC television’s “Today” program. “He is saying, ‘We are about the healing mission of the church, and not about the theological police work’.”

The Pope beat out former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and gay rights activist Edith Windsor for the award. Other finalists included Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz from Texas.

“What makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all,” Time said on its website.

In a statement read on “Today,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said, “The Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honors. But if the choice of Person of the Year helps spread the message of the gospel – a message of God’s love for everyone – he will certainly be happy about that.”

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

‘Pan’ taps origins of Peter Pan’s 100-year pop culture adventure


In the century since Scottish author J.M. Barrie created Peter Pan for a stage play then a book, the Neverland universe has inspired movies, books, TV shows, plays, video games and even a pop psychology syndrome describing emotionally immature men.

in Lifestyle

‘Like’ it or not, changes are coming to Facebook


The social network is launching a pilot test of "Reactions," which will allow users to express a range of emotions including love, happiness, anger, and sadness.

in Music

Miranda Lambert channeling heartbreak into new music


The "Mama's Broken Heart" hitmaker is turning her divorce into good songwriting material, insisting she has "never felt so inspired."

in Entertainment

Keanu Reeves wants to have a third ‘Bill & Ted’ adventure


The "Matrix" star says a script for the third installment of the "excellent" time-traveling franchise is in the works.

in Music

Johnny Cash, Miranda Lambert have star power


Country stars Miranda Lambert and the late Johnny Cash were honored with stars on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.