(PCM) There was quite the list of contenders for this year’s Time Magazine Person Of The Year and the prestigious honor has gone to Pope Francis. This will mark the third time that the Person Of The Year honor has gone to a pope. The Pope beat out individuals such as Edward Snowden, Miley Cyrus, gay right activist Edith Windsor and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz to claim the title.
Pope Francis is credited to a shift in the message of the Catholic Church and recapturing the imagination of millions who have become incredibly disillusioned by the ways of the Vatican in the past. He is teaching people to have hope in the Church again.
Pope Francis, who was the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, has been spreading a healing mission and message throughout the Church and has truly changed the overall tone coming out of the Vatican. Several months ago Pope Francis spoke in a rather candid interview about the Church’s need shake off an obsession with teachings on contraception, abortion and homosexuality and make the greater goal about becoming more merciful. He has even been rumored to be sneaking out of the Vatican at night disguised as a priest to visit and preach with the homeless.
Pope Francis also revealed that prior to becoming pope he worked as a bouncer at a nightclub. He turned down living in the elegant papal apartment in The Vaticans’ Apostolic Palace and opted to live in a small suite in The Vatican guest house, and opts to drive a Ford Focus rather than the traditional pop Mercedes. Sources also claim that he even called himself to have his newspaper subscription cancelled in Buenos Aires. We couldn’t even imagine being on the other end of that call! It is wonderful to see such frank honesty and humility coming out of The Vatican and these facts only seem to make Pope Francis more relatable and certainly more human.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has released the following statement about the honor:
“It is a positive sign that one of the most prestigious recognitions by the international media has been given to a person who proclaims to the world spiritual, religious and moral values and speaks out forcefully in favor of peace and greater justice. If this attracts men and women and gives them hope, the Pope is happy. If this choice of ‘Person of the Year’ means that many have understood this message, even implicitly, he is certainly glad.”
Time Magazine placed a poll on Twitter to gauge who their readers wanted to see as Person Of The Year and Pope Francis received a majority of the votes, however the ultimate decision did land in the hands of Time Magazine’s editors, who ultimately agreed with their readers.