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There's officially no room left on this bandwagon. Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year for 2013. Here's why.
Maybe it should have been Edward Snowden. Thankfully it's not Miley Cyrus. Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year for 2013.
Good choice? Pope Francis has been all over the news all year, and — so far at least — he seems pretty legit. Either that or he has the world's greatest public relations firm on his side. Maybe both?
Here are 21 reasons why the world is loving the new Pope. (And for requisite balance, here's 5 reasons to be skeptical.)
Pope Francis was the most-talked-about person on social media this year. No easy feat, since he was contending with Snowden and Miley.
He also participated in the first papal selfie, shown above.
You win the Internet, you win.
Pope Francis has made several public statements about the social damages of capitalism, the profit motive, and the free market (see below).
He recently took his tough talk and put it down in writing, calling capitalism “a new tyranny” in an 84-page document titled Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). The document is called an “apostolic exhortation,” which is a kind of policy platform for the pope.
There are many highlights. Among them, Francis metaphorically amends the Ten Commandments to address inequality. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life,” he writes, “today, we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”
The rumors started with Archibishop Konrad Krajewski, who, as Vatican “almoner,” pays nightly visits to the poor and homeless of Rome. In an interview, Krajewski said of Pope Francis, “When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me.”
According to the Huffington Post, a “knowledgeable source” confirmed that the Pope was sneaking into the city at night disguised as a regular priest, and ministering to the homeless.
Superhero level: expert.
Pope Francis held many jobs in his youth, like sweeping floors and running lab tests, before pursuing ministry. Coolest job-related revelation? He worked as a bouncer in a bar in Buenos Aires.
Pope Francis played basketball when he was young. He’s also a supporter of his local football club in Buenos Aires, San Lorenzo de Almagro.
He recently met with the heads of FIFA and the International Olympic Committee, and he had a strong message about joys of sport and the destructive power of commercialization.
“Sport is harmony,” he told Olympic leaders, “but if money and success prevail as the aim, this harmony crumbles.” He also warned against the commodification of athletes, which reduces humans to “mere trading material.” Maybe he should weigh in on unpaid labor in American college athletics.
The mafia and the Vatican have had a long, quiet, mutually beneficial relationship. The mafia made investments in the Vatican and used the church’s financial system to launder money.
That’s changing with Pope Francis in power. He is working to reform church finances and root out such corruption. Quoting Jesus, he said, “It would be better for [the corrupt man] if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea.”
The mafia is displeased. Francis has spoken against organized crime and even called out particular groups by names, including ‘Ndrangheta, a mafia organization in southern