Time’s Person Of The Year: Pope Francis

Pope Francis has been declared Time’s Person Of The Year.
Looking back on 2013,
he has done some incredibly progressive things to lead the Church.
1. He spoke out against frivolous spending by the Church
The average set of cardinal’s clothes costs as much as $20,000. In October,
Pope Francis urged officials to dress more modestly and to not squander such money.
In the same month, he ordered a German bishop to explain how he had spent $3 million on a marble courtyard.
2. He invited a boy with Downs Syndrome for a ride in the Popemobile
During a general audience, Pope Francis invited Alberto di Tullio, a 17-year-old boy with Downs Syndrome,
to ride in his Popemobile while thousands watched.
The boy and his father were said to be “choked up” when he was embraced by the Pope.
3. He embraced and kissed Vinicio Riva
November saw Pope Francis embrace Vinicio Riva,
a man scarred by a genetic disease.
Fighting agonising pain on a daily basis, such an act restored the faith
of a man who says he is often mocked in public.
4. He denounced the judgment of homosexuals
Pope Francis has stated several times that the Church has no right to interfere spiritually in the lives of gays and lesbians.
Though Francis maintained the right of the Church
to express opinions on homosexuality,
he believed that Christians should not judge or ridicule.
This led to The Advocate, a gay rights magazine, naming Francis the
‘single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people.’
5. He held a major ceremony at the chapel of a youth prison
In March, the Pope held a major Holy Week service at Casal del Marmo jail for minors, rather than the Vatican .
During the service, the pope washed and kissed the feet of 12 young offenders
to commemorate Jesus’ gesture of humility towards his apostles
on the night before he died.
During the service, he broke tradition by washing the feet of women and Muslims.
6. He urged the protection of the Amazon Rainforest
During his visit to Brazil , Pope Francis met with natives who have been fighting
ranchers and farmers attempting to invade their land.
He encouraged that the Amazon be treated as a garden and protected,
along with its native people.
7. He personally called and consoled a victim of rape
A 44-year old Argentinian woman, raped by a local policeman,
was one of thousands to write a letter to Pope Francis in 2013.
The woman was surprised when she later received a phone call from Francis himself
who consoled the woman and told her, “You are not alone.”
8. He snuck out of the Vatican to feed the homeless
More recently, it has been discovered that Pope Francis regularly
leaves the Vatican at night to feed the homeless.
Dressed as an ordinary priest, he joins Archbishop Konrad Krajewski
to feed the poor of Rome.
9. He auctioned his motorcycle to benefit the homeless
In October, Francis donated his own Harley Davidson motorcycle
to fund a hostel and soup kitchen in Rome .
10. He acknowledged that atheists can be good people
Earlier in 2013, Pope Francis spoke out against the common interpretation
within the Church that atheists, by nature, are bad people.
He stated that, “Atheists should be seen as good people if they do good.”
After meeting the Pope, the openly atheist president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, compared Francis to a friendly neighbor.
11. He condemned the global financial system
In May, Francis denounced the global financial system for tyrannizing the poor
and turning humans into expendable consumer goods.
He believes that, “Money has to serve, not to rule!”
12. He fought child abuse
The Catholic Church has been rocked in recent years by allegations
and admissions of child abuse by members of the Church.
Pope Francis became the first Pope to take effective action against such atrocities.
He amended Vatican law to make sexual abuse of children a crime,
and he also established a committee to fight abuse.
13. He condemned the violence of the Syrian civil war
In regard to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Pope Francis
asked for peace and declared that, “War, never again.
Violence never leads to peace, war leads to war, violence leads to violence.”
14. He redirected employee bonuses to charity
When a new Pope is elected, Vatican employees receive a bonus.
Upon his election, the extra money was given to directly to charity instead.
15. He spoke out against the Church’s ‘obsession’ with abortion,
gay marriage and contraception
In a voice of reason, Francis shocked the Catholic world when he stated that
the Church was an unhealthy obsession with
abortion, gay marriage, and contraception.
He criticized the Church for putting dogma before love,
and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized.
16. He called for cooperation between Christians and Muslims
During his Angelus address, Francis paid respect to the end of Ramadan.
He stated that both Christians and Muslims worship the same God,
and he hoped that
Christians and Muslims would work together to promote mutual respect.
17. He took part in a selfie
In what might be his most progressive feat of all,
Pope Francis met with youngsters to be part of a truly remarkable selfie.
His is embracing the present, and he is undoubtedly taking the Church to a more loving and accepting future.
18. He invited homeless men to his birthday meal
On December 17, Pope Francis invited a group of homeless men
and their dog into the Vatican to share his birthday meal along with his staff.
The Pope had decided that he wanted a small birthday event,
which would do some good, rather than a large and expensive event.
19. He refused to send away a child who had run on stage to hug him
During the Year of Faith Celebrations,
a young boy ran on stage as the Pope was giving a speech.
When assistants tried to remove the boy, Francis allowed him to stay.
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  • de castro  On January 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    A humble man that will “rock the boat” am sure.!! Overdue !!!
    Maybe the church should “Privatise”…sell off their churches !!!
    And all the gold and relics they are hoarding…to public museums for
    public viewing…after the queen the next on “rich list” CHURCH.

    My pet hates….politricks religion and banks/corporations.


    • Thinker  On January 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Be realistic, Kamptan. At least he is tying to end the corruption at the Vatican Bank. If he dies suddenly, it just might be the Mafia

  • Clyde Duncan  On January 26, 2014 at 12:21 am

    This Pope succeeded where Pope John Paul I, the shortest serving Pope, failed. I honestly believe, Pope John Paul I was going to make some real changes that were not approved by the “church” so they removed him; but I believe he paved the way for Pope Francis – Person of the Year is well-earned recognition of his work, so far. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_I

    • Thinker  On January 26, 2014 at 4:52 am

      Ridiculous conspiracy theory that has not the slightest bit of evidence to back it up. The site referred to states clearly that he did not want to become Pope but then relented. Why would he then have to be killed off 33 days later by the very lot who elected him? No Pope can reverse the fundamental doctrines of the Catholic Church. There is not much to “fear”.

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On January 26, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Commendable and a breath of fresh air for the RC Church. But will his proclamations and actions trickle down to the churches worldwide?

    • de castro  On January 26, 2014 at 4:28 am

      The Stigmata attached to RC church and its “celebate” priests
      may never be erased…until maybe woman can be welcomed
      as “teachers” of their doctrine. The flesh is weak and so are some


    • Thinker  On January 26, 2014 at 5:10 am

      Be precise, Rosalene, exactly what proclamations? All he has said is to stop obsessing about homosexuality, abortion, and contraception. It doesn’t change the basic doctrine of the whole Church. Who cleans a house by sweeping the dust under the carpet?

  • Ron Persaud  On January 26, 2014 at 4:29 am

    “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” he wrote.
    This quote from the Time’s article expresses my topmost expectation.
    Full disclosure. I am a Catholic. I received my education from schools run by Carmelite nuns and Jesuit priests.

    • Thinker  On January 26, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Ever heard of Liberation Theology which was bruised, hurting and dirty. Think that will come back under this Pope??????

  • Thinker  On January 26, 2014 at 4:45 am

    All show and public relations from Pope Francis. There can be no change on abortion, gay marriage, and contraception. When he was head of the Church in Argentina under the dictatorship did he take a stand for justice? He was no Cardinal Romero or Bishop Tutu. Let’s no get too excited.

  • Ron Persaud  On January 26, 2014 at 5:54 am

    I have to confess ignorance of the concept and practice of “Liberation Theology”.
    I am not surprised that the ‘movement’ faded after it was branded Marxist; and I expect that any attempt to bridge the inequality of opportunity will be emotively branded in a similar fashion.
    I have this favorite from an SF story “Basis for Negotiation” By Brian Aldiss.
    “…This is an unprecedented step!
    We live in unprecedented times!
    God grant us unprecedented courage!”

  • Thinker  On January 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    The real Person of the Year according to Time’s own criteria should be Edward Snowden. But just as it couldn’t name Bin Laden in 2001, it took an easier way.

  • Ron. Persaud  On January 26, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    There were ten finalists.
    The editor(s) chose. I guess that is why they are called “editors”.
    The choice is subjective. Another publication might have chosen an altogether different person(ality).
    I, or anyone else, may agree or not. Our choice(s) are determined by our life experiences and our vision.
    “No sane family can really accept that doctrine in modern times”.
    I rest my case! My closing statement.
    “We live in unprecedented times! God grant us unprecedented courage to change in unprecedented ways.” (with apologies to Brian Aldiss).

  • Tara  On January 27, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Thinker I am not a person of faith but have served and believe I do have a grip of the “Good Book”……Just as God challenged the man and his wife to a lifetime of commitment through the Sacrament of Matrimony; the priest is also held to such standard of commitment, which is the dogma of the Catholic church. However, Pope Francis has signaled lately that married priest can serve within the Catholic Church because of their commitment to God and marriage.

  • de castro  On February 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Having read all those exchanges….please allow my comment….
    One man cannot change the team ..but it can make a big difference.

    If this papal “elected head of mafiosa” demonstrates by his actions
    that he cares its a “big” PR booster for catholic establishment.
    Win win situ …

    However his battle is not with “caring” ….it is within his own
    own establishment…..status quo does exist even in religion.

    I loved my history lessons in SSC …we were taught about the religious reformation instituted by the “whoring” king Henry VIII permitting his marriage to
    his concubine …Christianity divided ! My Jesuit priest history teacher went all shades of “red” as we cross examined him on “celibacy” and marriage to God.
    It was sometimes so hilarious the lesson was abondened.

    The church must not live in the past unless it wishes to be judged
    by its past….it needs a revolution of thinking if it regain some credibility.

    I do not have to go to a church or mosque or synagogue to pray
    I can do so in private….

    My spin
    Hope I have not offended any believer with my radical views…and if I have
    feel free to defend the “religious” institutions integrity.


  • de castro  On February 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Love that “reference” thinker…..may also add ROME……
    Ha ha ….the hyprocracy of religious fanatics exposed/agitated.

    We may both now be “excommunicated” from church….Charles 1st was
    executed for blasphemy ! Politricks V religious fanatics


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