Time magazine’s person of the year

How Pope Francis has changed the Vatican-and how people look at it.


This year was a historic one for the Catholic Church. Not only did the College of Cardinals elect the first Jesuit Pope, but Francis is also the first Pope to be a native of the southern hemisphere.

However, his branch of Catholicism and his native country are not what have people talking. Pope Francis, also known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has made headlines over the past several months regarding his stances on social issues that have centered around the church for many years.

On December 11, TIME Magazine declared Pope Francis to be this years “Person of the Year,” making him the third pope to be honored with this title.

Francis was chosen above other nominees, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Syrian President Bashar Assad, winning the popular poll by 59 percent.

The interesting thing about the pope being named Person of the Year is that, in reality, the Pope has not actually done anything to change the world in a physical sense. Instead, his open-minded and rather modern philosophy on issues such as the world economy, women, and homosexuality has helped to change the perspective of some, and of course brought in a healthy amount of controversy from those who disagree with him.

Pope Francis has certainly not shied away from making his opinion on capitalism and greed known to the public. Recently, His Holiness made a peace message in which he stated “The grave financial and economic crises of the present time … have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness and security in consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of a sound economy,” and called to close out the income gap, saying there was a “widening gap between those who have more and those who must be content with the crumbs”.

The Pope has also spoken out against Capitalism and trickle-down economics, a system that is highly associated with the Regan Administration. Francis’ calls for helping the less fortunate played a part in him being dubbed “The People’s Pope.”

The poor are not the only group of people who the Pope has reached out too, though. Francis also has fairly liberal views when it comes to women and the church.

Pope Francis has said that women should play a bigger role in the church, although, he holds the belief that women should not be a part of the clergy.

We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of women within the church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions,” the Pope has said.

However, the Pope’s acceptance of homosexuals is perhaps the trait that sets him apart from many religious leaders around the world.

Although Pope Francis believes that marriage should remain between one man and one woman, he has called for Catholics and society in general to accept homosexuals and show them respect and love.

‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person,” the Pope stated in an interview that occurred earlier this year.

Although simply calling on people to accept others and help those in need may not seem like a huge deal, Pope Francis is leading what some believe to be a reform of the church. The Catholic Church has gotten some bad press over the years, ranging from misuse of funds to child-abuse scandals, but it seems that Pope Francis is changing the way that the world sees the Vatican.

It is for these reasons that TIME Magazine made him its Person of the Year. Not only is Pope Francis showing the world how to be compassionate and helpful to others, but he is setting a perfect example of what a religious leader should do.

Instead of preaching damnation and looking only to fill a donation plate, His Holiness is practicing exactly what the church preaches; giving to those who need, and showing love, compassion and respect for those who are often ostracized by our society.