Pope Francis becomes Person of the Year

To be named as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is a massive honor. For 2013, there were many contenders, including Syrian President Bashar Assad, Miley Cyrus, Edward Snowden, who leaked information about the N.S.A., and President Barack Obama. Amongst leaders, singers, and activists, Pope Francis took away the award for the most influential person of this year.

The Time Person of the Year award is given to a group, person, or idea that has “for better or for worse, … has done the most to influence the events of the year.” Previous featured people include President Barack Obama, Russian totalitarian Joseph Stalin, and Indian nationalist Mohandas Gandhi.

Francis’ views and actions have been different from older popes, including his views on gay rights and actions such as sneaking out to help the homeless at night. Francis was also the most searched person on the Internet this year. Since he was elected as the new pope in February 2013, polls by Langer Research Associates have shown that Catholic approval rates of the church have increased to 95 percent.

Generally beloved among all people, Francis has become the center of dozens of conversations involving wealth, poverty, fairness, and justice. While some argue that Edward Snowden was more deserving of the title, the main consensus is that the humanitarian pope was the most deserving of being Time’s Person of the Year.