(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has been named Time Magazine's ‘Person of the Year’ for 2013. He is the third Roman Pontiff to receive this honour after John XXIII in 1962 and John Paul II in 1994.
The Head of the Holy See’s Press Office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, issued the following statement:
“The decision didn’t come as a surprise given the great resonance and attention surrounding the election of Pope Francis right from the start of the new pontificate. The fact that one of the most prestigious awards to be attributed by the international press should go to someone who promotes spiritual, religious and moral values as well as call for peace and greater justice in an incisive manner is a positive sign. As for the Pope himself, he’s not someone who seeks fame and success, because he has put his life at the service of announcing the Gospel of the love of God for mankind. It is pleasing to the Pope that this service should appeal and give hope to women and men. And if this choice of ‘Person of the Year’ should mean that many people have understood this message - at least implicitly - the Pope is really happy about this."
Nancy Gibbs, who was appointed Time's first ever female managing editor in September, has made the following statement about the magazine’s choice: "Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly – young and old, faithful and cynical – as has Pope Francis. In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power. He is embracing complexity and acknowledging the risk that a church obsessed with its own rights and righteousness could inflict more wounds than it heals. For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world¹s largest church to confronting its deepest needs, and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is TIME's 2013 Person of the Year."
Image Credit: Time.com