Watch: Time magazine reveled it’s ‘Person of the Year,” generating controversy as it always does. Mike Armstrong reports.
TORONTO – Pope Francis has been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2013.
The magazine revealed the news on Wednesday.
“He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing,” wrote the magazine. “The septuagenarian superstar is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.”
The “Person of the Year” is based on what an individual has done to influence events that occurred in the past 12 months “for better or for worse.”
Less than one year into his papacy, Francis continues to make headlines around the world as he sets out his vision for the Catholic Church.
In September, the pontiff caused a sensation after he warned the church to stop obsessing on abortion and gay marriage.
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible,” he said. “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”
During a news conference in July, Pope Francis reached out to the gay community with these words: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
VIDEO: Pope reaches out to gay community
“The Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honours,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, in a statement. “But if the choice of Person of Year helps spread the message of the Gospel – a message of God’s love for everyone – he will certainly be happy about that.”
This is not the first time a Catholic pope has been named the “Person of the Year” by the magazine. The late John Paul II was selected in 1994 and John XXIII was chosen in 1962.
The “most talked about person on the internet”
A recent survey by Global Language Monitor found Pope Francis was the most talked about person on the internet of 2013 based on rankings off blogs, social media and online news media outlets across the globe.
WATCH: Reaction to Pope Francis being chosen as “Person of the Year”
Other “Person of the Year” nominees
Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who released thousands of classified documents to the press, finished in second place.
– with a file from The Associated Press