I must say I am really surprised that Time Magazine named Pope Francis person of the year. Really surprised they are still making Time Magazine.
Any positive mention of the Pope is a good thing. I can’t say I get to excited that a magazine that often has anti-Catholic screeds by Amy Sullivan and others and usually celebrates Christmas or Easter by yet another “real Jesus” article takes time out to get something right. Plus I suspect they got this right for the wrong reasons. Remember the retraction the other day from them?
Correction: An earlier version of this post suggested that Pope Francis rejected some church dogma. He does not.
Considering that the selection is towards noteworthy regarding impact on the news during the year it means even less than an Nobel Peace Prize. People often reference that Hitler was named Man of the year, but there was also Stalin and the Ayatollah Khomeni along with “the computer” and “the Earth” also being winners.
No doubt the Pope’s obvious love of the poor is something even the media is able to recognize and even generally the Church’s work for the poor. This reminds me of something the pope wrote in Evangelii Gaudium:
- Despite the tide of secularism which has swept our societies, in many countries – even those where Christians are a minority – the Catholic Church is considered a credible institution by public opinion, and trusted for her solidarity and concern for those in greatest need. Again and again, the Church has acted as a mediator in finding solutions to problems affecting peace, social harmony, the land, the defence of life, human and civil rights, and so forth. And how much good has been done by Catholic schools and universities around the world! This is a good thing. Yet, we find it difficult to make people see that when we raise other questions less palatable to public opinion, we are doing so out of fidelity to precisely the same convictions about human dignity and the common good.
I really liked Thomas L. McDonald’s take that included “The Good” and “The Meh”. This point especially resonated with me:
I’m not going to start jumping with joy because a magazine I consider offensive and irrelevant noticed the bloody obvious: that one man commanded more media attention than any other person this year: stopped clocks, and all that.
He also goes on to post some of Time’s other recent covers.
The always funny Eye of the Tiber has Pope Emeritus Benedict Glances At Cover Of Time Magazine Again, Discreetly Wipes Tear From Eye