By Vic Diaz (@TheVicDiaz)
After singlehandedly being credited for the revival of the Catholic church, Time Magazine has named Pope Francis its Person of the Year. After beating out the likes of Edward Snowden and Sen. Ted Cruz, Francis becomes only the third pontiff to receive the award, joining popes John Paul II and John XXIII.
Since assuming the role after the abdication of Benedict XVI, Francis has taken a progressive stance against the common stigmas of the Catholic church, calling for an end to the judgment of homosexuality, abortion and contraception.
Francis is also known for being the most frugal pope in recent memory, exchanging lavish estates for guest houses and the traditional papal Mercedes-Benz for a Ford Focus.
Time Magazine Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs wrote of Francis, “At a time when the limits of leadership are being tested in so many places, along comes a man with no army or weapons, no kingdom beyond a tight fist of land in the middle of Rome but with the immense wealth and weight of history behind him, to throw down a challenge.”
Francis has also been substantially proactive in his plight to end the controversy of child sex abuse by Catholic priests, including the assemblage of a committee to refine screenings on priests and protection for child abuse victims.
Gibbs concluded her praise of the pontiff, crediting his ability to reform a religion that has been shrouded in negativity for so many years, saying, “The heart is a strong muscle; he’s proposing a rigorous exercise plan. And in a very short time, a vast, global, ecumenical audience has shown a hunger to follow him.”