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Pope Francis named TIME’s Person of the Year

© Photo: AFP

Video by Elena CASAS

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-11

TIME magazine named Pope Francis its Person of the Year for 2013 on Wednesday, crediting him with capturing the "imaginations of millions" who had become disillusioned with the Vatican. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was named the runner-up.

Pope Francis was named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year on Wednesday, just nine months after taking office as head of the Catholic Church.

The magazine credited Pope Francis, the first non-European pope in 1,200 years, with shifting the message of the Catholic Church while capturing the "imaginations of millions" who had become disillusioned with the Vatican.

"Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly -- young and old, faithful and cynical -- as Pope Francis,” wrote TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs.

The Pope beat out former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who finished as runner-up, and gay rights activist Edith Windsor for the award, which honours the person who had the greatest impact on the world, for better or worse, during the year.

Other finalists included Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and US Senator Ted Cruz from Texas.

In a statement read made to NBC’s Today programme, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope “is not looking to become famous or to receive honors”.

“But if the choice of Person of the Year helps spread the message of the gospel -- a message of God’s love for everyone -- he will certainly be happy about that,” he added.

It is the third time a Pope has been named TIME’s Person of the Year, after Pope John XXIII in 1962 and Pope John Paul II in 1994.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-12-11

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