New York, December 12 (RHC)-- Pope Francis has been named Time Magazine’s "Person of the Year." Francis has captured global attention for his criticism of capitalism, his softer tone on key social issues including abortion and homosexuality, and his calls to re-focus the Church towards the needs of the poor.
Time Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs said the pontiff was chosen "for pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy."
A Vatican spokesperson reacted to the honor on Wednesday.
Father Federico Lombardi said: "The Pope does not look for success or honors, but if the declaration of the pope as 'Man of the Year' means that many people have understood the message of the love of God for all, that the pope spreads in the world that is a very important message for all, then this is good news and the pope can be happy."
Pope Francis beat out four runners-up: NSA leaker Edward Snowden, gay rights activist Edith Windsor, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
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