It is rightly believed that a leader isn’t born; he has to evolve to reach that stature. It isn’t an easy deal to become TIME’s ‘person of the year’ until our deeds justify this title and the nomination of Pope Francis as the same wasn’t a matter of astonishment for the general public. TIME magazine named Pope Francis as its “Person of the Year,” describing him as “The People’s Pope” who is “poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.”TIME’s managing editor Nancy Gibbs wasn’t too reluctant while terming Francis as the puller of the papacy out of the palace and into the street. Francis is noted for his humility, emphasis on God’s mercy, international visibility as pope, concern for the poor, and commitment to interfaith dialogue.
Francis became pope in March 2013, succeeding Pope Benedict XVI, the first leader of the Catholic Church to step down in 600 years. Elizabeth Bucar, associate professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Northeastern University, discussed why Francis has been so influential and predicts his greatest challenge ahead. She admits that Pope Francis’ influence has been way too different from his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in two major ways: his personality and his words. The last pope who was TIME’s “Person of the Year” was Pope John Paul II in 1984. Pope Francis sets himself apart from other popes in terms of their theology and ethics and his affability was what they all lacked.
His ability to connect with others and understandability of the importance of connecting with the global church,which was seen in his extensive travel schedule was worth appreciation. He didn’t restrict himself to even connect with people via Twitter, much like Pope John Paul II used radio announcements to make general addresses.He doesn’t bark about rules and orders or insists on why the church knows what’s best, right, and true and has emerged as the true flag bearer of humanity.