Pope Francis, compassion, peacemaking and TIME 2013
Rev. Billy Graham was never named Time’s Person of the Year.
The criterion Time Magazine asserts as determinative in choosing each year’s designee is “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.”
Pope Francis, announced today as TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year, has declared as his goal each time his pronouncements (especially those concerning atheists, gays and capitalism were seized upon by the secular press as major changes in the Roman Catholic Church) is the fulfillment of the Great Commission issued by Jesus to his disciples in the Gospel of Matthew:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
We don’t think that the secular press at Time Magazine chose the first non-European Pope in over 1200 years because they think he most affected the news due to increased baptisms of converts to Christianity. Had that ever been deemed important news, then Billy Graham would have been named one year during his decades-long Crusade heyday.
Moreover, we have looked at the two previous popes (and only other religious figures save for Martin Luther King Jr in 1963) chosen and in neither case was the cause of Christianity the reason for either choice. In 1962, Pope John XXIII was chosen because he volunteered to mediate the Cuban Missile Crisis. Our choice would have been President John F. Kennedy for standing firm on the blockade that stopped the Soviet Union from arming nuclear missiles 90 miles off the Florida coast, and thus truly making peace.
In 1994, as in 1963 with MLK, Time accidentally stumbled into a correct choice with John Paul II, part of the Triumvirate with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher that brought down the Berlin Wall and Soviet Empire.
TIME justifies their choice of the former Cardinal and Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as this year’s choice thusly:
But what makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all. People weary of the endless parsing of sexual ethics, the buck-passing infighting over lines of authority when all the while (to borrow from Milton), “the hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed.” In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church—the church as servant and comforter of hurting people in an often harsh world—above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were professors of theology. Francis is a former janitor, nightclub bouncer, chemical technician and literature teacher.
And behind his self-effacing facade, he is a very canny operator. He makes masterly use of 21st century tools to perform his 1st century office. He is photographed washing the feet of female convicts, posing for selfies with young visitors to the Vatican, embracing a man with a deformed face. He is quoted saying of women who consider abortion because of poverty or rape, “Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?” Of gay people: “If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.” To divorced and remarried Catholics who are, by rule, forbidden from taking Communion, he says that this crucial rite “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”
TIME thinks the Pope will advance their causes for abortion and same-sex marriage, and socialism (the latter due to the recent kerfuffle between Pope Francis and Rush Limbaugh over the former’s derogatory use of the Leftist’s term “trickle down” for free market capitalism). We think they will ultimately be disappointed. The Roman Catholic Church will never endorse either; and it was after the controversy over the latter that he issued the above-referenced statement on his goal as saving souls for Christ, not replacing economic liberty with government-run markets.
But we are not opposed to the most famous Christian on Earth being named Person of the Year. Quite the contrary, and hopefully we will not discover within the next few years or ever that the real impact persons of the Year of our Lord 2013 were the terrorist leaders in Iran and their Russian President benefactor Vladimir Putin; nor even those Democrats that gave us Obamacare.
We work for the prospect that a person of the year before 2018 is an American President that leads the repeal of Obamacare and the return of the United States to economic prosperity via the compassion of free market capitalism and the leader of a free world against Islamist terror that truly makes peace.