It is hard to imagine putting Pope Francis and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the same race for the same honor. However, the two very different public figures are both finalists in TIME Magazine's 2013 "Person of the Year" award.
Begun in 1927 and originally labeled "Man of the Year," the annual honor goes to an individual – good or bad – whom TIME's editorial board believes most impacted the news for the previous year.
Pope Francis, consecrated the new head of the Roman Catholic Church back in March after his predecessor resigned, has garnered much attention for his approach to the position. Known for his humility and frequent shunning of high status before and during his reign as the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis has become the talk of many circles for his seemingly unorthodox rhetoric and style. His comments on atheism, gay priests, social issues, and other matters coupled with viral images of him washing the feet of female Muslim prisoners and embracing severely deformed individuals have led many to feel Francis is taking the Roman Catholic Church in a new direction. more >>
Controversial conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said that President Barack Obama is "having an orgasm" over Pope Francis' recent thoughts in his "Evangelii Gaudium," an "apostolic exhortation," where the Roman Catholic Church leader condemned global inequality and the "tyrannical" world economic system.
"This is the president citing the pope, his new best friend, because the pope is ripping America, the pope [is] ripping capitalism," Limbaugh said on his show on Wednesday. "And Obama's having an orgasm. Jeremiah Wright is beside himself. Jeremiah Wright thought he was Obama's preacher, now [the] pope somehow has co-opted Obama."
The remarks were in response to Obama's recent comments on equality, where he mentioned the Vatican leader in a speech: "So the basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed. In fact, this trend towards growing inequality is not unique to America's market economy. Across the developed world, inequality has increased. Some of you may have seen just last week, the Pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length. 'How can it be,' he wrote, 'that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?'" more >>
A columnist with the Fox News channel has compared the head of the Roman Catholic Church to President Barack Obama.
Adam Shaw, news editor at Fox, wrote in a column posted on the news channel's website on Wednesday that Pope Francis bears a strong resemblance to Obama in a negative manner.
"Pope Francis is undergoing a popularity surge comparable to the way Barack Obama was greeted by the world in 2008. And just as President Obama has been a disappointment for America, Pope Francis will prove a disaster for the Catholic Church," wrote Shaw. more >>
When going to a tavern or night club and looking upon the muscle hired to keep order, few would imagine that one of them may one day become a globally influential spiritual leader.
And yet, as reported by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, such an employment background exists with the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pope Francis has recently stated in Rome that while a youth he served as a club bouncer. The pontiff told worshippers on Sunday at the church of San Cirillo Alessandrino that before entering the priesthood he served as a bouncer. more >>
Rejecting Pope Francis' recent writings against the world's "tyrannical" economic system, a Tea Party advocate contended that Jesus Christ was a capitalist.
"One truth shines out from the Bible: Jesus spoke to the individual, never to government or government policy. Jesus was a capitalist, preaching personal responsibility, not a socialist," wrote Jonathan Moseley, a Virginia businessman, criminal defense attorney and member of the Northern Virginia Tea Party, in an article for WND.com.
The Tea Party advocate rejected claims that Pope Francis' recently published 50,000-word Apostolic Exhortation was mistranslated and said he believes the pope did indeed condemn capitalism. more >>
A statue created by an artist whose work was blessed last month by Pope Francis, has been stolen from outside a Toronto church.
Maggie Helwig, who pastors the church where the statue, "Whatsoever You Do," was stolen, speculated that the burglary was prompted by individuals looking to make a quick profit.