What's most amazing to me is not that a Pope won this contest, but that this Pope did. Apparently the attributes of Jesus Christ are, even after 2,000 years of human failure in his name, still desirable to our culture. A few weeks ago Francis I wrote an eighty-something page document called "The Joy of the Gospel." In it he emphasizes and reemphasizes his desire for "...a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security." Yes.
If this man does what he says he'll do, if he continues to change the face of the Church into one of kindness, humility, and self-sacrificial love, while holding fast to the principles of God's created order, he's my man of the year, too.
On the controversial issues, the Time article had this to say of the new Pope:
And so Francis signals great change while giving the same answers to the uncomfortable questions. On the question of female priests: “We need to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman.” Which means: no. No to abortion, because an individual life begins at conception. No to gay marriage, because the male-female bond is established by God. “The teaching of the church … is clear,” he has said, “and I am a son of the church, but”—and here he adds his prayer for himself—“it is not necessary to talk about those issues all the time.”And to the divorced and remarried who have been disallowed the sacrament of Communion in the Catholic Church, Francis says this: Communion "is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak." Wonderful.
As Anthony LeDonne said in his post on this same article, "...I care that the Pope is attentive to the longstanding portrait of a humbled and humbling Jesus."
Here's to the Pope.