Time magazine has named Pope Francis â€œPerson of the Yearâ€ for 2013. The Popeâ€™s face graces the December edition of Time. So it begs the question, â€œWhat criteria determine their pick?â€ As far as I can ascertain, its â€œthe person who most influences or impacts the worldâ€ in the prior year.
Itâ€™s not about position or popularity, or political agenda. In fact, I recall when Time named the Ayatollah Khomeini â€œPerson of the Year.” I remember because it angered me. Yet, under Timeâ€™s stated criteria, it made sense. It was 1979 and the plight of American hostages imprisoned in a takeover of the American Embassy there by Islamic extremists relentlessly gripped the worldâ€™s attention until they were released.
This yearâ€™s pick of Pope Francis angers me also, albeit for different reasons. I am angered now as I was when Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. Angered because these men did nothing to warrant their awards prior to receiving them. In the case of Pope Francis, he hasnâ€™t been Pope long enough, or done enough in the office, to have influenced much of anything.
Yes, he embraced a few disfigured people and he initially shunned fancy digs for more modest ones. But he also dished, just days ago, Capitalism. You know, the economic system that provides 60% of all contributions to the Catholic Church thereby allowing it to be the largest landholder in Manhattan, and the United States generally.
Really, what else has he done?
So, the award couldnâ€™t have been given based upon the stated criteria, just as the Nobel Peace Prize couldnâ€™t have been given Barack Obama for creating peace. In both instances, the choice of those men was, and remains, an affront to every thinking person. Whatever the rationale behind Timeâ€™s choice, it wasnâ€™t about the person who most influenced or impacted the world in 2013 because that simply does not apply to Pope Francis.
The selection committee of Time Magazine has an agenda. I donâ€™t profess to know what it is. What I do know for certain is that each day that passes by trust in the media withers away.Â Instead of maintaining the honorable position of â€œThe Fourth Estateâ€ they have been corrupted becoming deceitful and manipulative.
This reality is just the latest reason why, in a world of rapid change and power struggles, thinking for yourself is the surest guarantee that you will remain your own Person of The Year rather than become enslaved to someone elseâ€™s agenda.