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Two takes on TIME’s “Person of the Year”

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When I think of the time and space that might have been devoted over the last couple days upon people like U.S. Senator Ted Cruz or pop star Miley Cyrus, I find myself encouraged – not just in our world, but in the media that brings that world into our homes 24/7 – by the fact that we are, instead, focused upon Jorge Mario Bergoglio … a man who, as Pope Francis, “took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years, he is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.”

pope1“With a focus on compassion, the leader of the Catholic Church has become a new voice of conscience. Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs explains why Francis is TIME’s choice for Person of the Year 2013.”

Me? I’m in complete agreement on this one. In the days leading up to the announcement, and the release of a short list of candidates for this year’s designation, I couldn’t help but think that only two of those candidates – Pope Francis and NSA leaker Edward Snowden – came close to meeting the criteria TIME listed.

A lot of coverage and discussion to the announcement, and PLENTY of reaction from pundits and ordinary people … all of them ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. There were two that caught my attention today …

“‘Social media pope’ wins Person of the Year” was the headline for yesterday’s column on Jim Denison’s Forum on Truth and Culture.

Denison cites three reasons for TIME’s decision … and suggests they are examples that we might follow.

“First is his commitment to the poor: Francis has been pope only nine months, but he has ‘refocused the global conversation on poverty and those in need.’ Second is his personal humility: he ‘came onto the scene with fanfare and the opposite of fanfare,’ serving with genuine sincerity and modesty. Third is his engagement with contemporary media: he is using his office ‘in ways that feel almost like a grassroots initiative.'”

pope2 Then there’s this observation from Jesuit Post, on Twitter with an accompanying Twitter pic, their riff on the TIME cover that sums-up very nicely my own feelings when I consider who MIGHT have been TIME’s Person of the Year.

“Speaking of abounding mercy … ”

pope3

Amen, brother!

There's a saying around here, something like, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" That's me. I'm a 'dang Yankee from back-east' who settled in the Lone Star State after some extended stays in the eastern U.S., and New Mexico. I worked as an archaeologist for a few years before dusting off my second major in English, and embarking on a 25-year career in journalism. Since then, I've embraced the dark side of the force, and now work in PR for a community college in Midland, Texas.
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