TIME for Pope Francis

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pope Francis meets with Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes during a private audience on November 25, 2013 at the Vatican. (Vincenzo Pinto/Getty)

Time Magazine picks Pope Francis for its annual "Person of the Year" honors. Time Magazine contributor Howard Chua-Eoan talks about the new pontiff and why he was selected.


Howard Chua-Eoan
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Comments [32]

@ Manfred from Madison, NJ (Dec. 11 2013 02:40 PM):

You are a most welcome and all-too-rare voice here.

"The language of the war lobby and the abortion lobby is from the same glossary of evasions..."

Dec. 12 2013 03:46 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The office of pope is the successor of David and Solomon - the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of God on earth, which is the Church. 'He who hears you, hears me' Jesus said to Peter. What a responsibility! We have had holy and tremendous popes throughout history, with exceptions, but the popes in the last 150 years have each been tremendous.

Dec. 11 2013 04:19 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Why do you have to find someone who is skeptical? A good and solid evaluation by the Vatican reporter. He isn't reviving liberation theology at all - he fought it in Argentina. (Where would you get that idea?)

Liberation theology is wrong because it's based on Marxist philosophy, which is wrong. We can have the preferential love for the poor without Marxist categories. Not a Marxist, of course (please).

We're not being told to hate anyone. He will have a document on women soon.

He is criticizing the Pentecostals because they're theology is flawed, but that being said, we're on the same side.

Pope Francis is emphasizing the local bishops - in this case he wouldn't comment on such a specific case as a teacher being fired for entering a gay marriage. It's a contract question.

Brain Lehrer was respectful - but needs to understand that the pope isn't free to do whatever he wants and to define the Church however he wants. He hands on what he has received, as it says in Scripture. And he follows the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And truth doesn't change.

We love Pope Francis, as we loved John Paul and Benedict.

Dec. 11 2013 04:07 PM
Manfred from Madison, NJ

Brian: May we put the abortion item in its proper place? For thousands of years of Judaism, and then Catholicism, abortion has been referred to as an "abomination". God's Law will never change and those who destroy beings made in His image and likeness, i.e. with immortal souls, will pay an horrific penalty.
Alan Dershowitz wrote in 2002 and in 2013 that he could find no place in the U.S. Constitution where abortion was permitted. That's forty years after Roe v. Wade.

Dec. 11 2013 02:40 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretenious Hudson Heights

It Time Magazine relevant anymore?

It's as thin as a comic book.

Dec. 11 2013 11:36 AM

Will Miles wrote (10:46 AM),

"This pope is probably a decent person"

but then went-on to write,

"Brian's reminder about the qualities of Time's Person of the Year qualifications is quite well taken, with an apt comparison to Hitler."

Do you see the apparent contradiction between these two statements of yours?

If a comparison to Hitler can be described as "apt" for a given individual, how can that same individual be said to be "decent"?

Dec. 11 2013 11:31 AM

"I think religion has often played a very positive role. Take western civilization, the Catholic Church has played an honorable role in helping those in need."
~ Noam Chomsky,

Contrast with some of the reflexive, doctrinaire* /anti/-Religious types who often grace these pages. Never missing an opportunity to make simplistic, immature, blanket, unqualified condemnations of religion, such individuals remind one of the child who, upon learning a taboo word, utters it with glee at every possible opportunity.

Dec. 11 2013 11:22 AM

I missed most of the segment. I wonder how much was said about Dorothy Day and the statements of the Catholic Bishops on economic justice.

Dec. 11 2013 11:14 AM

Reaching-out to individuals whose sexual orientation happens to differ from the norm, or individuals who are less-than-comfortable with their gender (two separate and distinct categories unto themselves), is a far cry from:

- whitewashing and effectively condoning-- if not /promoting-- a manifestly dangerous, gruesome, brutal act (buggery; anal penetration)

-a culture of dissolution and depravity (as exemplified by the antics that so predictably characterize the typical "Pride" event)

-the fraudulent fiction that mutilation, desecration and fantasy can somehow change the immutable ("transgender")

The former can be commendable, if not imperative. The latter wicked, insidious and pernicious.

Will Pope Francis make these critical distinctions as he reaches-out in some of the ways he has been?

As a non-Catholic, I am ever mindful of the admonition attributed by the late Ed Koch to his grandmother, "Never mix into other people's religions". But as a person and a citizen, for the sake of public health, welfare and decency, I can only be concerned.

Regarding all three of the points I enumerated above:

-I elaborate on each in a number of past posts to this site. Click on my user name to find them.

-They have all been comprehensively exposed and actively opposed by individuals as emphatically PRO-homoerotic as Bill Weintraub. A self-described "longtime gay activist", Weintraub coined the term "frot" for the phallus-phallus act that he promotes as the safe, natural, dignified, egalitarian, true form of male homosexual intercourse. Weintraub's site is **REQUISITE DISCLAIMERS: 1.) Graphic, adult content. 2.) Quoting/citing != endorsement** See also and , the blogs of one Rob McGee, who says of himself,
"I'm a total homo with no apologies, but please don't call me gay, because it's a stupid word and an even stupider subculture."

Dec. 11 2013 11:10 AM
Rita L. Houlihan from NYC, NY

Pope Francis has asked for input from all Catholics on the topic of the
Family. This is the first time a pope has issued a questionnaire and directed the bishops to distribute it widely. All Catholics are invited. Links to the survey in English and in Spanish are at "". DEADLINE for ONLINE SURVEY is DEC. 15, 2013. Several church renewal organizations sponsored the transfer of the Vatican's questionnaire to the online format for ease of distribution and analysis. Our input will be used by the pope and bishops for the 'Synod on the Family' in 2014.

Dec. 11 2013 11:00 AM

Ol' Francis was the highest ranking Jesuit in Argentina during the military dictatorship led by General Jorge Videla (1976-1983).

Brutal dictators, Henry Kissinger and The Pope for 100!

Dec. 11 2013 10:57 AM

Sooo…did he push folks out of helicopters or, not??

Or, did he just say nothing whist watching Pinochet pushing folks out of helicopters??

Kinda a sticky point.

Dec. 11 2013 10:51 AM

While this pope might sound more rational than other popes please remember he's still selling myth and superstition.

Dec. 11 2013 10:46 AM
Will Miles

Regarding this new Pope's approach to his office, the expression about "catching more flies with honey than with vinegar..." comes to mind. Keep in mind, also, that the flies are still caught.

No political figure who achieves a high position (after all, he was elected, right?) gets there without working the political system. This pope is probably a decent person--but he is still a political animal.

And Brian's reminder about the qualities of Time's Person of the Year qualifications is quite well taken, with an apt comparison to Hitler.

Dec. 11 2013 10:46 AM

Brian Lehrer: "...excesses of Capitalism..."


Would Adam Smith recognize what is called 'Capitalism' today?

"I should say that when people talk about capitalism it's a bit of a joke. There's no such thing. No country, no business class, has ever been willing to subject itself to the free market, free market discipline. Free markets are for others. Like, the Third World is the Third World because they had free markets rammed down their throat. Meanwhile, the enlightened states, England, the United States, others, resorted to massive state intervention to protect private power, and still do. That's right up to the present. I mean, the Reagan administration for example was the most protectionist in post-war American history. Virtually the entire dynamic economy in the United States is based crucially on state initiative and intervention: computers, the internet, telecommunication, automation, pharmaceutical, you just name it. Run through it, and you find massive ripoffs of the public, meaning, a system in which under one guise or another the public pays the costs and takes the risks, and profit is privatized. That's very remote from a free market. Free market is like what India had to suffer for a couple hundred years, and most of the rest of the Third World." ~ Noam Chomsky, from a talk titled "Sovereignty and World Order" at Kansas State University, September 20, 1999:

Dec. 11 2013 10:45 AM
antonio from baySide

Maybe the Pope realizes social media could be the catalyst to get us off our keisters...No movement has been a light switch, more like a dimmer...

Dec. 11 2013 10:43 AM
emmanuel from nyc

It was Nietzsche who eloquently showed how christianity was forged as the religion of slaves during the Roman Empire to become a religion of slavery. Today in our time of global capitalism, these selling lines are ever more pertinent as the church looks to the third world to fill its ranks.

Dec. 11 2013 10:43 AM
Robert from NYC

And the patron saint of Italy and animals as well as the poor.

Dec. 11 2013 10:42 AM

Caller Bob, kinda has a point.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

Benito Mussolini ~

Dec. 11 2013 10:41 AM

Brian's "reminder" that the Person of the Year is not the best but rather the most influential, after which he mentions that Hitler was named person of the Year, was offensive. What is the point of picking Hitler as an example? Its difficult to escape that he meant to draw some level of comparison. A terrible comment.

Dec. 11 2013 10:39 AM
ex catholic

Francis is THE ONLY pope I ever liked and admired.

Dec. 11 2013 10:38 AM
Kate from Hamilton Heights

The woman was talking about Ignatian Spirituality:

Dec. 11 2013 10:37 AM

If I prayed I would pray they do not do a John Paul I on him.

Dec. 11 2013 10:36 AM
Paul from Queens

As a born and raised Protestant married to a catholic I never felt welcome in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis has changed my mind and has given me hope on an institution that I have come to view as hypocritical and corporate/overly political.

Dec. 11 2013 10:35 AM

"...wrong with…"


Dec. 11 2013 10:34 AM

…you could almost like a Pope with this guy.

Dec. 11 2013 10:33 AM

Ah, naw…nuthin' worn with kontempory kapitalism®.

Nuthin' ta see here, keep movin'…

Lloyd Craig Blankfein ~

Dec. 11 2013 10:31 AM
Robert from NYC

Well nothing has happened to him yet but let's see. It took only a few months before they offed JP I for wanting to clean up the Vatican Bank, you know, that (hold your nose) Venetian--which has always been a bad combination with Rome. Anyway those die hard Curia types might still get out their ol' Borgia poison rings.

Dec. 11 2013 10:29 AM
veronica from New York

He has been a breath of fresh air from Benedict! "Our" Church has a long way to go and these are baby steps but I feel Pope Francis is refocusing where we put our energies. I'm excited to see where we will go going forward.

Dec. 11 2013 10:28 AM
Tom from Toronto

Correction: Bin Laden for 2001.

Dec. 11 2013 10:25 AM
Tom from Toronto

As usual, TIME gets it wrong. Just like it should have been Bin Laden in 2011, Snowden was the obvious pick for 2013.

The Pope has years to make his mark, and there are plenty of cover opportunities in the future.

This was the safe, commerical pick, in that a lot of Catholics will want to by the special issue now with his picture on the cover.

Dec. 11 2013 10:25 AM

So far just words. Actions speak louder!!

The princes should sell their palaces to feed some poor. Or house African refugees in the Vatican

Dec. 11 2013 10:22 AM

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