Pope Francis Named "Man of the Year" by Vanity Fair

Place Pontiff at the Top of "World Leaders Who Make History"

Rome, (Zenit.org) Antonio Gaspari | 8524 hits

The weekly magazine, Vanity Fair, has dedicated the cover of its July issue (no. 28, July 17, 2013) to Pope Francis. With a photograph entitled “Pope Francis Courage,” the magazine has nominated the Pontiff in advance as “Man of the Year.” In fact, according to Vanity Fair, Pope Francis’ first hundred days have put him at the head of “world leaders who make history.”

Six personalities were interviewed to comment on the figure of the Pope: writer Erri De Luca; Father Virginio Colmegna, president of the House of Charity Foundation of Milan; feminist writer Dacia Maraini; writer and non-believer  Giorgio Faletti, and singers Andrea Bocelli and Elton John.

The comments were very interesting, especially among those who are not Catholics and who in the past have expressed criticisms of the Church. Elton John, for instance, wrote that “Pope Francis is the best news for the Catholic Church in centuries. On his own, this man has succeeded in bringing people back to Christ’s teachings.” “Non-Catholics like me rise to their feet to applaud the humility of every gesture of his,” because “Francis is a miracle of humility in an age of vanity,” added the singer.

Andrea Bocelli, who due to an accident was blinded  at the age of 12, said that when he heard Pope Francis‘ first words his eyes filled with tears. “So Pope Francis entered my heart, he conquered it with his genuine humility, with the disarming force of his faith, with all that he has experienced  which illuminates his words and softens with the tone of his voice,” he said.

Erri De Luca affirmed: “Francis is the Pope of the South, a son of Latin America. With him the Church changes hemisphere and lowers the center of gravity.” According to Father Virginio Colmegna the Pontiff “is a great surprise, a window of hope, of the Holy Spirit. Pope Francis is a witness of an extraordinarily new vision of the Church and at the same time faithful to the evangelical message; a poor Church among the poor.”

“People love him,” added Dacia Maraini. The author quoted a taxi driver who said to her: “Let’s hope they don’t kill him, he is too courageous. I would like to defend him but I don’t know how.”

Finally, Giorgio Faletti admitted: “Personally, I don’t have the gift of faith, I don’t consciously believe in an afterlife, but Jorge Mario Bergoglio seemed to me immediately a great communicator, a person that by his face inspires that goodness that the representative of Catholics in the world must inspire, a man who has the qualities to repair with his figure all the scandals that recently have damaged the image of the Vatican and what it represents.”