Pope is #7 on Forbes list of world’s most powerful people

He’s right between King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud and Ben Bernanke.

As Forbes notes:

The spiritual leader to one-sixth of the world’s population–1.2 billion souls–delivers the final word on matters of abortion, gay marriage, female priests and, most recently, Occupy Wall Street. In October the Vatican called for a supranational authority to oversee the global economy: “To function correctly the economy needs ethics, and not just of any kind but one that is people-centered.”

2011 Lowlight: Two victim groups asked the International Criminal Court to ­investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI for covering up instances of sexual abuse.

You can read about Forbes methodology for more:

The ranking takes into account four factors.  First, we measured how many people a person has power over.  For a religious leader, like Pope Benedict XVI (#7), that would be the number of adherents, or Catholics, in the world.  For a CEO, like General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt (#28) we counted the number of employees.

Then we looked at the financial resources controlled by each candidate, whether that is revenues (for a company), GDP (for a country) or net worth (for a billionaire). Next we asked: Is a candidate influential in more than one arena, or sphere? This bumped up the ranking of people like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (#17), who is a powerful politician, a self-made media billionaire and a major philanthropist.

Finally, we gave consideration to how actively the candidates wield their power.  This measure eliminated inactive heirs to great fortunes, semi-retired industrialists and former heads of state.  In all, 70 people made the final list, one for every 100 million people on the planet.

And see who else is on the list.

  • Notgiven

    That just goes to show you what Forbes knows!

    Jesus is the one who, by his death and resurrection, has crushed the power of sin and death and opened up the kingdom of heaven. That’s power that is unmatched anywhere and anytime. And, Jesus is on earth everyday in the Blessed Sacrament, in his word, in his people, in the poor and the sick, the dying, among us as one who serves…

    As far as mere mortals, in this day and age, the Pope would be most powerful. As the one currently continuing the Petrine ministry, the Pope has the power of the keys, the power to bind and the power to loose; whatever he binds and looses on earth will be bound and loosed in heaven (cf Matthew 17:16). No one else has that kind of power on earth.

  • Eka

    It’s a nice honor, I suppose…but it is interesting that they mention the bogus publicity stunt with the ICC yet nothing about the 2 million kids who showed up for World Youth Day, important international trips, reconciliation with numerous Anglicans and countless writings.
    But I guess that’s to be expected.


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