That’s the question that I keep hearing from a wide variety of readers and even journalists, no matter where I go — including a quick trip last week down to Buenos Aires for a conference on religion and the news. More on that in a minute.
To no one’s surprise, the media comet called Francis is in the short list to grace the cover of Time magazine as Man Of The Year for 2013.
Once again, the question is “Why”?
From the point of view of the professionals in the mainstream press, why is this pope so important and so, from their point of view, why is he so revolutionary?
Well, here’s why. Consider this tweet from Father James Martin:
Salute Time for nominating the Pope as Person of the Year. Lament it's for "rejection of church dogma." He has not. http://t.co/C5zngcLaR4
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) December 9, 2013
Wait just a minute. What did the principalities and powers at Time actually write, in the online nomination promoting Pope Francis for this honor?
Does anyone out there have a screen shot they can share? The current version of the text has a fantastically symbolic correction and that’s that:
Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?
As always, TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year, but that doesn’t mean readers shouldn’t have their say. Cast your vote for the person you think most influenced the news this year for better or worse – in both a straight yes/no poll and a candidate face-off. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 4, and the combined winner of our reader polls will be announced on Dec. 6. TIME’s Person of the Year will be announced Dec. 11. …
The first Jesuit Pontiff won hearts and headlines with his common touch and rejection of luxury.
And here comes the correction. Wait for it.