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Published On: Thu, Dec 12th, 2013

Pope Francis named TIME’s Person of the Year, critics say Edward Snowden should have won

Pope Francis  has been named TIME’s Person of the Year and some people are already upset, calling for Edward Snowden to be chosen with the “honor.”

“What makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all,” Time said in its cover story.

“In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church — the church as servant and comforter of hurting people in an often harsh world — above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors.”

Other contenders for the annual award were gay rights activist Edith Windsor, former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz from Texas.

 Not everyone agreed.

“No Contest: Edward Snowden Is Person Of The Year,” the New Yorker’s John Cassidy wrote:

In opening the eyes of people around the world to how easy it is for governments to monitor digital communications, and to how complicit major technology companies have been in these surveillance programs, he sparked a long-overdue debate about how to preserve privacy in the information age—and whether such a thing is even possible. If Snowden hadn’t come forward, the steady encroachment of the surveillance state would have continued, and most people would have been none the wiser. Now Big Brother and his enablers have been rattled, and have been forced to be a bit more open.

TIME detailed that the impact from the Pope has been quick and has been great.

“Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy,” the Pope wrote. “It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization.”

Pope John Paull II was given the honor in 1994 and Pope John XXIII awarded in 1963.

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