Pope Francis has been named TIME magazine's Person of the Year on Wednesday, December 11, meaning Miley Cyrus failed to take the coveted title. The Catholic church leader has been selected by editors of the magazine with consideration of a poll from its readers.
It was reported a while ago that Cyrus was leading the readers poll with 28 percent of the votes. She even scored a position on the Top 10 list which was revealed by the magazine's managing editor Nancy Gibbs on Monday. The only entertainer on the list, the 21-year-old singer thrived this year for her "Wrecking Ball" video which became a cultural phenomenon.
However, editors excluded Cyrus in the Top 5 list which included NSA defense contractor Edward Snowden, gay rights activist Edith Windsor, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Syrian President Bashar Assad. Snowden came second. If based on readers poll only, the winner will be Egyptian General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who didn't even make it to the Top 10.
Editors' choice landed on Pope Francis for changing the perception of the church in an extraordinary way in a short time. The first Latin pope has encouraged compassion over condemnation to deal with sensitive issues like abortion, gays and contraception.
"He really stood out to us as someone who has changed the tone and the perception and the focus of one of the world's largest institutions in an extraordinary way," Gibbs said. In response to the title, Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said, "The Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honors. But if the choice of Person of Year helps spread the message of the Gospel - a message of God's love for everyone - he will certainly be happy about that."
It marks the third time a Catholic pope has been named TIME's Person of the Year. In 1962, John XXIII was selected and followed by John Paul II in 1994.