Dec. 11 - Time magazine named Pope Francis its Person of the Year for 2013, crediting the Argentine pontiff with shifting the message of the Catholic Church. Sarah Irwin reports.
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Time magazine names Pope Francis its Person of the Year for 2013. The Argentine pontiff - elected as leader of the Roman Catholic Church in March - has called for a renewal of the Church and championed helping the poor. Bobby Ghosh is editor of Time International. (SOUNDBITE) (English) Bobby Ghosh, Editor, Time International "We think that in the nine months that he has been Pope, he has been a transformational figure. He has changed perceptions of the Church. He has changed the focus of the Church. He has changed the tone of the Church." Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the award is positive for the Church. (SOUNDBITE) (English) Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi "The pope does not look for success or honors but if the declaration of the pope as Man of the Year means that many people have understood the message of the love of God for all, that the pope spreads in the world that is a very important message for all, then this is good news and the pope can be happy." The pope - who is the first pontiff from Latin America and the first Jesuit - beat out finalists - who included former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. In the Vatican's St. Peter's Square, pilgrims celebrated the news. (SOUNDBITE) (English) Irish Tourist Elena Crosby "I think he will transform the whole church which is badly needed because it has got a bad reputation in the last five to 10 years." With sex abuse scandals hurting the Catholic Church in recent years, Pope Francis formed a team last week to look into ways to screen priests and help victims - although victims rights groups have called for more action. The 76-year-old pope is the third pontiff to be named Person of the Year - after Pope John Paul II in 1994 and Pope John XXIII in 1963.