We finally made it to the big leagues!!! I finally belong to the popular crowd!*

mtvU’s 2013 Man & Woman of the Year!

 12.10.2013  by mtvU.

In a year filled with students speaking out on a wide range of issues, Pope Francis and Lorde took unexpected stands on issues that mattered to them, challenging the beliefs of many in their respective communities and bringing new schools of thought into established paradigms. As we look back and celebrate their contributions to society and culture over the past year, we look ahead with excitement and anticipation to see how their work will continue to ripple a wave of positive change in the years to come.

Pope Francis: mtvU Man of the Year

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio to Italian parents in Buenos Aires, assumed the leadership role of the Catholic Church in March 2013, while focusing on breaking down bureaucracy and making the church more inclusive and community focused. Months into his papacy, he surprised many by declaring that he would not judge a person for their sexual orientation, taking a bold stance on homosexuality that diverged from that of his predecessor. Continuing in his quest to unite rather than divide the Church, Pope Francis gave a high profile interview that appeared in Jesuit publications around the world in September, preaching love, acceptance and humility over dogma.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” said Pope Francis in the interview. “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

Instead, Pope Francis, who took his name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi to demonstrate his concern for the well-being of the poor, has used his power to focus the Catholic Church on fighting poverty, luxury and vanity. His own humility and outspokenness in the name of acceptance has brought a new, unexpected voice to the Vatican in 2013.

If only the rest of us wee laymen were as bold and non-dogmatic as our pope. The pressure’s on: look attractive. We’ve got to keep up: the world is watching and learning

The above “article” may be the quintessential snapshot of the soft-ultramontanist dilemma. On the one hand, when “the secular media” glom onto the Francis Effect, his fans rejoice at how “the world is finally listening to the Church [again?].” On the other hand, when the same “secular media” run with the pope’s quasi-Catholic headscratchers, his trusty troupe of Papal Auto-Tuners wring their hands for a few moments, and then brush it off as “the usual secular spin.”

The reality is much starker: either the world is “getting” the Church’s authentic teaching, or it is not. The world is either hearing the Church–and thus Christ–through Francis, or it is hearing Francis despite the hoary old shadow of the Church. The farther Evangelii Gaudium recedes into the online Catholic ghetto, and the more loudly “the pastoral pope’s” Christianese mantras are broadcast to the world, the clearer the enduring nature of the Francis Effect Affect becomes.

* According to The Washington Post (11 Dec. 2013), Pope Francis’s selection “makes him the third pope to appear as Time’s Person of the Year. Pope John Paul II made the cover in 1994, and Pope John XXIII was chosen in 1962.” For some reason, that lineage says it all–but I’m hesitant to ponder too deeply what it says.


Oh my.

When the Internet gets a hold of something….

I was sent the following under this heading:

“As a Catholic and a fan of ’30 Rock,’ I couldn’t be prouder.”

Pope Francis EGOT


About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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16 Responses to POPE ALL THE THINGS!

  1. ErnstThalmann says:

    This is truly stomach turning, the worst sort of eyewash. But guess who created it? You guessed it, Frank the Hippee Pope!

    Not sure if everyone here has seen this Utube but, sadly, its all too evocative. This is he Vicar of Christ? Please, don’t make me laugh, I’ve got chapped lips.

  2. Oh, yes, Ernst, I’m all too familiar with that video, and the associated “Francis Affect”: https://ebougis.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/more-cheery-news-from-the-codgitator/

    I assume that you are new to my blog, but I don’t think it’s out of palce to say that you’ve found “a safe place” here. 🙂

  3. Wait, are you implying that you don’t like Blessed Pope John Paul II either?

  4. Nope. As I said, I don’t know what it indicates that those three popes were tapped by TIME. I was surprised to learn that fact. I expected Pius XII. I get why they tapped John XXIII: he let the media all in for V2. JP2, I assume, was chosen near the end of his papacy. What strikes me is the incongruity. John XXIII, called a huge council. JP2… was JP2! But what exactly has Francis done? Reminds me of how Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, pretty much just for existing.

  5. I totally agree with you and JUST used that exact analogy. Great minds think alike. 😉

  6. Bemused says:

    Adam Levine just won People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, but I should think Pope Francis will be in the running for 2014.

  7. IbnYaqob says:

    This is based on the dumb assumption that Person of the Year or Man of the Year is some type of honor for great accomplishment.

    It is a title they give to whomever generates the most buzz in the News. Slightly above Barbara Walters most Fascinating Persons list. Hitler, Stalin and Mel Gibson have received it & on the later what did Mel do other then make a Jesus film & have a holocaust denying Father?

    Don’t be so dim.

  8. ErnstThalmann says:

    How to top this except to arrange a boxing match between Francis and a kangaroo?

  9. ErnstThalmann says:

    Did he really do what I just saw him do?

    I don’t Frank the Hippee Pope would be quite this gross, do you?

  10. ErnstThalmann says:

    My apologies. Here’s the right link:

  11. ErnstThalmann says:

    Well, I guess I’m not going to get this one done properly for some reason. Apologies.

  12. ErnstThalmann says:

    Well, it would seem that Frank the Hippie Pope moves forward with his plan to emasculate the pro-life movement: Cardinal Burke, a critic, has been purged from the Congregation on Bishops! Burke must feel much like Lavrenti Beria did when his colleagues on the Politboro arrested him.

  13. Bemused says:

    Well, with New Yorker cover of Pope Francis checked off, I await: Rolling Stone.

  14. ErnstThalmann says:

    Might it be that the loving, inclusive Francis has a vindictive aspect? I mean in North Korea, Jang Song Taek fared only a slightly worse than Burke has here. Was Burke required to make a public confession before he was carried off?

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