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Pope 'a superstar' says Time

'Captured imagination of millions who had given up on' Church

11 December, 17:07
Pope 'a superstar' says Time

(see previous).

(ANSA) - Rome, December 11 - Pope Francis is a "superstar", Time magazine said Wednesday after picking him as its Person of the Year.

"What makes this Pope so important," it said, "is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all".

Stressing his different background from his predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Time said that while they were both professors of theology, Francis "is a former janitor, nightclub bouncer, chemical technician and literature teacher.

"Behind his self-effacing facade, he is a very canny operator. "He makes masterly use of 21st century tools to perform his 1st century office," Time said.

Listing signature moments of his young papacy that have signalled breaks with the past, Time said: "He is photographed washing the feet of female convicts, posing for selfies with young visitors to the Vatican, embracing a man with a deformed face. "He is quoted saying of women who consider abortion because of poverty or rape, "Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?" Of gay people: "If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. "To divorced and remarried Catholics who are, by rule, forbidden from taking Communion, he says that this crucial rite "is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak".