Why I Won’t Be Voting for Pope Francis as Time’s Person of the Year

Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration mass on 19 March 2013.I’m a fairly traditional Catholic and my readers know that. I’m certainly orthodox. I’ll even admit that, despite my virtual poker face, I was a bit concerned when Pope Francis was elected.

But the reason I won’t vote for him isn’t what you might think.

TIME’s Person of the Year is not meant to be the best person, but the most influential. Hitler received it once, Stalin twice, and – amusingly – Obama twice. Francis has been influential, that much is certain, but how do we want his influence to be remembered in history?

Here’s TIME’s write-up:

“The first Jesuit Pontiff won hearts and headlines with his common touch and rejection of church dogma and luxury.”

Seriously? When did Pope Francis reject church dogma … or any doctrine, for that matter?

TIME, get with it! I’ve already taken the media to task on their lack of journalistic integrity over Pope Francis. You know nothing about theology, why don’t you consult a theologian? Here’s a piece I wrote explaining dogma and doctrine. Read it. Then please show me when and how Pope Francis rejected church dogma.

I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by his pontificate and his profound continuity with Pope Benedict. The only thing he has rejected so far is an outdated and ridiculous stereotype of the Church as unfeeling, stiff, cold, and Republican. No dogma or doctrine has changed, nor can it, nor has it ever in the whole history of the Church. Even when we had some popes who would have benefited personally in huge ways from, say, legitimizing bribery, adultery, and a hundred other personal sins, it’s never once happened. The Church is protected by the Holy Spirit.

So go ahead and vote for Pope Francis – if you want to help form the media’s caricature of our Holy Father’s historical influence – but I won’t be voting for him.

Let Miley Cyrus have it.

1 Comment

  1. I don’t know about you Micah, but I think we should write to Time Magazine and say something. I was so disappointed when first read that write-up.