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Pope Named "World's Greatest Leader" by Fortune Magazine

03/20/2014 Comments (5)

Fortune magazine has become the latest publication to honor Pope Francis, naming him the world's greatest leader.

The Holy Father came top of 50 of the world's greatest leaders, chosen by the magazine in a world "starved for leadership". The magazine says the list consists of "men and women who will inspire you -- some famous, others little known, all of them energizing their followers and making the world better."

"In the brief time since [his election], Francis has electrified the Church and attracted legions of non-Catholic admirers by energetically setting a new direction," the magazine says. "He has refused to occupy the palatial papal apartments, has washed the feet of a female Muslim prisoner, is driven around Rome in a Ford Focus, and famously asked "Who am I to judge?" with regard to the Church's view of gay members. He created a group of eight cardinals to advise him on reform, which a Church historian calls the 'most important step in the history of the Church for the past 10 centuries.'"

The magazine notes that Francis "recently asked the world to stop the rock-star treatment" but adds: "He knows that while revolutionary, his actions so far have mostly reflected a new tone and intentions. His hardest work lies ahead."

It says that "signs of a 'Francis effect' abound." In a poll in March, one in four Catholics said they'd increased their charitable giving to the poor this year. "Of those, 77% said it was due in part to the Pope," Fortune says.

In the year since his election, the Pope has been named Person of the Year by Time, and made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, among others. Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc. and founded in 1930.

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Follow on Twitter @edwardpentin