New Pope 2013: Pope Francis Among 28 Names in Time Magazine’s Most Influential People for 2013

  @ibtimesau on

Just over two weeks as a celebrity, newly elected Pope Francis continues to make waves globally as proven by his inclusion in the 2013 Time Magazine 100 poll of the most influential people of the year.

While the annual list, first published in 1999, lists 100 names, the magazine's Web page showed at least 28 faces with the pope's picture right on the top row. Considering his popularity brought about by his bringing a fresh hope for change in the scandal-ridden Roman Catholic Church, the former Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio stands a good chance of being included in the list.

Other influential people on the list include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton, South Korean YouTube sensation Psy of Gangnam Style fame, U.S. President Barack Obama and notorious North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Mr Obama and Ms Clinton, who were the rivals for the Democrat U.S. presidential bid in 2008, are included in the 2012 list.

However, the topnotcher is American TV talk show queen Oprah Winfrey who has been on the list nine times. They were followed by Mr Obama and Ms Clinton who were on the roster seven times, then by Ms Merkel and Apple founder Steve Jobs (five times) and former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Gates, Chinese Premier Hu Jintao, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former U.S. State Secretary Condoleeza Rice and actor George Clooney at least four times.

Pope Francis's predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, was on the list thrice - in 2011, 2009 and 2007.

Pope Francis, with his extreme popularity, stands a chance of being on Time's list at least more than once.

One proof of his popularity is the crowd of 250,000 international pilgrims who attended the Easter Sunday Mass at the Vatican.

Besides the usual Easter Sunday greeting which he read only in the Italian language, the pontiff prayed for a political solution to the crisis in Syria and for reconciliation between North and South Korea.

He also appealed for the release of hostages held by Nigerian militants and condemned human trafficking as the most extensive form of slavery in the 21st century.

Pope Francis also greeted his more than 2 million followers in Twitter with the following Easter Sunday message.

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