New Orleans Catholics react to Pope Francis Time Magazine Person of the Year accolade

Time Magazine is naming Pope Francis its person of the year.

“We are very proud he has been given this honor,” says Archbishop of New Orleans Gregory Aymond. “He’s a man who understands the heart of people.”

Archbishop Aymond imagines a humble pope when Time’s award was announced, “The pope’s mindset is likely that, I have done no more than my duty. I am simply trying to be the shepherd of the church the pope of the church, the bishop of Rome.”

“This can only be good for the Catholic Church,” says Director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry, Thomas Ryan, Ph.D.

Ryan says the notoriety Time Magazine brings to the Pope will benefit the Pope’s teachings, “It helps him to convey his message that is a message of welcome, of hope, of God’s unconditional love.”

A Vatican spokesperson says Time Magazines person of the year accolade is a prestigious declaration, “The pope does not look for honors but he’s happy if his message of the love of god is received and understood.”

Pope Francis  is the third pope named person of the year. Pope John XXIII made Time’s cover in 1962, and Pope John Paul II was chosen in 1994.

“Pope Francis is a very unique person,” says Aymond. “He has given certainly a new face and a new heart to the papacy.”

“This affirms what he’s been doing in his words,” says Ryan.  “I look forward to seeing where the pope goes from here.”