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Pope Francis named Time's Person of the Year: Do you agree?

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Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year. (Associated Press)

Time magazine selected the Catholic Church's new leader Pope Francis as its Person of the Year, prompting criticism by those who think runner-up NSA leaker Edward Snowden deserved the distinction.

The magazine says the first Jesuit Pope who is also the first from Latin America has shifted the perception of the Catholic Church in a short time.

Former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected in March and is the third Catholic pope to receive the honour. Time gave that honor to Pope John Paul II in 1994 and to Pope John XXIII in 1963. 

But those lobbying for Snowden to be chosen for the 87-year-old distinction say the NSA whistleblower was snubbed.

Time writes that the 30-year-old "Dark Prophet" executed the "year's most spectacular heist," giving a snapshot of his life as an exile in Russia and his motivations and concerns about an era of surveillance.

However, former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who through Snowden revealed a far-reaching spying operation by the U.S. National Security Agency in June, was seemingly unsurprised by Time's POY pick. 

Following the first look at the documents Snowden leaked, new details continue to emerge of U.S. and foreign surveillance, prompting greater scrutiny of the agency by citizens and global leaders.

Snowden supporters say he undoubtedly affected the news and lives during the year, which are the tenets of Time's Person of the Year. readers were conflicted over the POY pick. 

"Sorry, it should have been Edward Snowden. Look at the impact he has had, and he is much more courageous than the Pope," wrote one reader. 

"Seriously? This is a joke. He has done nothing that I am aware of which in any way seriously changes the church," another reader wrote. 

"Wonderful choice. I am not a Christian but I think this guy is absolutely amazing," wrote a reader.

Besides Snowden, Time had narrowed its finalists down to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and gay rights activist Edith Windsor. Egyptian general Abdul Fattah al-Sisis won Time's Person of the Year poll.

Do you agree with Time's Person of the Year selection? If not, who do you think it should have been? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Tags: Edward Snowden, NSA, Person of the Year, Pope Francis, POV, POY, Surveillance, TIME

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