"For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world's largest church to confronting its deepest needs, and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is Time's 2013 Person of the Year," Time said in its announcement.
On the surface, Francis offers a refreshing and humane change from his predecessor, Pope Benedict. However, while Francis may appear on the surface to be liberal or progressive in some of his views, he is ultimately the representative and spokesman for a deeply conservative and morally corrupt institution built on misogyny, homophobia, superstition and ignorance.
Francis has not changed the oppressive and morally indefensible teachings of the church concerning homosexuality, the ordination of women and contraception. Francis defends the oppression that is synonymous with the Catholic Church. For Francis, the all-male priesthood is not subject to debate, nor is abortion, nor is the definition of marriage.
Perhaps most damning, Francis has failed to address in any meaningful way the sexual abuse of children by clergy, the cancer that has destroyed any moral authority the church may have once claimed. As Pope, Francis continues the Catholic tradition of protecting pedophile priests from criminal prosecution. Under Francis, the Vatican remains strongly resistant to making sexually abusive members of the clergy and their church protectors accountable to external criminal prosecution.
Francis may be a likable and charismatic leader, but he represents a product that is toxic, and obnoxious to reason and human decency.