Time magazine’s selection of Pope Francis as its “Person of the Year” drew praise from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The pontiff, whose popularity has soared as a result of his outspoken back-to-basics message for Catholics, beat out other newsmakers such as NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“Time magazine has made the right choice. Pope Francis has managed in a short time to re-energize his own Church by his personal humility and his personal touch and he has reached out to those who may have felt unattended to, including gays and the poor,” Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the ADL, toldJNS.org.
Foxman added that Pope Francis has made Catholic-Jewish relations a priority, expanding on the progress of his predecessors, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II.
“For the Jewish community, the Pope has already demonstrated that his Papacy will continue to expand on the remarkable progress in Catholic-Jewish relations that has flourished in recent years,” Foxman said.
Pope Francis, who recently met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time, is expected to visit Israel in May 2014.