Pope Francis waves to the crowd in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday (March 19) at the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

Pope Francis waves to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square on Tuesday (March 19) at the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Fortune magazine today released its list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders and guess who came in at Numero Uno? Yep:

Francis recently asked the world to stop the rock-star treatment. He knows that while revolutionary, his actions so far have mostly reflected a new tone and intentions. His hardest work lies ahead. And yet signs of a “Francis effect” abound: In a poll in March, one in four Catholics said they’d increased their charitable giving to the poor this year. Of those, 77% said it was due in part to the Pope.

Well, they may be overstating the statistical “Francis Effect,” as other polls don’t show many behavioral changes. But no doubt there’s been a major shift.

And Francis’ leadership faces many tests, but he has really begun to shake up the Vatican bureaucracy AND the culture of the church.

Can he succeed? Or will “Pope and Change” wind up the same way “Hope and Change” has?

Come to mention it, President Obama isn’t even on the list. But the POTUS will be meeting the Pope next week in the Vatican, their first encounter. Maybe he’ll get some tips?

By the way, some other notables on the list:

  • Bono (8)
  • The Dalai Lama (9)
  • Angelina Jolie (21)

Check it out.


  1. Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh

    Pope Francis does not deserve that honor, since he prefers to protect sexual predator clergy from civil law than to protect innocent children from clergy sexual abuse. President Obama definitely belongs in the top 5 of the world’s greatest leaders. What he has been able to do for all Americans is miraculous, considering how the church and the Republicans are trying to block him. As a physician, I am very supportive of Obamacare for the good of all of the American people. The church and the Republicans seem to be mostly interested in the wealthy 1% of Americans.

    • No American president deserves to be on this list due to the fact that as a country we have aborted over 55 million babies since roe. barack o’Christ is one of the biggest supporters of abortion mills that has ever been in the whit house. The doctor title obviously has take place of any moral that you might have had.

  2. I guess I am the odd man out here – I think this pope is probably the worst in a few hundred years… why? Because he has made it clear that he is not interested in doing the job of the pope, which is to defend the faith, doctrines and traditions of the Church from attack for the salvation of souls, instead he wants to use what is left of the church structure to promote social service.
    He is a true modernist which has already been condemned as a heresy.

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