By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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indexPerhaps there is hope for us after all.

Just when you thought the world had gone completely mad, fueled by a media fascinated by the shenanigans of twerking trollops, treacherous traitors and politicians with a fondness for rhyming verse, a measure of sanity prevails.

In a welcome show of good sense and good taste, Time Magazine has bestowed Pope Francis with the coveted title of Person of the Year for 2013. That is, the title is coveted by news-makers with their feet firmly earthbound.

I’m sure Francis couldn’t care less.

Pope Francis has been a breath of fresh air for Catholics, this one included, who welcome his embrace of the poor and attempt to redirect the Church towards love, tolerance and mercy–you know, the stuff we’re supposed to be thinking about.

While some hard-liners object to the Pope’s forgiving and tolerant nature, most of us are breathing a collective sigh of relief, thankful that there’s finally someone in charge who seems to recall the true mission of the Church. (I’m still not expecting women to be ordained as priests any time soon, but all things in time….)

Anyway, Francis had some stiff competition for the title. There was Miley Cyrus, the former Disney star (Walt must be rolling over in his grave), who has recently made a career out of discovering new, lewd uses for foam fingers and construction equipment while no doubt creating nightmares for her future offspring, should any man be fool enough to want to take her on.

Then we had Edward Snowden, the unqualified, unvetted  geek who somehow landed a sensitive government job and decided to spill state surveillance secrets to the world. (For the record, I’m not on board with everything the NSA has done, but I’m also of the mindset that if you ain’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about….)

Next up, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who resorted to quoting Dr. Seuss during a filibuster aimed at derailing Obamacare. Now I know we have a bunch of pre-schoolers in Congress, but Dr. Seuss? Come on. At least read Shakespeare or something.

Finally, there was Bashar Assad, lunatic and leader of Syria, who has made a career out of murdering his own people. Unfortunately, Time is no stranger to anointing madmen and murders; witness the bestowing of the title on Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 as well as Adolf Hitler in 1938.

Readers were allowed to vote and weigh in on the choice, so I’m guessing Miley was a front-runner, but the powers that be at Time had the final say. Thank God, who may have actually had a hand in it, they chose Francis, a one-time club bouncer and humble soul who still refuses to live in the grand Papal apartments, preferring to call simpler diggs home. It’s hard not to like a guy who isn’t afraid to take on the rich and powerful, even if they’re in his own posse.

Yet lest anyone think the media has gone all highbrow, never fear. Miley Cyrus will continue to garner attention for behaving like a tramp when she is feted by Barbara Walters later this week as Babs presents her final list of fascinating people, airing December 18th at 9:30 PM on ABC. Walters also offers us those other bastions of good taste and respectability, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. And Edward Snowden gets a nod, too, although with any luck, he’s freezing his a** off in Russia and couldn’t do an interview.

Thank you, Time, for gifting us this holiday season with a truly deserving Person of the Year. Especially someone who’s deserving for all of the right reasons.

What’s your take on Time’s Person of the Year? Click “comments” below and share!