The Italian edition of Vanity Fair has named Pope Francis as its Man of the Year with the backing of singer Sir Elton John.
The magazine features Pope Francis on the cover of its new issue and says that Francis has done enough in his first 100 days as Pope to be put at the top of the list of world leaders who make history.
In an accompanying tribute, Sir Elton writes: “Francis is a miracle of humility in an era of vanity.”
He says he hopes that Pope Francis’s message would extend to communities who desperately need his love, including gay people and the children, women and men who live with HIV and Aids and are often alone and hidden by silence.
“[Pope Francis’s] beacon of hope will bring more light than any advancement of science, because no drug has the power of love,” Sir Elton said.
His support for the Pope will surprise some, considering his previous clashes with the Church, over issues such as gay marriage and contraception in Africa.