BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Calling him “The People’s Pope,” Time Magazine names Pope Francis its “Person of the Year.” It is an honor that comes just nine months into a papacy that has sparked both admiration and outrage around the world.

Kai Jackson has reaction to the announcement.

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Being named “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine is an honor for Pope Francis. It’s a distinction that Catholics and others believe is well deserved.

In a relatively short time, Pope Francis has become known as a compassionate and accessible pontiff. So when Time Magazine announced Francis had been named “Person of the Year,” many felt is was a well deserved honor.

“I think that Francis is so appealing because he’s so genuine,” the Archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori, said.

Lori tells WJZ that Francis is a pope of the people, a man who has lived simply and loves the poor.

“His life revolves around Christ and the gospel. And he is like a parish priest,” the archbishop said.

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The pope, a Jesuit, is known to closely follow the teachings of Jesus. Yet he has said he doesn’t believe the controversial issues of homosexuality or abortion need to be discussed all the time.

As the pope strives to open the arms of the Catholic Church to the masses, some fear it is that action that could push away those holding firm to church doctrine.

“He’s not here to change Catholic doctrine or faith and morals. He completely supports it,” said Father John Conley, Loyola University Maryland. “But there is a new emphasis on reaching out to those who are alienated, and I think, to presenting the gospel in a simpler way perhaps than we’ve often presented it.”

This is the third pope Time Magazine has chosen as its “Person of the Year.”

“He didn’t choose the name Pope Francis by accident. One, there is Francis Xavier from the Jesuit tradition. And on top of that, there’s the very famous St. Francis of Assisi, known for his poverty,” said Anthony Summers, Charles Village.

The pope is the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world.

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