The U.S. edition designated the pontiff, who was elected in April 2005, in an issue that singled out he and 22 others as “People Who Mattered,” including U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Chaney, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, peace activist Cindy Sheehan, New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and “The Google Guys.”
“Pope Benedict XVI -- For years Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger seemed too polarizing a conservative to succeed John Paul II. But closeness to the late pontiff, his intellectual substance and his high profile entering the conclave turned him into the obvious choice,” Time said.
In that issue, Time identified 19 who had died in 2005 in a list entitled “A Fond Farewell’ that included Pope John Paul II and Terri Schiavo.
In that Dec. 26 issue, Time named Bill and Melinda Gates of Microsoft and Bono of the rock group U2 as “Persons of the Year.” The three “Good Samaritans,” Time said, were so designated “for being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow.”
Time Europe’s designation of Pope Benedict as “European Newsmaker 2006” was done in a special article in its Dec. 26 issue about him, entitled “A Man on a Mission: After eight months on the job,. Pope Benedict XVI has created a charisma all his own.”
“For all his learning and his sense of mission, the great surprise of Benedict's papacy so far — at least to those who didn't personally know him — has been a quiet humanity,” Time wrote. “Among those for whom doctrine is key, Benedict's unshakable convictions will earn him both fans and foes. For those of us less sure of our faith — and even those with none at all — the new pope reminds us, simply, that a missionary's work is never done.”