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Pope Francis leads religious leaders, Latinos in latest Forbes power list

Published: Friday, Nov. 1 2013 8:15 a.m. MDT

In this Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 file photo, Pope Francis leaves after an audience with families in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (Alessandra Tarantino, Associated Press) In this Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 file photo, Pope Francis leaves after an audience with families in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (Alessandra Tarantino, Associated Press)

Pope Francis was recently announced as the fourth most powerful person in the world, according to a Forbes list released Wednesday.

The pope ranks only behind Russian President Vladimir Putin, United States President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the list. This is Francis’ first ranking on the list since he took over the papacy earlier this year.

Though he’s ranked fourth overall, Francis is the most powerful Latino, according to NBC Latino.

The pope has “‘breathed new energy’ into the church by encouraging followers to practice humility, compassion for the poor, a greater role for women while signalling the church to quiet its focus on ‘only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptives,’ and embracing social media with more than 3 million followers,” NBC Latino reported on the Forbes list.

With this news, The Latin Times published six reasons why the pope deserves his spot on the list. His progressive outlook, his wish to expand women’s roles in the church, joining Twitter, his “opened-minded” approach about heaven, his “down to Earth” attitude and his lack of interference in people’s lives were all listed as reasons for his success, The Latin Times reported.

“Modesty is a virtue people admire in many, and that's exactly what we have with Pope Francis,” wrote The Latin Times. “The Pope has proven his down-to-earth nature on several occasions, whether it is inviting a young boy with Down syndrome to ride the 'popemobile' or more recently, when a young boy joined the Pope on stage, he sat the child down on his chair and continued with his speech."

This wasn’t the only time the pope has made the list. The previous pope, Pope Benedict, was in the fifth spot in 2012 and seventh spot in 2011.

The list is based on four factors — how many people the individuals has power over, what financial resources they control, if they have an international influence and how often they “wield their power to change the world,” according to Forbes.

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