Pope Francis most popular name online, survey says [CNA]

Rome, Italy, Nov 13, 2013 / 11:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A new global survey has revealed that Pope Francis has topped the list of names most mentioned on the internet so far this year, with his twitter account also receiving a high ranking on a list of most mentioned words.

“It’s official: Pope Francis is the most talked about person on the planet,” CNN’s “Belief Blog” co-editor Daniel Burke wrote in a Nov. 12 post.

“More folks have been chatting about the popular new pontiff online this year than Edward Snowden, Kate Middleton or even Miley Cyrus.”

The statistics, noted by Burke in his post, come from the 14th annual survey of the Global Language Monitor, which is a company based in Texas that tracks “top talkers” on the worldwide web.

According to Burke, the Monitor divides its research into the categories of “top words, top phrases and top names,” and base their research on the analysis of “English-language blogs, social media and 275,000 electronic and online news media.”

In this year’s survey, the Monitor found that Pope Francis came out as number one on the list of the most talked about names, followed by Obamacare, The National Security Agency, Edward Snowden, and Kate Middleton.

On the list of the most popular words mentioned online, the Monitor found that the Pope’s twitter handle, @Pontifex, came in fourth, stating that it was beat out by the words “404” – the code for a broken webpage – along with “fail” and “hashtag,” which is used to denote different topics on twitter.

President of the Global Language Monitor Paul Payack revealed that the words “’404’ and ‘fail’ got a big boost from the problematic launch of the Obama administration's website for purchasing health care under the Affordable Care Act,” Burke wrote.

In separate post written on the “Belief Blog” earlier this month, Burke spoke of the fact that the new pontiff seems to be gaining popularity even amongst atheists.

In light of the Pope’s “spontaneous acts of compassion,” Burke noted that Pope Francis has not only “earned high praise from fellow Catholics,” but that “even atheists love him.”

During a Nov. 7 video interview posted on the blog, Burke expressed his opinion that the pontiff’s popularity is growing because “we see a lot of religious leaders who talk about reaching out to the poor and the marginalized…but we finally see a religious figure who actually putting his hands on it, who's actually embracing these people physically.”

Burke then quoted several twitter posts from atheists written on the same day as the interview, including one by a woman who states that “I may be an atheist, but there's something about Pope Francis that makes me want to be Catholic. He's so inspiring.”

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:thumbsup:

This is pretty cool!

I can’t help but feel like something is wrong when the Pope is the most popular person in the world. (To all appearances.)

We, as Catholics, are supposed to be opposing and transcending the spirit of the world, not becoming part of it!

But we are also supposed to be the the light of the world, and a light can’t and shouldn’t be hidden. Getting attention, even good attention, doesn’t make one a part of the world or giving in. After all, even Jesus had tons of good, positive attention during his earthly ministry.

People are talking about Francis because they see something in him that attracts them. This is good, because what they are attracted to whether knowingly or unknowingly is Christ. Maybe some of them think that he’s going to change Church doctrine, but who cares? He has said multiple times that he is a faithful son of the Church, and the Church’s teaching can’t be changed. When people start to finally realize that, maybe they’ll turn on him, maybe not.

But the fact is, people are listening, and talking, about the Church. And many are being called home. This is an immensely good thing. Maybe they’ll start to ask themselves, what is it that makes Francis so different and joyful and merciful? And that will lead them to Christ, who the pope has been trying to direct people’s eyes and hearts to all along.

We shouldn’t be seeking out attention, you’re right, but goodness always will bring attention to itself. And when it happens, we just have to be sure to point the attention back to Christ, which so far is what I’ve been seeing Francis is all about.

Oh, don’t mistake me. I definitely am glad that the Pope is having such a positive effect on the world, bringing people in and opening their minds to things they would not have considered before.

However, knowing history, I know that the world does not normally accept goodness, promote goodness, with such open jubilation. The world, rather, usually does the opposite.

This suggests to me that they think they can get something out of Pope Francis to their permanent benefit. I already know what that is. They believe that, by misinterpreting his words, by bending the statements he makes, they can confuse the world as to what true Catholic teaching is, and do irreparable damage simply through the power of media to twist the truth.

I pray that the Church is able to weather the storm.

I definitely agree with this. That’s why we should all be keeping Francis in our prayers. :sad_yes: He needs all the help he can get.

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