Pope Francis greets the faithful as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sept. 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Remo Casilli

Pope Francis ranks third among Fortune’s 'greatest leaders'

(RNS) Pope Francis has ranked third on Fortune's annual “World’s Greatest Leaders” list, in part because of his criticism of what the magazine called "capitalism without conscience."

The two people on the 50-member list who beat him to the top were first-ranking Theo Epstein, president of the Chicago Cubs, and Jack Ma, chairman of the Alibaba Group e-commerce firm.

The magazine cited Francis’ work to balance the modern and traditional aspects of the Roman Catholic Church, his pushing it to be more accepting of divorced and LGBT Catholics and, more recently, his suggestion of married men as a possible solution to the priest shortage.

“But beyond his church’s walls, it’s the pope’s critique of capitalism without conscience that ensures his enduring influence,” Forbes said Thursday (March 23). “In December at a gathering of CEOs convened by Fortune and Time at the Vatican, Pope Francis called on business leaders to do more to reach the billions of people shut out from the fruits of the global economy.”

Epstein was noted for presiding over the Chicago Cubs as it ended a 108-year-old championship drought, and Ma for his promise to President Trump to create 1 million American jobs in five years.

Francis topped the list in 2014, the year after he became pope.

“In the brief time since, Francis has electrified the church and attracted legions of non-Catholic admirers by energetically setting a new direction,” Forbes said at the time.


  1. Amazing that sports manager trumps a man who is presiding over the largest and most conservative organization being accused of communism by the media of the Wall St., Imagine how media shapes public opinion.

  2. Agreed. The same US media who handed the GOP nomination to Trump and then reported the faults of Clinton as comparable to Trump’s, has been completely dishonest regarding this pope. Not only has Pope Francis appointed a slew of vulture capitalists to maintain and prosper his own investments, commercial real estate and bank accounts, but he leads his Church in allowing sexual predators to roam free, and obstruct and deny human rights to women and LGBTQ persons around the world.

  3. Fortune magazine must like crony capitalism. Why else would they revere a pope who promotes socialism/crony capitalism throughout the world, rather than free market capitalism and the resulting benefit to people throughout the world?

    Don’t worry about things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?” These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
    Matthew 6:31-33

  4. huh?…how did the media hand the GOP nomination to Trump? Are you delusional?……they haven’t gone a day since the summer of 2015 without relentless wall to wall bashing of the man….and as for Hillary…the things she did make Nixon look like a saint

  5. Preceding the national conventions, “a high volume” of “positive media coverage … propelled Trump to the top of the Republican poll.” https://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/news/articles/new-paper-examines-presidential-campaign-media-coverage-pre-primaries
    “Over the full course of the election, it was Clinton, not Trump, who was more often the target of negative coverage.” After the nominations became official, “Clinton and Trump’s coverage was virtually identical in terms of its negative tone. ‘Were the allegations surrounding Clinton of the same order of magnitude as those surrounding Trump?’ asks Thomas E. Patterson in a report from Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. https://shorensteincenter.org/news-coverage-2016-general-election/?platform=hootsuite

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