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Pope Francis Is the Most Talked About Person on the Planet

Pope Francis
The media love affair with Pope Francis is apparently only part of a broader phenomenon: a new survey has found that he is the “most talked about person on the planet.” CNN:

More folks have been chatting about the popular new pontiff online this year than Edward Snowden, Kate Middleton or even the Internet’s favorite bad girl, Miley Cyrus.

That’s according to the 14th annual survey from the Global Language Monitor, a Texas-based company that tracks top talkers on the web. The GLM says their rankings are based on an analysis of English-language blogs, social media and 275,000 electronic and online news media […]

Besides being the Internet’s top name, the Pope’s Twitter handle, @Pontifex, was the fourth most talked about word thus far in 2013 [the other three were #, fail, and 404 error code]

Even more than a demonstration of this Pope’s charisma and popularity, this story points to the deep interest the world continues to have in the Catholic Church and the future of religious faith more generally. Many of the so-called new atheists hold out hope for a total victory for secularism, but a truly secular world would be one in which religion had ceased to be a matter of anything but marginal academic interest. When the Pope is the most talked about person on the planet, and his twitter account is widely engaged with, that world looks just as unlikely as ever.

Even as more people drift away from identification with organized religion, the desires and experiences that religion has always spoken to remain. Religious institutions may be shedding active members, but as bearers of spiritual values and messages they continue to excite serious interest and passion worldwide. They are still a part of the daily texture of life, and nothing at this point seems likely to change that.

[Image of Pope Francis courtesy of Getty Images]

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