Pope Francis was named Time’s “Person of the Year” on Wednesday.

The magazine says “with a focus on compassion, the leader of the Catholic Church has become a new voice of conscience.”

“In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power,” writes Time.

Adds the magazine, his “focus on compassion, along with a general aura of merriment not always associated with princes of the church, has made Francis something of a rock star.”

NSA leaker Edward Snowden was the runner-up.

Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs and deputy editor Radhika Jones explain the magazine’s choices in the video below.

What do you think of Time’s choice?