January 9, 2014 1:46 PM EST

Person of the Year
The editors need to be congratulated for having selected Pope Francis as Time’s Person of the Year [Dec. 23]. Though a non-Christian, I have been greatly impressed by the manner in which the Pope set about changing the perception of the Catholic Church and religion by stressing austerity, simplicity, compassion over condemnation and practicing what he preached. He personified the voice of global conscience and set an example to leaders of other religions by drawing himself closer to the man on the street.
Nanda Amarasekera,
Colombo, Sri Lanka

TIME’s choice of the Jesuit Pope Francis as Person of the Year will be greeted with joy by the Vatican and its followers, and with dismay by the millions of Christian believers who choose to go directly to Jesus by faith, and thereby bypass the man-made tollgate of Rome.
Craig St. Ormonde Hounsom,
Cape Town

The Vatican, being one of the wealthiest entities on earth, calls for humanity to refrain from worshipping money and wealth, while sitting on its golden throne contemplating Jesus. Could you get more hypocritical? The Pope is a demagogue in the truest definition of the word, and by all actions is a total contradiction to the reality of the modern world, which is filled with true heroes in science, technology and medicine.
Ziv Goldberg,
Durban, South Africa

You highlighted the generosity and open-mindedness of Pope Francis in a world where sectarianism tends to make people blind toward one another. He reminds us that the duty of the church is to keep its doors open to any of us of goodwill, to forgive and not judge them.
Laure-Evelyne Laloire,
Rambouillet, France

I suspect Pope Francis was selected Person of the Year for the same reason that President Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize. President Obama was awarded the Nobel because he isn’t George W. Bush. Pope Francis is Person of the Year because he isn’t Benedict.
Milton David Fisher,
Cashmere, Australia

In his so far short reign, Pope Francis seems to be inspiring and revitalizing the Catholic Church. Perhaps some credit should be given to the electors who were somehow inspired in making him their choice?
Chris Bond,
Christchurch, New Zealand

The Short List
Pope Francis is rightfully presented as Person of the Year [Dec. 23]. As No. 2, also rightfully, you have chosen Edward Snowden. However, you insult Snowden, readers and everyone in the whole spied-on world by labeling him the Dark Prophet. Dark Prophet? Come on, what Snowden is doing is bringing some light to what’s going on in the dark corners of the NSA and GCHQ.
Goran Vesterlund,
Nattraby, Sweden

I question Edith Windsor and Senator Ted Cruz as influential people of the year. Yes, they might be influential to Americans. But if we look at the world stage, surely they cannot rate in the top five above people from Asia or Africa.
Evan Player,
Townsville, Australia

The Doctor Is Out
Re “The Year in Make-Believe” [Dec. 23]: I was disappointed with what I feel is a significant omission in the piece on the most influential onscreen characters. In 2013, we celebrated 50 years of Doctor Who, the longest-running science-fiction show of all time. Where else in television history has there been a character that has persisted for so long and been played by so many actors? With generations of children hiding behind the couch in fear of the Daleks, my own 4-year-old son begs me to watch “scary” Doctor Who. Or is the omission due to the character not being American?
Margaret Tonkin,
Newman, Australia

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