Pope Francis became the leader of the Catholic Church in March, bringing to the Vatican a series of firsts: the first pope to choose St. Francis as a namesake, the first Latin American pope, and the first Jesuit pope.
His conversational first words from St. Peter's balcony asked the people to pray for him a humble greeting that captured many hearts. The messages he has spread since then - those of tolerance, equality, and humanitarianism - make him a "This Week" game changer for 2013.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York explained "The Francis effect" in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
"This pope has successfully, finally shattered the caricature of the church that his predecessors have tried hard to do. What's that caricature? That the church is kind of mean and dour and always saying no and always telling us what we can't do and always telling us why we should be excluded," Cardinal Dolan said. "He's saying 'Oh no, come on in, the church is about warmth and tenderness.'"
Pope Francis' efforts are clearly working. In a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, 92 percent of American Catholics have a favorable opinion of the new pope, and 85 percent think he is moving the church in the right direction.
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