Pope Francis Is World's Most Powerful Latino, According To Forbes

Pope Francis in St. Peter Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013.

Pope Francis in St. Peter Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013.  (ap)

Pope Francis is the fourth most powerful person in the world, and the most powerful Latino, according to Forbes' annual "Most Powerful in the World" rankings.

Only Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Barack Obama, and general secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, ranked higher, respectively, than his holiness. 

Pope Francis became the first Jesuit and Latin American to lead the Catholic Church's 1.2 billion followers — 40 percent of whom live in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to Forbes, the Argentinean- born has "breathed new energy" into the Church, emphasizing humility, compassion for the poor, and embracing social media with over 3 million followers. 

In case you were wondering, Pope Francis got a higher ranking than Pope Benedict, who was ranked #5 in 2012 and #7 in 2011.

The 76-year-old Pope ranked higher than the only other Latinos on the list of 72: Mexico's Carlos Slim (#12), the world's richest man; Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (#20); and Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto (#37).

Slim, who is worth $73 billion thanks to the telecom industry, seemingly owns a bit of everything from soccer clubs to the New York Times. Rousseff is the second most powerful woman in the world, second only to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She will be leading Brazil as the country hosts the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 and also had enough guts to cancel a visit to the White House over reports of the National Security Agency spying on her.

Of the world's 7.2 billion people in the world, Forbes editors pick the 72 most powerful every year based on the number of people a person influences, the financial resources he or she controls, whether or not the candidate is powerful in more than one hemisphere of the world, and whether or not a person actively uses his or her power.

Based on the wisdom of the editors, Pope Francis #4 spot seems to make sense. He has influence over 1 in 7 human beings on Earth, is the CEO of the Vatican – which is worth about $8 billion –, there are Catholics in all hemispheres and this Pope is a headline machine, openly weighing in on any of the world's issues.

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Bryan Llenas currently serves as a New York-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). Click here for more information on Bryan Llenas. Follow him on Twitter @BryanLlenas.