Forbes has named its 2011 world's most powerful people. Number 7 goes to Pope Benedict XVI. Not too shabby, but a slight comedown from 2010 when he was up two spots at #5.
Ranked at number one was Barack Obama, followed by Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin. The number three spot went to Chinese president Hu Jintao. German Chancelor Angela Merkel and Bill Gates were fourth and fifth respectively, followed by the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.
At eight was Ben Bernanke, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was number nine (really?) with UK Prime Minister David Cameron rounding out the top ten in an apparent display of Anglophilic courtesy from Forbes editors.
Forbes had this to say about the 84 year old Benedict:
The spiritual leader to one-sixth of the world's population—1.2 billion souls—delivers the final word on matters of abortion, gay marriage, female priests and, most recently, Occupy Wall Street. In October the Vatican called for a supranational authority to oversee the global economy: "To function correctly the economy needs ethics, and not just of any kind but one that is people-centered."
2011 Lowlight: Two victim groups asked the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI for covering up instances of sexual abuse.
No word on whether Zuckerberg intends to launch a Facebook campaign to overtake the pontiff by the 2012 list.