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Pope Francis Makes the Cover of Rolling Stone

Image: Pope Francis Makes the Cover of Rolling Stone

Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014 08:25 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

Pope Francis has become the first pontiff to land on the cover of Rolling Stone, which is usually reserved for rock stars.

Just a month after he was named Time's Person of the Year, the man who has been called the people's pontiff has been given another accolade.

Francis: Who Is Pope Francis? Book Reveals the Man

Smiling and waving, he is pictured above the coverline, "Times they are a-changing."

Indeed, they are. The New York Post trumpeted the Rolling Stone cover, saying it "cements [the pope's] place in pop culture."

Inside the magazine, there is 7,700 word profile by contributing editor Mark Binelli on the leader of the Roman Catholic Church with the headline, "Inside the Pope's Gentle Revolution."

Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina, the article calls the "266th vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth, a man whose obvious humility, empathy and, above all, devotion to the economically disenfranchised has come to feel perfectly suited to our times.

"In less than a year since his papacy began, Pope Francis has done much to separate himself from past popes and establish himself as a people's pope."

Binelli praises the pontiff for eschewing the trappings of his position by living in a two-room apartment in the Vatican instead of the papal palace. He's also retired the papal Mercedes in favor of a beaten-up Ford Focus, and wears an iron cross around his neck instead of a gilded one.

Binelli points out that Pope Francis has made his mark in his first year in office by "publicly scolding church leaders for being 'obsessed' with divisive social issues like gay marriage, birth control and abortion. ('Who am I to judge?' Francis famously replied when asked his views on homosexual priests.)

The article went on, "Perhaps most astonishingly of all, by devoting much of his first major written teaching to a scathing critique of unchecked free-market capitalism, the pope revealed his own obsessions to be more in line with the boss' son."

Francis: Who Is Pope Francis? Book Reveals the Man

The article compared Francis to his retired predecessor, Pope Benedict, and says it is not surprising that the new pontiff is beloved by the people.

"After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis's basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic."

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