March 11, 2014
Francis makes Rolling Stones cover for leading 'gentle revolution'
The Argentine pontiff, the first Latin American pope in history, will be adding a new title to his papal resume as he has reached the cover of the Rolling Stones magazine. “Times are a-changing” the article reads, stressing Francis’ informal style leading to what author Mark Binelli calls the “gentle revolution.”
The Francis edition will be available as for Friday this week in the US. According to Binelli, the head of the world’s 1.2 Catholics has succeeded in renewing the Church’s message with the number of people attending papal events reaching 6.6 millions since Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as pope last year.
Francis’ decision not to live at the papal palace, going for more austere outfits and simplicity, the magazine stresses, has allowed the also Time Magazine’s Person of the Year to promote his humble tone bringing the Church closer to the people.
Following is part of the Rolling Stones profile on Pope Francis, the first pontiff to ever hit the magazine’s cover:
Surprising desk clerks at the hotel where he'd been staying during the papal conclave by showing up to pay his own bill; panicking bodyguards by swigging from a cup of maté (the highly caffeinated tealike beverage popular throughout South America) handed to him by a stranger during a visit to Brazil; cracking up cardinals with jokes at his own expense hours after being elected (to those assembled at his first official dinner as pope, he deadpanned, "May God forgive you for what you've done").
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' basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic. But he had far more radical changes in mind. By eschewing the papal palace for a modest two-room apartment, 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) and – 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.