After making Time’s cover as 2013 Person of the Year, Pope Francis has become the first pontiff to grace the cover of the prestigious music magazine Rolling Stone.
The photo of Francis smiling and waving is accompanied by the phrase, ''The times they are a-changin,'' in a reference to the famous music album by Bob Dylan.
Inside, the article by contributing editor Mark Binelli focuses on the “gentle revolution” carried out by Bergoglio. Binelli states that the pope was able in less than a year to revive the message of the Catholic Church throughout the world.
“In less than a year since his papacy began,” Binelli writes, “Pope Francis has done much to separate himself from past popes and establish himself as a people's pope.”
Since March 13, 2013, the day Bergoglio was elected, the attendance at papal events has more than tripled, reaching the record figure of over 6.6 million people, the article points out. With his humble tones that bring him closer to ordinary people, and his words for the poor, the forgotten, the disenfranchised, the author writes, the Pope seems to be perfectly suited for these troubled times. His choice to discard the pompous traditional vestments in favor of simplicity and to live in a modest two-room apartment rather than the papal palace has been appreciated by many.
Binelli also refers to the now-famous words the Pope said regarding homosexuality, “Who am I to judge?'', to his public criticism of church leaders for being "obsessed" with divisive social issues like gay marriage, birth control and abortion, and to his harsh criticism of ruthless capitalism, to assert that "the pope revealed his own obsessions to be more in line with the boss' son."