Pope Francis named ‘Person of the Year’ by leading gay rights magazine

The religious leader is the December coverstar of The Advocate magazine, on which he appears with a photoshopped tattoo on his cheek

Happy birthday to Pope Francis, who has once again been named 'Person of the Year', this time by a leading lifestyle magazine that actively promotes gay rights.

The religious leader is the December coverstar of The Advocate magazine, on which he appears with a photoshopped tattoo on his cheek, spelling out the message “NO H8”.

On the right of his portrait shot is the quote that earned him the title, which he delivered during an interview with reporters in July on his way from Brazil to Rome.

He said: “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”

However, the pontiff’s history of supporting gay rights hasn’t always been so revolutionary. For example, he stridently opposes same-sex marriage and fought against laws being passed to allow it when he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires.

“Let’s not be naïve: This is not a simple political struggle, but an attempt to destroy God’s plan,” he said in Argentina of same-sex marriage in 2010. “It is not just a bill but a move of the Father of Lies, who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Nonetheless, he was still picked over Edie Windsor of the US Supreme Court’s DOMA case, whom the magazine refers to as “a hero to LGBT Americans for taking the final punch in the fight against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act…”

On their decision to crown him their ultimate ‘Person’ of 2013, The Advocate said in a statement:

“Pope Francis is leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics all over the world. There are three times as many Catholics in the world than there are citizens in the United States. Like it or not, what he says makes a difference.

“Sure, we all know Catholics who fudge on the religion's rules about morality. There's a lot of disagreement, about the role of women, about contraception, and more. But none of that should lead us to underestimate any pope's capacity for persuading hearts and minds in opening to LGBT people, and not only in the U.S. but globally…

“Francis's view on how the Catholic Church should approach LGBT people was best explained in his own words during an in-depth interview with America magazine in September. He recalled, ‘A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person.’

“In this statement, however, as some bishops have  explained, Pope Francis was simply reinforcing what has always been the teaching of the Church: that all persons are to be treated with dignity and respect.”

The magazine goes on to paint a picture of just how sharply contrasting Paul Francis is compared to his predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the former of which became Pope when then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was openly declaring homosexuality to be “intrinsically evil”.

The title is the second awarded to Pope Francis in 2013. Just last week, TIME magazine named the pontiff their ‘Person of the Year’. He beat the likes of whistleblower Edward Snowden, Miley Cyrus and Barack Obama, among others, to win the prestigious honour.

See TIME Magazine's Person of the Year story here

In other news, Pope Francis was forced to defend his economic and social ideologies after prominent conservatives accused him of coming forward with “pure Marxism”.

Speaking to an Italian newspaper yesterday, the pope described Marxism as “wrong”, but refused to condemn people who hold left-wing views.

The comments came after the Pontiff railed against the “new tyranny” of unfettered capitalism in an 84-page document published last month.

The “apostolic exhortation” sets out the terms by which a pope intends to run the Catholic Church – yet it was slammed by the outspoken conservative US talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Read more on that story here.     

Video: Pope Francis named 'Person Of The Year'    

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor