Pope Francis is on the Rolling Stone Cover

In a overall positive cover story for Rolling Stone, Mark Binelli profiles Pope Francis:

What I love about that cover is that if you don’t look at the bottom half of it, it looks like Pope Francis is described as “The Internet Crime Kingpin” :)

It’s a funny thing, papal celebrity. As the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio had never been an especially gifted public speaker. But now that he’s Pope Francis, his recognizable humanity comes off as positively revolutionary

… 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.

The pope’s tonal changes don’t necessarily signal a wild swing from tradition. Francis has ruled out the ordination of women, for example, and he still considers abortion an evil…

… it’s while speaking to the latter point that he makes the “Who am I to judge?” remark, and this part of the video is really worth watching, because, aside from the entirely mind-blowing fact of a supposedly infallible pope asking this question at all, his answer is never really translated properly. What he actually says is, “Mah, who am I to judge?” In Italian, mah is an interjection with no exact English parallel, sort of the verbal equivalent of an emphatic shrug. My dad’s use of mah most often precedes his resignedly pouring another splash of grappa into his coffee. The closest translation I can come up with is “Look, who the hell knows?” If you watch the video, Francis even pinches his fingers together for extra Italian emphasis. Then he flashes a knowing smirk.

The full article is available online. You won’t learn anything you didn’t already know, but much like The Advocate, it stresses the importance of the symbolic change the current Pope has brought to his office and Catholicism in general.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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