Sunday, February 2, 2014

A new pope star in the house

It is difficult to find a person who hasn't heard about the brand new Pope of the Catholic Church. Less than a year old in his papacy, Pope Francis is a well-known pope not only among Catholics but everyone irrespective of faith, religion, race, seems to be talking about him. He is the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church, but the only one who joins the ranks of pop star icons like Janet Jackson, John Lennon, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, who featured on the Rolling Stone magazine cover. But does Pope Francis set the stage on fire like people who normally are featured on this magazine?

Rolling Stone is a magazine known for its musical coverage and for political reporting. So what made the magazine have Pope Francis on its cover page? Did Pope Francis’ millions of Twitter followers draw the magazine to have him on his cover or is it the five magic words - "Who am I to judge?" - that did the real magic. 

"Who am I to judge?" said Pope Francis when he was asked by a reporter about the status of gay priests in the church. These five words uttered by the pope undoubtedly surprised the catholic world, but in the bargain the respect for him increased a thousand fold.

The Catholic Church is known to impose a set-of-doctrines on Catholics around the world. These set-of-rules has made many Catholics turn-away from the church. But the septuagenarian Pope Francis seems to have changed this with his statement that the church has become "obsessed" with abortion, contraception and gay rights. It needs gumption to make that statement. This certainly makes the pope appear like a people’s pope and not someone who wears a halo over his head. 

The young and the old love him. Like Pope John Paul II, Catholics might not nominate Pope Francis to become a saint, but would certainly want to emulate his style and personality. 

Pope Francis is featured smiling and waving in the Rolling Stone magazine. And I won't be surprised if very soon a fashion magazine will feature him sitting on his Harley Davidson. A pope owning a Harley, I mean really? I don't mind going to mass everyday if the head of the church comes riding on his Harley. Isn't that cool!

It’s not the first time that the pope has featured on the cover of a magazine. A few months back Pope Francis was named 'Person of the Year' by the TIME magazine. The TIME magazine justified its cover story looking at the way Pope Francis captured the imaginations of millions of people in a matter of few months since he took office. The TIME magazine officials say Pope Francis was selected by editors of the magazine who considered suggestions and inputs from the magazine’s more than 2-million Twitter followers. The magazine believes that pope has given hope to millions of people who have moved away from the church, and that’s what drove them to have him on their magazine cover. 

The pope unlike his predecessors has also not shied away from politics. Because ultimately, it is the decision made by world leaders that has an impact on world peace. Recently he met up with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mr. Cool who loves hunting, shooting and fishing shirtless Mr. Vladimir Putin. And then in March this year President Obama is scheduled to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican. 

So what's next on the pope's agenda? If recent reports are to be believed, Pope Francis has been invited to watch the Oscar nominated supposed anti-Catholic movie Philomena in a private showing. Would he watch it? Well I think he will.

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