Pope Francis is on the cover of this week’s issue of Time. And the New Yorker. And the Advocate.

What now?

advocateThat’s right, the leader of the Catholic Church is on the cover of the Advocate, the magazine devoted to LGBT issues, as its Person of the Year, though with some hesitation:

One could imagine how acceptance of LGBT people might fit into the pope’s case for loving every human being and valuing the contribution made by each to society. With less than a year as pope, Francis still must show whether his aspiration ends at not being our enemy. Will he be an agent for fighting our discrimination worldwide?

So this week Pope Francis has defended Marxists and appears on the cover of the Advocate. Something is definitely different. And I suspect the right-wing of the Catholic Church isn’t thrilled.

Categories: Beliefs, Culture

Michael J. O'Loughlin

Michael J. O'Loughlin

Michael J. O’Loughlin writes about religion and politics from Washington, D.C., paying close attention to the role of the Catholic Church in public life. His writing has appeared in Religion & Politics, the Jesuit magazine America, on BustedHalo.com, and in Duke Divinity School’s Faith & Leadership.


  1. This unprecedented, national-level, gay-activist endorsement would never have happened under Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict.

    Why not? Because they never, not even slightly, waved the white flag of surrender when it came to the critical issue of legalized gay marriage. You didn’t have to worry about JP2 or Benedict. In contrast, Pope Francis HAS indeed surrendered, and publicly so.

    Francis first offered the famous soundbite “Who am I to judge?” (which Catholic lawmakers in Illinois openly cited as they cast their votes for legalized gay marriage in that state). Then he also said that the church “should not interfere spiritually” in the lives of gays and lesbians. And of course, any attempt by Catholics or Protestants to stop the legalization of gay marriage is construable as precisely such “interference.”

    So it’s no surprise that the top gay-activist magazine, The Advocate, has now endorsed Pope Francis as “Man of the Year” — on the condition that Francis continue to give the gay activists a free pass every day and twice on Sunday. They needn’t worry; he’s apparently good to go.

    Christians, we in trouble here.

  2. FWIW … Francis has not endorsed anything but giving grace to the sinner. The “who am I to judge” was a quote out of context, as is much of what the popular liberal press says that the Pope has said.

    You want to know what the Pope says, read what he writes, do not let someone ‘interpret’ what he says for you.

    • Actually, many Catholics, from Cardinal Dolan on down, were saying the same thing about the “Who am I to judge?” one-liner, vigorously attempting to defend the new Pope and castigate the “liberal press.”

      Then Pope Francis followed things up with a far more direct declaration: that the Catholic church “should not interfere spiritually” in the lives of gays and lesbians — which any attempt to oppose publicly legalized gay marriage would surely do. At that point, all those papal defenders fell silent.

      “I am not a right-winger,” Francis openly stated, in case anybody didn’t get the memo. And Francis even sent his man to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to tell them (in polite terms) to shut up and talk about something else.

      Things have changed, Reformed Catholic. Radically changed. That’s why the 100 percent gay-activist “The Advocate” now endorses a Catholic Pope for the first time in history.

      • Doc, I suggest that the enthusiasm by the left regarding Pope Francis ought to be tempered. Francis is on record several times since his election defending the traditional doctrines and moral positions of the Church. What he has said, in practically these words, is: “Let’s get away from the constant combat over abortion, gay marriage, and some other fundamental issues. They are important, but I want now to place the emphasis of the Church on its ministering and addressing the needs of the poor.”

        The Advocate, Time, NYT, and every other outfit with a leftist slant thinks they can push their own agenda in the public square by focussing on what they think are Francis’s words that support this same agenda. They do not so much as mention the pope’s qualifying remarks. Nope. That wouldn’t promote the public message that the left wants the world to hear. One day soon these liberal rags will have second thoughts about their endorsement.

        Shep Smith of FNC is not an advocate of conservatism or liberalism when he’s before the camera. Last week he openly criticized “journalism” for its promotion of its own “narratives” regarding news. He said, correctly, that journalism no longer simply presents facts; it tailors facts to fit the overriding “story” it wants people to hear and see. That means leaving out important elements of a story that do not promote the narrative.

        Conservatives criticize the mainstream media not for being liars by claiming fiction to be fact. No, we criticize the media for leaving out essential elements of a story that do not promote the liberal point of view.

        Here’s a case in point, too: All this talk these days about gay “rights” affects a very small percentage of the population. Meanwhile, little attention is given to problems that affect a much larger portion of the population, black unemployment and underemployment being one of those problems. This is so because the media are on the bandwagon for gay “rights.” They’re not on the bandwagon for black unemployment. You can be sure as well that none of these “journalists” live anywhere near the poor.

        Narrative, Doc, is “journalism’s” means of promoting its agenda, “the whole story” be damned.

        • Postscript to all following this thread: Conservatives of a religious bent are outraged over Pope Francis precisely because of the narrative being presented in most of the media about him. The media ignore the pope’s categorical affirmation that he stands behind Church dogma and traditional morality. Thus, the public is hearing only about a “liberal” pope because it is precisely this slant that the media want to promote. Narrative is everything. Relevant facts are a pile to be picked from to the exclusion of others as the narrators see fit.

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