PopeWatch: The Cover of the Rolling Stone

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But the thrill we’ve never known
Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

Dr. Hook, The Cover of the Rollin’ Stone

Although it is only a pale shadow of the former influence it had in our culture, the fact that Pope Francis is on the cover of Rolling Stone does signify that he has become a hero for much of the cultural left.  The story itself by Mark Binelli in the magazine is astonishingly wrong headed, even by the standard of the raw ignorance which most of the denizens of the media reveal whenever they seek to discuss Catholicism.  A sample will suffice:

After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis’ basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic. But he had far more radical changes in mind. 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.

If you really must, go here to read the rest.  Binelli is writing about the head of a religion he is obviously immensely ignorant of.  He views the Pope purely through a political prism, and misses the essence of Pope Francis entirely.  Compare and contrast what he has written about the Pope to this statement about the Pope by Rush Limbaugh:

For him to call the church anachronistic shows he has no understanding of religion whatsoever.  The church, Catholic Church, whatever church, is what it is.  And if you don’t like it, it’s your role to get out, not change it.  Christianity is Christianity.  The various denominations are what they are.  If you don’t like it, you move on.  It’s not up to the church to modernize. It’s not up to the church to be dragged kicking and screaming into the real world.  Yet that’s what he thinks Pope Francis is doing, and it’s not what Pope Francis doing. 

Pope Francis is as rock rigid anti-abortion as any pope ever has been.  The same thing on gay marriage, female priests, and all of this.  But I still think, folks, that it is a wondrous thing that because of little old me, the devil incarnate, leftists who would otherwise and do otherwise revile the Catholic Church are now singing its praises.  It is a beautiful thing.  But that whole sound bite is proof that Piers Morgan, incompetence incarnate, hasn’t the slightest idea, slightest understanding of religion.  Religion is timeless. 

Pope Francis is a complex man and understanding him is not simple.  However, the foremost fact about the Pope is that he is a religious figure.  Everything the Pope does is motivated by his belief in the Catholic Faith.  Those who do not understand that, as Mr. Binelli clearly does not, do not, and cannot, understand Pope Francis.

Pope Francis Rolling Stone


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  1. It just gets better.

    Rolling Stone Magazine readers are typically young liberals and heavily influenced by pop culture and trends. Or are the tragic type who think they are still young, culturally aware trendsetters.

    So, I think this is great- bringing the Pope to the sector of the population that would normally turn it’s nose up at organized religion and their respective figures (unless of course if those figures happened to be the Dalai Lama or Deepak Chopra).

    And despite the fact they misrepresented the Pope in the article, how horribly “uncool” will they look when the Pope is in the news for a good old Catholic comment? After all that WILL happen. It’s only a matter of time…

    The media, sectors of it anyway, are so fickle, and just plain stupid.

  2. “I’m surprised they didn’t air-brush a doobie in Holy Fathers hand.”

    No one air-brushes anymore. It’s Photoshop now.

  3. Hah hah. The Pope has SOUL! Go figure.
    I don’t think the dopes in the press are going to trip him up. It sort of reminds of of Jesus with the Pharisees and Saducees.

  4. “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

    It’s an honest hope that this Fisher of Men will have nets filled to overflowing for our Merciful Lord Jesus. Regardless of the opinions of Laurel and Hardy, this Holy Father may help bring some lost sheep home.

  5. Which journalism school did Binelli attend? Or did Rolling Stone just grab the copy boy with the Italian surname for credibility. You know, cause the Pope lives in Italy and all. And where did he do his research? Entertainment Tonight? One commenter on another blog summed it up- be glad they spelled his name correctly, and move on.

    Binelli’s comparison of Pope Benedict to Freddy Kreuger is vile. Can you imagine doing the same thing to Obama, and using the monkey jokes…sorry, but seriously, where do these people get off?

    I might google Binelli to find a photo if him, so I can compare him to a character out of The Hobbit.

  6. Ok, so Mark Binelli is cited as a contributor to Men’s Journal, is a published author and thinks Detroit is the Place to be…in other words he is a try-hard, writer struggling to write about anything meaningful, and missed the opportunity in his Pope Francis piece to give his writing meaning. But, I’m I know God uses our cynicism for good.

    I’m slightly disappointed he doesnt look like a character out of The Hobbit. But, If he thinks Pope Benedict looks like a menacing character with knives for hands, like soneone who could give children nightmares, then he should know photos of him show him sporting the same clothes, or I’ll fitted attire, and his facial expressions come across as though he is permanently sniffing cheese, with an inability to crack a smile. Oh, and he looks either malnourished, or lives off a diet of cigarettes and black coffee. Probably the stress of searching for meaning. If he sniffs harder, he’ll notice it under his nose 😉

  7. Well he got something right. The times are always a’changing, – but he doesn’t seem to know that the Truth never does.

  8. Philip: “Regardless of the opinions of Laurel and Hardy, this Holy Father may help bring some lost sheep home.”
    I love Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, especially the March of the Wooden Soldiers and their triumph over the Bogey men.
    It is my constant prayer that all may be one in Christ.

  9. Mary De Voe.

    Your prayer is close to Jesus’ heart.

    No disrespect intended, but my Father Frank loved the antics of L&H.. I was born in 61′ and only caught a glimpse of their act. I liked their friendship on the screen. Always coming back to a shake of the head and the raised shoulders.

  10. Philip: No disrespect taken. Stan Laurel was the brains and Oliver Hardy was the heart. Pope Francis’ face resembles that of Stan Laurel. And every time I see Pope Francis I am reminded of Laurel and Hardy… comic geniuses. And now, Pope Francis, prayer genius.

  11. Actually, 80% of Rolling Stone subscribers are baby boomers–Age of Aquarius throwbacks from the 60s.

    The rest of us simply outgrow Rolling Stone magazine and leave “childish ways”–like liberalism–behind…

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