Pope Francis Scores Rolling Stone Cover

Plus: Rome graffiti shows him as Superman

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 29, 2014 6:20 AM CST

(Newser) – Pope Francis, pop culture icon? So it seems. He's the 266th pope to hold his job—but the first to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, NDTV notes. The magazine's article, by Mark Binelli, calls Francis "a man whose obvious humility, empathy and, above all, devotion to the economically disenfranchised has come to feel perfectly suited to our times." One interesting passage from the profile:

  • "Even simple gestures, like Francis' rejection of the papal palace, went beyond mere symbolism. 'The main reason he didn't want to live there mostly had to do with autonomy,' says a Vatican clergyman who has worked closely with multiple popes. 'In the palace, they can control what gets to you.' ... While past popes maintained detailed public schedules, Francis handwrites his own agenda in a private datebook. 'This is unheard of,' a senior Vaticanisti who wishes to remain anonymous tells me."

Meanwhile, the pontiff is making an appearance as Superman on the streets of Rome. An anonymous piece of graffiti shows the caped Francis, fist forward, flying toward the viewer. On his black bag is written the word "values" in Spanish. It seems the Vatican approves of the image: The Pontifical Council for Social Communications tweeted the image with the note, "We share with you graffiti found in a Roman street near the Vatican."

Pope Francis appears on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Pope Francis appears on the cover of Rolling Stone.   (rollingstone.com)
Graffiti depicting Pope Francis as Superman is seen on a wall of the Borgo Pio district near St. Peter's Square in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Graffiti depicting Pope Francis as Superman is seen on a wall of the Borgo Pio district near St. Peter's Square in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Graffiti depicting Pope Francis as Superman is seen on a wall of the Borgo Pio district near St. Peter's Square in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Graffiti depicting Pope Francis as Superman is seen on a wall of the Borgo Pio district near St. Peter's Square in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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