The oldest gay rights magazine honours Pop Francis

By Kirstin Buick
18 December 2013

This week the Pope was honoured by America’s oldest gay rights magazine, The Advocate, as the publication’s Person of the Year.

It’s Pope Francis’ first year as the worldwide leader of the Catholic Church and he has already been named Time’s magazine’s Person of the Year. But this week the pontiff was honoured again – this time by America’s oldest gay rights magazine, The Advocate, as their Person of the Year.

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Pope Francis, who succeeded Pope Benedict XVI, has broken the mould with his vision. “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” he asked.

“Pope Francis’ stark change in rhetoric from his two predecessors makes what he's done in 2013 all the more daring,” the magazine said.

His two predecessors were previously on The Advocates’ worst people of the year list.

“Pope Francis is still not pro-gay by today's standard,” The Advocate continues. “He started his term by issuing a joint encyclical in July with Benedict, in which they reiterate that marriage should be a ‘stable union of man and woman’.

“As pope, he has not yet said the Catholic Church supports civil unions. But what Francis does say about LGBT people has already caused reflection and consternation within his church.”

The head of the Catholic Church has been admired for not being judgemental and not using his platform to say negative things about the LGBT community.

“His posing a simple question with very Christian roots, when uttered in this context by this man, "Who am I to judge?" became a signal to Catholics and the world that the new pope is not like the old pope,” The Advocate writes.

Sources: Daily Mail, The Advocate,

-Katlego Mkhwanazi

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