News » Religion

Advocate Names Pope Francis ’Person of the Year’

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Dec 17, 2013

Following Time magazine's recent move, LGBT magazine the Advocate revealed on Tuesday that Pope Francis was their "Person of the Year," CBS News reports.

Even though Francis stills stands firmly against marriage equality, officials from the Advocate gave the pontiff the title because he's shown "a stark change in (anti-gay) rhetoric from his two predecessors."

In the summer Francis made headlines when a reporter asked him about gay people in the church.

"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" he replied.

The Advocate went on to say that the Catholic gay organization "Equally Blessed" called Francis' comments, "some of the most encouraging words a pontiff has ever spoken about gay and lesbian people."

Some may be surprised that the magazine didn't choose Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage Act case that went before the Supreme Court this summer. The Advocate explains:

"Edie Windsor is a hero, one well worth recording in history books that retell the story of DOMA's demise," a statement reads. "But she is not the Person of the Year. She couldn't possibly be, not for The Advocate, where we celebrate the work of so many who contributed to that landmark Supreme Court victory. The most influential person of 2013 doesn't come from our ongoing legal conflict but instead from our spiritual one - successes from which are harder to define. There has not been any vote cast or ruling issued, and still a significant and unprecedented shift took place this year in how LGBT people are considered by one of the world's largest faith communities."

The statement goes on to say:

"Pope Francis is leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics all over the world. There are three times as many Catholics in the world than there are citizens in the United States. Like it or not, what he says makes a difference. Sure, we all know Catholics who fudge on the religion's rules about morality. There's a lot of disagreement, about the role of women, about contraception, and more. But none of that should lead us to underestimate any pope's capacity for persuading hearts and minds in opening to LGBT people, and not only in the U.S. but globally."

Time magazine named Francis its "Person of the Year" last week, placing Windsor in third place. Though she didn't get the title, she was still honored and said she was "just one person who was part of the extraordinary and on-going fight for marriage equality for all our families."

"The gay community is my 'person of the year' and I look forward to continuing to fight for equal rights and educate the public about our lives alongside my gay brothers and sisters and our allies," she continued. "Even without taking the 'Person of the Year', being in the top 5 is an extraordinary way to end a year that has been historic for all of us and truly spectacular for me and gave me the chance to tell my story via Time through an interview and audio interview with photo slideshow."


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