Pope Francis, who is known for his independent streak and for captivating crowds, has landed the February 2014 cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
“The times they are a-changin’ at the Vatican,” Rolling Stone declared in the headline, offering a look “inside the Pope’s gentle revolution.”
Mark Binelli‘s extensive, 7,700-word cover story reflects the pope’s unusually wide appeal, which cuts across demographic lines of age, political views, and even religious affiliation.
Since his election last March, Pope Francis, 77, has emerged as an endearing figure known for his humility and desire to build a more inclusive church.
Eager to focus less on divisive social issues such as abortion, Francis describes his church as “a field hospital after a battle” in which he must minister to everyone.
He’s also created some picture-perfect moments during his first year as pope, from donning a silly red clown nose to giving a little boy who wandered onstage during a homily a playful pat on the head.