America’s oldest LGBT magazine has selected Pope Francis as its person of the year. The Advocate claimed that rooted in its decision to pick the popular Christian figure was the belief that the Pope — better than litigation and gay marriage cases — could change the sentiments of the “remaining holdouts for LGBT acceptance in religion.”
“The pope’s impact isn’t on whether we’re deciding to sit in the pews, it’s on the people who are already in the pews,” Lucas Grindley wrote. “More so, it’s on the devoted who are there every Sunday plus the middle of the week and who volunteer for charity work and who are sometimes our most ardent opposition.” The publication pointed out that many in the highest echelons of America’s political power are not LGBT, they are Catholic, a population over which the Pope has influence.
The Advocate was also moved by how it felt that Pope Francis had personally reached out to the LGBT community, a characteristic for which he has become known his brief tenure as head of the Catholic Church. It noted that “Italian Catholic LGBT group” Kairos had written the Pope asking for “openness and dialogue” and shared their sentiments that the Church “feeds homophobia.”