Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has strongly criticised an article on Pope Francis that appears in the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine.
Although he acknowledged that the Holy Father’s appearance on the publication’s front cover shows a diverse interest in the Pope, the Jesuit spokesman denounced the article's negative portrayal of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s pontificate, saying the piece disqualifies itself as serious journalism.
“Unfortunately, the article disqualifies itself, falling into the usual mistake of a superficial journalism, which in order to highlight the positive aspects of Pope Francis, thinks it should describe in a negative way the pontificate of Pope Benedict, and does so with a surprising crudeness,” Fr. Lombardi said in a statement.
In the piece titled "Pope Francis: The Times They Are A-Changin'", author Mark Binelli calls Benedict’s papacy “disastrous” and goes so far as to attack the former pontiff’s appearance and character. He also describes Benedict’s acclaimed apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis as “wonky” but without explaining further.*
“What a pity,” Fr. Lombardi said. “This is not the way to do a good service even to Pope Francis, who knows very well what the Church owes to his predecessor.”
Published every two weeks, Rolling Stone was founded in 1967 and focuses on politics and popular culture. Last year its editorial judgement was strongly criticised when it pictured the prime suspect in the Boston bombings on its front cover.
* As a Brit, I was unfamiliar with the American meaning of the word 'wonky' which I've now come to learn means bookish or intellectual as well as twisted or weird. My apologies.