Pope Francis made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine this month, with the Pontiff being the subject of a story called "The Times They Are A' Changin.'" However, papal spokesman Father Frederico Lombardi, SJ said in a Vatican press conference yesterday that the article did not represent "serious journalism," and may have instead been used as a hit-piece on Supreme Pontiff Emeritus Benedict XVI. “Unfortunately the same article disqualifies itself, falling into the usual mistake of 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,” Father Lombardi said in public remarks that may be taken to represent the mind of the Holy Father, since Lombardi is the Pope's spokesman.
Writer Mark Binelli insults Benedict by referring to the Pope Emeritus as “a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares.” Father Lombardi said that these words are filled with "a surprising crudeness."
“What a pity,” Father 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.”