If you’re a baby boomer or simply love classic rock and roll the seminal event of “Pope Francis makes Rolling Stone Cover” is a milestone for Hispanic culture and a bit of a surprise. Here’s one of my favorite classic rock songs about being on the cover of the Rolling Stone. Listen here. Making the cover of Rolling Stone is a pinnacle of success and recognition in the music world. It’s nirvana, heaven, and lots of other wonderful things to rockers- and Pope Francis made it. Well, the Pope or El Papa made the current cover of Rolling Stone Magazine! Mark Binelli seems to imply, in his Rolling Stone article “Pope Francis: The Times They Are A-Changin,’ that change may be coming to the Vatican via Pope Francis. Could it be a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington moment? Read here. Who is this guy anyway? Well, we know Jorge Mario Bergoglio (El Papa) was born to Italian immigrant parents in Argentina. I have read some blogs proposing that he is not Hispanic or Latino at all. Well, let’s move on from that absurd argument. It’s like saying you are not a North American (citizen of the U.S.A., Canada or Mexico for that matter) because your ancestors were immigrants whether by choice or not. Let’s move on.
The current El Papa comes from the Jesuit tradition, and if you know anything about Jesuit history, you would know that the last person you want to mix it up with is a Jesuit. When they created the order, Jesuits were known for being educated warriors – sort of “ninja” priests to bring it into today’s slang. Jesuits also knew how to run a good business – so much so that the Vatican ordered them to sell their business interests in the Americas during the 18th century because they became Vatican competitors. Yes and the current global trend towards all things Latino or Hispanic has not been ignored by the Vatican. Of course a cynic may say that selecting a Latin American Pope is just a marketing ploy. Who knows? The new Pope adopted the Francis (a la Francis of Assisi-the itinerate preacher that renounced all worldly goods). His lifestyle prior to “Holy Father” status seemed to reflect that then and now. Some say there is change in the air – possible refreshing change. Whatever the Vatican intended as an outcome, its selection of Pope “Francis” may backfire to challenge its own bureaucracy. We’ll see. In our own history (U.S.A.) there have been instances where the intended plan yielded the opposite result. One of the most notable instances is how Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States. In spite of the GOP’s effort to bury “Teddy” politically in the then obscure office of Vice-President, fate or whatever intervened in the form of an assassin’s bullet and made Roosevelt the next President of the United States. “Teddy” then proceeded to dismantle the huge business monopolies. Although religion and politics is not our focus at Hispanic Globe, we cannot ignore the fact that they are a significant influence on any culture – for the good or the bad-depending on your POV. Since the Roman Emperor Constantine had his epiphany and made Christianity the state religion, all forms of Christianity have had an impact upon Western culture and upon Latin or Hispanic culture specifically – that is the Catholic Church and particularly – the Vatican. There is no doubt that when it comes to Hispanic or Latino culture, the “Church” (Roman Catholic) has played a pivotal role in cementing society’s institutions and the development of modern day Hispanic or Latin culture. Religious holidays and festivals abound all year throughout the Hispanic Globe. This is another reason why the concept of “La familia” is still very strong. The largest percentage of Roman Catholics in the world still resides in South America. That has been pointed out in a previous blog here. This and other reasons are why the Rolling Stone cover and its cover story by Mark Binelli is so timely and groundbreaking. Again you can read it here. Like the popular quote from the film Forest Gump, “…life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” The Argentine, Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis may be a game changer-not only for our “Hispanic Globe,” but for how the world works – maybe even the Vatican. When “Pope Francis Makes Rolling Stone Cover” – well the times may be a changing. Perhaps we’ll see a status quo change that leads to more compassion and understanding laid with a background of responsibility. That would be a welcomed change. Again, who knows? To quote Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra from Don Quixote, “The proof is in the pudding,” so let’s sit down and eat!