Newspaper article International New York Times

A Magazine for Fans of the Vatican's Celebrity ; Ash Wednesday Debut for Weekly That Could Land Editor in Hot Water

Newspaper article International New York Times

A Magazine for Fans of the Vatican's Celebrity ; Ash Wednesday Debut for Weekly That Could Land Editor in Hot Water

Article excerpt

The 68-page Il Mio Papa (My Pope) hit Italian newsstands on Ash Wednesday, offering a glossy medley of pronouncements and photographs.

Just a few days short of the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, there is fresh evidence that his honeymoon with the public persists: He has gotten his own magazine.

The 68-page Il Mio Papa (My Pope) hit Italian newsstands on Ash Wednesday, offering a glossy medley of papal pronouncements and photographs, along with peeks into his personal life. Each weekly issue will also include a pullout centerfold of the pope, accompanied by a quote.

"It's a sort of fanzine, but of course it can't be like something you'd do for One Direction," the popular boy band, said the magazine's editor, Aldo Vitali. "We aim to be more respectful, more noble."

The magazine also hopes to transmit the down-to-earth, no- nonsense advice that Francis offers during his weekly encounters with the faithful in St. Peter's Square and elsewhere.

"That's why we called it My Pope, because everyone has the sensation that Francis speaks to them individually," said Mr. Vitali, who is also the editor of Italy's No. 1 weekly magazine, TV Sorrisi e Canzoni, a cross between TV Guide and People.

In an interview in Corriere della Sera that appeared Wednesday, Pope Francis said he found the myth making surrounding him "offensive," according to The Associated Press. "I don't like ideological interpretations, this type of mythology of Pope Francis," the pope told the paper, according to The AP. "If I'm not mistaken, Sigmund Freud said that in every idealization there's an aggression. Depicting the pope as a sort of Superman, a star, is offensive to me."

The magazine is a change of pace for the Mondadori publishing house, part of the media empire of the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which publishes the popular celebrity gossip weekly Chi.

Mr. Vitali said My Pope would not be sensationalistic. "We don't want gossip or paparazzi," he said. "We're not going to go after any scoops."

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's daily newspaper, regularly covers the pope, publishing many of his speeches. …

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