Telegraph blogs editor questions Time ‘Person of the Year’ Award for Pope Francis

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The editor of Telegraph Blogs has written a column questioning the decision by Time Magazine to name Pope Francis as its Person of the Year, noting a recent revelation that he said he was “shocked” by gay adoption in Malta.

Pope Francis was in early December named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, and then later received the same honour from US LGBT publication the Advocate 

Speaking to reporters in July during a plane journey back to the Vatican following his trip to Brazil, Pope Francis said that gay people should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society.

The blog post by Damian Thompson published on Sunday begins: “So just how gay-friendly is Pope Francis? Consider this.”

It goes on to note the revelation that the Auxiliary Bishop of Malta said that he met with the Pope on 12 December, and that he said he was “shocked” that Malta’s civil unions bill includes gay adoption.

Mr Thompson continues to note the Pope’s past history of supporting civil unions in Argentina, in lieu of supporting same-sex marriage, and that the 77-year-old in the past described same-sex marriage and gay couples adopting as a “destructive attack on God’s plan.”

The Pope has also previously said that same-sex adoption adoption is a form of discrimination and abuse against children.

The Telegraph blog concludes, questioning: “What we can say, I think, is that the media read far too much into the Pope’s ‘who am I to judge?’ comment about gay Christians in his impromptu interview on the way back from Rio. If Time magazine gave Francis its Person of the Year on the basis of his relaxed attitude to homosexuality, it should have done its homework more thoroughly.”

Others have questioned whether the Advocate should revoke the award given this latest revelation.

In November, US President Barack Obama said he had been “hugely impressed” by Pope Francis’ recent remarks admitting the Roman Catholic Church was “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception.