Pope Francis has achieved a new milestone, joining generations of influential figures in the worlds of politics, pop culture and life who have covered Rolling Stone.

The 266th and current of the Roman Catholic Church, who cracks a smile and waves to the camera in the cover photo, has become a rock star of sorts.

Posted in: News

In a sign of how far the gay rights movement has come, Pope Francis has been named 2013 Person of the Year by The Advocate, a prominent LGBT magazine.

"While 2013 will be remembered for the work of hundreds in advancing marriage equality," The Advocate wrote, "it will also be remembered for the example of one man."

Posted in: Gay Marriage

Pope Francis' compassionate nature was poignantly captured in an instantly iconic image of him tenderly comforting a sick man by kissing him on the head.

At the end of his General Audience in Vatican City on Wednesday, when 50,000 attendees gathered with him, someone snapped the picture of the pontiff:

Posted in: Health

Pope Francis had a busy week in Brazil, visiting slums and prisons, blessing the Olympic flag and bringing three million people to mass on Sunday.

But it was on the plane back to Rome where the newly-anointed pontiff took questions from reporters and made perhaps his biggest headline of the trip.

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Who will succeed Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Roman Catholic Church? No one will know until the white smoke comes out the conclave room chimney.

That hasn't stopped Vatican followers from rampantly speculating, however, and The College of Cardinals has no shortage of factors - and candidates - to consider.

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