America's oldest gay rights magazine is celebrating Pope Francis' 77th birthday by naming him their "Person of the Year."
His holiness spent his birthday inviting the homeless to join him for breakfast in the Vatican, after a customary morning Mass.
Although the Pope still opposes gay marriage, the Advocate gave him this honor because of his more liberal rhetoric on homosexuality than his predecessors.
Visitors to the Vatican had mixed views on the publication.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SWISS TOURIST ANGELA PINA GANZONI SAYING:
"It's a sign for to be who you are and I think it's important to not worry about what other people say but just be truthful to yourself and live your truth and if you do it then a lot of other people will have the courage by themselves so I think it's great if someone who is popular or loved by a lot of people, if this person accepts his own truth, then other people maybe will follow him."
(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) FRANCESCO BRUDAGLIO SAYING:
"They're totally mistaken. They clearly don't know what to write, all these magazines that come up with these things because they have nothing else to say."
The magazine hailed a remark by the Pope last July as a milestone for the gay community.
(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING:
"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?"
The Vatican stresses that that the pope's words do not change Church teachings that homosexual tendencies are not sinful, but acts are.