Italian publisher launches Pope fan magazine, including centerfold

Wed Mar 5, 2014 8:10am EST
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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - An Italian publisher on Wednesday launched a fan magazine devoted exclusively to Pope Francis - including a centerfold - just as the pope said he did not want to be seen as a superstar.

Il Mio Papa (My Pope), hit the newsstands with a 69-page first edition full of photos of the pope, his life story, his appeals for peace and articles about what people think of him.

It includes a pull-out centerfold with a different picture of the smiling pope and one of his quotes on each side.

The magazine includes advertisements for a weight-loss cure, a laxative, a beauty cream and a hair-care product.

An editorial by its editor, Aldo Vitali, said its purpose was "not so much to celebrate" the pope but to help him make the world a better place.

Vitali is also the editor of "TV Sorisi e Canzoni" (Television, Smiles and Songs), a magazine of television listings and celebrity news.

Both are published by Mondadori, a publishing company owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's family which also prints Chi (Who), one of Italy's leading gossip magazines.

The first edition of "My Pope" came out on the same day that Francis said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that he did not want to be considered a superman or a star.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead the general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi