Flash: Vatican Reconciled with Rock ‘n Roll!

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Did you miss the commemoration on Saturday, the 22nd? No, I don’t want to refer here to the 45th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, but rather to something rather more happy and refreshing: the 40th anniversary of the release of the double-album “The Beatles” by the Beatles, known to one and all simply as the White Album. It seems also to be known to Pope Benedict XVI and his minions in the Vatican (either as the “White Album” or at least whatever that translates to in Latin), as the Holy See’s house-organ (not the musical kind) L’Osservatore Romano used the occasion as an opportunity publicly to forgive John Lennon for his remarks back in the 1960s that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.” Unfortunately, I’m not able to find anything to that effect at that link for L’Osservatore Romano, which gives the English version, nor at any of the other editions, so we have to rely for this piece of news on an article in the Belgian daily Gazet van Antwerpen: Vatican forgives the Beatles for “bigger than Jesus” utterance. (Also unfortunately: John Lennon happens to be deceased.)

Yes, in that article the Vatican authorities are said to conclude that, in the final analysis, the “bigger than Jesus” remark was simply “a joke from a young man who was overcome by unexpected success.” So they’re willing to let bygones be bygones. Oh, and for that matter, the Gazet reports, Elvis was OK, too: the description of him from L’Osservatore Romano was of a “dear, sensitive young man.”

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