November 22, 2008

"Showing off, bragging by a young English working-class musician who had grown up in the age of Elvis Presley and rock and roll...."

The Vatican's semi-official newspaper forgives John Lennon for saying he was bigger than Jesus.
Although Pope Benedict has criticised many aspects of modern pop culture, he now allows the newspaper of the tiny independent Vatican state to reflect the reality of the world outside in a way that would have been unthinkable in the days of Pope Paul VI who reigned during heyday of The Beatles.


SteveR said...

Nothing there that needed forgiving and its really God's job to do it.

In any case, looking around today and plugging some other things in, was he wrong?

Did they ever semi officially forgive Martin Luther?

Paddy O. said...

Very interesting. Though, I didn't notice they had heard Lennon's own explanation, including the "I'm Christ's biggest fan" comment.

It's a bit surprising too. Benedict (then Joseph Ratzinger) was a professor at Tübingen in '68. Among his fellow professors were Jürgen Moltmann and Hans Küng. Both, of these latter were vitally affected by the student movement in Germany and interacted a great deal with the various expressions. The cultural revolutions vitally affected them and they got in the midst of it all. Ratzinger didn't. If I remember Moltmann's autobiography right (I'm too lazy to check now) Ratzinger basically ran away from it all, secluding himself and getting more entrenched in conservative Catholic theology. Which led to his becoming the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith... the Inquisition. Not exactly the kind of person who would later on find an appreciation for the Beatles.

Seems that his advancing age and position have opened him up more to this world and brought more grace, a pleasure to see.

laura said...

Funny how John was on their side and they didn't even realize it. He took a lot of flak for it for a long time and it (the flak) clearly wasn't necessary. Another instance of religion getting in the way of the message.

blake said...

This is good.

I'm tired of the new OUTRAGE!

I want some nostalgic OUTRAGE! to liven things up a bit.

Revenant said...

Lennon's claim was accurate. The Beatles were more popular than Jesus, in the UK. Hell, they still are; Christianity isn't doing too well over there.

Original George said...

Christ, you know it ain't easy.

Fifty acorns tied in a sack.

jprapp said...

Paddy O (6:37)

Very nice job. Thanks for the larger perspective. Küng, Moltmann, Ratzinger - nice spectrum. New for me.

I’m ignorant of the history and complexities of Benedict within his own family, but if he’s really mellowing as you say, maybe he’ll work his way through the Brits from Lennon to forgive/embrace Monty Python, “The Meaning of Life,” before he gets closer to home to deal with Italian, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s wild movie riff on Chaucer, “The Canterbury Tales,” featuring Satan ... well, you can see the ending for yourself. I don’t think the friars at the end (pun intended)of Pasolini’s movie are necessarily a symbol of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, or of systematic theology in general. But, some fun could be had in-house.

So much to forgive. So little time.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

It is bad enough that John Lennon blasphemed the Son of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. But his praise for the 9/11 terrorists was beyond all tolerable limits. Someone ought to shoot that guy.

Melinda said...

The Vatican also compared the Aeolian cadences at the end of "Not a Second Time" favorably to Mahler's "Song of the Earth."

theMickey's said...

Simple, slow news day.

Original Geoerge- Way cool

paul a'barge said...

Good for you, SteveR. Smack dab on the money.

Would it be too much to ask of these maroons to do some historical reading and discover that John Lennon said what he said as a commentary and criticism of our culture at the time?

Someone needs to take a paddle to their google-butt.