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Jim Watkins Headshot

Pop Goes the Pope

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Finally, John Lennon can truly rest in peace. The Vatican has forgiven him, and his fellow Beatles.

In what could well be the worst attempt ever to change the subject, the Catholic Church has decided now is the time to declare that the Fab Four really were kinda fab, and that all the Satanic/we're-bigger-than-Jesus/play-this-record-backwards-and-you'll-kill-your-parents stuff is just so much holy water under the bridge. From The Daily News:

The Vatican offered its latest peace offering to The Beatles in its recent issue of L'Osservatore Romano, its official newspaper, on Monday.

"It's true they took drugs, lived life to excess because of their success, even said they were bigger than Jesus and put out mysterious messages that were possibly even satanic," the newspaper said.

Wow, doesn't sound like they're in a very forgiving mood to me, listing all those evil acts by the Beatles of 45 years ago all over again. The Church obviously still feels quite wounded and scarred by what these "musicians" wrought upon God's dominion. I wonder what reasoning the Vatican uses to go to its forgiving place.

But, "what would pop music have been like without The Beatles?" it reasoned, describing the band's music as "beautiful."

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa. The Catholic Church offers blanket amnesty to sinners and heretics if, in retrospect, said heretics made significant contributions to pop music? Who knew? I guess that puts Phil Spector in the clear. If only Galileo had been able to come up with some catchy hooks, he could have received his forgiveness centuries earlier.

Ringo, bless his heart, isn't having it, correctly noting in a CNN interview that "the Vatican has more to talk about than the Beatles." I assume he's referring to that nagging priest sex abuse scandal that really does belong higher up on the Church's to-do list than offering its belated blessing to a rock and roll band.

But the Pope and his minions aren't getting carried away with this "pop music" loophole:

The Vatican doesn't appear to be extending the same kind of olive branch to other popular bands, such as Pink Floyd, Queen, Black Sabbath and The Eagles.

In 1996, those groups were among several - including The Beatles - that Pope Benedict XVI warned youth against listening to when he was still a cardinal, claiming their music contained "subliminal" satanic influences.

To which I have only one question for the Holy Father: The Eagles?? Really? I used to be a big Eagles fan back in college, and I don't recall a single song that influenced me in a satanic way. Well, I suppose there was "Witchy Woman" from their first album. Last verse:

"I know you want a lover/let me tell you, brother/ she's been sleeping in the Devil's bed.
"And there's some rumors goin' round, someone's underground, she can lock you in the nighttime 'til your skin turns red."

OMG, it is satanic! Thank goodness I never listened to it backwards.