In praise of those bigger than Jesus

Via the AP:

The Vatican has finally made peace with the Beatles, saying their drug use, “dissolute” lives and even the claim that the band was bigger than Jesus are all in the past — while their music lives on.

[…]

“It’s true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives,” said the [Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano]. “They even said they were more famous than Jesus,” it said, recalling John Lennon’s 1966 comment that outraged many Catholics and others.

“But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless,” L’Osservatore said. “Their beautiful melodies, which changed forever pop music and still give us emotions, live on like precious jewels.”

[…]

Giovanni Maria Vian, the editor in chief of L’Osservatore Romano, said Monday that he loves the Beatles.

He said that at the time of Lennon’s sensational statement, Osservatore “commented that in reality it wasn’t that scandalous, because the fascination with Jesus was so great that it attracted these new heroes of the time.”

Uh huh. I suppose fascination with Jesus is what drove them to study transcendental meditation with the Maharishi.

Well, it’s nice to see the Vatican improving its turnaround time on “forgiveness”; 40-odd years is much better than the 350 years it took to admit that Galileo was right. And it’s nice to see the Vatican living by Jesus’s command to recognize a tree by its fruit (Matthew 7:15-20) — that is, to judge people by their works and actions — and the Beatles produced some sublime fruit indeed. Now if only the Vatican would apply the same judgment to those in its ranks who enable and engage in the abuse of innocent children — and, as Jesus commands, hew down the corrupt trees and cast them into the fire…

Are you sure you like the Beatles, Vatican? John Lennon was a raging atheist, you know:

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