March 4, 1966.
A date that will live in infamy for the music world – at least, one of the dates concerning “The Beatles.” That day, John Lennon was interviewed by Maureen Cleave in the London Evening Standard, when he was quoted:
“Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first – rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”
And then the fun – and death threats – began. The Beatles went on to be this world’s most prolific songwriting rock group and the Catholic Church made it their benchmark to quell their fame and quash that remark. How’d that work out?
More than 40 years later, as noted in the Times Online, the Vatican got tired of fighting that battle and realized the scoreboard was skewed slightly in John Lennon’s favor.
Yesterday’s edition of L’Osservatore Romano said that “after so many years it sounds merely like the boasting of an English working-class lad struggling to cope with unexpected success… The talent of Lennon and the other Beatles gave us some of the best pages in modern pop music,” said the newspaper, which has recently tried to shake off its stuffy image by covering popular cultural events such as the Oscars.
So, lemme get this right… for more than 40 years, the Vatican has carried this weed for this band and threatened to use that rosary in unspeakable ways for that impious comment. Because of the Church’s vitriol, this statement by the heroin-induced band leader has had more lives than a church fence cat. And now, because it seems circulation rates are down for the Vatican paper, you come out and extol the unadulterated brilliance of that British infidel?!
MEMO to Pope B16: Does your blessed assurance make a beeping noise when you back up that fast?!
Here’s a follow-up question to play off a familiar aphorism: If an apology is hurled out in a crowded world, and no one is there to read, does anyone care? Yeah, not so much. Yoko-Oh-No, indeed.