Sin and 'satanic' songs

Brian
Brian Jones
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The Beatles have been "forgiven" by the Catholic Church.

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, says the Holy See now recognizes The Beatles' important contribution to popular culture, and forgives the mop-topped musicians for the supposedly satanic content of some of their songs and for John Lennon's famous comment in 1966 that the band was "more popular than Jesus."

Perhaps somewhere in the Great Beyond, Lennon and George Harrison have momentarily stopped jamming with Jesus and are celebrating with Galileo, who was posthumously exonerated in 1992 when the Vatican declared the Inquisition erred by putting the astronomer on trial in 1633 for stating the Earth revolves around the sun.

The Beatles have been "forgiven" by the Catholic Church.

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, says the Holy See now recognizes The Beatles' important contribution to popular culture, and forgives the mop-topped musicians for the supposedly satanic content of some of their songs and for John Lennon's famous comment in 1966 that the band was "more popular than Jesus."

Perhaps somewhere in the Great Beyond, Lennon and George Harrison have momentarily stopped jamming with Jesus and are celebrating with Galileo, who was posthumously exonerated in 1992 when the Vatican declared the Inquisition erred by putting the astronomer on trial in 1633 for stating the Earth revolves around the sun.

Seeking forgiveness

While they're on the topic of forgiveness, the Vatican should also ask for it, and follow up its apology with real actions that show sincere remorse for the widespread sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy in numerous countries.

Unfortunately, the sun will start revolving around the Earth before anything of the sort happens.

The leaders of the Catholic Church seem incapable of sharing in the revulsion felt by millions of people at the ongoing revelations of sexual abuse of children by clergy, and the ensuing coverups, denial and lies by church officials.

Even now - two decades after wide-scale sexual abuse within the Church in Newfoundland became public - Catholic officials' response to each new scandal is as predictable as it is inadequate and indefensible.

This week, a Catholic spokesman said on the national news that pedophilia is a problem in many organizations, not only in the Catholic Church - as if viewers weren't aware there have been child-abusers in classrooms and hockey rinks, too.

Such blatant attempts to change the subject make the Church look worse, if that were possible. They don't seem to understand that the abuse of kids has always been a two-part scandal. The scandals arise not only out of the abuse, but the Catholic Church's continued policy of supporting the abusers over the abused.

Weak action

Half-hearted measures to address the issue make you wonder whether the "holy" leaders of the Church know right from wrong.

This week, the Vatican made global headlines by announcing bishops and archbishops would henceforth report alleged sexual abuse to the police ... where such reporting is required by law.

As for jurisdictions where reporting alleged sexual abuse of children to the police is not required by law, bishops and archbishops will presumably be free to follow the standard practice of the past half-century and shuffle accused clergy from parish to parish. It should be straightforward for the Vatican to issue blunt instructions to all men of the cloth that shuffles and coverups will no longer be tolerated, but, strangely enough, no such edict has been forthcoming.

Simpler still, and more effective, would be the instant defrocking and firing of all priests, brothers, bishops and archbishops who have had a part in abusing kids or covering up the abuse of kids. Excommunication would also be a desirable option, because if molesting or raping a child - or covering up that crime - isn't grounds for excommunication, there can't be much that is.

That is what should be done, and would be done if the Catholic Church were concerned about victims rather than its own standing. Instead, the shuffles continue - this time, instead of accused priests being moved around, it is bishops and archbishops implicated in the various scandals who are being given different desks, some of them even inside the Vatican.

As for the allegedly "satanic" Beatles lyrics, the Catholic hierarchy should stop accusing others of sin until they seek and obtain forgiveness for their own extensive sins.

Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached by e-mail at bjones@thetelegram.com.

Organizations: Catholic Church, The Beatles, Church in Newfoundland The Telegram

Geographic location: Holy See

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Recent comments

  • Lanny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Hey it's a dead Stone writing about dead Beatles, hehe.

    But seriously, I wouldn't doubt McCartney paid a few bucks to get the forgiveness for the Beatles, he seems to be wanting to cover his bases now that he is getting closer to the Great Beyond. They just better not forgive him for that spectacle 4 years ago in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

  • Geoff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    If John Lennon was around to make that comment now........it would be pretty close to true, if not very true. Brian, you were a teacher of mine at I.J.Samson and you made us write out what you thought the meaning of songs were. The songs you chose were I am a rock and My name is Luba . Being a music lover, that was one of my favorite classes ever!

  • Chuck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Brian, you are right on the money! It is a sad fact that this type of crime seems to be tolerated, not only by the Catholic church but by the good christians that attend!

  • Chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    ''As for the allegedly satanic Beatles lyrics, the Catholic hierarchy should stop accusing others of sin until they seek and obtain forgiveness for their own extensive sins.''

    Amen to that.

  • Anne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Pretty snarky and holier than thou column as usual Mr. Jones.

  • Edward
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Well said.

  • Lanny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Hey it's a dead Stone writing about dead Beatles, hehe.

    But seriously, I wouldn't doubt McCartney paid a few bucks to get the forgiveness for the Beatles, he seems to be wanting to cover his bases now that he is getting closer to the Great Beyond. They just better not forgive him for that spectacle 4 years ago in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

  • Geoff
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    If John Lennon was around to make that comment now........it would be pretty close to true, if not very true. Brian, you were a teacher of mine at I.J.Samson and you made us write out what you thought the meaning of songs were. The songs you chose were I am a rock and My name is Luba . Being a music lover, that was one of my favorite classes ever!

  • Chuck
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Brian, you are right on the money! It is a sad fact that this type of crime seems to be tolerated, not only by the Catholic church but by the good christians that attend!

  • Chris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    ''As for the allegedly satanic Beatles lyrics, the Catholic hierarchy should stop accusing others of sin until they seek and obtain forgiveness for their own extensive sins.''

    Amen to that.

  • Anne
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Pretty snarky and holier than thou column as usual Mr. Jones.

  • Edward
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Well said.