As my father might have said: At a time when the Vatican could use a little positive notice in the news media, the Holy See has momentarily turned attention away from the helter skelter it has lately faced by offering its enthusiastic praise for the Beatles. In its weekend editions, L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican, paid tribute to the Beatles on the 40th anniversary of that group’s breakup, and endorsed the Fab Four’s music without quite giving its thumbs up to the band members’ lifestyles, The Associated Press reported."How very good of you."
“It’s true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives,” L’Osservatore Romano wrote. “But,” the newspaper added, “listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless. 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, told The A.P. that he is a fan of the Beatles, and minimized John Lennon’s notorious 1966 remark that the band at that time was “more popular than Jesus.”
“In reality it wasn’t that scandalous,” Mr. Vian said, “because the fascination with Jesus was so great that it attracted these new heroes of the time.”