Did the Vatican really need to forgive The Beatles?

by Pat Prince

When John Lennon muttered the famous line about The Beatles being bigger than Jesus, no one got the joke. The Vatican certainly didn’t get it.

In 2008, the Vatican forgave John Lennon in their newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, for that aforementioned comment.

Last weekend, the Vatican printed another article in L’Osservatore Romano. This time the paper emphasized how any Beatles’ hi jinx is well in the past.

“It’s true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives. They even said they were more famous than Jesus”… “… and put out mysterious messages, that were possibly even Satanic …”  “But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless.”

The chance of “Satanic messages” on any Beatles’ song is probably as possible as a christian one on a Slayer record. But maybe the Vatican heard things we could not. It is nice to know they are listening, and finally enjoying it, however.

But, really, do The Beatles need to be forgiven anyway? They are still well-loved by catholic and atheist alike. John Lennon turned into a messenger of peace when the world needed it. Lennon has now gone on to be an important peace icon. Even if the Fab Four did live “dissolute and uninhibited lives,” they were behaving no differently than many other young people of that era. Does the Vatican need to forgive all those people as well? Maybe so. But the Beatles were always the last of the Vatican’s worries. Still are.

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