"Forgive and forget." It's easy to say, but hard to do. Maybe even
impossible, depending on what it is you're trying to forgive, let alone
But surely, in making the effort, it helps to have a little faith.
Which is perhaps why the Vatican, after all these years, has seen fit to
forgive The Beatles -- despite all their heinous, sinful,
transgressions of the past.
Over the weekend, the Holy See's official newspaper, L'Osservatore
Romano, devoted two articles and a front-page cartoon to praising the
Fab Four, forty years after the breakup of the band. "It's true they
took drugs, lived life to excess because of their success, even said
they were bigger than Jesus, and put out mysterious messages that were
possibly even satanic," the paper said, "but, listening to their songs,
all of this seems distant and meaningless."
In a follow-up interview Monday with the Associated Press, the
newspaper's editor even offered that John Lennon's infamous 1966 remark
about Jesus "wasn't even that scandalous."
Yes, looking back on it now, it must seem rather a "petty" affair. But
lest the papal paper has forgotten, here's what Lennon actually told a
"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
After his comments were subsequently re-quoted in an American
magazine, outraged fans built bonfires of Beatles' records, and radio
stations across the southern U.S. banned their music. Soon after, John
Lennon apologized -- somewhat reluctantly.
But if the Vatican's hoping for forgiveness from any of the Beatles
today, it can just forget it. "Didn't the Vatican say we were satanic?"
Ringo Starr asked CNN, in response to the weekend articles. "And they
still forgive us? I think they've got more to talk about than The
And for his part, John Lennon was already ready to forget it all --
The Beatles, Jesus, and every other idol under the sun, including John
Lennon -- when he went solo in 1970.