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Vatican newspaper responds to Ringo Starr’s dismissal of Beatles coverage

Catholic World News - April 14, 2010

In an interview with CNN, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has dismissed the latest L’Osservatore Romano column praising the band.

Paying tribute to the Beatles’ “magical creative alchemy,” Giuseppe Fiorentino and Gaetano Vallini had written that the value of the Beatles’ “musical inheritance” is “inestimable.”

“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,” added Fiorentino and Vallini, referring to a 1966 statement by John Lennon, who said:

Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I'll 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.

“Didn't the Vatican say we were satanic or possibly satanic-- and they've still forgiven us?” said Starr. “I think the Vatican, they've got more to talk about than the Beatles.”

L’Osservatore Romano responded to Starr’s comments in its April 14 edition. Stating that John Lennon had no need of forgiveness from the Vatican, L’Osservatore Romano reprinted its 1966 article on John Lennon’s comments. The 1966 L’Osservatore Romano article noted that Lennon had apologized for his comments and that fellow Beatle Paul McCartney had criticized them.

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  • Posted by: AveMaria580 - Apr. 14, 2010 11:11 AM ET USA

    I think Ringo Starr is right. The L'Osservatore Romano should have better things to concer itself with than the Beatles. I came of age in the '60's and they never did impress me.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Apr. 14, 2010 7:32 AM ET USA

    News like this puts L’Osservatore Romano into the same category as the "National Enquirer" or, Lord have mercy, the "New York Times". What next, feature stories on the legacy of Madonna or the spirituality of Britanny Spears? The Beatles were a destructive force and remain so.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 14, 2010 6:58 AM ET USA

    Finally, Ringo (dunce that he is) is _almost_ correct about one thing: L’Osservatore Romano certainly does have more to talk about than the Beatles!

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 14, 2010 6:53 AM ET USA

    It is a sad commentary on the musical perception of our times that the Beatles' music can be referred to as "inestimable." Lennon and McCartney were among the best songwriters within an adolescent genre that refuses to grow up. In the hands of other musicians, some of their songs have been turned into interesting pieces of music. The Beatles were/are well below average musicians. Had they recorded without Billy Preston, George Martin and backing orchestras, no one would have listened to them.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 14, 2010 6:45 AM ET USA

    It's difficult to imagine a more twisted sequence of events. A newspaper comments on a subject outside of its normal scope of expertise. A practitioner of that subject thinks that the newspaper literally speaks for the Pope and the Church, and other newspapers report as if that is so. He also thinks that the article offered him forgiveness. To paraphrase Lennon: All I am saying is give truth a chance!

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