Friday, August 20, 2010

Bob Dylan

Reverently Greeting the Pontif
1 Degree
Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, tried to stop Bob Dylan and other rock musicians from performing for Pope John Paul II at the 1997 World Eucaristic Congress in Bologna (WEC 1997).  In an act of total fuddy-duddyness, Pope BXVI called rock music anti-Christian and labeled Dylan as a false "prophet."  Our pope loves many modern things, music is NOT one of them. 

John Paul II welcomed the rock music and gave a long sermon on "Blowin' in the Wind" as part of the WEC 1997.  For the original story by Malcom Moore, click here

At the event in Bologna, Dylan performed four songs, including Knockin' on Heaven's Door, A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall and Blowin' in the Wind.
A visibly frail John Paul gave a long sermon based on Blowin' in the Wind.
He told the young Catholics: "On the road of music this evening, Jesus met you. A representative of yours said on your behalf that the answer is blowing in the wind.
"Yes, it is true. On the wind there is the voice and breath of the Holy Spirit."
He added: "You asked me: how many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man? I answer you: just one. One only. It is the road of a man. And this is Jesus Christ, who said 'I am the way'."
After his performance Dylan went to greet John Paul on the podium to roars from the crowd. The conference proved a great success and John Paul's popularity with young people rocketed.

What do you think? I'm totally behind the Pontiff trying to make the music of church more reverent and more Catholic.  Latin seems to be abandoned in many parishes and with it, the ancient melodies.  It's tough for me to wrap my head around singing  second-rate jingle music from the 70s when we have mass music by Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Dufay, and Palestrina and more.  While there are loads of great rock and folk songs to sing for edification, they are not for mass.  What do you think?

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