Catholicism has decided it's time to forgive John Lennon for saying that The Beatles were bigger than Jesus:
Semi-official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has run an article forgiving the late Beatle John Lennon for a controversial statement he made in 1966, when he claimed that his band were "more popular than Jesus".
The article said that Lennon's comments had been, "Showing off, bragging by a young English working-class musician who had grown up in the age of Elvis Presley and rock and roll and had enjoyed unexpected success."
I can't claim to be a theologian, but isn't the point of Christianity meant to be that forgiveness is unquestioning and more-or-less built-in to the whole concept? Shouldn't the Pope have forgiven Lennon as soon as he uttered the words anyway? The whole turning-the-other cheek thing?
It's also a bit odd that the Vatican is trying to pass Lennon's remarks off as the hotheadeness of a working-class youth. Let's leave aside the whole 'coming from a nice middle-class part of Liverpool and going to art college' as disqualification from claims to being working class, and instead return to Lennon's words in the Evening Standard back in 1966. Whatever you might want to think he said, Lennon wasn't having a pop at Jesus, but at the established church, and his words weren't braggadocio from a young guy with eyes full of Elvis but actually quite considered. Presumably this is why it's taken over four decades for the Vatican to come up with a response: had it engaged with Lennon at the time, it would have had a hard time making a case.