Thursday 8 March 2007

Benedict XVI and Bob Dylan

Back in 1997, John Paul II invited Bob Dylan to perform in Bologna, before the Pope delivered his sermon to the crowd of 300,000 people. According to Dylan, “That show was one of the best I ever played in my whole life.”

In a new book, however, Benedict XVI expresses his dissatisfaction with this publicity stunt. Bob Dylan, he says, “had a message completely different from that to which the Pope was committed. There was reason to be sceptical – which I was, and in a certain sense still am – to doubt whether it was really right to involve ‘prophets’ of this type.” (You can get the whole story here or here.)

I guess it looks like Dylan won’t be getting any more invitations from the Vatican any time soon – as one of his songs puts it, “You know it’s not even safe no more in the palace of the Pope.”

Still, if he really is a “prophet,” then it’s probably too bad for us if our message is “completely different” from his. In any case, though, let’s let Dylan have the last word on the matter:

    But I know I ain’t no prophet
    And I ain’t no prophet’s son.
    I’m just a long time a-comin’
    And I’ll be a long time gone.


Anonymous said...

Well, in 7:14 Amos himself cites Bob - and that's good enough for me!

Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

What were the Cardinals thinking in electing Ratzinger the attack dog to the See of Peter. For this, they passed up the opportunity for an African, Asian, or Latin American pope? (And the Archbishop from Mexico who was one of the candidates was actually pretty progressive and might have renewed the lost spirit of Vatican II.) It's sad that Benedict XVI doesn't appreciate Dylan, but what's sadder is how many others he fails to appreciate, too. I mean, I could wish poor taste in music was his biggest failing.

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