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article imageVatican Forgives John Lennon's 'Bigger Than Jesus' Speech

By Michelle Duffy     Nov 23, 2008 in World
It has to be one of the most famous misquotes of the 20th Century, yet this week, the Catholic church have "pardoned" Beatle front man, John Lennon as it is 40 years since Lennon was reported to have said that the Beatles were bigger that Christianity.
The formal pardon was given, many would argue 40 years too late, but would the late, great John Lennon be pleased, or would he be bothered? To be honest, he probably would have thought nothing of it. It would be the state of the world and all it's conflicts he would have been more worried about.
The misquote came from an interview which he gave when The Beatles were at their height of fame and world domination. He was reported to have said that he thought the band were bigger that Jesus and Christianity all over the world. What he actually said was that he believed that music/rock and roll, and even the band itself probably meant more to the young generation of fans all over the world, than religion, which, if you think back to those days of "Beatlemania" is probably not far off the truth.
The comments were reported back to the magazine which was going to publish the interview were mis-read for what ever reason, be them innocently or not, in 1966. No matter, the words angered religious leaders across the globe. The British icon was shot dead in New York, outside his apartment in December 1980.
He supposedly said to a journalist,
"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I do not know what will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity... We're more popular than Jesus now."
In a press conference later, John Lennon told the waiting newspapers that he had actually meant that he thought the band was more popular at that time. Sadly, even all these decades later, there is still some degree of skepticism over what he meant when the remarks were made.
However, yesterday published in the Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, John Lennon was officially pardoned, stating that Lennon had meant that he was "blaming the group's immense rise to fame for his comments..."
In the meantime, the editors wrote...
"After so many years, it sounds merely like the boasting of an English working-class lad struggling to cope with unexpected success."
This month in the UK, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Beatles, White Album, and it appears that the Vatican has praised the album also saying that "only "snobs" would dismiss the Beatles' songs...."
I guess there has been an issue of iPods around the smallest state recently...
More about Pardon, John lennon, Catholic
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