When Pope Francis took a shot at the bands Queen and Florence + The Machine in his annual Lenten message released today, it was merely the latest chapter in a love/hate story between popes and rock-and-roll.
Since the birth of rock in the late 1940s, popes have run alternately hot and cold about it – sometimes deriding rock as a “vehicle of anti-religion,” while at others hailing its potential to be a sort of pre-gospel, offering what St. Justin Martyr in the second century would have called Logos Spermatiko, or “Seeds of the Word.” From the beginning, there’s been an assumption of animus between popes and rock, given that rock-and-roll incarnates the rejection of tradition and authority, two things of which popes generally serve as the world’s preeminent representative.
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Pray always for purity and love
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