The firestorm of controversy battering the Catholic Church shows no sign of dying down, as the institution and its leaders continue to endure scorching new accusations of pedophile priests abusing young children, and of Vatican officials covering up their actions. Amid all the fury, the Vatican made a bold move: In a reversal of a decades-old pronouncement, the church forgave the Beatles for having deemed themselves more popular than Jesus. Reading praise of the Beatles' music in the church's official L'Osservatore Romano, one could almost hear the sound of the Vatican fiddling as it burned.
Perhaps the piece by Vallini Gaetano Giuseppe was a clumsy effort to show that the Vatican is more in touch with the modern world these days -- even if the shift comes 44 years after the fact. But the tone-deaf move only highlighted once again how ineptly the Vatican has handled both the actions of its clergy and the worldwide crisis they have spawned.
The pop-culture commentary from Rome also served the unintentional purpose of adding more gloss to the coat of hypocrisy that now envelops the institution's leaders.