Tags: Religion | pope john paul ii | catholic | book | rock star

Publisher Hawks Pope John Paul II Book by Likening Him to 'Rock Star'

Image: Publisher Hawks Pope John Paul II Book by Likening Him to 'Rock Star'
Pope John Paul II, right, holds his arm around Mother Teresa as they ride in the popemobile outside the Home of the Dying in Calcutta, India in this February 1986 photo. (AP Photo, files)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 03:24 PM

Move over Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen and Bono — Pope John Paul II is now in your league according to HarperCollins, which says the late pontiff is "as famous as a rock star."

The gushing pronouncement comes in publisher's publicity material for its upcoming book, "In God's Hands: The Spiritual Diaries of Pope John Paul II," which will be released next week under HarperCollins' imprint HarperOne.

The book is comprised of entries from John Paul II's private diaries, which were written from 1962 until his death in 2003 — essays in which he bared his "innermost thoughts, impressions, and concerns."

"Available for the first time in English, the private reflections of the modern pope recently elevated to sainthood — deeply personal writings that reveal a spiritual leader who agonized over his service to God, continually questioning whether he was doing enough," Harper Collins says on its website.

"As famous as a rock star, this powerful leader who conferred with numerous heads of state was the ultimate model of wisdom and religious commitment for numerous Catholics around the globe."

Actually, John Paul II was somewhat acquainted with rock 'n roll during his reign at the Vatican.

In 2000, he hosted the Great Jubilee Concert for a Debt-Free World in Rome — starring hard-living rocker Lou Reed and the Eurythmics — to benefit the world's poorest countries.

The lineup raised eyebrows as Reed, a founding member of the Velvet Underground, extolled the virtues of sex and hard drugs in many of his songs, including "Walk on the Wild Side."

At the time, Howard Rubenstein, the U.S. spokesman for the Vatican Organizing Committee, which staged the show, said the church was looking past Reed's notorious days of debauchery.

"In the church, there is a spirit of forgiveness. He's repented and he's living a very decent life now," Rubenstein said. Pope John Paul II, who headed the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005, was canonized as a saint in April 2014.

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Move over Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen and Bono — Pope John Paul II is now in your league according to HarperCollins, which says the late pontiff is "as famous as a rock star."
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2017-24-23
Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 03:24 PM
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