Tags: Pope Francis | Pope Francis | Patti Smith | Christmas | concert | Rome

Pope Invites 'Godmother of Punk' to Perform at Christmas Concert

Pope Invites 'Godmother of Punk' to Perform at Christmas Concert
U.S. musician Patti Smith. (Will Oliver/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 14 November 2014 11:11 AM

Pope Francis has asked Patti Smith, known as the Godmother of Punk, to perform at this year's Christmas concert at the Vatican, reports the International Business Times.

Smith, who shook hands with Pope Francis at St. Peter's Square in 2013, was expressly requested by the pontiff to sing at the concert, which will be on Dec. 13 at Rome's Auditorium Conciliazione.

The choice of Smith is certain to cause some controversy given the singer's contribution to Darren Aronofsky's controversial biblical remake of the story of Noah. Smith recorded the lullaby "Mercy Is" for the film.

Coincidentally, a historic church in Naples has also been considering asking Smith to sing, but the mere suggestion of a Smith performance there has created ripples, reports The Independent.

The Catholic association Portosalvo has requested the Church to deny permission for the performance, citing "blasphemy" as the basis for a rejection. But now that the Pope has asked her to sing in Rome, the request will probably be denied.

Others say Francis' invitation to Smith to perform at the Christmas concert should not be all that surprising.

"The person who did this really understood how Catholic imagery and atmosphere is woven into Patti Smith's work; and the life or death urgency her work represents — it's about salvation and redemption," Anthony DeCurtis, contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine, told The Huffington Post.

Smith's music has often contained religious undertones and references, including "Gloria," which was the lead track on her debut album nearly 40 years ago.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Smith said she left organized religion as a teenager because she was raised as a Jehovah's Witness.

"I have a very strong biblical background. I studied the bible quite a bit when I was young and continue to study it, independent of any religion, but I still study it," she said.

"I believe there is good in in all religions. But religion, politics, and business, all of these things, have been so corrupted and so infused with power that I really don't have interest in any of it — governments, religion, corporations. But I do have interest in the human condition," she said.

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Pope Francis has asked Patti Smith, known as the Godmother of Punk, to perform at this year's Christmas concert at the Vatican, reports the International Business Times.
Pope Francis, Patti Smith, Christmas, concert, Rome
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2014-11-14
Friday, 14 November 2014 11:11 AM
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