Opinion

Pope Francis invites ‘blasphemous’ singer who ‘dissed Jesus’ on SNL to perform at Vatican

The news-making pope is at it again, this time for inviting controversial punk rocker Patti Smith to perform at the Vatican Christmas concert.

Known as the “Godmother of Punk,” Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 and has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her career.

So she should be considered an excellent choice for the concert — except for one small detail.

In a 1976 appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” Smith’s cover of “Gloria” included the opening line, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.”

More shocking was that she performed the song after midnight on what was by then Easter Sunday.

Pope Francis’ decision to invite Smith to this year’s Christmas concert comes after another Catholic organization, Portosalvo, asked the Archbishop of Naples to ban the punk rocker from performing at the Basilica of San Giovanni Maggiore, the Huffington Post reported.

Smith met the pontiff last year in St. Peter’s Square and shook his hand. She told Rolling Stone she “liked him a lot.”

“I wrote the first lines of ‘Gloria’ when I was 20,” she told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “I recorded it some years later for ‘Horses,’ but really, it was a declaration of self, not so much about Jesus. He is the vehicle, but I was declaring my existence, my right to make my own mistakes, my right to make my own choices. I was defining the type of artist that was entering the domain of rock & roll and the type of artist that I was, one who was going to make her own decisions.”

The concert is scheduled to be televised live on Dec. 13.

Watch Smith performing perform “Gloria” on the 1976 “Saturday Night Live” episode below.

Patti Smith – Gloria (Live SNL 1976) from Eric Hatton on Vimeo.

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Carmine Sabia

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