Pope abolishes Christmas pop concert
From correrspondents in Vatican City
August 31, 2006
THE Pope has abolished the Vatican's traditional Christmas concert because he does not share his predecessor's taste for pop music and wants to avoid scandal, the Italian media reported today.
“Pope Ratzinger prefers Mozart and Bach to 'pop' music and thus, after 12 years, the traditional Vatican Christmas concert comes to an end,” the daily La Stampa said.
The annual charity concert, organised since its inception by the Prime Time Promotion events agency, will be transferred to Monaco beginning this year, the paper reported.
Starting in 1993, Italian and international pop stars gathered annually in the Paul VI auditorium for the Yuletide bash. And every year Pope John Paul II either granted an audience with the performers or prepared a videotaped message.
To the chagrin of many performers, the 2005 edition was marked by the absence of Benedict XVI, elected pope eight months earlier.
“It is impossible not to notice a change under the new pontiff,” the ANSA news agency said.
“Benedict XVI is a very sober pope and is not inclined toward variety shows. He is more concerned about leading the faith of Catholics to its spiritual essence.”
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What I find amusing in the article is the use of the word "traditional" to describe twelve years of pop Christmas. This sends an important message about Christmas too. It's not about sleighbells, and chestnuts roasting on open fires! God became Man and this alone should leave us in awe during the Holidays, not partying. As Fr. Perrone pointed out, many are all partied out before Christmas even comes and this is not what it is all about. At Grotto, the first party comes following the Midnight Mass where we head to the school lounge and have a post midnight meal, wine and traditional Christmas caroling - the kinds of songs that focus on our Lord.