A Column of Catholic Orientation
The Vatican’s Incomprehensible Praise
of Michael Jackson
Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
On the “Michael Jackson Is Dead” extravaganza, my friend Jan and I agree on almost every point. We concur that it is a sign of a corrupt and dying civilization when such great homage is paid to a rock star with “androgynous allure” who boasts of sharing his bed with boys.
Michael Jackson is much worse than an eccentric rock star with obscene dance moves and high-pitched singing punctuated with squeals and titters. The 50-year-old artist had metamorphosed into a creature that was neither man nor woman, neither black nor white, neither adult nor child. In truth, he was an artificial product of so many plastic surgeries and drugs that his final physiognomy had nothing to do with his original face. I would say a Frankenstein without the screw in his forehead, a devilish-looking person rather than a man.
The bizarre metamorphosis of Michael Jackson to a creature hardly human in appearance
In this self-created being, everything was monstrous and extravagant. Even though there are many serious accusations of child molestations, homosexuality, transgenderism and other moral atrocities, he is still called the greatest. His pharmacy bill was $10,000 a month, house rental $100,000 a month, and he left half a billion in debt. He was the parent - probably not the natural father though - of three pitiable children who lived with him on his Neverland ranch, a playland filled with toys, rides and animals for eternal children.
He was child with the worst adult vices; a shy, sweet girlish fellow who would transform into an audacious, aggressive dynamo on stage. On one hand, he played childish games, on the other he dabbled in the occult. The contradictions go on and on… A schizophrenic or possessed? Certainly both, Jan and I agreed, but probably more of the latter.
The pop singer was set to begin a 50-concert series titled This Is It in London on July 13, the anniversary of the day Our Lady appeared for the third time at Fatima and showed the three children Hell. God did not permit it. Close friends report that Jackson had a premonition that he would die soon. Did he, like John Lennon, have a pact with the Devil for fame and fortune? No one can say for sure. What is certain is that Jackson’s quest for eternal youth ended on June 25 at the age of 50.
The Vatican newspaper hails Jackson
The outpouring of adoration for Jackson in the secular media has been sickening, but not surprising. What was truly shocking was to see this pop idol receiving a tribute in the official newspaper of the Holy See. "But, will he actually be dead?" asked the headline of the front page article in L'Osservatore Romano the day after Michael Jackson passed away, playing on the Elvis myth that a legendary folk hero does not die.
Why would a Vatican organ, which should censure pornographic dance and rock music hail the star as a “child prodigy” and a “great dancer,” grande ballerino, and say he would "never die in the imagination of the fans"? (Agence France-Presse, June 27, 2009). Good Catholics who abhor the rock culture that is destroying the morals of youth have no answer to that question.
There is more. Jackson’s transgenderizing surgeries were called “a process of self definition that was beyond race.” Perhaps Jackson didn't “simply want to become white,” the article continued, “but to transcend boundaries, even artistic ones, imposed by ethnic identity." We get the appalling idea his “crossover” from black to white is something to be applauded as “original” rather than denounced as unnatural and aberrant.
It also praises his mega-album Thriller. For those who don’t know, the Thriller video is a kind of horror parody of the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. During the video, Jackson transforms into a zombie and dies. He “resurrects” along with his ghoulish disciples presented in different degrees of putrefaction who leave their graves. The choreographed horror show was so blasphemous and satanic that even the Jehovah Witnesses - to which he belonged at the time - threw him out of their sect.
Jackson with ghouls from the grave on his best-seller album: Thriller
Most shocking of all is how the Vatican paper dealt with his alleged crimes with boys. At the end of the article, it notes: "Everybody knows [about] his problems with the law after the pedophilia accusations. But no accusation, however serious or shameful, is enough to tarnish his myth among his millions of fans throughout the entire world."
Instead of a strong criticism, this light tone regarding the awful crime of pedophilia looks very much like a tacit approval. It is really unbelievable that these things were written in the Vatican organ.
I have heard some blind conservatives protest that persons like Jan and me are over-reacting since L’Osservatore Romano is just another Catholic paper. In fact, L'Osservatore Romano has been the main newspaper of the Vatican since 1861. We know that, theoretically speaking, the only “official organ” of the Holy See is the Acta Apostolicae Sedis - the register of Vatican documents in their definitive formulae - and that the L’Osservatore Romano is only the “extra-official” organ. However, in practice everyone around the world acknowledges that OR is the actual voice of the Vatican.
This is why the Michael Jackson eulogy is causing trauma in well-oriented Catholic circles.
Different orientations at the Vatican?
The one point of disagreement between Jan and me was about this Vatican praise of Michael Jackson.
Like many Catholics, Jan insists that Benedict XVI somehow has no control over the new editor of L’Osservatore Romano, who, she claims, is running haywire over Catholic tradition.
“Something strange seems to be happening at the Vatican paper,” she complained. “First, the piece on the Beatles and John Lennon. Then, the praise for Obama and the misrepresentation of his pro-abortion stance. Now, this. The paper is becoming an embarrassment to all Catholics.” She can’t understand why “our Pope” doesn’t do something about it - as if he would be in complete disagreement with this new direction it is taking.
I don’t believe this for a moment. It is well-known that the final editor of this paper is the Pope. If he isn’t content about the way things are going, he changes the editor or obliges him to rectify his line.
The OR praises Michael Jackson: a shock for Catholics
Now, if Benedict had been displeased with the paper’s piece commemorating and praising the Beatles White Album that ran in November 2008, he could easily have said a word. There would have been no more pop culture ventures like that. But no censure came. On the contrary, we have another piece following the same orientation. Thus, one can only conclude that the Pope agrees with this new line. The paper remains the Vatican mouthpiece.
The editor’s stance - which in this case is even bolder than it was seven months ago - has the full endorsement of the Pope. His word is still the final word at the L’Osservatore Romano office in Vatican City.
In my opinion, we are not seeing any infiltration of enemy forces into L’Osservatore Romano. We are witnessing just another phase of adaptation to the modern world. Now, it seems that “the signs of the time” are rock music and its extravagant stars. Another change in the wake of Vatican II.
Posted on July 1, 2009
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