The popes on music

John Paul accepted all types of music
Benedict thinks all rock music is the work of satan

um does this just prove that the catholic church is not 100% guided by the holy spirit?

and do you guys think that Benedict could be wrong with his assumption?

It’s never been claimed that every Papal opinion, or even the majority of Papal opinions, is or should be either infallible or guided by the Holy Spirit. So I don’t know why two Popes having different opinions should bother you.

The Apostles had different opinions regarding whether Gentile converts should be circumcised etc - were THEY not infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit in their teaching nonetheless? If not, Our Lord is a monstrous liar!

There are very strict criteria in regards to what contitutes an infallible teaching - these relate to both the subject matter and the manner of teaching. So strict, in fact, that there are only a handful (at most) of times in the 100+ years since the doctrine of Papal Infallibility was first taught, that Papal Infallibility has in fact been invoked.

alright thanx for the information

so i can still listen to all forms of music which are accompanied by moral messages?

even if the pope says it is a work of the devil?

You shouldn’t listen to ANY music that has IMmoral messages in it, for sure. And there are all sorts of other factors too - don’t listen to music from an artist of dubious character, for example. Make sure the lyrics are in tune with Catholic theology - a percentage of even non-Catholic Christian music isn’t.

In the end ‘which music is so bad it should be avoided?’ is really the wrong question. The right questions are ‘which music will BEST help me get close to Christ, best inspire me to holiness etc?’ and ‘why on earth should I listen to anything that is less than ideal in helping me get close to Christ, inspire me to holiness etc’?

listening to God-given talents by musicians of all genre’s is enough to make me feel closer to God, because he created all things good

it helps me to pray daily as well because i can thank him for the music and talent

Like I said, I don’t really think there’s any GENRE that is outright wrong, but you must be discerning as to what sort of music you are listening to - I mean is looking at the naked body of a stripper in a club REALLY going to bring me closer to God simply because I could, conceivably, thank Him for the beauty of her body?

I guess i will have to trust that God will know my state of mind right?

I think the reason that Pope Benedict detests rock music is because he understands Beethoven.

If there was ever any need for proof that there is a God, and He is good, it’s confirmed by the beautiful compositions of this genius of a man.

(Hey, I didn’t want to sound like an elitist snob… But, I do have to say that true classical music–ESPECIALLY Beethoven–appeals to the faculties of the human soul on a whole different level; beyond any other kind of music.)

MJR81, so we should only read Shakespeare and listen to Beethoven? Have you done much critical analysis of modern music? It’s nice that you like the genre of classical music, but by no means is it the only genre to have attracted genius.

I am in agreement with you.

What about Mozart and Haydn and various others who were freemasons and in conflict with the Church? Were they capable of creating beautiful music?

I know he isn’t strictly in the Classical period, but I prefer Mozart. His compositions are so wonderfully layered. Complex, yet accessible. Not to take anything away from Beethoven, just a personal preference.

Then of course, there’s Pink Floyd. :thumbsup: :smiley:


Heh, I like their instrumental parts, but I feel that their lyrics are a bit less than interesting. :stuck_out_tongue:

When did Pope Benedict XVI say that rock music was the work of the devil? Can someone give a quote and link to a reliable reference?

I don’t know - ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ had a pretty powerful message.

Well, to really get into my opinion on this, we’d have to examine what we can really consider music, or art generally, to be, and what it should really be about… Why is Beethoven superior to the Beatles? Why is Shakespeare superior to Kerouac?

Whose soul was more sublime? What were they composing for? What impulses were driving them to create their art? What makes the intentions of one, purer than the other? Is art simply just arbitrary–whatever makes one “feel” good? Or is there some reason–something truthful–about it?

If we examine and meditate on these questions, perhaps we’ll be able to figure out if the Pope’s thinking popular music being evil is just because it doesn’t fit his personal “tastes” on music…? Or if he has been granted a wisdom and understanding of Creation and man which we should ourselves be seeking… I’m willing to bet it’s the latter.

There are several posters on this board who can give you many MANY quotes from Pope Benedict XVI about the evils of rock music, and they will use these quotes to prove why the music from OCP (Gather, etc.) is not appropriate for Mass, even though many of the bishops, even the conservative bishops, don’t seem to agree with their conclusion.

You might want to try the Traditional Section of this board.

Ok… The Church used to believe the tritone was an evil chord because it was very dissonant in sound. It was sometimes called the devil’s interval, the devil’s chord and “diabolus in musica”. The Church also believed for the a few centuries that polyphony was lascivious, too jocular, frivolous and too secular in sound for mass. In many ways it was until it was refined enough to be acceptable for mass. (Just listen to or sing a few early secular polyphonic pieces and you can tell the difference between a secular piece and a sacred one.) And it was in the development of polyphony where the tritone was heard believed to be evil in sound and thus banned from mass or to even be heard in secular arenas because it might conjure the devil.

My point is, these opinions and “rules” do change and/or evolve through the years as people grow and learn more and as they also make refinements in the music which they want to be used for actual liturgy. Sometimes, it takes a few generations, maybe even a couple centuries for the Church to make a formal statement about the music. She works on her time and not on our time. People are people no matter what century. They have for centuries been testing and pushing the envelope with what they can use for music in mass. That’s how we got all the variety of music we have in the Church. And the Church would push back challenging and encouraging them to create the most beautiful, the technically best and most appropriate music for the liturgy by hiring the most talented geniuses of their time. Sometimes, it has gone too far. Today, there has been LOTS of experimentation from the sublime to the absolute ridiculous. I won’t go into all that as this thread is not about that. But I have faith that the Church will again pull in the reins like she has done so many other times in the past.

Actually Mozart was in the Classical period. Beethoven spanned the end of the Classical period into the Romantic. (Unless, were you meaning Beethoven in your post? I just realized that.) If you listen to Mozart’s later works right before he died, you can hear that he was heading in the same direction as Beethoven. This one piece we have, it sounds borderline Romantic. He died too young.

I love both composers, though. Mozart’s vocal music is just absolutely sublime and a joy to sing. And he really didn’t fail at anything he composed. Beethoven, although brilliant, just wasn’t good for the voice. He didn’t seem to know it as intimately as he did other instruments. But that does not take away from his genius and talent at all.

Also… about listening to composers’ music or musicians’ performances… to me (and I’m sure to most people on this planet) no one is without sin. Some of the most accepted and beautiful liturgical music was composed by very flawed people. That doesn’t take away from the fact that their gifts and talents were given to them by God and they were used to give honour and glory to Him. If we were to gauge what music to listen to by the character or the composer, then we wouldn’t be able to listen to much music at all. I mean, if the music was specifically written in praise of evil or if the composer readily admitted that he wrote music to praise evil, that is a different story.

To add to the stuff on polyphony and augmented fourths, didn’t the Church at one point ban all musical instruments since they all have roots in paganism?

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