The Corner

‘Jesus Was a Rocker,’ and So Is Pope Francis

So says Father Cesar Scicchitano, a 49-year-old Argentinian priest who is the lead singer of the heavy-metal band Los Pecadores (“The Sinners”). Father Scicchitano is a longtime friend of Pope Francis, and says that “Francis has rock inside him . . . because rock is all about breaking down structures.”

I agree with what the heavy-metal priest is trying to say there — but I don’t think it’s quite accurate the way he phrased it. Pope Francis is the head of one of the largest organizational structures in the world, and he has said repeatedly that he is devoted to it (as a “son of the Church”). It would be more accurate to say that he wants not to “break down” that structure, in the sense of destroying it, but to contextualize it, and make it clear that its goal lies outside itself, in bringing the Gospel message to the world. The structure is there to help realize that goal, not merely to engage in self-perpetuation, and in cases where the structure is an obstacle to evangelization, it is the structure that must change. The whole idea behind the curial reforms being devised by Pope Francis and his “Gang of Eight” cardinals is to reform the structure — make it less self-absorbed, self-protective, and careerist — so that it helps the Church fulfill its mission to the world. That’s not “breaking down” — it’s building up.

I learned about Father Scicchitano through the ultra-Traditionalist website Novus Ordo Watch, which is disapproving both of the priest-musician and of Pope Francis. I disagree with the general perspective of the editors of Novus Ordo Watch, but I am very grateful to them for unearthing stories like this one, which I hadn’t seen anywhere else. I recommend that readers look at the story, with the caveat that I disagree with the opinions expressed in it, because it includes an actual video of a performance by Father Scicchitano and Los Pecadores; judging by this song, those guys are on the rather low-key end of the metal spectrum.

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