How long is the Vatican going to continue these ill-advised pop concerts which inevitably degenerate into attacks on the Church. While it doesn’t appear to have been sponsored by the Vatican, Rome’s May Day concert was held outside St. John Lateran basilica, at which Italian performer Diego Rivera (The Catholic World News article calls him “Andrea Rivera”, but the Vatican press bulletin calls him “Diego”) attacked Pope Benedict and the Church.
During the concert, Rivera had roused the crowd with a series of comments directed against the Church, drawing loud applause between songs with remarks such as a comment that “the Pope does not believe in evolution, and the Church has never evolved.”
Keep in mind that the Church in Italy has been subject to serious threats and protests over her insistence that the Italian government should not pass same-sex civil union legislation. Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, president of the Italian bishops’ conference, has received death threats. From the Vatican Information Service:
Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. affirmed that “the irreverent comments directed at the Pope and the Church during the May Day concert were clearly an act of irresponsibility. It is right to say so, and the trade union representatives were right to disassociate themselves” from those comments.[…]
Yesterday’s edition of the Vatican daily newspaper, the Osservatore Romano, described the comments by saying “it is a contemptible and terroristic act to throw stones, this time even against the Pope, while feeling protected by cries of approval from an easily excitable crowd.”