Vatican daily proclaims Michael Jackson immortal – for his fans

June 26, 2009

or-1It’s not every day that the Vatican newspaper suggests that a man accused of paedophilia and said to have converted to Islam might be immortal. But that’s what L’Osservatore Romano did today. In a tribute to Michael Jackson — itself another sign of the “new look” that editor-in-chief Giovanni Maria Vian has given it — the paper included him in a pop music heaven at an unusually earthly location:

“But will he really be dead? It wouldn’t be surprising if, in a few years, he was spotted in a gas station in Memphis, perhaps with his former father-in-law Elvis Presley, another of those myths – like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or John Lennon – that never die in the imagination of their fans. And Michael Jackson, who died yesterday at the age of fifty, is definitely a pop music legend.”

The tribute reviews Jackson’s career, from the time “when he was still black” through his “humanly difficult … crossover” to “new genres not entirely attributable to any specific area, where one cannot distinguish between black and white.” It praises his mega-album Thriller “which is known also to those who do not frequent these musical worlds” and calls him a “great dancer” (grande ballerino).

jacksonThe article ends on the delicate issue of accusations of paedophilia, a cloud that hung over Jackson’s later years and has dogged the Catholic Church as well. The singer hit his artistic peak with Thriller, it said, but always stayed enormously popular. “Not always, unfortunately, for artistic reasons,” it wrote. “His judicial ups and downs following allegations of paedophilia are well known. But no charge, even as bad and shameful, was sufficient to diminish his legend among the millions of fans around the world. The proof of the emotional reactions aroused by the news of his death. News many don’t believe. Maybe someone in Memphis has already seen him.”

(Photo: Michael Jackson in Munich, 9 June 1999/Michael Kappeler)
5 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Michael..i’m from Romania…I grew up with your music…i know it was hard for you to be famous..you wanna to have a normal life but…this means success..you had to destroy for fans…for us…i’ve cried so bad….when my mom has died i didn’t cry a tear…but for you …1000tears..we love you…please…Janet,LaToya,make justice with that doctor…That Demerol must not be administred to head hurts …Demerol is for something else…Michael..i don’t want to remember you dead..I will live with your music,not even now i didn’t believe you’re dead..this is the life…we love you and rest in peace my friend….your best fan,Lucian..

Let’s always remember Michael Jackson for his tremendous talent and goodwill towards others. Let’s blog about this at: http://michaeljacksonmusicat50.blogspot. com/Thanks

Lets all remember the wonderful music that we were so blessed with-forget the “who is the Mother of ANY of Michaels children (they are alot of single parents ) also let the family grieve in there own way-we were also blessed to view the Memorial service for him. If you have ever lost a child you know where I am coming from-I think everyone should focus on the POSITIVE things about him-life is to short….To the Jackson’s you are in my prayers-

Posted by L | Report as abusive

mick,,,i can’t forget u.hopefully you got her place.dan competent place I always in my prays.ought to jacko are entombed in neverland .hidupkan return neverland that way jacko fixed life .bliss children is bliss jacko.may you happy and peace in new life its,,,take return neverland and continued struggle jacko for children bliss…jacko you world angel,,,

Posted by anna | Report as abusive

May God give you the happiness, peace and joy you never found in this life dear angel. I miss you so very much but find comfort in knowing that nobody can hurt you now. You walked with God all of your life and lived you life to please others, to help the needy, lonely and sick, and to bring joy and happiness to others. Now it’s your turn. I love you Michael xxx

Posted by Dee | Report as abusive