Friday, October 26, 2007

'Trippy' video in push to canonise Pope

The Vatican's record label is orchestrating an online campaign to push a DVD celebrating the life of the late Pope John Paul II to move public opinion in favour of canonising him.

The release of the DVD, which is being produced by St Paul Multimedia, the Vatican's record label, will be accompanied by a website, www.santosubitoonline.com, on which the faithful will be encouraged to register their support for his sainthood.

Santo Subito means "Make him a saint quickly" - the phrase featured on banners held by Catholics who streamed into St Peter's Square after his death in April 2005 - and the online campaign is a first in the history of the church.

While the current Pope, Benedict XVI, has already fast-tracked John Paul's path to sainthood when he waived the normal five-year waiting period in the beatification process, the Vatican hopes a groundswell of support for the new DVD will push the process on.

"Three hundred years ago the Vatican used to make people a saint if people stood up and shouted for it and they want to resurrect this idea of canonisation by acclamation," said a Vatican source.

"What better way to do it than by a music film like this and using the internet to push his canonisation?"

The DVD and online campaign are aimed at appealing directly to the young and the choice of British composer Simon Boswell was also a factor, according to Vatican sources.

His work features digitally enhanced recordings of John Paul II's voice alongside "trance-like drum grooves" and "trippy" images of the late Pontiff.

It is also a first for the Vatican because it has allowed Boswell to work musically with the Pope's voice, which is the copyright of the church, in some case altering its rhythms.

"The images, celebrating many moments from his life, have been digitally enhanced and are quite cutting edge," said Boswell, the composer of innovative soundtracks for films such as Hardware, Shallow Grave and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

On the DVD John Paul II is heard singing on at least two tracks. In one section he is heard recalling Isaiah's cry to "Go up on a high mountain" and to "Shout without fear" accompanied by images of the Pope not out of place in a rave video and also the kind of music not normally associated with the Catholic liturgy.

In another section of the DVD, John Paul's visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp is accompanied by a piece for solo guitar and strings and featuring his cry, "No more war".

The Pope DVD is released worldwide next month by Universal Video. Record company insiders say they hope to sell many millions of copies.

"They are marketing the Pope with the same verve that they would market any popular artist," one insider said.

The DVD release is also expected to be followed by a series of stadium concerts around the world, involving a full orchestra conducted by Boswell and featuring John Paul II as a virtual presence on a large screen.

The first concert will be held in Milan near the city's cathedral.Although the Vatican has publicly referred to the "exceptional circumstances" of John Paul II's possible sainthood - thought to be a direct reference to the people's cries of "Santo Subito" - the process is a slow one.

His case is still being assessed by a scrutiny committee of lay, clerical, and episcopal members of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

This committee is conducting its own investigation, which includes assessing various contentious claims that John Paul II was responsible for miracles.

It is also thought that the process could be slowed by some opposition.

Recently eleven dissident theologians, including Jesuit professor Jose Maria Castillo and Italian theologian Giovanni Franzoni, raised seven points of opposition which include the late Pope's stance on contraception and the role of women in the church.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is just another blatant example of the way the "Vatican" works to manipulate the members of the Church.

We cannot "make" a saint - nor can the vatican. They can only "Declare" someone a saint, even though Infallibly :)