The moral of the story seems to be this: Moses did not stroll the desert for 40 years so that you could listen to Blood on the Tracks. And so, taking the whole do-not-worship-false-idols commandment into strange and silly new waters, Pope Benedict has taken a swipe at Bob Dylan, saying the lyrical bard is the "wrong kind of prophet." (The Pope is apparently an expert on "wrong kinds of prophets," being a former Hitler Youth enrollee, and all.)
In case you don't Digg papal news, let us bring you up to date. Last week, Ratzinger expressed his anger (envy?) that his marginally hipper predecessor, Pope John Paul, appeared on stage with Dylan back in 1997. Ratzinger is also disappointed that some of Dylan's anti-war epics are given the hymn treatment at mass. The Pope would prefer you listened to some Gregorian chants. Or suffer!<.p>
But Dylan is an odd target, given his general instinct to avoid blasphemy and sacrilege. He's never claimed to be a prophet, in the religious sense. He's never even made a Lennon-esque "I'm bigger than Jesus" quip. Dylan is just a guy who sees the world with a keener eye and mind than any other songwriter. (One possible complication: That whole"Thou Shall Not Steal" thing.)
Perhaps the Pope is just frustrated that Latin is a dying language and that Gregorian chants haven't evolved as wildly as rock & roll and hip-hop in the past 2000 years.
We think the Pope would be better off criticizing someone like Jessica Simpson, who says she's guided by God's moral code, but rather flagrantly lives in a tour bus with a rock star. But as long as "Mr. Tambourine Man" is getting more ink and scrutiny from the Pope than all that diddling of choir boys, we're not holding our breath for the Catholic Church to take the high road.