ROME – Questions have been raised surrounding the announcement that the “godmother of punk” who once sang the lyrics, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine,” will be performing at the Vatican Christmas concert next month.
Patti Smith, now 67, is among 18 other artists scheduled to play at the Conciliation Auditorium on Dec. 13 during the Vatican’s annual Concerto di Natale. According to reports, she had been personally invited by the Pontiff, known as Francis, after meeting him at St. Peter’s Square last year. She recently told reporters about the invite, “I like Pope Francis and I’m happy to sing for him.”
“I’ll sing to my enemy!” she declared. “I don’t like being pinned down and I’ll do what the [expletive] I want, especially at my age.”
“I had a strong religious upbringing, and the first word on my first LP is Jesus. I did a lot of thinking. I’m not against Jesus, but I was 20 and I wanted to make my own mistakes and I didn’t want anyone dying for me,” Smith said. “I stand behind that 20-year-old girl, but I have evolved.”
Others set to perform at the concert include Cristina Scuccia, a nun who won Italy’s “The Voice” earlier this year and covered Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” for her first recorded single.