Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
August 22, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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August 22, 1998

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Page 8 August 23, 1998 eed4e of IF ;th ARKANSAS CATHOLIC J t nence s @ i By Lynne Weil CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE VATICAN CITY-- Patti Smith wist- fully considers Pope John Paul I's legacy, had he lived a bit longer. The former Cat Stevens has only pity for kids who watch music videos. Stevie Wonder thanks God that he is blind. These are among the revelations in a new book by a staff writer for the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. Titled, "My Soul -- Rock, Pop and God," the 360-page Italian-lan- guage volume is being considered for publication in several languages be- cause of its universal appeal to popu- hu" music fans worldwide. (;iauq)aolo Mattei, 34, wrote in his introduction that lie likes music and considers journalism his trade, so the book came naturally to him. And as he observed after asking nearly 200 well-known pertbrmers for their answers to profound questions, "you do not need a degree in theology in order to sing." More than half of his subjects de- scribe themselves as Christian. Mattei noted that, when pressed, only a frac- tion said they attend church regularly. But just about all said they experience some sort of" spirituality. Whitney Houston, who sang for Pope John Paul ll at tile Vatican in 1994, told Mattei her Christian faith plays a role "in every second of my day." "Unfortunately, in the music busi- ness many people do not know God," she said. "They don't have faith. This lack is terrible also from a professional point of view: In a world like music, you have to cling to something secure and solid; otherwise, you will not last long." But there are many inspiring tesdtn nies as well, some of them expressed in unexpected ways. Stevie Wonder, blind since just after birth and a star since youth, said he "de& cates everything to God because it is to him that I owe everything." Because he is blind, Wonder said, he learned "to experience reality" rather tha to see it -- and he counted this am0ia.g the gifts from God" that include lats musical talent and inspiration. Yusef Islam, known as Cat Stevens be fore he became a Muslim, said the beaUtY [ of Islam is often overlooked by peplel who misunderstand the faith. When asked about the successful p0p career he left behind, he said "a great part of pop nnlsic is controlled by Sata~ wilt), through these sounds, intends,l create a socielv made tip of zoillbleS' " / -'le ~-.lshun said lie pities the young pe0pj who mend their time "in an absOru w r . , tip manner" watchin~ videos Oil MTV. p o Alanis Morrissette and Stevie Wonder present differing views on faith and religion thermore, he no .... h)nger believes in in the new book "My Soul -- Rock, Pop and God," by Vatican newspaper reporter words of the ballads he wrote, whiC! Giampaolo Mattei. In the book, singer Wonder says he "dedicates everything to helped form" the world vmw' of a" gee" God." Rocker Morrissette, on the other hand, explains that her Catholic upbringing nearly "ruined" her life. Tina Turner said that without her Buddhist training, "how could I, at my age, continue to perform rock? I do not feel old, and I owe that to the se- renity which I achieved thanks to Bud- dhist meditation." A number of those interviewed pro- fessed to having their own sense of spirituality without adhering to any one religion. One of them was provocative pop star Madonna, who described her relationship with God as "direct, with- out mediation." She explained this is why, though raised Catholic, she no longer needs to go to church. Hard rocker Alanis Morrissette told Mattei she no longer believes in any reli- gion because she had no good examples of it while growing up. She added that her Catholic upbringing nearly "ruined" her life. "If Catholics were really Catholic," she said, "everyone in the world would be a Catholic because they would spread this testimony of love." Bruce Springsteen said that at the Catholic schools he attended, "I reached the point where I could not stand the sight of these teachers who could only tell me, 'Don't do this and don't do that."' eration. Mattei wrote that lie hoped his boot would speak to young people in pardC2 lar, and perhaps "propose an experie~ of" GOd to those who have not yet "~" one .... , Many may identify then with the ~e~ of David Byrne, the founder and for