In an interview with a popular music website in Chile, the Christian rock band from Argentina, Rescate, which boasts of being “the only Hispanic artists that will participate in the closing concert for the XX World Youth Day,” criticized Pope Benedict XVI, who will be the central figure at the celebrations in Cologne, Germany.
The 8-member rock band told the Chilean website “Musica123” that the group seeks “to spread the message of Jesus in a language that is understandable to every person.”
In the interview granted during their first visit to Chile, the band said, “Personally, we don’t think the Pope is God’s representative on earth. Jesus came to do away with any intermediary between God and man, and therefore we have a direct relationship with Him.”
“To me the Pope’s strength is more political than spiritual,” said vocalist and band leader Ulises Eyherabide. “This Pope, who is so orthodox, so rigid and not very ecumenical in eyes of some, could turn out to be a surprise because of how he might be forced to change due to political situations from which he cannot escape.” “Replacing John Paul II obviously has more of a political than a spiritual significance,” he added.
Asked about their own religious identity, the band members said, “We are followers of Christ beyond any specific identity. You can define yourself as a Catholic and be…I don’t know… Today we have a Pope who in theory represents the entire Church. Nevertheless, there are those who say this is not the case. Therefore, why divide Jesus even more when in reality He came for all of mankind? Religion is responsible for creating these differences.”
Not only will Rescate represent the majority Catholic Spanish-speaking peoples of the world at the closing concert for World Youth Day on August 21, the band’s song “Quitamancha” will be included on the official WYD CD entitled “Building One World,” which will remind young people for years to come of the largest Catholic event in the world, with Pope Benedict XVI being the central figure in attendance.
Doug Archer, co-founder of the Catholic music website CatholicMusicNetwork.com (Reddemusicacatolica.com), said he knew little about the Argentinean band. “In any case, I am aware of many excellent artists from the Spanish-speaking world who are very well-known and completely Catholic, and who could have a great impact at World Youth Day.”