In an email message sent to hundreds of people who expressed their concern over the participation in World Youth Day of the controversial rock band from Argentina, RESCATE, organizers of the event announced the band has been eliminated from the WYD program.
The concern over RESCATE’s performance was not due to the band’s Protestant identity—the closing concert at WYD is billed as an ecumenical event—but rather because of the disparaging remarks against Pope Benedict XVI made by some of the band’s members.
In a press release, RESCATE expressed “surprise” at the story published by CNA and claimed the statements against the Pope were “taken out of context.”
CNA sent a questionnaire to RESCATE requesting clarification on their beliefs about the Pope and the Catholic Church and accepting the band’s offer to open a dialogue, but the CNA never received a response.
Catholics who wrote to WYD organizers received an email response this week announcing the decision to cancel the band’s appearance:
“Thanks for your interest in WYD. RESCATE’s performance at WYD has been cancelled, so there should be no problem, and in a few days the band’s name will be removed from the official program.”
The official online program in German still lists RESCATE as one the bands performing, although organizers say it should be removed shortly.