.- In a new twist to the controversy surrounding the statements by the Argentine Protestant rock band RESCATE against Pope Benedict XVI, German organizers of World Youth Day said they have decided let the band go ahead with their performance during the event’s closing concert. On Tuesday, WYD officials said that because of the band’s statements against the Pope, made during an interview with the Chilean website musica123.cl, RESCATE would be eliminated from the roster of those scheduled to perform at the concert.
On Thursday, however, officials said the announcement of the band’s removal from the program was due to an “internal misunderstanding.”
“After a clarification by RESCATE regarding the statements that have been attributed to them and an intense investigation on our part into the circumstances and background of the opinions expressed in the referred to interview, we see no reason to remove them from the program,” WYD officials said, according to the German news agency Netzeitung.
“There has been a misunderstanding of their statements,” they maintained.
In their clarification to WYD, RESCATE stated, “From Spain, where we are on tour at the time, we write with heavy hearts to communicate to you our deep consternation over the comments about certain phrases we used that were construed to seem to be against the Pope Benedict XVI”.
“We feel that the declarations that RESCATE is accused of making referring to the Pope, during an interview in Chile and that have been published in different websites, have been taken out of context”.
“It was never our intention to disqualify or ridicule the Pope, nor discredit his authority as the maximum authority of the Roman Catholic Church nor underestimate his influence as a world leader, and therefore we humbly request your forgiveness if we have unintentionally offended anyone in any way.”
“We respect Benedict XVI as the maximum spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, we have not meant to offend his person or office in any way. We are praying for him, that he will be greatly used by God everyday of his life and especially on this World Youth Day where so many young people will be gathered together awaiting his words,” the statement concludes.
The original interview in Spanish with musica123.cl can be found at: http://musica.123.cl/escena/rescate.htm