Sunday, April 27, 2008

"He is conservative, yet radical"

Sun-Sentinel religion editor James Davis interviews Irish singer Dana, on singing for Pope Benedict XVI - this story ran on April 19, 2008:

[A]sk the Irish singer Dana her main inspiration, and she gives a charming smile and points upward.

"It's the Holy Spirit," she said in a recent interview in Boca Raton. "I didn't write much until my spiritual life deepened. Writing is difficult because you reveal some of yourself. And often, there are no words for where we are." ...

Dana Rosemary Scallon is among a handful of stars in Catholic contemporary music, lending a contemporary tinge to traditional themes. ...

She and her husband, Damien, wrote Lady of Knock, dedicated to a Marian shrine in Ireland. She wrote Totus Tuus, drawn from John Paul's papal motto. And conservative activist James Dobson interviewed her in 1984 for her song Little Baby (Yet Unborn).

How rare to come across a popular musician who "wears her faith on her sleeve" and wish such appreciation for the Holy Father:
Dana echoed other Catholics who praise Benedict's sharp mind, his gentle manner and his willingness to listen. She met him as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2004, when he congratulated her for becoming the first woman to win the pro-family San Benedetto Award in Italy.

"He has a huge intellect, yet he's a humble man," she said. "It's a beautiful combination. It compels people to listen.

"He is conservative, yet radical. He's pushing us onward to realign ourselves with new responsibilities."

She cited an example: In March, an official in Benedict's Vatican decried new kinds of mortal sins — not just the usual abortion, but also pollution, pedophilia, drug dealing, environmental damage and extreme wealth.

"John Paul brought Christ to the world, shoring up values," Dana said. "Benedict is building on those, stretching and interpreting for our day and time."