According to the International Business Times (via NME), “Godmother Of Punk” Patti Smith will perform at the Vatican’s Concerto di Natale, an annual Christmas concert held in Rome. Not only that, but she was apparently personally invited by Pope Francis to do so, which is a little bit like…well, being hand-picked by the Pope to do something is actually a pretty unique honor in itself. Smith met the pontiff last year when she shook his hand in St. Peter’s Square, and apparently that handshake made enough of an impression on him that he’s willing to ignore the fact that—as everyone can’t help but point out—her cover of Them’s “Gloria” contains the lyrics “Jesus died for somebody’s sins—but not mine.” Smith will be joined by Sister Christina Scuccia, a nun who won the Italian version of The Voice and released a cover of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” as her debut single.
Unsurprisingly, some Catholic groups are upset about this—mostly due to Smith’s thing about Jesus—but it all seems to be part of Pope Francis’ mission to make Catholicism cool again. After all, he’s the guy who said “who am I to judge?” in regards to gay people being a part of the church. It may not be as radical—in the 1980s sense—as when Pope John Paul II brought some breakdancers to the Vatican in 2004, but a nun who sings Madonna and a punk singer like Patti Smith are still pretty cool. The concert will be held on December 13 and will air live on TV in Italy.