London, Nov 22 : Late English rocker John Lennon has been forgiven by the Vatican for his remark about the Beatles being "more popular than Jesus".
The incident, which happened more than 40 years ago, had infuriated the Christians, but now the Roman Catholic Church has made peace with the members of the band.
In the Saturday edition of the Vatican's official newspaper Lennon was absolved of his notorious remark after it stated that, "after so many years it sounds merely like the boasting of an English working-class lad struggling to cope with unexpected success".
The lengthy editorial posted in the L'Osservatore Romano, marks the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' famous White Album, and it lavished praise on the British band.
"The talent of Lennon and the other Beatles gave us some of the best pages in modern pop music," the Telegraph quoted the newspaper as having written.
It further added that only "snobs" would dismiss the Beatles' songs, which had shown "an extraordinary resistance to the effects of time, providing inspiration for several generations of pop musicians", said the newspaper.
What had infuriated Christians all over was Lennon's infamous claim in March 1966.
"Christianity will go," Lennon had told a reporter from the Evening Standard.
"It will vanish and shrink We're more popular than Jesus now - I don't know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me," he had stated.