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Archdiocese criticises Jesuit university for organising ‘Coldplay Mass’

Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show (Getty Images)

A Mexican archdiocese has distanced itself from a “Coldplay Mass” celebrated by a Jesuit university.

The Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla advertised the Mass, promising that worshippers would be able to “listen and reflect on the songs of the British group”, and “see how their messages interweave” with the liturgy.

Coldplay’s songs are not explicitly religious. However, ACI Prensa quotes a 2008 interview with lead singer Chris Martin, in which he spoke about God: “I’m always trying to decipher what ‘he’ or ‘she’ is. I’m not sure what’s right. I do not know if it’s Allah or Jesus or Mohammed or Zeus, but I guess Zeus.”

A video uploaded to Facebook shows a priest celebrating Mass while the song “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” plays in the background. The song contains lyrics such as: “I turn the music up, I got my records on/I shut the world outside until the lights come on/Maybe the streets alight, maybe the trees are gone/I feel my heart start beating to my favourite song.”

The Archdiocese of Puebla later issued a statement on Twitter, saying that it did not “organise, nor promote” the Mass. It attached a message describing the Eucharist as “the Church’s greatest treasure”.

The message called on priests to “avoid, under the pretext of experimentation, doing things in church that detract from the holiness of the place, the dignity of liturgical action and the piety of the faithful.”

Songs sung in church, it added, should have words that are “in keeping with Catholic doctrine. Better still, they should be based on Holy Scripture and liturgical sources.”