ROME (JTA) — The Vatican’s culture minister tweeted a tribute to the iconic Jewish-born singer Lou Reed, then a clarification that he did not condone drug use.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi on Monday tweeted a verse from Reed’s song “Perfect Day.” Reed died Sunday at 71 of complications following a liver transplant.
On @CardRavasi, the clergyman wrote, “Oh, it’s such a perfect day/ I’m glad I spend it with you/ Oh, such a perfect day/ You just keep me hanging on (Lou Reed).”
While the lyrics seemingly refer to a love story, the “you” also has been interpreted as being heroin — as some of the replies to the tweet noted.
In his following tweet, Ravasi also mentioned Reed and clarified that he did not condone drugs. He warned against “illusions” and quoted the Bible verse about reaping what you sow, noting that Reed himself had used that line in “Perfect Day.”
Ravasi’s tweet before his Lou Reed tribute also quoted a Jewish cultural figure, the Israeli writer Amos Oz. He tweeted, in Italian, “I never saw a religious fanatic with a sense of humor. Nor a person with a sense of humor becoming a fanatic. (Amos Oz)”