When Placido Domingo and his son, Placido Domingo Jr., set about to put the poems of the late Pope John Paul II to music, they discovered several religious passages, already translated from his native Polish to Italian, that would have made beautiful songs.It seems to me, considering the relative abandon with which people in general and pop artists in particular sing words they don't believe (e.g. of the former, your average practicing Catholic warbling that he "creates himself anew," of the latter, Barbra Streisand's rendition of Ave Maria, a "pretty song" by the by, that I have been asked to sing at Baptist weddings....) between his own prestige and the affection in which the late Holy Father is held, Domingo would have had no trouble at all producing an album with similar chance of commercial success and rather than avoiding, actively promoting Catholic beliefs.
But sometime after the pontiff's words were set to music, the legendary tenor had a change of heart — and decided the focus should be more universal instead of steeped in Catholicism.
"I said, 'This is fine, this is beautiful. ... Maybe one day we should record this,'" he said in an interview. "But ... this pope has been very much loved and admired by everybody, so there should exist other songs. So we found all this new material, so we found a lot of different themes."
Stealth evangelization, as it were.