Top Of The Popes

Pope Benedict XVI is to record an album that will be out in time for the Christmas rush, according to the U.K.’s Guardian.

His holiness, who has been snapped up by Geffen Records and joins a roster that includes Guns N’ Roses, Elton John, and Snoop Dogg, will be singing a Marian prayer as well as speaking Lauretan Litanies in different languages.

All eight tracks will be accompanied by original pieces of modern classical music.

It’s not known when Pope Benedict will be doing his vocals, but the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has been putting down the backing tracks at London’s Abbey Road studios.

The album is to drop Nov. 30 and part of the proceeds will go to providing musical education for underprivileged children across the world.

Ricardo Fernandez, general manager of Geffen Records U.K., told The Guardian that some people might hear “pope on CD” and think it’s a gimmick.

“But I think the beauty of the album will surprise a lot of people. They will be surprised by the quality of the music and also the breadth,” he said.

His label’s new act comes with a potential fanbase of about 1.2 billion, as about one-sixth of the world’s population is Roman Catholic.