Punk icon Patti Smith has been selected by Pope Francis to perform at the Vatican Christmas Concert.

Smith will perform at the Auditorium Conciliazione venue in Rome, Italy on 13 December (14).

According to The International Business Times, the singer received a personal invite from the Pontiff after they met at an event in St. Peter's Square last year (13).

The news comes amid a furore over Smith's planned gig at a church in Naples, Italy. Leaders of a local Catholic organisation have asked the city's Archbishop to ban Smith from performing at the Basilica of San Giovanni Maggiore on 9 December (14), with reports suggesting they object to religious references in her music.