Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010

Madonna, Over and Over

The singer's history with the papacy and the Vatican is a long and troubled one. When her video for the song "Like a Prayer" — complete with stigmata wounds, burning crosses and Madonna getting it on with a saint — was released in 1989, the Vatican condemned it. But the back-and-forth didn't stop there. Madonna, who grew up Catholic and later became a devotee of Kabbalah (for which the Vatican has chastised her), has incorporated religion into her work many times over the years, including in album titles like Confessions on a Dance Floor and her greatest-hits record The Immaculate Collection. She also has done her best to provoke the Pope and the Vatican — like the time she invited the Pope to her 2006 Confessions Tour stop in Rome, where she was mock crucified. A spokesman for the Vatican responded: "This concert is a blasphemous challenge to the faith and a profanation of the cross. She should be excommunicated. To crucify herself during the concert in the city of Popes and martyrs is an act of open hostility." In 2008, she had her own words for the Pope when she dedicated "Like a Prayer" to him during her Sticky & Sweet Tour stop in Rome, saying, "I dedicate this song to the Pope, because I'm a child of God."