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Madonna 'crucified' despite storm

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    Madonna crucified despite storm Vatican accuses her of blasphemy and provocation ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- Madonna has staged a mock-crucifixion in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2006
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      Madonna 'crucified' despite storm
      Vatican accuses her of blasphemy and provocation

      ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- Madonna has staged a mock-crucifixion in
      the Italian capital, ignoring a storm of protest and accusations of
      blasphemy from the Roman Catholic Church.

      In a sold-out stadium just a mile from Vatican City, the lapsed-
      Catholic diva wore a fake crown of thorns as she was raised on a
      glittery cross during the Rome stop of her worldwide "Confessions

      The Vatican had accused her of blasphemy and provocation for even
      considering staging the sham crucifixion on its doorstep, anger
      Madonna further enflamed prior to the show by inviting Pope Benedict
      to come and watch.

      The self-styled "Queen of Pop" went on to pepper her two-and-a-half
      hour show with more controversial imagery, at one point showing
      photographs of the pope after those of former Italian dictator
      Benito Mussolini.

      "Did you know two miracles have taken place in Rome?," the star,
      dressed in skin-skimming black, later joked with the crowd. "Italy
      won the World Cup and the rain stopped before my show."

      The 70,000 fans, crammed into the Olympic Stadium, shrugged off the
      scandal, by dancing, singing and jumping as she performed songs from
      her latest album "Confessions on a Dance Floor" and classics, such
      as "Like a Virgin".

      Yet, the cheering lulled when she was raised on the cross and some
      fans from predominantly Roman Catholic Italy confessed their

      "The crucifixion was unnecessary and provocative. Because this is
      Rome, I wish she'd cut it out. But it's Madonna, she's an icon, and
      that balances out her need to provoke," said 39-year old Roman,
      Tonia Valerio.

      It is not the first time Madonna, whose father is a Catholic Italian
      American, has caused religious anger for her controversial religious
      and sexual imagery.

      Catholic leaders condemned as blasphemous her 1989 video for hit
      song "Like a Prayer", featuring burning crosses, statues crying
      blood and Madonna seducing a black Jesus.

      In 2004, a Vatican group warned that her latest religious
      belief "Kabbalah", a mystical from of Judaism, was a potential
      threat to the Roman Catholic faithful.

      And she looks likely to face another storm when the tour reaches
      Moscow in September, where the Russian Orthodox Church has advised
      its followers to boycott the show because of the crucifixion stunt,
      agency Interfax reported on Saturday.

      Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be
      published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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