Madonna 'crucified' despite storm
- 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
"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,
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.
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