The singer is famous for her tensions with the Catholic Church. Her 1989 music video for the song “Like a Prayer” – featuring burning crosses and an erotic depiction of Jesus – was banned by the Vatican, with Italian Roman Catholic historian Roberto de Mattei saying at the time: “The video is a blasphemy and insult because it shows immorals inside a church.”
Pope John Paul II also encouraged fans to boycott Madonna in Italy and not attend her Blond Ambition tour. Read more about the making of the video here.
In a tweet on Thursday (5 May), Madonna tagged the head of the Catholic Church, writing: “Hello @Pontifex Francis – I’m a good Catholic. I Swear! I mean I don’t Swear!
“Its [sic] been a few decades since my last confession. Would it be possible to meet up one day to discuss some important matters?”
She added: “I’ve been excommunicated three times. It doesn’t seem fair. Sincerely Madonna.”
Madonna also came under fire for staging a mock crucifixion during a concert in Rome in 2006, leading to Cardinal Ersilio Tonino, speaking with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, saying: “This time the limits have really been pushed too far.
“This concert is a blasphemous challenge to the faith and a profanation of the cross. She should be excommunicated.”
Next month, Madonna will release a new retrospective album to celebrate 50 number one hits on the Billboard Dance Club. The tracklist will include Madonna’s hit numbers like “Vogue”, “Like a Prayer”, “Music” and “Hung Up”.
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