Madonna: Singapore Archbishop warns followers not to support those who 'denigrate and insult religion'

Archbishop Goh said 'obedience to God and his commandments must come before the arts'

Olivia Blair
Tuesday 23 February 2016 16:55 GMT
Singer Madonna performs during her 'Rebel Heart' tour at the Forum on October 27, 2015 in Inglewood, California
Singer Madonna performs during her 'Rebel Heart' tour at the Forum on October 27, 2015 in Inglewood, California (Getty)

An archbishop in Singapore has said expressed concern about an upcoming Madonna concert in the country, telling Church followers they have a “moral obligation” not to support “anti-Christian and immoral values”.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore have published a statement on their website which explains how Archbishop William Goh has “communicated the Catholic Church’s grave concerns” over Madonna’s scheduled performance in the country on 28 February, as part of her Rebel Heart world tour.

“Many have expressed their concern and even outrage at the performer’s disrespectful use of Catholic and other Christian symbols during her performance,” the statement says, and that “in multi-racial, multi-religious Singapore, we cannot afford to be overly permissive in favour of artistic expression at the expense of respect for one’s religion”.

On previous dates, the tour has featured the 57-year-old pole dancing on a crucifix shape and dancers dressed in nun’s habits. The Church claim in their statement that authorities have reassured them “restrictions have been placed to ensure that religiously-offensive content that breaches local guidelines will not be allowed on stage in Singapore.” On a website for the event, it is also listed as only allowing admissions for over 18s due to “sexual references” in the show.

Archbishop Goh said Church followers have a “moral obligation not to support those who denigrate and insult religions, including anti-Christian and immoral values promoted by the Secular world”.

“Being present (at these events) in itself is a counter-witness. Obedience to God and his commandments must come before the arts,” Archbishop Goh said.

“As the people of God, we should subscribe to authentic Arts that lead us to God through the appreciation of beauty, harmony, goodness, truth and love, respect, unity and the transcendent; and not support the ‘pseudo arts’ that promote sensuality, rebellion, disrespect, pornography, contamination of the mind of the young, abusive freedom, individualism at the expense of the common good, vulgarity, lies and half-truths.”

This is not the first time Madonna has upset a faction of the Catholic church. She was famously condemned by the Vatican when releasing her video for "Like a Prayer" in 1989 and in 2006 the Vatican criticised her again for staging a mock crucifixion against a glitterball-style cross when performing in Rome as part of her Confessions tour.

The Independent has contacted a representative for Madonna for comment.

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