Read More Atheist Republic By Abdulla Gaafarelkhalifa
On February 2, 2022, the Vatican and Italian Catholic Bishop Antonio Suetta protested a performance at Italy’s Sanremo music festival, which featured a “profane” faux baptism on stage. Their anger was that the performance was broadcast on live television.
On the opening night of the annual song contest, Achille Lauro, an Italian rapper and singer, tattooed, bare-chested, and barefoot, gyrated and grabbed his crotch as he sang “Domenica” (Sunday), along with New York’s Harlem Gospel Choir. He finished by kneeling on the stage, hands clasped in front of him as if in prayer, and poured water from a bowl over his forehead.
Bishop Antonio Suetta said the performance contained “words, attitudes, and gestures that are not just offensive to religion, but to human dignity.”
Suetta said he didn’t want to say anything, knowing that his protest would only draw attention to the actual performance. Still, he couldn’t stay silent because Italy’s RAI state television had allowed images that “mocked and profaned the sacred signs of the Catholic faith by evoking the gesture of Baptism in a dull and desecrating context.”
Andrea Monda, the editor of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, said, “We limit ourselves to observing that, in wanting to be transgressive at all costs, the singer fell back on Catholic imagery.”
Lauro is the most recent artist to anger the Catholic Church. In 1992, the Irish singer Sinead O’Connor tore up a picture of St. John Paul II during a performance on “Saturday Night Live.” Madonna posed as a crucified Christ while performing in Rome during her 2006 Confessions tour. That same year, rapper Kanye West posed with a crown of thorns on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
More recently, the pop singer Halsey re-created Jean Fouquet’s painting “Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels” for the cover of her 2021 album “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.”