Madonna dedicates Like a Virgin to the Pope

12:39, 08 September 2008
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Madonna triggers fresh religious controversy

Her Madgeness pays tribute his holiness Pope Benedict XVI at a concert in Rome. No word yet on whether he was flattered by her dedication. We`re thinking probably not, Guardian reports.

Madonna still knows how to stir up controversy. The 50-year-old singer sent Italy into a tizzy this weekend, dedicating a performance of Like a Virgin to the Pope.

She was in Rome as part of her Sticky & Sweet tour, performing to a crowd of 60,000 on Saturday night. "I dedicate this song to the Pope, because I`m a child of God," she said. "All of you are also children of God."

The Stadio Olimpico crowd went bonkers at the announcement, cheering loud enough that Pope Benedict – at the Vatican just a few kilometres away - might even have heard.

Corriere della Sera, Italy`s bestselling newspaper, called the dedication a "provocation" – only the latest incident in a long, stormy relationship between Madonna Ciccone and the Catholic church. Though she was raised in a devout Italian-American Catholic household, Madonna has frequently provoked the attention and ire of the Vatican.

Her 1989 video for Like a Prayer was condemned by Catholic authorities for its burning crosses, stigmata-afflicted statues and, er, Madonna`s seduction of a black Jesus. They weren`t fans of 1990`s Blonde Ambition tour either, calling it one of the most "satanic shows in the history of humanity". This didn`t seem to spook the Material Girl however – in 2006 she staged a mock-crucifixion on a Roman stage. And the Vatican accused her of blasphemy.

No word whether Pope Benedict XVI was chuffed by the dedication. Our guess is ... not.


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