You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hill hits sour note on Vatican stage

Outburst viewed as publicity stunt

ROME — Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill blasted the Catholic Church from a stage customarily used by the Pope on Saturday when she accused high-ranking Holy See officials of being “corrupt” and said they should “repent” during an impromptu speech before her scheduled performance in a Vatican Christmas concert.

Hill’s outburst — widely perceived as a publicity stunt and largely ignored — apparently referred to the scandal involving sexual abuse of children by U.S. priests.

“I did not come here to celebrate the birth of Christ with you but to ask you why you are not in mourning for his death inside this place,” Hill said when she was given a microphone to sing.

Sitting in the front rows of the 7,500-seat concert hall used by the Pope for his weekly general audiences were top Vatican cardinals, bishops and Edmund Szoka, the American governor of Vatican City. The pope was not present. The concert was being taped for airing on Christmas Eve by Mediaset’s flagship Canale 5 station.

“God has been a witness to the corruption of his leadership, to the exploitation and abuses. It is the least one can say about the clergy,” added the Grammy-winning singer. Men sin, and it is they who are responsible for corruption. Therefore you must repent, repent.”

Far from causing a stir, Hill’s broadside did not immediately register with the largely Italian audience.

Hill then departed from the program and performed the songs “Damnable Heresies” and “Social Drugs.”

A representative for Mediaset said Hill’s outburst and performance would probably be edited out of the broadcast. Footage from the stunt is likely to soon surface elsewhere.

More Scene

  • The Future She Built

    Inventor of the Inclusion Rider Discusses Why the Initiative Is Necessary at Panel

    ROME — Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill blasted the Catholic Church from a stage customarily used by the Pope on Saturday when she accused high-ranking Holy See officials of being “corrupt” and said they should “repent” during an impromptu speech before her scheduled performance in a Vatican Christmas concert. Hill’s outburst — widely perceived as a […]

  • Independent School Alliance Awards

    Charles King, Nina Shaw Toast Tim and Vicky Mara Story at Independent School Gala

    ROME — Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill blasted the Catholic Church from a stage customarily used by the Pope on Saturday when she accused high-ranking Holy See officials of being “corrupt” and said they should “repent” during an impromptu speech before her scheduled performance in a Vatican Christmas concert. Hill’s outburst — widely perceived as a […]

  • I Feel Pretty premiere

    ‘I Feel Pretty’ Directors Say They Were ‘Disappointed’ After Backlash From Trailer

    ROME — Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill blasted the Catholic Church from a stage customarily used by the Pope on Saturday when she accused high-ranking Holy See officials of being “corrupt” and said they should “repent” during an impromptu speech before her scheduled performance in a Vatican Christmas concert. Hill’s outburst — widely perceived as a […]

  • Levis Coachella brunch

    Coachella 2018: The Biggest Celebrity Appearances and Surprise Performances of Weekend 1

    ROME — Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill blasted the Catholic Church from a stage customarily used by the Pope on Saturday when she accused high-ranking Holy See officials of being “corrupt” and said they should “repent” during an impromptu speech before her scheduled performance in a Vatican Christmas concert. Hill’s outburst — widely perceived as a […]

  • Coachella Music and Arts Festival

    The Politics Behind Beyonce’s 2018 Coachella Performance

    ROME — Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill blasted the Catholic Church from a stage customarily used by the Pope on Saturday when she accused high-ranking Holy See officials of being “corrupt” and said they should “repent” during an impromptu speech before her scheduled performance in a Vatican Christmas concert. Hill’s outburst — widely perceived as a […]

  • Salma HayekUnicef Ball, Show, Los Angeles,

    Salma Hayek Pinault Urges Attendees to Support Global Children at UNICEF Ball

    ROME — Hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill blasted the Catholic Church from a stage customarily used by the Pope on Saturday when she accused high-ranking Holy See officials of being “corrupt” and said they should “repent” during an impromptu speech before her scheduled performance in a Vatican Christmas concert. Hill’s outburst — widely perceived as a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content