With the Confessions Tour set to hit Rome on Sunday, Rome’s Catholic, Muslim, and Jewish leaders have come out against Madonna’s use of religious imagery in her live shows, particularly a segment in which the singer is perched on a massive neon cross in a mock-crucifixion, wearing a crown of thorns on her head. “Being raised on a cross with a crown of thorns like a modern Christ is absurd,” Father Manfredo Leone of Rome’s Santa Maria Liberatrice church told Reuters. “Doing it in the cradle of Christianity comes close to blasphemy.” Muslim and Jewish leaders are angered too. “I think her idea is in the worst taste and she’d do better to go home,” Mario Scialoja, head of Italy’s Muslim League, told Reuters. A spokesperson for the Roman Jewish community said she should have ditched the mock-crucifixion for this show, given the venue’s proximity to Vatican City.
In other, less controversial Madonna news, the singer says she will raise at least $3 million to help orphans in Malawi, Africa as part of her Raising Malawi project. “Now that I have children and now that I have what I consider to be a better perspective on life, I have felt responsible for the children of the world,” she told Time magazine. Madonna will finance a $1 million documentary about the struggles of Malawi’s orphans, and will partner with anti-poverty advocate, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, to fund programs that improve the health, agriculture, and economy of a Malawi village.
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