Madonna‘s tumultuous relationship with the Catholic church took yet another strange turn this weekend, when she paid homage to the Pope before performing her hit “Like a Virgin.”
“I dedicate this song to the Pope, because I’m a child of God,” the performer, 50, told 60,000 fans who flocked to the Italian capital for the latest stop on her Sticky & Sweet world tour, Reuters reports. “All of you are also children of God.”
In 2006, Vatican officials accused the singer of putting on one of the most blasphemous displays of all time when she staged a mock crucifixion during her performance at the city’s Olympic Stadium.
Madonna, who comes from a devout Italian Catholic family, has often clashed with the church over her penchant for mixing religious and sexual imagery.
The Vatican also condemned her controversial 1989 video for the song “Like A Prayer,” which featured burning crosses, statues crying blood and Madonna seducing a black Jesus.
– Caris Davis