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Hill makes arse of herself at Vatican gig

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CMU reports:

Former Fugee Lauryn Hill was probably scratched off the Pope’s Christmas
card list this weekend after an anti-church outburst midway through a concert at the Vatican.

Speaking between songs the singer told her audience, which included senior church officials, that the church had been corrupted by its clergy, that people should seek blessings “from God not men” and that she did “not believe in representatives of God on earth”.

Alluding to recent high profile cases of sex abuse of children by priests in America, she added: “God has been a witness to the corruption of his leadership, of the exploitation and abuses … by the clergy.” Her outburst was followed by an impromptu performance of a song about social injustice.

Neither Hill’s people nor the Catholic Church have officially commented on the singer’s outburst, although organisers of the concert have hinted her criticisms will be edited out when the show is screened on Italian TV on Christmas Eve.

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  • Nyx

    She did the right thing. The Holy See is evil.

  • Eric Olsen

    I don’t know if it was the “right thing” to do, but she wasn’t wrong.

  • duane

    I think it’s appalling when celebs parlay what is perceived as talent into access to a pulpit from which to utter their political views. She was invited to contribute to a Christmas celebration, not to issue a statement tainting the whole event. Even if she’s right, that was a sneaky, shitty thing to do. Actually, I think all performers should keep their mouths shut about politics when they have the ear of the public or the media. Censorship? Nah. Class? Yeah.

  • Anne

    I don’t think it was the appropriate place to say what she did, but she’s correct about the facts.

  • Eric Olsen

    I guess that’s how I feel about it, too. I am torn because I don’t like performers imposing their views on everyone just because they have the public’s ear, but on the other hand, sometimes things like this have real impact and make the smug – I hate the fucking smug – and complacent sit up and take notice.

  • Dew

    The way Lauryn presents herself I believe this was completely pre-meditated and she is probably sitting somewhere in a glass house with a devilish, accomplished grin on her face.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Political views?
    I believe the subject of child rape is not a particularly political one.
    Bravo Lauryn Hill.
    I wish folks would get half as worked up over children being raped as by some rapper telling the truth to some evil bastards in clown suits and funny hats.

  • lol…

  • duane

    OK, CC, if the point was not clear enough, please allow me to change “political views” to “opinions on serious subjects having nothing to do with their professions.” Right. Now I have to go rest so I can recover from being so worked up.

  • I’m with Eric — the “fucking smug” need to be shaken up.

    Duane, truth be told, your message clearly said “political.” Rape is not political. That was a legitimate criticism, IMO. And as a matter of fact, Lauryn Hill is a mother and human being — the welfare of children would be of profound interest to her, as it should be to any decent person, whether or not they are on the vocational clock.

  • Dew

    I wish folks would get half as worked up over children being raped as by some rapper telling the truth to some evil bastards in clown suits and funny hats.

    I know this should be about Lauryn’s actions towards the pontiff and/or his immediate subordinates but don’t minimalize Hill as a rapper, she’s so much more.

    “opinions on serious subjects having nothing to do with their professions.”

    Are Doctors prohibited from speaking on current political issues? Is a priest above speaking on the current state of entertainment? Is a teacher ineligible from speaking on the general course of religion and its effects? Is a lawyer beyond speaking on todays medical practices? Then why should Lauryn Hill, an educated, competent, well-spoken artist be prohibited from speaking (however inappropriate)her opinion? I repeat: opinion(however true).

    Natalie Maines flashback anyone?

  • I don’t think what she said was wrong either…the timing was rude and crap. Sorry, there is a time and place for everything. Does anyone not believe she could not have made the same statement post-gig?

  • Fight the real enemy.

    (Hint: It isn’t Lauryn Hill.)

  • duane

    Yes, Natalie, that would explain my comment #9. I think it’s just fine that Hill has a “profound” interest in the welfare of children. I will go you one better and give her the benefit of the doubt that she would have a profound interest in the welfare of children even if she weren’t a mother.

    Gee, I wonder what Richard Gere has to say about the Catholic church. Although he’s not a mother, I’m betting that he would disapprove of the rape of children, too. Yes, profound.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Nat: Few people even remember what that was all about.
    Turned out our girl was ahead of the curve.
    BTW, if you have missed the Dolly Parton tribute album (Just Because I’m a Woman) that came out recently, it’s righteous, and the Sinead cut (“Dagger Through the Heart”) is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever heard, ever.

  • Indeed, he is a father. And, like Hill, a human being. As are the folks who attended Hill’s concert. Apparently, their feeling for the institution was more profound than their care for children. Sure, the artist’s comment was ill-timed in terms of the event. My first question was, why did she take this gig? But the facts she stated, I think, should be shouted until action is taken to stop this sort of thing from occurring. As of now, most of what I have seen the clowns do has been to cover their own asses. Silence is complicity, IMO.

  • duane

    Dew, do understand. I didn’t say anything about “prohibiting” people from speaking their minds. And my comment concerned celebs, not the whole world. They have a unique relationship with the public and the media. I merely recommend some self-imposed restraint on the part of celebs.

    So, then, Natalie, it looks as though we agree for the most part.

  • Her message is valid but the timing makes her look like a total arse. Its because of this that her message will be lost in the furore over her timing.

  • Ms. Hill did not use her appearance to spout “political views.” If she had used the stage to bitch about the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion rights, THAT would be making a political argument.

    Rather, she confronted members of the church hierarchy with their own specific personal wrongdoing. You might legitimately question the appropriateness of the timing, but this is not just some cheap political posturing.

    How did she “taint” the event, exactly? It would have been just fine, all good if everyone pretended not to see the 800 pound gorilla of wickedness in the room?

    Perhaps the whole event would have been more pleasant if she’d just kept her mouth shut. Sometimes, however, their are things more important than pleasantness.

  • the timing makes her look like a total arse to people who, IMO, have fucked-up priorities.

  • Nyx

    I think she picked the perfect time and place. No one ever says this stuff right to the face of the cardinals. They are insulated from what people think. The only ones who get that close to them are too busy kissing their rings and their asses.

    When would have been the proper time and place? Sometime when the cardinals weren’t there? Some time when it wouldn’t have gotten as much attention.

    Child molestors, priests or not, deserve to die. I think a little criticism is nothing.

  • They deserve to die? Wow, that’s harsh. I was molested as a child, and I can’t go that far.

  • Ok, I just read something that changed my mind about Hill’s outburst. The latest statement out of The Vatican takes the biscuit. They seem to be more concerned about the “humiliation” of Saddam, than the fact a vile murderous dictator was captured.

  • Dew

    #17 I think that is where we disagree. I feel that celebs should exploit there position to make a difference. Too many people sit on their beliefs and outrage, thats exactly how things STAY THE SAME.

    It’s like we want it both ways, when it’s a rapper cursing out a homosexual or calling a woman a bitch we want him/them/her to play the role model and be more aware and more conscious. But when it steps on the toes of those in power (Eminem and Bush; Lauryn and the Pope; Ice-T and the Police) then they need to ‘stay in their place’ and just look pretty.

    Pick a side.

  • You rock, Dew.

  • Dew

    As do you, Nat!!

  • In the other post about this I said I thought Lauryn Hill was wrong here. What, is she trying to be Sting or something?

    There, Dew, I’ve now picked my side 😉

    If you are a musician and it’s your job to play music, you don’t do this kind of stuff on the job.

    And while I say this, I do agree with what she was saying, I just have a problem with the appropriateness and timing of doing it on the job.

    A matter of professionalism, from my POV.

  • I should add that while at an Air Supply concert earlier this year one of them (Graham I believe it was) went into some long rant that got the crowd worked up in a negative frenzy.

    I’m not at all for speeches during concerts. It’s one thing to say a few words about the song or related to the music, but it’s quite another to go off on tangents.

  • duane

    You rock TDa…oh, nevermind. By analogy, it would be comparably inappropriate for the Pope to knock out a couple of tunes on a banjo during a public address — “Well, I’ve tricked these people into showing up, so I might as well take advantage of them and show them what I’m all about.”

  • Dan

    You rock duane. I don’t like shelling out dough to see an entertainer become an activist. Whether or not I agree with the message, I go with a certain expectation of being entertained and I don’t like being tricked. It does lack class. Now if they want to incorporate their message in a song, or wear a message on a shirt, I don’t mind. If it is so important to them to get their message out, then let them put their rant on a CD or write a book. Just my opinion.

  • Eric Olsen

    D, actually, I thought he did bust out a few Polish folk songs at a gathering back when he could stand up and stuff.

  • bhw

    LOL, Eric….

  • duane

    Yes, but not on a banjo.

  • The Pope unplugged? Damn, MTV missed a great opportunity there.

  • Dew

    Hard Rock Cafe Live from Midnight Mass…

  • Eric Olsen

    No banjo, he was stroking his psalter.

  • no…it he was playing an accordion (a true polish instrument) but banged his elbow on the bullet-proof glass of the pope-mobile.

  • dave

    Anyone who thinks lauryn hill is only a celeb and has no right voicing her views obviously knows nothing about lauryn hill. She is a social activist and what she did while maybe at a wierd moment, were not unwarrented or uncorrect.

  • Mr. D

    I get a kick out of the people who get into the whole separation of professional and personal life.

    We are whole people, Such a separation is unreasonable, un-natural, and hypocritical.

    We should be who we are regardless of the setting. To quote the Scripture, let us walk in the light as He is in the light.

  • yeah, the Vatican is supposed to be a God-centered organization, so why should they shy away from a good moral lashing? more info on Lauryn Hill at my site.

  • Wow, this is an old argument but it should be cleared up.
    Actually her songs were also relevant to her denunciations – I believe she played Damnable Heresies, and Social Drugs… both which contain lyrics heavily pertinent to the subject matter.

    This was the PERFECT opportunity to voice not only her opinion on the subject, but also to reiterate the FACT that there is child abuse that has happened to hundreds of innocent children -AND CONTINUES to happen today. Now in 2010, the scandal about child molestation by ranking members of the Church has grown even bigger, as more and more victims come forth about what has happened to them.
    The best place to confront these perpetrators is IN FRONT of them. Then it is guaranteed there will be no way to ignore the words she was saying, which these people desperately needed to hear.
    Sure it could be viewed as “trickery”, but it was warranted, as someone else said, on the basis that CHILDREN are being molested. It’s sad now to see once again Church members being investigated for even more wrongdoings against young victims.

    Thankfully someone had the guts to tell these people to their face that rather than selfishly celebrating, they should be repenting for their terrible crimes. It’s nice to see artists this bold and sensible.