by NZ Catholic staff
Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn criticised some of popular music icon Madonna’s materials which are “highly offensive to Christianity” in an interview with NZ Herald.
This is the third time in as many countries that the Material Girl found disfavour with the Catholic Church.
Madonna is holding her first concert in New Zealand on March 4 and 5 at the Vector Arena in Auckland as part of her Rebel Tour.
“There is no question in my mind that some of Madonna’s material is highly offensive to Christianity and will be found just as offensive to the majority of people of religious faith, as well as many cultural sensitivities,” Bishop Dunn said told NZ Herald reporter Lincoln Tan.
In an interview on Radio Live, Bishop Dunn said he is a bit wary of censorship but “there are boundaries”.
“I would bet every penny I’ve got that Madonna wouldn’t dare say or use lyrics that were as offensive to Islam as she feels free to use with regard to Christianity,” he said.
“The actual reality today is that Christianity is the most persecuted religion around the world. Thousands of Christians are being killed for their faith around the world. But we don’t take much notice of that. It sometimes appear that with Christianity, you can say what you like. But in the United States you cannot be offensive or insulting to Blacks or Latinos. You can’t be offensive here towards and we would not want to be offensive to the values of the Tangata Whenua. But there are standards, there are boundaries. That’s the only point I am trying to make,” he further explained.
Off the air, radio presenter Mark Sainsbury asked the bishop if he (Bishop Dunn) would watch the concert if given tickets. Bishop Dunn unequivocally replied,”No.”
Earlier, Singapore Archbishop William Goh urged Catholics in that country not to attend her concert.
“There is no neutrality in faith; one is either for or against. Being present (at these events) in itself is a counter witness,” he said.
“Obedience to God and His commandments must come before the arts. As the people of God, we should subscribe to authentic Arts that lead us to God through the appreciation of beauty, harmony, goodness, truth and love, respect, unity and the transcendent; and not support the ‘pseudo arts’ that promote sensuality, rebellion, disrespect, pornography, contamination of the mind of the young, abusive freedom, individualism at the expense of the common good, vulgarity, lies and half-truths,” Archbishop Goh added.
In the Philippines, Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, in a statement sent to reporters, admonished the faithful against going to occasions that may cause sin.
“Filipinos and all God-loving people should avoid sin and occasions of sin,” said the prelate.
Madonna recently concluded a fully packed two-day concert in Asia’s biggest Catholic nation. It was also her first concert in the Philippines and the tickets were sold for as high as P50,000 (NZ$1,857).
Bishop Dunn told NZ Herald he agreed with Archbishop Goh’s statements.
“Here in New Zealand religion is not always taken very seriously, yet in addition to Christianity there are people of many other faiths, all together representing over half our population,” he said.
“In a multi-cultural and multi-faith society like New Zealand, it is imperative that entertainers not presume their own cultural perspective is that of the majority. Often it is not.”