While Russian and foreign fans are hoping to get hold of tickets for the first-ever Madonna’s performance in Moscow, Russian religious figures say that the pop star should be anathematized or judged for insulting the feelings of the faithful. Pope Benedict XVI did not come for Madonna’s recent show in Rome although the singer sent him a personal invitation.
The Russian Orthodox Church has established its position regarding the upcoming show after the Moscow stop of Madonna’s Confessions Tour was officially announced. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin urged all Russian Orthodox believers not to attend the Madonna show in Moscow slated for September 11.
As it could be easily predicted before, the Orthodox clergy was concerned about the scandalous performance of one of the songs at the show when Madonna, wearing a crown of horns, sings her classic hit Live to Tell being crucified on a two-million-dollar worth giant cross encrusted with Swarowski crystals. The singer devotes this song to African victims of AIDS.
An official spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church stated that Madonna was gaining profit from the exploitation of religious symbols that is why her concert is not an event of attraction for the faithful. “This lady has been glorifying human passions with the help of religious symbols for years - crosses, statues and beads. Now she thinks it is time for her to crucify herself in public. It means that the singer is in need of spiritual help,” Chaplin said.
Other church officials said that the pop star should be anathematized. It turned out later that the Russian Orthodox Church is unable to do it because Madonna does not follow Orthodox religion.
Russian Muslims quickly supported their Russian colleagues. “This Madonna crucifixion does not match the traditions of our nations. Such things cannot be a decoration for such a person as Madonna,” Deputy Chairman of the Russian Council of Muftis, Damir Gizatullin said. “I think that the followers of Islam in Russia will not support Madonna’s show in Moscow and she will not enjoy the success that she is expecting,” he added.
Spokespeople for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia did not miss their chance to say something about the upcoming show of the global superstar too. “The performance of pop diva Madonna is out of the interests of a religious individual,” the press secretary of the Federation, Timur Kireyev said. As it turns out, the Jews are unhappy about Madonna’s interpretation of Cabbala. According to Kireyev, only men having religious education can study this teaching.
Madonna herself does not see any sacrilege in her performance. The song during which she appears crucified is devoted to African victims of AIDS, whereas the crucifixion is a symbol of human suffering. According to UN experts, 89 million African people will fall victims of AIDS by 2025. Needless to say that this number is more than just shocking. The authority of the Church is very high for African Catholics. However, is it possible to stop the greatest tragedy of the 20th century if priests do not allow people to use condoms, the only effective protection against the lethal disease? The Vatican can only say that the best way to fight AIDS is to stick to abstinence and faithfulness. It is clear why the Catholic Church gets so angry with the crucified Madonna taking into consideration the fact that world media blame The Vatican for the African epidemic of AIDS.
Orthodox priests call upon the faithful to boycott Madonna’s concert while hundreds of people queue up in front of Moscow ticket offices hoping to get hold of a ticket or two. Does it mean that the warnings of the Orthodox Church are absolutely meaningless for Orthodox Russians? It brings up the idea that the church lives behind time. When young people in Prague , Rome or Moscow find out that a global superstar is coming to perform in their city they realize that this is something that simply cannot be missed. However, when they listen to Catholic and Orthodox priests attacking Madonna, they do not realize what the problem is all about.
One has to acknowledge that the image of a priest turned into a symbol of rather boring morality long ago. The situation is absolutely different with a modern bestselling writer like Dan Brown or a super-popular singer like Madonna. Their messages seem to be much more understandable, demanding and valuable for the general public. Maybe it is not Madonna but the Church itself that needs spiritual help.
It is worthy of note that all tickets for Madonna’s show in Moscow have been sold out in three days. Madonna and her promoters have been paid between two or five million dollars for the show. Nothing has been said so far about the singer’s possible meeting with Vladimir Putin. However, it is rumoured that Madonna would personally like to meet the Russian president during her two-day stay in Russia.
Based on the reports of Russian Internet media
Photo courtesy of Madonnatribe.com
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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