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Singer Lauryn Hill Blasts Church at Vatican Concert

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - American singer Lauryn Hill, from a stage used by the Pope, shocked Catholic officials at a concert by telling them to "repent" and alluding to sexual abuse of children by U.S. priests.
The broadside came during the recording Saturday night of a Christmas concert attended by top Vatican cardinals, bishops and many elite of Italian society, witnesses said.
Hill made her comments when taking the microphone to sing at the concert, held in the same huge hall and stage Pope John Paul uses for his weekly general audiences and other events. The Pope was not present.
"I did not come here to celebrate the birth of Christ with you but to ask you why you are not in mourning for his death inside this place," she said according to a transcript of her statement run by the Rome newspaper La Repubblica.
A spokesman for Prime Time Productions, the concert's organizers, said the newspaper's quotes were accurate.
"God has been a witness to the corruption of his leadership, of the exploitation and abuses ... by the clergy," she said.

Reuters (14-12-2003)
Philip Pullella




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