Madonna has defended a much-criticised mock crucifixion in new her live show claiming Jesus would not have minded.
The star also insisted the whole set-up is part of an appeal to the audience to donate to Aids charities.
The singer had been attacked by The Church of England as well as senior Catholics after her appearance on a cross when she kicked off her ‘Confessions’ tour in Los Angeles last weekend (May 21/22).
But the star told the New York Daily News: “I don’t think Jesus would be mad at me and the message I’m trying to send.”
The star performs her 1986 hit ‘Live To Tell’ while suspended from a giant mirrored crucifix. While up on the cross, screens behind show images of Third World poverty.
“Why would someone with so much talent seem to feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?” said the Church in a statement.
A spokesperson for the Catholic Church in England and Wales said believers would be offended.
They stated: “The crucifixion is at the heart of the story of God becoming man and suffering to redeem us. To use it as a stage prop is a banal perversion of that magnificent event.”
It’s not the first time Madonna’s concerts have upset relgious groups.
In 1990, the Pope called for a boycott of the ‘Blond Ambition’ tour, in which Madonna simulated masturbation on a bed during a version of her 1984 hit ‘Like A Virgin’.
The tour will reach Britain in July.
The full list of UK dates is now:
Cardiff Millennium Stadium (July 30)
London Wembley Arena (August 1/3/9/10/12/13/15/16)
Tickets for the newly announced August 16 show go on sale this Friday (May 26) at 9am. For ticket availability go to NME.COM/Gigs.