The artist known by the single name “Madonna” has a long history of stirring up religious controversy, mostly invoking the wrath of Catholics and the Vatican (which has several times called for boycotts against her). Perhaps the most significant such controversy flared in 1989 with the release of her video for “Like A Prayer,” which featured — for no known reason — burning crosses, as well as her dancing and lying around suggestively inside what appears to be a Catholic church. Her mock crucifixion staged during performances in 2006 didn’t exactly win her any Catholic fans, either. Some of the outrage over those was understandable — if only slightly.

But the controversy over her upcoming tour, including appearances in Poland, is a little hard to figure out. The CBC reports on this particular dust-up:

A Catholic group is planning public prayer sessions to protest Madonna’s first appearance in Poland because the concert falls on the date of a significant religious festival.

The movement is being led by an ultra-conservative councillor in Warsaw, who wants the city to ban Madonna’s concert. …

Aug. 15, the date of Madonna’s sold-out Polish concert, is the Assumption, which celebrates Mary being taken bodily to heaven after her death. About 90 per cent of Poland’s 38 million people are Roman Catholic.

Apparently the Feast of the Assumption is a really serious holiday in Poland. Roman Catholics … as well as Anglicans … around the world observe the Feast of the Assumption every August 15. All sorts of events … not just Madonna concerts … are held that day, in Catholic-majority countries.

This seems to be a problem in Poland only. I’m not sure why, except that August 15 also happens to be the Day of the Polish Army, a commemoration of the Poles’ victory over the Soviets in the Battle of Warsaw in 1920. Moreover, and in spite of this even, concerts are frequently part of holiday celebrations, the world over.

So all in all, this whole thing is very strange.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.