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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 17:37 GMT
Singer attacks Catholic Church
Lauryn Hill
It is expected Lauren Hill's performance will be cut from the show
Hip hop singer Lauryn Hill has caused controversy by severely criticising the Roman Catholic Church during a concert at the Vatican.

She told the audience, which included senior church officials, that the church had been corrupted by its clergy.

Ms Hill alluded to high profile cases of sex abuse of children by priests in the US.

It is expected her speech and performance will be cut from the concert when it is aired on Italian TV on Christmas Eve.

'Exploitation and abuse'

The comments came in a huge hall used by the Pope for his weekly addresses.

"God has been a witness to the corruption of his leadership, of the exploitation and abuses ... by the clergy," she said.

Standing just yards from five of the most senior cardinals in the Roman Catholic faith, Hill told the crowd to seek blessings "from God not men" and said she did "not believe in representatives of God on earth".

She then went on to sing a song about social injustice which was not the one listed on the programme.

Organisers of the concert have said it is likely her outburst and performance will not appear in the final cut.

US diocese settles sex abuse cases
10 Sep 03  |  Americas
Vatican 'ordered abuse cover-up'
17 Aug 03  |  Americas
Catholic Church in crisis
16 Dec 02  |  Americas


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