Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Auckland Bishop says Madonna is 'highly offensive to Christianity'

Bishop Patrick Dunn is not a fan of Madonna's shows.
Bishop Patrick Dunn is not a fan of Madonna's shows.

An Auckland Roman Catholic bishop has slammed Madonna as being "highly offensive to Christianity" ahead of her concert in Auckland this weekend.

The mega-star will perform at Auckland's Vector Arena on Saturday and Sunday as part of her global Rebel Heart tour.

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"There is no question in my mind that some of Madonna's material is highly offensive to Christianity and will be found just as offensive to the majority of people of religious faith, as well as many cultural sensitivities," Bishop Patrick Dunn said.

Madonna arrives in New Zealand following a concert in conservative Singapore, where a Catholic archbishop there also urged Catholics not to attend her show because she "denigrates and insults religions".

Bishop Dunn said he concurred with the comments made by his Singapore counterpart, but stopped short of asking his flock not to see Madonna.

He said the archbishop made a valid observation, especially in this times of heightened religious sensitivities, that people could not afford to be overly permissive in favour of artistic expression at the expense of respect for one's religion.

"Here in New Zealand religion is not always taken very seriously, yet in addition to Christianity there are people of many other faiths, all together representing over half our population," he said.

"In a multi-cultural and multi-faith society like New Zealand, it is imperative that entertainers not presume their own cultural perspective is that of the majority. Often it is not."

For her Auckland concert, Madonna's stage will be at huge crucifix that will span the arena, with a heart-shaped "Rebel Heart" logo at the end.

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The tour will also feature a "holy water" segment which would feature dancers dressed as bikini-clad nuns performing on cross-shaped stripper poles.

It is unclear where the Material Girl has been spending her time since she landed in Auckland earlier this week, but it is believed t she is staying at the Pullman Hotel where security has been heightened.


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