Catholic Church | News | Pope Benedict | Sinead O'Connor | Vatican

Sinead O'Connor Calls for 'Full Criminal Investigation' of Pope


Sinead O'Connor, who made the biggest headlines of her career in 1992 when she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live and said "fight the real enemy," is speaking out against the current Pope and the epidemic of Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandals.

Says O'Connor to the L.A. Times

"There should be a full criminal investigation of the Catholic hierarchy of any country in which this has been an issue. There should be a full criminal investigation of the Vatican. There should be a full criminal investigation of the pope. The pope should stand down for the fact that he did not act in a Christian fashion to protect children, and for the fact that his organization acted to preserve their business interests decade after decade rather than be concerned about the interests of children, and for showing so much disrespect for Christ, God, the victims, the rest of us, their own clergy. . . . The Vatican and the pope need to get on their knees and confess the full truth in the same language they make us use in Mass. . . . They need to get on their knees, open everything up, be transparent, tell the truth, ask the people for forgiveness and prayers."

Watch Sinead's 1992 SNL Pope tear-up, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Brava!

    Posted by: Buster | Mar 25, 2010 10:18:37 AM

  2. I have to agree with Ms O'Connor on this one.

    Posted by: richard s | Mar 25, 2010 10:36:18 AM

  3. not for nothing...but she was SO ahead of the curve on this issue...

    there were always murmurs of priest abuse scandals, but the didn't really hit a fevered pitch until the past 5 years or so.

    Good for baldy.

    Posted by: amknyc | Mar 25, 2010 10:44:53 AM

  4. You GO Uncle Fester!

    Posted by: REYnoldo | Mar 25, 2010 10:45:55 AM

  5. This is the first thing she's said in the past 20 years that wasn't crazy. Maybe she was never crazy, we were all just far behind. Sinead LOVE.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Mar 25, 2010 10:46:35 AM

  6. I'd have to agree with her statements as well. Never understood allowing any religious institution to operate under different laws than everyone else. If a corporation was accused of even a tenth of the crimes the Catholic church is accused of, it would under criminal investigation so quickly it'd make heads spin.

    Posted by: LiamB | Mar 25, 2010 10:59:43 AM

  7. John Paul II was as much a scumbag as Bendoverndickus 16, but because he was the Polish Pope he got a Get Out Of Jail Free card. JPII stacked the church with conservative cardinals and bishops who were very, very good at covering up the baby rapers.

    Posted by: homer | Mar 25, 2010 10:59:52 AM

  8. Put "Sinead was right" on a T-shirt and I'd buy it.

    Posted by: JJ Tw | Mar 25, 2010 11:13:08 AM

  9. I remember back when she tore that picture up on SNL. I was outraged. Now I know how ignorant I was back then. I have the greatest respect for her now.

    Posted by: David T | Mar 25, 2010 11:13:49 AM

  10. Here is another excellent interview:

    About feeling vindicated:

    'She says she doesn't "necessarily feel I have a right to feel vindicated or not vindicated." If she had to pinpoint an emotion, she says, "I guess I feel sad for the American people that they have to suffer such a shock."'

    Posted by: Q | Mar 25, 2010 11:31:56 AM

  11. Well, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. She was definitely ahead of the rest of the world on this issue, and took a lot of flack and hatred for it. That wasn't right, and I applaud her gonzo bravery.

    However, she's done herself no favors over the years by repeatedly saying something inflammatory or dramatic ("I'm coming out as a lesbian" "I'm forming my own church and becoming a priest" "I'm leaving the music business" "I want to end my life"), then following that with a muddled, anguished fumbling follow-up: "Oh, that's not what I MEANT to say, what I REALLY meant was...oh, I'm so misunderstood, oh my life is so hard, oh boo hoo hoo..." By third time she did this, I could barely stand to look at her anymore. What a pity, since she was so talented.

    This is nice vindication that at least on this issue she was dead-on, but I'll just wish her well and encourage her to lay low in anonymity, tearing at the drapes and foaming at the mouth.

    Posted by: Dback | Mar 25, 2010 11:37:45 AM

  12. "the biggest headlines of her career in 1992..."


    Posted by: Tom | Mar 25, 2010 11:40:16 AM

  13. this was not one of her biggest headlines in her career , this was the downfall of her career, she was right and she has beeen right but the pope has to much power and i don't think this willl ever stop

    Posted by: josepe | Mar 25, 2010 11:59:26 AM

  14. Thank you Sinead for speaking truth to evil. The quicker the child fuckers are locked behind bars the better!
    It certainly would be nice to see some of our elected officials show some courage on this issue but unfortunately they are too concerned with not offending anybody and getting re-elected to do anything substantive like saving millions of children from child molestation at the hands of parent trusting priests...sad.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Mar 25, 2010 12:01:17 PM

  15. Remember that the Pope is not only a religious figure as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. He is also the ruler of Vatican City, which is a elective monarchy. The Pope is not a president or a prime minister; he is a ruling monarch, although of a state with a population of about 800 people. Unlike elected officials, monarchs are often legally immune from prosecution within their own countries - even the current constitutions of modern constitutional monarchies like Denmark, Norway, and Sweden specifically say that the king's person is sacred, inviolate, etc. The same is true in the Vatican City, I believe.

    And on the international level, the Pope, as a head of state, is immune to prosecution or civil lawsuits in other countries according to the international doctrine of sovereign immunity as long as he continues to occupy that office - and there is no mechanism for replacing a Pope in Church or Vatican City law. A few years back, there was an attempt to sue the Pope for responsibility in child abuse cases in a US court - the federal Department of Justice filed a brief requesting that the court dismiss the suit, saying that due to the doctrine of sovereign immunity, for US courts to entertain a lawsuit against a foreign head of state would be contradictory to US foreign policy interests and obligations. And of course, every country upholds sovereign immunity to protect its own leaders from legal action in other countries.

    In other words, barring either Benedict's resignation or indictment by an international war crimes tribunal, Sinead's proposal is not going to happen.

    Posted by: Sancho | Mar 25, 2010 12:31:50 PM

  16. I applauded her then and I applaud her now. I couldn't believe how many people vilified her at the time. It didn't take a rocket scientist to see how evil the Catholic Church was. They have done nothing but prove her right over and over again.

    Posted by: Happily Married | Mar 25, 2010 1:17:06 PM

  17. so...on the one hand, we have a timid yet courageous Irish priestess obsessed with truth and on the other hand, we have an evil Catholic pope who appears to have been genetically engineered to look and act like a Ringwraith. Is this is a promo for a sequel to The Golden Compass?

    Posted by: wolvesaloud | Mar 25, 2010 1:21:25 PM

  18. This ex- Catholic flushed the little boys club high moral authority down the toilet at the age of 10

    Posted by: frank | Mar 25, 2010 1:26:25 PM

  19. I've always loved, admired and respected you, Sinead. The records you've released since ditching the soulless celebrity machine have been better and better than when you started out. Never doubted your motivations... only wish I knew how to tell you these things!

    Posted by: Miaulement Quadrucci | Mar 25, 2010 2:21:46 PM

  20. I wish people would stop demonizing the mentally ill. Sinead, as a survivor of Catholic persecution in her youth, no doubt struggles with her undiagnosed (?) disorder every day. Yet, she has made something of herself- not something everyone with mental illnesses can do.

    So what if she's said things a little off the wall. To say things like "(I) could barely stand to look at her" is just plain ignorant. Where's the patience and understanding?

    P.S. Same goes for Susan Boyle.

    Posted by: Rodney | Mar 25, 2010 5:44:25 PM

  21. For those looking to post, try to preview, then post. It worked for me after several unsuccessful attempts to post myself.

    Posted by: Rodney | Mar 25, 2010 7:58:14 PM

  22. DBack , you seem like a judgemental jerk. You wrote this laundry list of your complaints about what she said that bothered you, never mind they were wrong, or just your very humble opinion.

    She never said she was coming out as a lesbian- sje was wildly misquoted by a journalist eager for a scoop. She never said she was forming her own church, but she did join an offshoot called the Tridentines.

    The rest: SO, are you disappointed she didn't kill herself? That she still makes music? You are mistaking conversational musings for grand declarations. She speaks freely about what she's feeling, and many many times journalists will trump it up as if it were a grand declaration, wrongly or not.

    Sinead was mauled, reviled, mocked and scorned in the US after she refused to have the National Anthem played. So then there was a decade of smear-jobs on her, along with her Pop gesture.

    But she was right. And here you are complaining like a bitch because you believe every thing you read apparently. Half of what you wrote was wrong, the other half the gutter press sensationalizing.

    Sinead is a person of integrity, as well as a troubled soul from her past. But she's not crazy, and in this case, she was powerfully, tragically correct.

    Posted by: Lester | Mar 25, 2010 8:09:27 PM

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