WHAT LAURYN HILL TOLD VATICAN.God's a Witness to the Corruption of Your Leadership, to Abuse by the Clergy

Article excerpt

Byline: JEREMY CHARLES in Rome

SOUL singer Lauryn Hill stunned Vatican officials at a Christmas concert by launching an attack on paedophile priests.

Former Fugees star Hill, 28, said she accepted her invitation only so she could protest at child sex scandals in the United States.

She told the 7,000 crowd: "I am sorry if I am about to offend some of you. I did not accept my invitation to celebrate with you the birth of Christ. Instead I ask you why you are not in mourning for him in this place?

"I want to ask you, what have you got to say about the lives you have broken?

"What about the families who were expecting God and instead were cheated by the Devil?

"Who feels sorry for them, the men, women and children damaged psychologically, emotionally and mentally by the sexual perversions and abuse carried out by the people they believed in?

"Holy God is a witness to the corruption of your leadership, of the exploitation and abuses which are the minimum that can be said for the clergy. There is no acceptable excuse to defend the church."

There was silence for several minutes from the audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican as many of them could not speak English.

There were cries of "Enough" and "Shame" from those who understood while one or two whistled and jeered before she picked up her guitar and sang. …