It might seem reasonable to expect that churches would not be used, even in today’s tawdry media environment, to help produce sexualized content. Unfortunately, such was apparently not the case in a Brooklyn parish, where pop singer Sabrina Carpenter was allowed to film a controversial music video inside a historic church. That drew the condemnation of Bishop Robert Brennan, and the diocese soon punished the priest involved.
As background, Carpenter filmed her music video, “Feather,” inside the century-old Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church. In the video, Carpenter sings in a revealing black dress while several men kill each other over her, and she attends her funerals at the church, with one of their candy-colored coffins inscribed with “RIP B*tch.”
Bishop Brennan took he parish and video to task in a statement, saying that he was “appalled” by the sexualized music video. He also criticized the local parish for failing to uphold its policies and prevent filming of such an appalling video.
In the statement on the music video and the broken policies that led to its being filmed, the diocese said, “The parish did not follow diocesan policy regarding the filming on Church property, which includes a review of the scenes and script.”
The parish initially tried to blame the video’s production company for the tawdry incident, alleging that it “failed to accurately represent the video content.” However, that explanation was belied by an investigation into the matter, which concluded that it should have seen enough to prevent production, as the documents given to the parish “while failing to depict the entirety of the scenes, clearly portray inappropriate behavior unsuitable for a church sanctuary.”
The damage was later addressed by the diocese, which announced on Saturday that the pastor behind allowing the production of the music video no longer had any administrative oversight of the parish and that Bishop Brennan had resanctified the church.
Describing what Bishop Brennan did to repair the spiritual damage done to the church’s sanctity by the lewd video, the Diocese of Brooklyn said, “Through the offering of this Mass, Bishop Brennan has restored the sanctity of this church and repaired the harm.”
Noting what remedial action had been taken as to the pastor involved and his failure of judgment, the statement said, “In light of this, Bishop Brennan has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Witold Mroziewski as the temporary administrator of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation Parish.” It then noted that Mroziewski will assume “all administrative oversight” of the parish. Continuin,g the statement noted “Additionally, Monsignor Gigantiello’s tenure as vicar for development for the diocese has concluded as of Nov. 3, 2023.”
The news of the lewd video’s being filmed and resulting administrative action comes amidst the furious discussion surrounding the Vatican’s removal of Bishop Strickland, a conservative Bishop from Texas who some on the right allege was removed because of his firm stance on culture war issues and traditional Catholic teachings, as those views put him in conflict with left-leaning Pope Francis.
Featured image credit: By Jim.henderson – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10324618
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