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Lauryn Hill sounds off on abusive priests

Singer launches tirade during Christmas concert at Vatican
/ Source: The Associated Press

During a Christmas benefit concert at the Vatican, Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill launched into an unscheduled tirade against priests who abuse children, according to news reports Sunday.

Hill read a statement criticizing the church and its leaders during the Saturday night concert, where she was a featured performer.

Several Italian newspapers on Sunday ran translations of the statement, which was delivered in English. They quoted her as saying there was “no acceptable explanation for defending the church.”

“I realize some of you may be offended by what I’m saying, but what do you say to the families who were betrayed by the people in whom they believed?” La Repubblica newspaper quoted her as saying.

There was no immediate response Sunday to calls seeking comment from Hill’s label, New York-based Columbia Records.

Prelates in the audience included Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the pope’s vicar for Rome and the head of the Italian bishops’ conference, and his deputy, Monsignor Rino Fisichella. The pope did not attend. The Vatican said Sunday it had no comment.

Hill, a former member of the rap trio the Fugees, set a record for female artists in 1999 when she won five Grammy awards for “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”