Sinead O’Connor was basically before my time. But when I was young, she used to be a popular musician. And you might recall that she appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1992, where she tore a picture of Pope John Paul II. Unsurprisingly, this sparked a huge and very angry backlash, and her career never really recovered.
All this I knew already. What I never knew or bothered to learn until just now is that the reason she tore the picture was to protest the Church’s role in sex abuse. Given what we know now, many years later, doesn’t the entire world owe O’Connor one huge motherfucking apology?
I’ll start: Dear Sinead, I’m sorry the world treated you like shit. You were right. The Catholic Church was and is filled with priests who rape children, and they get away with it. Your tactic of tearing up a photo of a person who was revered by many may have been incendiary, but is not nearly as offensive as the institutional cover-up of years of child rape.