Retirement is Pope's 'greatest achievement', says outspoken O'Connor

At the end of January, Sinead O'Connor vowed that she was taking a new course and would let her music do the talking instead of her sometimes outrageous comments on political and religious issues.

That vow lasted about two weeks.

On Monday, O'Connor posted a statement on her website reacting to the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Catholic church.

"I would like to congratulate Pope Benedict on his wise decision to retire before the very worst of what has been going on is discovered. I appreciate his alluding to some of it in his statement and assure him The Most High forgives those who can faithfully say they did wrong.

"I also note with with interest the choice of a day so close to St Bernadette's feast day to make the announcement. Perhaps her body could now be given a respectful burial and cease to be exploited in the macabre way it has been for decades.

"The church has been brought into dreadful disrepute by lies and blasphemies against The Holy Spirit. Benedict's greatest achievement is this act of retiring. There is a chance now for the church to be re-built and made fit to house The Holy Spirit."


The Irish singer has long been a critic of the Catholic church, most famously in October 1992 when she was a musical guest on US television's Saturday Night Live. After a performance of Bob Marley's War in which she changed the lyrics "racism" to "child abuse", she held up a picture of then Pope John Paul II and ripped it into pieces, saying "Fight the real enemy".

NBC initially received over 900 calls about the performance, all but seven of which were critical of O'Connor's actions.

Since then, she has been ordained a priest by the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostle Church, an action that was roundly criticised by the Vatican.