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Ignatius stops sale of Charlotte Church works after singer's TV pilot

By Simon Caldwell
July 24th, 2006
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

LONDON - The U.S. publishing company Ignatius Press has refused to sell any works by Welsh singer Charlotte Church after she called German-born Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi and mocked the Catholic Church.

The directors of Ignatius Press said they were offended when the Welsh singer mocked the Catholic Church in the pilot of a proposed eight-part television chat show.

Church, dubbed the "Voice of an Angel" before she turned her talents to popular music, also dressed up as a nun and pretended to hallucinate while eating "communion" wafers imprinted with smiling faces signifying the drug Ecstasy.

She smashed open a statue of the Virgin Mary to reveal a can of hard cider inside, said she worshipped "St. Fortified Wine," and stuck chewing gum on a statue of the child Jesus.

Ignatius Press announced that Church's products have been withdrawn from its Web site and catalogue.

"It is with regret that we do this," the company said in a statement to its customers on its Web site, www.ignatius.com.

"Miss Church possesses a great gift from God, and in the past she has used her talent often to offer praise and glory to Our Lord," the statement said.

"We cannot stand by a young woman who uses her stature in the media to mock the Eucharist, slander the Holy Father, and denigrate the vows of religious women," it continued.

"Therefore, our catalogues and Web site will immediately withdraw all compact discs, cassette tapes, DVDs and VHS tapes that feature Miss Church. Please join us in praying for this troubled young woman," the statement added.

Church declined to comment.

Church, 20, was raised a Catholic and sang for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican at the age of 12.

The pilot for "The All New Charlotte Church Show" was filmed before a live studio audience July 12.

Ignatius Press was founded by Father Joseph Fessio, a California Jesuit who studied under the future Pope Benedict at the University of Regensburg in Germany in the 1970s and who continues to be a close friend.

Pope Benedict, the son of a German policeman opposed to Nazism, was forced into the Hitler Youth movement as a child, and during World War II he served briefly in an anti-aircraft battalion.

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