Around New England

Catholic Church Used For Profane Rap Video Questioning Why God Allows Certain Conservatives To Live

May 8, 2019

A pastor who allowed a rap video to be shot inside his Catholic church in Worcester is expressing surprise that it includes profanities, drinking, and complaints that God hasn’t taken the lives of Laura Ingraham, Tomi Lahren, and President Donald Trump.

Monsignor Francis Scollen, the pastor, was away from the parish when he approved the shooting of the rap video, but he told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that he wouldn’t have done so if he had known what would be in it.

“It was presented to the people here in a whole different light, that it was about people who died in Main South, and that we have these tragedies, and somehow how does God make sense of it,” said Monsignor Scollen, referring to a violence-plagued neighborhood in Worcester, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

The church is St. Peter’s, an 1884 Gothic Revival church at 935 Main Street in Worcester, across from Clark University.

The priest told the newspaper on Monday, May 5 that he hadn’t seen the video, even though it has been available free of charge on YouTube since Thursday, May 2.

The newspaper reported that the priest “said he was given to understand the rapper sought to use the church as a backdrop for a video about exploring his belief in God.”

The song’s title is “Devil’s Work.” In it, rapper Joyner Lucas engages in a monologue with God, asking Him why He took figures the narrator admires such as rappers Tupac Shakur and Nipsey Hussle and singers Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, while leaving alive figures the narrator doesn’t appreciate, such as President Trump and commentators Lahren and Ingraham. (The song also targets singer R. Kelly, who has been accused of sexual abuse, and two mass-murderers.)

The artist takes swigs from a bottle of Hennessy Cognac while walking around the church sanctuary. Images of a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus and the crucifix in the church are shown several times.

The song, which uses versions of a profanity that begins with “f” three times, includes lines such as:

I know you’re watching us from heaven thinking, “Who to save?”
Cherry pickin’ who should go next and who should stay
I’d be on my way to heaven if I knew the way

It also states:

I don’t go to church because I’m afraid of being judged.

The video had gotten 6.6 million views on YouTube as of Wednesday night, May 8, about six days after its release.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette interviewed several clerics in Worcester about the video who expressed sympathy for the pastor.

One, from the Worcester Islamic Center, said the mosque would consider allowing performers to use its building, “but not without screening the script and the intent,” according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Reverend Dimitrios Moraitis, dean of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester, said in an email message:  “… when we are asked by others to use the space for things that are not consistent with the sacred mission of our Church and the worship space, we say ‘no’.”

 

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