July 15, 2024

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The Intersection of Information and Insight

After Sabrina Carpenter video, priest discipline, church re-consecrated

3 min read

Sabrina Carpenter and a priest walk into a church and only one of them leaves with their job fully intact.

This strange story began when Carpenter filmed part of her music video for the single “Feather” at the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., earlier this year. In the video, Carpenter is seen dancing around four pastel coffins in front of the church’s altar as she wears a super-short black dress and a veil. The video dropped on Oct. 30 and now has 11.9 million views on YouTube.

In a statement earlier this month, the Diocese of Brooklyn said it was “appalled” that the video was allowed to be filmed in the church given its suggestive nature.

“The parish did not follow diocesan policy regarding the filming on Church property, which includes a review of the scenes and script,” the statement to the Catholic News Agency said.

The parish initially told the diocese that, in its defense, Carpenter’s video production team had “failed to accurately represent the video content,” per CNA.

Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, the priest who signed off on allowing the video to be shot in the Brooklyn church, provided further clarity on the situation in a Facebook post earlier this month.

“Undoubtedly many are upset over what has transpired, no more than myself. On Oct. 31, 2023, recording artist Sabrina Carpenter released a provocative music video which was filmed inside Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church,” Gigantiello wrote. “I offer my sincere apologies to the Bishop, the Diocese, my faithful parishioners and all of you for this shameful representation, which I wholeheartedly renounce. I ask that following the very example of Christ’s forgiveness, you find it possible to forgive my oversight in this unfortunate matter.”

He noted that the parish was asked in September if a film crew could film a “production featuring Sabrina Carpenter.” Gigantiello agreed to it as “an effort to further strengthen the bonds between the young creative artists who make up a large part of this community and the parish” and said that after researching Carpenter, he didn’t find out anything about her that raised flags.

He also claimed that he and the parish staff weren’t privy to anything provocative that occurred inside the church and had no idea that coffins would be present in front of the altar. He was under the impression that the majority of the filming would take place outside of the building.

“While I take full responsibility for the erroneous decision to allow the filming, I want to assure you that I had no knowledge that such a scene would be filmed in our church which we worked so hard to restore to its present sacred beauty,” he continued in his statement.

After serving as pastor of the church for seven years, Gigantiello announced that he was relieved of his administrative duties at Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish by Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan. Gigantiello will still be maintaining his pastoral role.

Brennan subsequently re-consecrated the church at a Mass. The bishop “has restored the sanctity of this church and repaired the harm,” the diocese said in a statement.

Representatives for Carpenter did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

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