As if she didn't have enough problems already, troubled pop star Britney Spears has gone and offended the Catholic Church with the artwork for her new album, Blackout. Two photos from the CD booklet show a scantily-clad Britney appearing to seduce a Catholic priest in a confessional booth, in one case sitting on his lap.
After bemoaning Britney's role in the celebrity gossip industry – "one more sign of a Western culture in moral decline" – an article on US website Catholic Online slams the singer for making a mockery of the confessional, "the place within a Church where a penitent confesses their sins and receives Sacramental absolution from the priest, acting on behalf of Jesus Christ through the Church".
It's not all doom and gloom though. The writer ends by hoping the pictures will lead to Britney's reformation: "One can only hope that Britney’s exposure to a confessional, even if meant to mock the Catholic Church, will be added to the mental images which occupy her sleepless nights during this troubled time in her life, as she struggles to regain custody of her children and make sense of the last few years. Perhaps the next time she approaches a confessional it will be to seek absolution and request a new beginning from the One who is able to give her the grace that she needs."