Madonna’s Visit, Two Days Before the Pope’s Arrival, Is No Mistake

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Madonna has been no stranger to speaking her mind. In fact, one could argue that her career and notoriety is equal parts music and advocacy. That’s why it is no coincidence that the Material Girl is bringing her Rebel Heart Tour to Philly right smack in the middle of the World Meeting of Families this September, and just two days before the Pope shows up to town.

Let’s not forget that Madonna has been an outspoken critic of the Church via her music for years. Her hit “Like a Prayer” was condemned by the Church (and lost Madonna a Pepsi contract), and later, the Vatican was furious over her mock-cruxifiction act during a concert in Rome. Of course, there’s an additional laundry list of Madonna’s “indecent” actions that would turn any Catholic red in the face. VH1 has compiled a nice collection here.

Despite some folks feeling that the Material Girl has shown her age (can we talk about that ass-less outfit at the Grammy’s, folks?), she’s still the pinnacle for making bold statements with absolutely no apology. She’s defended her recent Instagram posts of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela that were photoshopped to look like her Rebel Heart album cover. Call it gimmick, but nevertheless, Madonna hasn’t shied away from saying what she wants, critics be damned.

And although Pope Francis has, indeed, rhetorically questioned some of the Church’s longstanding beliefs on a variety of topics, especially gay rights, one of Madonna’s rallying calls, he has still yet to impact the overall oppressive beliefs of the Church. His presence in Philly immediately after Madonna’s upcoming engagement, plus the World Meeting of Families that will be going on concurrently with the concert, is a sure-fire bet that the Material Girl will have something up her sleeves to make a clear statement about religious oppression.

The spectacle of a Madonna concert may be worth the cost of admission, but this September’s show in Philly will be particularly ripe given the circumstances surrounding her visit. Let’s hope that this rebel heart doesn’t disappoint.