Sinead O'Connor: Dressed for battle, but nemesis Archbishop fails to show

Dressed in "Jah Army" combat fatigues Sinead O'Connor seen at Trinity College to debate whether the Catholic Church Can Be Salvaged with the Historical Society. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was due to attend but cancelled, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland - 12.02.14. Pictures: Cathal Burke / G. McDonnell / VIPIRELAND.COM *** Local Caption *** Sinead O'Connor
Dressed in "Jah Army" combat fatigues Sinead O'Connor seen at Trinity College to debate whether the Catholic Church Can Be Salvaged with the Historical Society

Controversial singer Sinead O'Connor has lashed out against organised religion in a debate on the future of the Catholic Church.

She was invited to speak at Trinity College last night in a debate sponsored by its Historical Society on the question of whether the Catholic Church can be salvaged.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin was among the guests invited to speak but he pulled out about four hours ahead of the debate due to what organisers said was "a tragic event."

Reading out a number of references in the Scriptures and Book of Revelations opposing organised religion, O'Connor said: "Christ will survive Catholicism, he never needed it in the first place."

After reciting passages from the Bible in a rapid-fire speech, she concluded; "There is no religion in God's plan -- or in Christ's word, by the way."

Other speakers included politician Jerry Buttimer, an openly gay TD, and playwright Michael Nugent, who is chairman of the Atheist Society, as well as Redemptorist priest and founder of the Irish Association of Catholic Priests, Fr Tony Flannery.

Mr Buttimer said that as a gay man, he has been treated as "a second class citizen until now" in reference to what he said are reforms in the church led by Pope Francis.

However, he said there is a need for the Vatican to convene a third council to deal with issues of morality.

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