A Catholic priest has been demoted and stripped of his administrative duties after he allowed singer Sabrina Carpenter to use his New York church as a set to shoot for her provocative music video.
Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation Parish in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, gave permission to the pop star to film part of her music video for her song “Feather” in the 19th-century church, without consulting the diocese or reviewing the script.
The music video, which was released on October 30, 2023, shows Carpenter wearing a black tulle dress and veil, dancing around the church’s pews and altar while attending the funerals of men who died after harassing her in various ways. The video also features candy-colored coffins, a pink hearse, and a horror-inspired theme.
The Diocese of Brooklyn said it was “appalled” by the video, which was shot at the church on October 18, 2023, and violated the diocesan policy regarding the filming on church property. The diocese also said that the parish did not follow the protocol in place to approve what gets filmed on church property, which includes a review of the scenes and script.
Bishop Robert Brennan, the head of the diocese, said he was taking the matter seriously and looking into it further. He also announced that Monsignor Gigantiello would no longer serve as the vicar for the development of the diocese, a position he held since 2016, and would focus on his pastoral duties at the parish.
Monsignor Gigantiello apologized for his mistake and said he was unaware of the content of the music video. He also said he would donate the $10,000 he received from the production company to a crisis pregnancy center.
Carpenter, a former Disney Channel star who has over 30 million followers on Instagram, has not commented on the controversy. Her music video has received over 11 million views on YouTube and mixed reactions from fans and critics. Some praised her for her creativity and empowerment, while others accused her of being disrespectful and sacrilegious.