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Sinead O'Connor "ordained" by schismatic sect April 26, 1999

Irish pop star Sinead O'Connor - who once famously tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II at a concert in New York-- has been "ordained" to the priesthood by a renegade Catholic bishop.

O'Connor-- who has two children by two different fathers-- was given the name "Mother Bernadette Mary" during last Thursday's ordination ceremony at the Marian shrine of Lourdes in France.

The ceremony was carried out by Irish Bishop Michael Cox, a former policeman who was ordained a bishop of the schismatic sect based in Palmar de Troya in Spain. Bishop Cox recently formed the "Latin Tridentine Church" with dissident priest Father Pat Buckley. Buckley, who was suspended from the priesthood by the former head of the Irish Catholic Church, Cardinal Cahal Daly, was last year illicitly ordained as a bishop by Bishop Cox.

But the two bishops fell out over a gift of IRĀ£150,000 by Sinead O'Connor to Bishop Cox. The pop star said she gave Bishop Cox the money to set up a "healing center" for travellers (gypsies) in the Irish midlands. She also offered to pay for a hernia operation for the bishop.

Bishop Buckley said the donation was "disturbing" and he would be very worried "if the money was attached in even the slightest way to the performance of a sacrament." He said he had no difficulty with the ordination of a woman, but he was concerned that O'Connor had been ordained after only six weeks of theological study.

O'Connor told Irish radio that she had already celebrated four Masses -- two in English and two in Latin. She said the Catholic Church should be grateful to her for using her priesthood to bring young people back to the Church. Bishop Cox said O'Connor would "bring massive numbers of people back to Christ through her music."