Pop singer Sabrina Carpenter’s use of a Roman Catholic church in Brooklyn as a backdrop for parts of a music video, with her dancing next to pastel-colored coffins, led to its pastor being stripped of his administrative duties after its release and officials holding a Mass to restore the church’s “sanctity.”
Carpenter, who as a youth appeared on the Disney Channel, released the video for “Feather” on Oct. 31; in it, she’s in several scenarios with men who behave badly, like taking a nonconsensual photo of her body, and then die in grisly ways. At the end, Carpenter, 24, is filmed dancing in the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, wearing a short tulle dress and a black veil.
The day after its release, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, which oversees the Catholic churches in Brooklyn and Queens, issued a statement saying that proper procedures around allowing filming had not been followed and it was “appalled.”
A few days later, the diocese stripped administrative duties away from the church pastor, Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, and ended his stint as vicar of development for the diocese.
The diocese said Bishop Robert Brennan also celebrated a Mass of Reparation at the church and “through the offering of this Mass, Bishop Brennan has restored the sanctity of this church and repaired the harm.”
Emails seeking comment were sent to representatives for Carpenter and the video director, Mia Barnes.
In a post on Facebook following those actions asking for the church community’s forgiveness, Gigantiello said a film crew had come to them in September, and that he allowed filming after not finding anything untoward in a search of the participants. He said he had agreed as an “effort to further strengthen the bonds between the young creative artists who make up a large part of this community.”
Gigantiello went on to say he wasn’t there during the filming, had no idea anything “provocative” was being done and didn’t know coffins would be placed in the church.
Carpenter was in the Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets World” series that ran from 2014-2017 and has been singing for several years. Her music video has been viewed 11 million times on YouTube since its release.