Troubled Irish singer Sinead O'Connor clarified this week that she was joking when she Tweeted on Saturday she'd be responsible for a 'bloodbath' if Pope Benedict visited Ireland.'
O'Connor, who said she made her claim in jest, also suggested she would like to shoot the pope if given the chance.
'Young people of Ireland I love you said Sinead as she pulled the trigger,' O'Connor tweeted, laughingly referring to a famous speech by John Paul II, which he made during his pilgrimage to Ireland in 1979.
Catholic patrol Bill Donohue responded to her provocations predictably, piling on the troubled singer who has struggled with mental health issues for decades: 'Sinead O'Connor has a long history of Catholic bashing, so in one sense her latest foray is not unusual,' Donohue said in a statement.
Sinead O’Connor wants to shoot Pope Benedict if he comes to Ireland
Police rush to Sinead O’Connor’s home after serious online suicide bid
Sinead O'Connor explains suicidal tweets
'What's new, however, is her advocacy of violence. Given her precarious condition, it is not likely she could shoot straight, but her violent appeal may trigger others to act. That is the danger.'
Heartlessness mixed with contempt characterized Donohue's typically mean minded response. Although he quickly acknowledged the singer's mental health issues he still could not help himself from attacking her to make his point.
'The cops were recently summoned to her home after she tweeted about suicide. She needs long-term help. In the meantime, whatever family or friends she has would do well to get her to ramp down her rhetoric and at least pretend to be normal,' Donohue added.
Pretend to be normal, for Donohue, is another way of saying hide the truth because it makes us uncomfortable. Which is a very doubtful message for a defender of Catholicism to be making just at this point in its history.
The state of O'Connor's mental health has been under debate increasingly recently, after her recent erratic behavior made headlines and she tweeted that she was contemplating a suicide attempt.
At the time she asked her followers to suggest ways in which she could commit suicide without having her four children find out.
'But I don't wanna abandon my kids. But if I cud die without them knowing I did it myself I wud. Anyway If anyone knows how I can kill myself.'
O'Connor's increasingly troubled mental health would be bettered served by friends and family, rather than by callous attacks or headlines in the press. It's to be hoped she can find the help she needs.