The video finds Bowie outfitted in robe, similar to Christ’s, as he sings from a stage in a hazy nightclub of priests and scantily-clad women (among them, Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard, who experiences a severe stigmata on the dancefloor.)
The Catholic League issued a statement on the video just hours after it was uploaded, calling Bowie a “switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London” who is “nothing if not confused about religion.”
“In short, the video reflects the artist—it is a mess,” wrote Catholic League president Bill Donohue.
The clip was briefly removed from YouTube for allegedly violating terms of service, according to Billboard, but quickly returned after the site determined the it had made an error.
This isn’t the first time the Catholic League has called out the iconic singer for “mocking Christ.” The advocacy organization previously took issue with Bowie for a promotional ad depicting him as Jesus in Pulse magazine in 1997. They did not, however, make any mention of Bowie’s role as Pontius Pilate in 1988’s The Last Temptation of Christ.
“The Next Day” is the third single and title track of Bowie’s 24th studio effort, out now.
– Nee-Sa Lossing, Radio.com