The Archbishop of Toledo in Spain has asked the religious community to forgive him after a steamy music video featuring nudity, erotic dancing and a severed head was recorded inside the city’s cathedral.
It has since been viewed more than 2.2 million times, while also sparking criticism and backlash from Roman Catholics who have deemed the provocative visuals offensive.
In a statement published Friday, the cathedral asked for forgiveness and said it would be working to ”avoid something similar from happening again.”
“We humbly and sincerely ask for the forgiveness of all the faithful, people and priests, who have rightly felt wounded by this inappropriate use of a sacred place,” the statement read.
The video opens with church bells ringing, before Tangana is seen strutting into the 13th- century building in his white trousers and loafers, the stained glass windows shining above him.
The camera then moves to Peluso, who is gyrating in the church doorway as men, including a priest, watch her from afar.
The two musicians then come together, their bodies wrapped around one another’s as they dance passionately in the dark, a statue of Jesus Christ positioned behind them.
As the video continues to play, Peluso is recorded naked — though pixelated — and holding Tangana’s severed head.
While outrage was widespread, another religious leader — the cathedral’s dean — stressed that the video served to highlight just how inclusive the church had become, and open to “dialogue” with “cultural manifestations of the moment.”
Juan Miguel Ferrer Grenesche apologized to those who found the video “unpleasant” but noted that the song’s lyrics tell the story of hope.
“The video presents the story of a conversion through human love,” Grenesche said.
He encouraged people to listen closely to the lyrics of the song, which include the line: “I was an atheist, but now I believe, because a miracle like you had to come down from heaven.”
At this year’s Latin Grammys, Tangana and Peluso shared nine nominations. The video for “Ateo” marks Tangana’s debut into the directing world.
“I’ve always worked on the creativity for my videos but this is the first time I’m directing,” the rapper told media company Mitu.
“The visual portrays how I feel, showcasing the song and the nuances of the lyrics.”
According to Lonely Planet, the city’s cathedral is considered one of the top 10 in Spain and is known for its Gothic architecture, wooden sculptures and brightly stained glass windows.