On 3 October 1992, Sinead O’Connor sang an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s “War”on Saturday Night Live and shocked the world by ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II and calling him and the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy evil.
Long before the word got out that the Catholic Church had been covering up incidents of child abuse and child rape by its pederast priests, O’Connor blew the whistle on the child-molesting clergy and fingered the Vatican for keeping it under wraps.
Before leaving the stage, O’Connor threw pieces of the pope’s torn photo at the camera and said, “Fight the real enemy!” The studio audience sat in stunned silence; NBC switchboards lit up like Christmas trees, and the network banned O’Connor for life.
Ten years later O’Connor would be asked by Salon if she had the ’92 SNL appearance to do all over again would she do anything differently. O’Connor said, “Hell, no!”