What songs do you resonate with most off the new album?

 

"Psalm 33."

 

What about it do you identify with so much?

 

It's the words. It talks to me about stuff like Sept. 11 and the situation we're living in now: "He frustrates the plans of nations and brings to nothing the designs of people." It's a very magical and powerful scripture.

 

Do you regret ripping up the photo of Pope John Paul II on "Saturday Night Live" in 1992?

 

No, I don't. Sometimes when you love a thing, such as the Catholic Church, it's really like a parent. Sometimes we want to challenge the people we love, and sometimes we want to rattle the bars because we see them going down the drain unless they face particular issues. And they may not want to face those issues.  For example, the issue of sexual abuse by priests within the Catholic Church.

             

At the time that I did that, in Ireland—which was the first place where people began to come out and say that [molestation by Catholic priests] had happened, ten years before it happened in the States—the families of the victims were being silenced by the church, and the church wasn't able to face what had happened. Instead of facing it, they were trying to silence everyone. 

 

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't actually an angry act, although I can see, of course, why people would think it was. It was actually an act of love.

 

Love for the church?

 

Well, no.  You see, I'm a God person—so an act of love for God, actually.  But, also an act of rattling the bars of something that I do love, but I don't love it as much as I love God.