A Catholic priest has defended controversial rock star Marilyn Manson ahead of his concert in Croatia. Anton Bobas - the lead singer of his own metal band - said Manson was unlikely to "turn young people into Satanists" during his performance. The gig, taking place in Pula on 22 August, has been condemned by a number of Croatian clerics. Seven Catholic priests have offered to pay compensation to organisers if the show is cancelled.
Father Bobas, speaking to the Croatian newspaper Vjesnik, said that most of Manson's critics had never seen his act. The cleric, whose band is called Messengers of Hope, said the best concert he had attended was a Manson show in Hamburg three years ago. But he added that despite the music, Manson's persona was rather dark and he was not recommending that young people see the singer in action. Other religious groups in Croatia have come out against Manson's plans to perform in the country, with Protestant organisation Oaza calling for an outright ban on the conert. Manson is due to perform in the UK later this month at the Leeds and Reading festivals.