The Next Day – David Bowie’s most recent video music, which stars Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard – was temporarily pulled from YouTube over its graphic content.
The Next Day features heavy religious imagery, including Marion Cotillard bleeding from stigmata marks.
YouTube admitted making the “wrong call” in removing the video, and reinstated it with an adult content warning.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has called the video “juvenile”.
Lord Carey told The Telegraph: “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery perhaps Christians should not worry too much at such an exploitation of religious imagery.
“I doubt that Bowie would have the courage to use Islamic imagery – I very much doubt it.
David Bowie’s The Next Day video, which stars Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard, features heavy religious imagery
“Frankly, I don’t get offended by such juvenilia – Christians should have the courage to rise above offensive language, although I hope Bowie will recognize that he may be upsetting some people.”
The Next Day is taken from David Bowie’s comeback album of the same name.
The video sees David Bowie performing in a basement bar, surrounded by religious figures, while Gary Oldman, dressed as a priest, punches a beggar before dancing with a prostitute, played by Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.
A spokesman for YouTube said: “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”
David Bowie’s last video, for The Stars (Are Out Tonight), featured another Oscar-winner, Tilda Swinton.
Gary Oldman previously worked with David Bowie in the 1990s, when they performed a duet on guitarist Reeves Gabrels’ 1995 album The Sacred Squall of Now.
The Next Day, David Bowie’s first album in a decade, has become the fastest-selling of the year in UK, hitting No. 1 spot in its first week.
The Next Day is David Bowie’s first No. 1 since 1993’s Black Tie White Noise.
The album sold 94,000 copies this week, according to the Official Chart Company, outselling No. 2 album What About Now from Bon Jovi two to one.
Justin Timberlake remains at the top of the singles chart with Mirrors.
The announcement that David Bowie was releasing new material came as a surprise to many in the music world, and has had Bowie aficionados picking over the fiercely private star’s back catalogue, comparing his early work with his latest release.
A retrospective of the eclectic performer is being unveiled at London’s V&A Museum on March 23, celebrating David Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon.
The Next Day is David Bowie’s first No. 1 since 1993’s Black Tie White Noise
Although David Bowie is not directly involved with curating the exhibition, the David Bowie Archive gave “unprecedented access” to the V&A, which picked out flamboyant costumes, early photographs and other memorabilia to show.The Next Day’s first week sales beat that of the previous fastest-selling UK album, which was Biffy Clyro’s Opposites which sold 71,600 in its debut week in January.
Emeli Sande’s Our Version of Events slipped down one to No. 3, following behind Bon Jovi’s What About Now.
Last week’s No. 1 from chart-toppers Bastille fell to No. 4.
In the singles chart, One Direction saw their Comic Relief effort One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks) rise to No. 2 in the wake of Friday’s Red Nose Day.