Bill Donohue, pugnacious president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, is best known for his attack mode. 

So eyebrows went up in our newsroom when a recent release of his came in and actually offered a healthy dose of praise. 

And the target of his praise was perhaps even more surprising: Lady Gaga, the iconoclastic, bombastic pop sensation whom Donohue himself has had more than one occasion to criticize for her over-the-top and insensitive (mis)use of Catholic imagery. 

Why? Because in a clip from an upcoming HBO documentary, Lady Gaga is shown backstage preparing for a show, putting on her makeup. Though at first she cries and rants to her stylist, she eventually slips into a spontaneous prayer asking God to allow her “to walk in your way” and selflessly serve her fans. She becomes visibly more peaceful. 

“Is this Lady Gaga’s epiphany moment?” asks Donohue. “It may be. One thing is for sure: She has not lost her Catholic roots. ... We hope Lady Gaga sets anchor in the religion of her upbringing and finds lasting peace.”