By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Controversial Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor, infamous for tearing a picture of Pope John Paul II in half during a ”Saturday Night Live” episode in 1992, launches the second leg of her first extensive North American tour in years on Oct. 20 in Toronto.

O’Connor’s set includes many of her greatest hits and songs off her critically acclaimed eight-song, double-CD, “Theology,” her first new compositions in seven years. “Theology” hit store shelves on June 26 and was released by KOCH Records on That’s Why There’s Chocolate and Vanilla, the singer’s own label imprint. O’Connor takes her show to Europe in November.

“Theology is an attempt to create a place of peace in a time of war,” O’Connor said on her MySpace page. “It is my own personal response to what has taken and is affecting everyone around the world since and including September 11, 2001. I want to be very clear – there is no message. No preaching. Nothing deep and meaningful the artist wants to say, nothing trouble making. I simply wanted to make a beautiful thing, out of something beautiful, which inspires me.”

Before hitting the road, O’Connor makes a special appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Sinead O’Connor “Theology” itinerary in October:
20 ONT Tornonto, Massy Hall
21 NY Poughkeepsie, The Bardavon Theatre
22 MA Boston, Orpheum
23 NY New York, Beacon Theater
24 DC Washington, Strathmore
26 GA Attlanta, Tabernacle
27 LA New Orleans, Voodoo Fest
28 TX Austin, Hogg Aud/U of Texas
30 PA Philadelphia, Keswick Theater advertisement