BRINGING excommunicated Holocaust-denier Bishop Richard Williamson back into the Catholic fold last month did not earn the Pope many brownie-points in Israel.
It was a stupid move – even by Vatican standards – and the well-known Jewish comedian Lior Shlein retaliated by taking the piss out of core Christian beliefs.
Mary, he told a Channel 10 TV audience, was never a virgin and Jesus did not walk on water.
The truth was, said Shlein, was that Mary was put up the duff at 15 by a schoolmate, and that Jesus could never have walked on water because:
He was so fat he was ashamed to leave the house, let alone go to the Sea of Galilee with a bathing suit.
Well, no sooner were the words out of his mouth than a complaint was made by a Vatican representative in Israel to the Government. The Vatican said that, in the clip, Mary and Joseph were:
Ridiculed with blasphemous words and images [that amounted to a]Â vulgar and offensive act of intolerance toward the religious sentiments of the believers in Christ.
A statement from the Vatican said the Israeli government had quickly assured the Holy See that it would intervene to interrupt the transmission and get the broadcaster to publicly apologise.
But it wasn’t immediately clear how the government could do so, as Channel 10, one of Israel’s three main television stations, is a private station and is not subject to government censorship, except in matters of security.
Neither the Israeli government nor Channel 10 have commented publicly on the issue.