.- An Israeli comedian has caused an uproar in the Holy Land by broadcasting skits that the Vatican described in a Friday statement as "blasphemous."
Israeli authorities reacted by promising the apostolic nuncio that they will prevent such programs from being broadcast in the future and require the TV station to apologize.
Skits by the comedian Yair Shlein aired on the private TV Channel 10 earlier this week, suggested that the Virgin Mary was impregnated by a school friend when she was 15. Shlein also joked that Jesus died at a young age because he was fat, that his obesity prevented him from actually walking on water, and that his justification for all these jokes was that Christians deny the Holocaustâa reference to Bishop Richard Williamsonâs beliefs about the extent of the Holocaust.
Jesus and Mary were ''ridiculed with blasphemous words and images,'' the Vatican said in a statement today that joined the voices of many of the Christian leaders in the Holy Land.
''The authorities promptly assured they would intervene to stop such broadcasts and obtain a public apology from the broadcaster,'' the Vatican said.
The reaction from the Vatican closes by expressing the Churchâs "solidarity with the Christians of the Holy Land" and deploring "such a vulgar and offensive act of intolerance against the religious sentiments of those who believe in Christ." The Church observes "with sadness that this grave offence is directed against two sons of Israel, namely Jesus and Mary of Nazareth."