Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has issued an official apology after a comedy skit on a TV program caused outrage among the Christian community.
According to the BBC, private broadcaster Channel 10 aired a show last week depicting the Virgin Mary as a pregnant teenager and Jesus as being too fat to walk on water.
The Vatican issued a statement denouncing the broadcast as an "offensive act of intolerance".
The row has strained already tense ties between the Vatican and Israel.
"I condemn the comments made during this televised program," Mr Olmert said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. "I regret these comments against Christians, especially since they target the Christian community in Israel."
In the popular late-night talk show, Israeli comedian Lior Shlein railed against Christian beliefs - that Mary was a virgin and that Jesus walked on water - saying he was doing so as a "lesson" to Christians who deny the Holocaust.