COMEDIAN Mario Rosenstock has put himself on a collision course with the Catholic Church by refusing to apologise for a sketch which prompted complaints to RTE.
And he predicted the church will be upset further by a skit involving Mother Teresa to be aired tonight.
The clip will recreate the historic interview the venerated nun gave to broadcaster Gay Byrne during the early 1970s, but with the major Catholic icon behaving less than saintly during commercial breaks.
"If they thought we went too far with the last sketch, I dread to think what they will make of this," Mr Rosenstock told the Irish Independent in reference to a boxing-themed sketch which aired on last week's show.
The sketch showed a man spitting into a bucket – in the manner of a prize fighter – before receiving Holy Communion, prompting the Catholic Communications Office (CCO) to make a formal complaint to RTE.
"Any objective viewer would certainly see the offence caused in ridiculing the reception of Holy Communion, the Eucharist, which is the Body of Christ. To make fun of this sacred act is sacrilege and is offensive to the core belief of every Catholic," church spokesman Martin Long wrote in a letter to RTE.
However, Rosenstock says he has no intention of apologising for the sketch penned with fellow writers Ian Dempsey and Paul Howard. And he claimed the church's reaction was "po-faced".
"I'm wondering if this is a reaction to 'Prime Time Investigates' where the church got a chance to slap the hand of RTE. This is a way of telling RTE we are going to start slapping your hands again like we used to," he said.
The CCO said it had received complaints concerning the broadcast and asked that the sketch be removed from the RTE website.
'The Mario Rosenstock Show' airs tonight at 9.30pm on RTE Two.