ATTLEBORO — A Christmas skit on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night comedy show this past week featured a foul-mouthed baby Jesus named “Tom Brady Fitzgerald from Seekonk.”
The “child” was laying in what was supposedly “a Nativity scene in Attleboro,” presumably at LaSalette Shrine, but Catholic officials weren’t laughing.
The skit followed presentations of big Christmas displays in other cities and featured an expletive-spewing baby Jesus with a Boston accent who described “Christmas in Boston” with help from his profane mom.
It was titled “A Very Brady Baby Christmas.”
The Three Wise Men in the scene bore the faces of former Celtics great Larry Bird, Red Sox superstar David Ortiz and Patriots future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.
There’s not much that can be quoted from the skit because of the language, but the baby Jesus character referred to his diaper as the “shroud of urine,” a reference to the Shroud of Turin, which many Christians believe Jesus was wrapped in after his crucifixion.
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle blasted the skit.
“Jimmy Kimmel’s profanity-laced skit demeaned, trivialized, and exploited for a commercial purpose — ratings — the principal event in the history of salvation, the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity,” he said Friday in an emailed comment to The Sun Chronicle.
“It is also one more tawdry example of the mean-spirited culture of contempt which characterizes the attitude of affluent Hollywood elites towards the beliefs and sensibilities of ordinary Christians,” Doyle said. “Nor should we overlook the grotesque hypocrisy of those elites in the self-serving double standard which they apply. Christians, particularly Catholics, are made an object of scorn in ways that would never be permitted with other groups.
“Sadly, Jimmy Kimmel, in his arrogance, vulgarity and quest for profits, injures himself more than he injures us. He seems to have no conception of the joy of Christmas, with its message of ‘Peace on Earth to men of goodwill.’”
U.S. Catholic League President Bill Donohue also registered a protest in a post on the league’s website.
“On (the) Jimmy Kimmel show on ABC, they did a skit about the nativity scene where they crossed the line,” he said. Referring to the Shroud of Turin, believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus, as ‘the shroud of urine,’ is needlessly offensive.”
Like Doyle, he lambasted Hollywood.
“This was not a mistake,” he said. “A mistake would be to insult any world religion other than Christianity. When it comes to Christians, sticking it to them is exactly what we would expect from the entertainment industry. No matter, this is still a new low for Jimmy Kimmel.”
The director of LaSalette Shrine, the Rev. Flavio Gillio, could not be reached for comment.