MADONNA yesterday defended her mock crucifixion on stage saying Jesus would not mind.
Christian groups were outraged after she wore a crown of thorns and posed on a giant cross.
But Madonna, 47, said it was an appeal on the opening night of her world tour in California for cash to fight Aids.
She said: "I don't think Jesus would be mad at me and the message I'm trying to send. Jesus taught that we should love thy neighbour."
Images of Third World poverty flashed up on screens along with numbers representing the 12million children orphaned by Aids in Africa as she sang to Live to Tell.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said the stunt was "a banal perversion of the magnificent event".
The Catholic League of America said: "Poor Madonna keeps trying to shock. But all she succeeds in doing is coming across as a boring bigot."