Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Stephen Colbert to star in Catholic comedy slam

**NEW YORK — So who is the funniest Catholic in the Western world: New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan or Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert?

It’s a tough call for anyone who has followed either man’s impressive record of rim shots, but we may finally get an answer to that urgent question when the cardinal and the comedian team up for a panel on faith and humor this September at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y.**

This is great. It will be nice for people to see our American Catholics with a sense of humor.



Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:


A Cardinal? With a sense of humour :eek: what form of blasphemy is this!


Oh man, I hope they tape this and show it on TV or Youtube! This will be awesome!


Very nice, can’t wait to see it.

Isn’t Stephen Colbert rather anti-Catholic? This sounds rather odd to me.

No, he is not. He is in fact a Sunday school teacher (Catechist). You have to remember that his brand of comedy is satire. I’ve read one make a comment on him, I forgot it its a member of the clergy or just a Catholic journalist, but he said that Colbert is the best thing to happen to Catholicism because the can deliver catechesis without people realizing it. He comes in sounding critical of the Church and all, but he then explains in pretty good detail the faith. If one is liberal and anti-Catholic, they would listen to what he is saying, and without them knowing it learn more about the Catholic faith. They wouldn’t listen to a priest teaching the faith in a very serious tone.

Not only is he a very faithful and orthodox Catholic, but he has a way with words and humor that he can deal with the hot issues such as the sex abuse scandal in a way that is not sensationalism, but it’s not dismissive and indifferent either.

He dealt with the LCWR situation better than the Catholic press did. He’s not a real reporter. He had a sister on his show. He asked her a few very legitimate questions in his light handed manner. This relaxed the sister. Instead of coming at him like a Marine on a mission, she too gave him a very polite and clear response and delivered it with humor.

I disagreed with her answer. But I felt that they should hire him at the CDF to work with the LCWR. His style puts people at ease. Instead of confrontation, you actually get a dialogue going where people are candid without being rude and where you can actually see that they are good people, even if they’re mistaken.

I find that Cardinal Dolan does this as well. He gets people to say what’s on their mind without the aggression or the bite. From there, you can agree or disagree with the other person. If you’re smart, you’ll use Cardinal Dolan’s style to keep the dialogue going on a serious subject while leaving out the antagonism.

I hope that they put this on film or on cable. I truly would like to see these two roast Catholics. That’s what they’re going to do. It’s a Catholic Roast. As I call it, Catholics making fun of ourselves and laughing at the silly things that we do or say.

We don’t do that enough. Either we’re too critical of our Church or we’re so “reverent” that we strip the Church of her humanity.

I guess that’s what attracted me to St. Francis and his family. He dearly loved the Church and was determined to rescue her from herself. At the same time, he always found something in Catholicism to laugh about. He was creative enough to turn some of the traditional Catholic practices into exercises that praised God and delighted men. One of my favorites is praying the LOTH on the run. I don’t think that anyone else does it but Franciscans. On the run means that one or more brothers pray the breviary as they are walking somewhere, instead of stopping to make a solemn even of it. You praise God and you enjoy doing it.

Cardinal Dolan and Colbert would make good Franciscans. :thumbsup:

Faithful and funny


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

This is great, Brother JR; thanks for posting this news :slight_smile:

Since I have been recently criticized for being too critical (:confused:) (just kidding about my confusion!!!), I am going to start paying a lot of attention to how these two fine Catholics handle this sort of thing!

Strange that a “very faithful and orthodox Catholic” supports same sex marriage and government mandated ‘free’ contraception. If Colbert is a practicing Catholic he has a very strange way of showing it. I’m reminded of Matthew 18:6

He does not support any of that. He’s a performer, not a politician. His job is to take jabs at people, including the Church. That’s why he is so well liked among bishops, theologians and lay Catholics. He does not have a problem having fun at his own expense. But when push comes to shove, after the cameras stop rolling, he’s a very level-headed Catholic. Even the Holy Father enjoys his humor at the expense of Catholics. He received some kind of recognition from him. Read his story. He’s a man of deep faith and comes from a family of very deep faith. This man’s faith has been tried and proven by fire. His father and brother were killed in a horrible plane accident. His mother held him up with one sentence that he still teaches, “God’s will be done.”


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

I love it! I agree with others that this will show that catholic leaders need not be stern and unapproachable but instead a down to earth human with a great love of God and Church:D

I believe that it’s a small opportunity, but at least it exists, for Catholics to show that we don’t take ourselves overly seriously either, meaning that we can poke fun at ourselves. I’m always reminded of St. Teresa of Avila who prayed, “God protect us from sour faced saints.”

On a trip her carriage broke down and she fell out, ending up in the mud, dirtying her white Carmelite mantle. She looked up at heaven and said, “No wonder you don’t have many friends.”

Once, she had a vision while she was cooking. She was holding the skillet over the fire. The nuns were unable to pry the skillet out of her hands or to move her away from the fire. It was as if she were made of stone. When she came out of it, her hand was severely burned and scarred for life. She turned toward toward the crucifix and said, “You need to work on your timing.”

Once, a friar came to St. Francis and asked for a dispensation to leave the order, because he couldn’t stand celibacy any longer. Francis replied, “Go and breed to your heart’s content.”

Realizing what he had said, he ran down the road until he caught up with the ex-friar and said, “I forgot to add, with a wife.” He laughed at his faux pax all the way back.

The Franciscan admonitions say that the brothers and sisters will blindly obey their superiors in all things, even if they know for a fact that something else is better for their soul. Years later, Aquinas would write that blind obedience was dangerous. Bonaventure, who was the superior general of the Franciscans and the Cardinal Bishop of Albano challenged Aquinas on this point. Aquinas explained that one can never obey a command to sin.

Bonaventure started to laugh and said, “You need to change that from ‘blind obedience’ to ‘foolish obedience’.” They’re not the same. It is said that both had a good laugh about the whole issue.

Tomorrow is the great Solemnity of Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula, the patroness of the Franciscan motherhouse in Assisi. There is a plenary indulgence attached to anyone who observes the solemnity. You don’t have to be a Franciscan.

Francis approached Pope Honorius III to ask for the indulgence. The pope was not to eager to grant it. However, he couldn’t exactly turn Francis down. Francis was his friend from before his day as pope. After trying every possible way to get out of it, he finally agreed.

As Francis turned to leave, Pope Honorius to him to wait for a written bull to prove that he had permission to preach the indulgence. Francis, in his usual casual and humorous manner waved the pope off and said, “Don’t worry about it. I have your word for it. Our Lady is the parchment on which your word is written, Christ is the notary and the angels are the witnesses. You can’t back out now.” He left.

When Bl. John Paul was attacked for the Assisi gathering, I believe it may have been the first one; but I’m not sure. He said to Cardinal Ratzinger, “Thank God I grew up Catholic in a Jewish community. I’m immune to guilt.” He was obviously making reference to the fact that Jews and Catholics are famous for laying on guilt trips.

St. Philip Neri would place animals on his shoulders while celebrating mass to keep from going into ecstasy. People would sit there and laugh, because the trick never worked.

When the war broke out between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta called her convent in Pakistan and ordered her sisters to return to the safety of Calcutta. The Mother Superior of the local convent begged her to let them stay and care for the people hurt by the war.

Mother listened very attentively. When Mother Superior finished her reasoning, she waited for Mother Teresa to say something authoritative, “You can stay” or “You must leave.” Instead, Mother Teresa said, “Call me when you’re dead,” and she hung up the phone and shrugged her shoulders.

Bl. Pierre Giorgio Frassatti was known for his wit and his ability to laugh at his own spirituality. St. Alberto Hurtado is another of those Jesuit saints who knew how to laugh at his own Catholicism.

None of these people took their Catholicism lightly. They just didn’t take themselves too seriously.

When I became superior of our community, I told the men in formation that anyone who did not have a sense of humor about our life and work cannot remain with us. The rule calls us to be the voice of Christ. Christ cried. People who cry also laugh. Christ experienced indignation. People who experience indignation also know myrth. There is no such thing as a one-sided coin.


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

The Porzioncola Indulgence can be obtained even in a non-Franciscan church (if there is none within reasonable distance).

That’s right. That’s because there are very few Franciscan churches around the world. Franciscans don’t usually own churches. The dioceses does. Even the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi does not belong to the Franciscans. The house belongs to the friars. The basilica belongs to the diocese.


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

Is this gonna be on teevee?


I do agree it’s fantastic Cardinal Dolan will get some face time with younger viewers.

The humor Stephen has exhibited in regards to support of homosexuality is troublesome yet no more so than many clergy and laity in the church today.

Overall, he gives his guests a chance for using humor to make a rebuttal. Which is good.

Fair enough. He doesn’t personally support any of that. It just seems odd - given that there are so many people to lampoon - that he would strike out at the Church.

Help me to understand: if I first said that I try to conform my life to the Catholic teaching, then I went on national television, put on clown makeup and a Mitre and pretended to be a Bishop stealing birth control pills from women’s purses, would that be percieved as anti-Catholic? It wouldn’t be funny like Colbert’s work, I get it. But even if I later said, “no offense, it’s only a joke!” wouldn’t that image stick with people?

By Brother JR’s recommendation I checked out Stephen Colbert and subscribed to his Twitter feed. He is hilarious! I don’t get cable so I have never seen his show and I was unfamiliar with his Catholic background. Thanks JR!

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