Stephen Colbert

Hey all,

I have heard that Stephen Colbert is Catholic. Correct me if I’m wrong, this was not widely known until after he left the Daily Show and started his own show (The Colbert Report).

I do not have cable, so I haven’t kept up on Colbert. Has he become more vocal in his faith given the conflict over HHS mandate, etc.? Is there any chance this very talented man could become a force for Catholic evangelization?


He is reportedly a devout Catholic who attend Mass frequently and teaches religious education. However his show satirizes the rabid right-wing conservative media and his character is a mix of Rush, Sean hannity and Glenn Beck.

The funny thing about it is that there are people who watch it that don’t understand that he’s making fun of them!! :rotfl:

Because he usually keeps comments about his faith very lighthearted, I don’t personally see them having profound effect on people. I don’t mean that as a criticism, it’s just the line he must feel he has to walk to remain accepted as a comedian.

I highly doubt it. He seems to treat his Catholicism the same was Stewart treats his Judaism. It’s clearly important to him, but he does make a lot of lighthearted jokes.

His whole persona is a caricature of a conservative news host. And Colbert is extremely liberal himself, supporting both gay marriage and abortion rights.

Yes, he is a Catholic and teaches Sunday school. There are times when he does speak up and offer some real Catholic truth on his show…but his job is a Comedian…so that is what he is focused on while he is working. :slight_smile: He does a pretty good job of making fun of everything eventually, but its pretty light-hearted when he does.

He did do his show on Ash Wednesday with the ashes on his forehead. I also heard that he wears a scapular.

I kind of thought this might be the case, but didn’t want to assume. Do you have a way to confirm this?

I’ve been watching his show and seeing him do serious interviews on things like the late show forever. He rips abortion laws, makes fun of pro lifers, makes fun of people who are against gay marriage by making them look like closet cases, he said in a serious interview once that he’s for gay marriage because Jesus never said anything about gays.

A quick Google will pull up everything you’d want to know.

I do not think Colbert is likely to ever become a positive force for evangelization.

Incidentally, I do seem to remember that he had a segment on the Daily Show called something like “This Week in Faith”. I only remember two jokes from it. One was when he called Yule (or was it Solstice?) “Christmas for teenagers who hate their parents.” The other was when he announced that Pope Benedict had waved the usual waiting period before opening the cause for his predecessor’s canonization, which he can do because (something like) “he’s the Pope, what are you gonna do about it!?”

Colbert is Catholic

i watch him when I can - he is certainly funny

i enjoyed when he interviewed Rich Dawkins

he stands up for his Catholic Faith , a thing that I wish more Catholics would do

I watched his interview with Richard Dawkins. He only passively listened as Dawkins spewed his anti-Christian beliefs. Colbert did not defend anything. He is a clown, but sadly, some people take his words to heart.


I think he may be devout but he’s not conservative. His theological focus (which he does take seriously) is skewed towards social justice and less emphasis on personal morality. To put it in a context, if we consider God as both Holy and Loving, Colbert focuses on the Loving aspect.

One comment attributed to him that was on my cousin’s Facebook page was:

“Jesus said you have to do everything you can to help the poor. Either you agree with Him or you call Him a liar.”

Fact is, Jesus didn’t actually say that - it’s not inconsistent with the Gospel message of corporal works of mercy, but it’s not Jesus’ words and it’s not the entirety of the Gospel.

Actually, the quote was:

“if this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was as selfish as we are or we have got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

He’s funny, way funnier that stewart. He’s no conservative and he satirizes the religious right frequently, but he’s still a believer. Even though he’s only pretending to be hyper-religious in his interviews with Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss, you can still tell that he is not an atheist. He’s professed his Catholicism in interviews, but he is definitely of the liberal progressive variety.

Thanks, that sounds far better than what my cousin paraphrased.

Also my impression.

However, he actually defended ecclesiasitcal authority on one show, by the over-the-top sarcasm bringing up "famous Catholic tradition of constant change, such as that promoted by Pope Martin Luther and Pope Henry VIII…)

He definitely is an equal opportunity lampooner. Sometimes his politics come through too strong, but then so does his religious convictions.

he is funny. i saw him interview neil patrick harris and it was hilarious.
neil patrick harris is an actor who came out and declared openly that he is gay and he and his partner have children i believe. i do not know if they are married or not.
from the interview, i could not tell if stephen colbert was a liberal or conservative Catholic.
neil patrick harris handled the questioning by stephen with class. i don’t get a chance to watch either jon stewart or stephen colbert.
i believe he is more interested in being a comedian and i do not know for sure if he would stand up for what the Catholic church teaches because i don’t know if Stephen Colbert believes in what the Church teaches.

O.k. So it sounds like the consensus is that Colbert is definitely a committed Catholic but that he may question certain Church teachings or be on the more liberal/progressive side?

Many of you said that he is probably more interested in comedy at this point than in promoting his faith.

But could both of these things change? I thought I heard on Relevant Radio that he was hosting some kind of comedy evening with Cardinal Dolan (that got very little press coverage). What if his views become more conservative in time and he gets tired of the comedy thing?

He seems like a very intelligent man that God could use on a national forum…

Yes, Stephen Colbert is Catholic. He is very Catholic (it’s an old blog, but has TONS of Catholic Colbert references). He was raised in a very Irish-Catholic household as the youngest of 13 children, was an altar boy for 12 years, and was a CCD teacher for all three of his children when they were getting ready for their first Communions (and has been willing to get, um, rather abrupt about this fact).

However, one of the most moving things I ever saw him do was when he went to Congress to talk to them about the rights of migrant workers. At the end of the testimony, Rep. Judy Chu asked Stephen, ““Mr. Colbert, you could work on so many issues, why are you interested in this issue?” Stephen’s response was: “I like talking about people who don’t have any power, and it seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and do our work, but don’t have any rights as a result. And yet we still invite them to come here, and at the same time ask them to leave. And that’s an interesting contradiction to me, and, you know – what’s whatever you do for the least of my brothers, and these seem like the least of our brothers right now. A lot of people are ‘least brothers’ right now, because the economy is so hard, and I don’t want to take anyone’s hardship away from them and diminish anything like that. But migrant workers suffer … and have no rights.”

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit