October 18th, 2010
12:43 PM ET
Homer Simpson - perhaps the most profane character and worst father ever to headline a mainstream American television program - is Catholic, the Vatican's official newspaper has declared.
"Few know it, and he does all he can to hide it. But it is true," Luca Possati writes in Sunday's Osservatore Romano.
OK, Homer snores through the Rev. Lovejoy's sermons.
Yes, he relentlessly humiliates his evangelical Christian neighbor Ned Flanders.
But the show is one of the few in American life that takes religion seriously, a Jesuit is arguing - from grace before meals to an (admittedly off-kilter) belief in the afterlife.
The article riffs on the 2005 episode "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star," in which Homer and Bart flirt with the idea of converting to Catholicism (and Homer makes an outrageous confession).
Homer decides against it with "a cathartic D'oh!," Possati writes. But the Rev. Francesco Occhetta praises the episode - and the series –anyway, Possati writes.
Occhetta wrote about The Simpsons in the most recent edition of Italian Jesuit magazine Civilita Cattolica, Possati says.
Creator Matt Groening's "surreal comedy, pungent satire and sarcasm about the worst taboos of the American Way of Life" opens "anthropological themes that are tied to the meaning and quality of life," he says.
"The moral message? None," the Vatican newspaper concludes. "But a world without easy illusions is a more humane and perhaps more Christian world."
CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.
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