home
RSS
Stephen Colbert roasts the Pope
Comedian Stephen Colbert roasted Catholic leaders, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Thursday night.
October 18th, 2013
10:17 AM ET

Stephen Colbert roasts the Pope

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) –– Declaring himself  "American's most famous Catholic," comedian Stephen Colbert roasted church leaders at a charity event in New York on Thursday, taking aim at Pope Francis and Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

"As an observant Catholic, I believe the Pope is infallible," said Colbert, a Communion-class teacher at a parish in New Jersey. "But he's also wrong about a lot of things."

Colbert, whose bombastic persona on the "Colbert Report" often takes a conservative slant on Christianity, poked fun at the new Pope's humble lifestyle, saying that if the pontiff were in charge of the white-tie charity event, it would have been held at an IHOP, not New York's glitzy Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

“His Humbleness would be out washing the feet of the coat-check guy or something,” Colbert quipped. "We get it, you're modest."

"But it's not just his humble lifestyle," Colbert continued. "He's off message. He says Catholics need to stop obsessing about homosexuality, contraception and abortion. For Pete's sake, we need something to obsess about now that `Breaking Bad' is over."

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

The Catholic comedian also teased Pope Francis for taking a softer line on Catholic doctrine than previous pontiffs.

"Being Catholic is like being in the Admiral's Club of Christianity: Membership has its privileges," Colbert joked. "But if even atheists can be redeemed, what's next, Lutherans?  It's madness."

MORE ON CNN: Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

Colbert was speaking at the Al Smith Dinner, an annual event for Catholic charities in New York named after the the late New York governor who in 1928 was the first Catholic politician to be nominated for president by a major party.

The charity dinner is usually attended by New York's cultural elite. Last year, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney attended and traded zingers less than a month before the election.

This year's event was less politically charged, but Colbert quipped about another kind of election.

Dolan, the portly archbishop of New York and a rising star in the Catholic Church, came thisclose to being elected pope himself earlier this year, Colbert said.

"But he blew it in the swimsuit competition. I would have gone with the one-piece."

On Thursday night, Dolan, who was dressed in a cardinal's traditional small black cape with red trimming, looked like "a matador who's really let himself go," Colbert joked.

"Did you not see the invite? It said white-tie, not 'flamboyant Zorro."

Dolan, who is close friends with Colbert, took the ribbing lightly, saying that his father always told him that the mark of a good night is any one that ends in laughter.

Dolan also quoted Colbert from an event on Catholics and comedy led by both men at Fordham University in the Bronx last year.

"A sense of humor comes from faith, a faith that everything is in God's providential hands, a faith that frees us up to laugh."

Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia has an audio recording of Colbert's keynote address

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Celebrity • Christianity • Leaders • Media • Pope Francis

soundoff (780 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
    ― C.S. Lewis

    October 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It hasn't worked on you so far. You lie.

      October 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm |

      • She was a liar from the beginning.

        October 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
        • bostontola

          C. S. Lewis was a man.

          October 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
        •  

          The track star? I'm pretty sure she competed against other women. What are you saying?

          October 18, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • bostontola

          Blank,
          Do you really want to lay your lack of education right out there?

          October 18, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
      • bostontola

        1. I'm not Christian.
        2. How do you know what has or hasn't worked on me?

        October 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm |

        • faith

          October 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • bostontola

          That's what I thought.

          October 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I would apologize to the real bostontola, but then, he wouldn't know if it was me.

      October 18, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
      • bostontola

        I knew.

        October 18, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
        • bostonola

          I can always spot stupid

          October 19, 2013 at 4:45 am |
        • Tom,Tom, the Other One

          I knew

          October 19, 2013 at 4:45 am |
  2. Bob

    Holy crap. I believe in God.

    October 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Bob

      God is crap.

      October 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
      • Bob

        All I talk about is God.

        October 18, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • Bob

          It's a blog related to that, stupid name stealer.

          October 19, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  3. Dorothy

    Where's Dorothy? Daniel? What've u done with her?
    Dorothoy
    DOROTHY
    DORTHEEEEEEEEE!

    October 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  4. guest

    Bob, at your October 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm post: Not only do you interpret and take things out of context, you are just looking for an argument. I’m reminded of a story I heard.
    A brother and sister were arguing, the boy was clearly right, nonetheless his sister argued with him. Suddenly he retorted: “You would argue if somebody said the sky was blue and the grass is green!”
    “Yes,’ she shot back, “the because the sky is gray because it is going to rain and the gra$$ is brown because it needs to be watered!”

    October 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Bob

      Come back when you learn to use the reply button, dummy.

      October 19, 2013 at 9:58 am |
      • guest

        I could have answered your questions, bu then I realized that you were just looking for an argument, not the answers. I didn't trust you to go back to your October 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm post, and I knew that I couldn't come back until this now, but it doesn't matter because I'm not going to argue with you.

        October 20, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  5. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    ON NOTICE!

    Bring out the on-notice board.

    DISTRACTIONS
    JANE FONDA
    YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE
    ======================
    OK GO
    FORGIVENESS
    JOURNAL OF PALEONTOLOGY
    MICHAEL ADAMS
    GRIZZLY BEARS
    POPE FRANCIS
    IRAN'S LEADERS
    FLAVOR CRYSTALS

    It's time to add:

    BELIEF BLOG HANDLE STEALERS

    If you want to see which one is missing check out the most recent "On Notice": Pope Francis.

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/429267/september-24-2013/on-notice-pope-francis

    October 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  6. My Dog is a jealous Dog

    Truthiness(tm) changes things

    October 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      clever

      October 18, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        I am apparently "awaiting moderation" – possibly due to my views on "moderation". I do not believe that I have offended anyone or been abusive in any way.

        October 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          If I want to be truthful my alias and my comments are indeed abusive.

          October 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          I will call an idiot an idiot when I care to – it's my right. But have I ever told anyone to go to hell, threatened anyone or even used the f bomb as anything but an adjective? I think not. Nor have I ever stolen someone else's handle. I actually feel like I have joined the "club" now. I actually applaud your use of my handle!

          October 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        The bull sh it all comes out, I'm a self important loser, judgmental hate filled bigot.

        October 18, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Grow up, Troll. I was standing up for free speech, and I will stand up for your right to speak. If you show yourself and have something to say I may decide to respond.

          October 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • Ironicus

          The irony and hypocrisy of your fake post is something special, let me tell you.

          October 19, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  7. bostontola

    Without God there would be no God.

    October 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Answer

      "I just wish my god would fuck me."

      October 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • Ironicus

      "I speak in ways of different things and that is how I roll."

      October 19, 2013 at 1:15 am |
      • Ironicus

        or rather "I can't into english or logic"

        October 19, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  8. change

    even bostontola can change his ways.

    October 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • bostontola

      And often does.

      October 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  9. bostontola

    God (the meme) changes things.

    October 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • bostonola

      Without God there would be no thought.

      October 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  10. bostontola

    Music changes things.

    October 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • bostonola

      Without God there would be no music.

      October 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Answer

      "Without my god to fuck me; I just couldn't go on living."

      October 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  11. bostontola

    Weather changes things.

    October 18, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • bostonola

      Without God there would be no weather.

      October 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Answer

      "Please let my god fuck you as it has cked me."

      October 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  12. Che

    Money changes things.

    October 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Che

      Changes can be pennies dimes or nickles

      October 18, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Change comes from within.

        October 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • Tom,Tom, the Other One

          Within the dwelling place of God. Within the believers heart.

          October 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Thousands of children wonder where their change goes every Sunday.

          October 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
        • Tom,Tom, the Other One

          I don't because I don't share with anyone.

          October 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        National Change Bank

        We can change that 5 into 2 2's, 3 quarters, and 5 nickels.
        How do we make money?

        Volume! Volume! Volume!

        October 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  13. bostontola

    Love changes things.

    October 18, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • bostonola

      Without God there is no love.

      October 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
      • Answer

        Stupid freaks and their delusions..

        Go get fucked by your god.

        October 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
        • Answer

          Lust may be a god (small g god represents an idol) But lust is not love.

          October 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
        • Answer

          The smell of a religious tard on messageboard .. pure hilarity.

          "Oh I can't wait til my god fucks me up the ass."

          October 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
      • bostontola

        Wow, and I thought I love my wife. Since you are a better judge of what a person you don't even know feels, I guess you are right. Your arrogance has no limit.

        October 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
        • bostonola

          The human heart is incredibly wicked who can know it? If I Truly love my wife I would seek eternal life through reconciliation with God for us both.

          October 18, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  14. Wendy

    @AE, enough dodging. Present your evidence from a refereed medical journal that your god has ever caused an amputated limb to grow back, or else retract your claim in that regard.

    Waiting...

    October 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Wendy

      Or show that prayer hasn't caused a limb to regrow. Bear in mind that the God given science of regeneration is making progress (as a direct result of prayer ) even as I speak.

      October 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
      • Wendy

        That was from a name stealing coward.

        October 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
        • Coward

          Cowards coward things.

          October 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        • Coward

          All atheist types are cowards at best, liars and murderers is sop for them.

          October 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Wendy

      Malchus' ear.

      October 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Fact

      Not one person on here is logical.

      October 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
      • Fact

        Except you and me and lately I've been wondering about you.

        October 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • Ironicus

          I am seeing some brain-damaged posting here tonite. The rabid name-stealing christard seems to be off his meds again.
          I will go elsewhere.

          October 19, 2013 at 1:21 am |
  15. bostontola

    "Catholicism is clearly superior," Colbert crowed beside a picture of the pope. "Don't believe me? Name one Protestant denomination that can afford a $660 million se.xual abuse settlement."

    October 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      That's funny, but not exactly Stephen's style.

      I wonder how deep Joel Osteen's coffers are?

      October 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Only $40M – small change.

        October 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        From Celebrity Net Worth . com (other estimates vary widely)

        Pat Robertson – $100M (others give a range of $200M – $1B)
        Chris Oyakhilome – $50M
        Benny Hinn – $42M
        Joel Osteen – $40M
        Creflo Dollar – $27M
        Rick Warren – $25M
        Billy Graham – $25M
        Frankln Graham – not available (>$1M per year)
        John Hagee – $5M (hmmm, he makes more than $1.25M per year)

        October 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        And Stephen Colbert – $45M

        October 18, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  16. Reality #2

    Ctrl-VCtrl-VCtrl-V

    October 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Not from the original Reality #2.

      October 19, 2013 at 12:39 am |
  17. Bob

    Ctrl-V

    October 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  18. Lionly Lamb

    Which is the more distant..? The inward depths inside the very atom or the outlying heights of celestially spatial nothingness..? How do clusters of atoms coalesce and mingle themselves together toward a formulation of gathering together loose, free radical atoms to somehow seemingly construct replicas of themselves by utilizing captured free flowing atoms..?

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTTn7E9IKsI&w=640&h=390]

    October 18, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  19. Wendy

    @AE, enough dodging. Present your evidence from a refereed medical journal that your god has ever caused an amputated limb to grow back, or else retract your claim in that regard.

    Waiting...

    October 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Gerald

      AE can fool himself into believing anything, that's his superpower.

      October 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  20. Bob

    Since 'children' is still dumping bible bile on us, let's look at what is really in that foul book:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    October 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • MrHighMighty

      You're hilarious Bob. Taking Bible verses out of context is not going to cause one believer to turn away from God, but your copy-and-paste abilities might impress other atheists seeking reinforcement of their default nature of opposition against God and their natural desire to escape His authority and sovereignty.

      October 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
      • Bob

        Actually, MrHighMightyAndStupid, I speak directly to your context problem in my comments. Read again, but this time be more careful:

        Numbers 31:17-18
        17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
        18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

        Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

        Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

        Leviticus 25
        44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
        45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
        46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

        Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

        Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

        And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

        So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

        Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
        Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
        http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

        October 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          I see what you did there...MrHighMighty was his name, but you called him MrHighMightyAndStupid. Epic dig dude! In the entire history of fantastic retorts, adding "AndStupid" to his name was poetry. I wish I had your wit.

          October 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
        • Bob

          Again AE, I have addressed your context problem already in my comments. Read again, but try harder to understand:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          October 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
      • .

        There was never any real 'context' in anything from the bible except the ones you invent

        October 18, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.