D'oh! Vatican declares Bart and Homer Simpson Catholic
October 18th, 2010
12:43 PM ET

D'oh! Vatican declares Bart and Homer Simpson Catholic

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.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture & Science

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. Rishabh


    Why "Catholic" has to poke there nose in every thing? Why can't they just shut up and do there "stuff" in church?

    October 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • jon

      it's spelled "their"

      October 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  2. Marc

    Homer is Catholic?!?! Wow, thanks for pointing that out to me, now I think I'll convert too! I mean what a swell atempt at reaching out to todays youth by declaring a 20 year old cartoon character that is watched by 30-40 somethings who are already set in their views. I mean gosh it sure will work! Come on eevryone, let's get some guilt in our lives!

    October 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  3. Raptor

    I always thought Homer was an athiest. He thinks god is phoney balogne if I remember correctly. Yes in the movie in the beginning he is spouting something about worshiping thier phoney baloney god. I will have to look at it again but I am pretty sure Homer doesnt believe in god.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • CutestDevil

      Just because he thinks God is Phoey doesn't make him an atheist. An atheist is someone who believes that there is no God at all. If Homer believed there were no God, then he couldn't think he was Phoey 🙂

      October 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Phoey: n: (FO-eee) def. 1. Not real 2. Fake 3. God

      October 18, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Artimus

      There is the episode "Homer the Heretic" where he decides that he is never going to go to church and has the best day of his life.

      October 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    • Mike

      Exclamation: Used to express disdain or disbelief.
      Noun: Nonsense

      If you can not get that correct, why trust anything else you type

      October 19, 2010 at 8:33 am |
    • Frogist

      @Raptor: No he worships the bologna god! He just really likes sandwiches.

      October 19, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  4. Michael Vick

    And Vatican issued criticism for Nobel Prize, did nothing about pedophile. I don't understand what Vatican is up to these days.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • jon

      i don't either, but they're not up to this. CNN should edit this article to say "local newspaper columnist" rather than "the vatican," because that is the actual case here.

      October 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  5. CutestDevil

    In the season 6 season finale (The father, the son and the holy guest star), Bart discovers the Catholic Faith and threatens to convert. Homer joins Bart in this new religious discovery and Marge and Rev. Lovejoy race to get bart and Homer back before they convert (and shows Marge's dream of Bart and Homer in Catholic Heaven doing the Riverdance while she is in Protestant Heaven). By the end of the episode, neither of them have converted.
    If Homer was a Catholic why would he need to convert? He is not a Catholic, he is a protestant? This is just a publicity stunt by the Vatican.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • NL

      Didn't they race in a van called the "Ministry Machine" a la Scooby-Doo? 😉

      October 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  6. The Ken

    I always thought that he was a Rhythm Methodist.

    copyr (c) 2010 Ken

    October 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Chuck

      Let's see Homer is in a comitted marital relationship with Marge for I don't know how many years; whenever Bart is in trouble both he and Marge show up; he attends all his kids events; he takes an active part in his kids life; he takes an active part in hs marriage; when opportunities arise for self betterment he takes advantage of them (usually failing but tries); to date he has been completely faithfull to Marge; he makes time for family prayer and honors the sabbath - sounds like a good Catholic to me.

      October 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  7. wookie0

    some how it all makes sense.............

    October 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  8. jon doe

    bob,kudos,very well said

    October 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  9. gm

    In one episode, Marge asks Rev. Lovejoy if he'll do last rights. I don't remember his exact response, but it's something like, "That's Catholic, Marge. Next you'll be wanting me to do a voodoo dance."

    October 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • Craig

      @gm....beat your post by 5 whole minutes, haha!

      But also keep in mind this is The Simpsons, where they continually contradict themselves numerous times on many things over the years (intentionally) to keep us guessing.... e.g. the location of Springfield.

      October 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Brian

      @Craig, actually Matt Groening settled the Springfield debate in in an interview. He intentionally chose Springfield because it is such a common town name that it could be anywhere. Springfield isn't anywhere, it's everywhere. 🙂

      October 20, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  10. Doug

    If Homer is Catholic- then this starts the time clock for him to be a Saint!

    October 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  11. Craig

    Reverend Lovejoy, the Simpson's family church leader, makes repeated statements through out the years that it is NOT a Catholic church they attend.

    For example, when Marge asks the Rev. to perform Last Rites, he responds, "That's Catholics, Marge. You might as well as well ask me to do a Voodoo dance"

    Nice research there, Vatican.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • Scott

      According to Lovejoy their faith is called The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism.

      October 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • Bill

      Oh, they did research it. See, everybody thinks that Microsoft came up with the slogan "Embrace and extend."

      But no, it was the Catholics.

      Was Jesus born on Christmas?
      Did he rise again on Easter?

      The correct answer to both is: No. But, some heathens already had a holiday on both of those days, and the Catholics wanted to try and steal worshipers. So, they changed the dates.

      So, I have no doubt the Vatican knows for sure that Homer's priest has repeatedly, specifically, said they're not Catholics. But, when have facts ever mattered to them?

      October 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
    • s2kMATTers

      They are in fact Lutheran. Matt Groening, one of the show writers, wast a Lutheran.

      October 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
    • Papa Pat

      @ s2kMATTers: Actually, Lisa CREATED Lutherans while doing her Science Fair project.

      October 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  12. DRB

    There was a whole episode where Bart was befriended by a Catholic priest and the Simpsons has a problem with it because they were afraid he would become Catholic (meaning, the Simpson Family is not Catholic), so I don't know where the Vatican is getting this "Homer is Catholic" stuff from.

    As for Peter Griffin, he was definitely raised Catholic, they have made several references to that.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  13. Cuso

    Steve B is right the pope even went to the Griffin's house!!!!

    October 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Papa Pat

      Not just "the Pope" - "the FREAKIN' Pope"!

      October 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  14. fergodsake

    finally, news worth reporting....................

    October 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  15. Cindy M

    Wow. They're getting pretty desperate.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  16. Steve B

    What, the Catholics don't want to take claim to Peter Griffin too?

    October 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • Bill

      I'm sorry Bob, I didn't catch that.

      What did you say the word was?

      October 18, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Sammy J

      Actually, Peter from Family Guy's a self-professed Catholic. See, being informed is fun!

      October 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • Bill


      Peter's DAD is a catholic.

      Peter is the founder/high-priest of the First United Church of the Fonz.


      October 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Bob o' Bob

      Thank you Bill. It's nice to see someone has a sense of humor.

      October 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • matt

      I was late to the discussion...Bill, I haven't heard, whats that you say?

      October 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  17. Help me Jebus!

    enough said...

    October 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  18. NL

    Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart, was raised Catholic, but is now a Scientologist. Ooh, I smell trouble brewing...

    October 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • evram

      Scientology is obviously her tax shelter. The crazy alien stories are just a cover. Completely different from the wacky, tax-fee ideas of Catholicism, no?

      October 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  19. Jay

    This is the STUPIDEST thing ive EVER READ. Im suing CNN to get these 5 minutes of my life back!

    October 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • Mike

      It took you five minutes to read that?

      October 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Joe

      Class action suit against you for wasting our time with your stupid comment.

      October 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
    • Corey

      A is for apple
      B is for bat
      C is for cat
      and D is for D'oh!

      October 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • KL

      you should sue your school system for not teaching you how to properly read

      October 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Derek

      Is it a coincidence that I know a Jay who would post a comment like that?

      October 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • Cindy M

      You're better off suing the Vatican. They probably have more money.

      October 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  20. Curo

    So he admits they're not Catholic, "but it is true" that they are? What kind of papist doublespeak do they run on over there? You can tell it's from the Vatican because it's so behind the times.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • grace

      I think the use of the word "papist" is the outdated, not to mention offensive thing I see hear. I thought and hoped it went out of fashion with the know-nothing party in the 19th century. Please refrain from using religious slurs about ANY religion.

      October 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • grace

      swap the "hear" for "here" and my answer still stands, curo – sorry about that

      October 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • YBP

      @ Grace: Freedom of Speech

      October 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • tct

      19th century, Know Nothing Party, history is repeating itself in 2010 so I wouldn't be critical of the term "papist".

      October 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      tct, No Nothing Part=Tea Party.

      October 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • oc

      wow, the Pope is going even further than the Mormons in the I'll convert you to my religion without your consent.

      October 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
    • el papa

      Now grace, that wasn't very nice of you. Say 10 fred flintstones, 3 pabst blue ribbons, 1 abbazabba, and stub your toe.

      October 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Northern

      The Catholic Church seems to be filled with complete and utter nonsense which its followers have absolutely no problem following.

      October 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
    • Mick

      The term "Papist" is very offensive to Catholics. Just to give you some context, it was used by white supremacists in the film "Mississipi Burning."

      October 18, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
    • Neil

      Actually the term papist was first coined by the Reformers. Luther frequently called the Catholic church "papists". The early reformers believed themselves to be the true Catholic Church returned to its original form. The term "papists" was Luther's way of saying that Rome no longer followed Christ alone, but the pope. Which considering the world at the time, there was a lot of truth to that.

      October 19, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • R K

      oc, your stupidity is showing! While Mormons perform baptisms for people who have died, they are not considered "converted" because that is something between the individual and God. The baptisms are performed so that, IF the INDIVIDUAL accepts the Gospel in the next life (i.e., spirit world), they will already have had their mortal baptism performed in their behalf, which they cannot do as an unembodied spirit. If they do NOT accept the Gospel, it is as though the baptism had not been performed. Don't worry! Every individual gets to choose their religion for themselves, both in this life and the next!

      October 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
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