Cardinal Dolan and Stephen Colbert talk faith at Fordham
Cardinal Timothy Dolan greets the press in Rome in March 2012.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan greets the press in Rome in March 2012.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Fordham University students were treated to a rare opportunity last week when they packed an auditorium to hear Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and television comedian Stephen Colbert trade jokes and discuss faith.

Cardinal Dolan told Colbert that “part of my admiration for you is that, while you often tease and joke about your faith and the Church, there’s no denying that you take your faith seriously, and look to the Church as your spiritual family.”

“In fact, when I met you last spring at a very glitzy gathering where you were the MC, the first thing you said to me was, 'Cardinal Dolan, tomorrow night I’ll be with my son as he receives the sacrament of confirmation. Say a prayer for him, would you?'”
The event occurred Sept. 14 at Fordham University before an audience of 3,000 students.

Colbert hosts Comedy Central's “The Colbert Report,” a faux news show in which he plays a caricature of conservative political commentators.

The evening was an opportunity for the two to trade jokes while also being open and honest about faith and spirituality.

“My assignment was to share with you for a few moments what you might call the 'theological reasons' for laughter. Why would a person of faith be cheerful?” Cardinal Dolan asked.

“Here's my reason for joy: the cross. You heard me right: the cross of Christ!” he said.

Even though Jesus died “on that Friday strangely called 'Good,'” and “it seemed we could never smile again,” “then came "the Sunday called Easter … and God had the last word.”

The resurrection and its message of the triumph of hope and light, Cardinal Dolan told his hearers, is the reason for Christian joy.

Both pointed to joy as an infallible sign of the presence of God.

The two took questions from the student audience, one of whom said he is considering priesthood and asked if it would be prudent to avoid dating.

Cardinal Dolan responded that dating can be good, helping one to discern, adding “let me give you the phone numbers of my nieces.”

Colbert joined in and said that it's “actually a great pickup line: I’m seriously considering the priesthood. You can change my mind.”

When asked about his favorite beer, Cardinal Dolan responded, “Why don’t you take me out and see?”

The event started when Colbert and Cardinal Dolan went onstage. When Colbert went to shake the cardinal's hand, Cardinal Dolan instead bent down to kiss Colbert's ring in a humorous role-reversal for the prelate.

After that Cardinal Dolan told Colbert it was good to be with him, and that his nieces were fans and excited for the event. He ribbed Colbert, though, saying that “tonight would pale compared to being with Clint Eastwood two weeks ago at one of the two national conventions.”

Colbert discussed his Catholic faith and how he treats of it in his comedy. He is active in his parish, helping to teach religious education to children. He acknowledged that the Church is flawed and human, while affirming that there absolutely is “great beauty” in her as well.

“The real reason I remain a Catholic is what the church gives me, which is love.”

“I love my Church, warts and all.”

He is adamant about his faith on his show; in a 2006 episode even recited the Nicene Creed on national television.

He doesn't joke at religion's expense on his show, but will take on individuals' misuse of religion.

“If Jesus doesn't have a sense of humor, I'm in huge trouble,” he said.

Cardinal Dolan assured him, “He does. He chose me to be a priest.”

Colbert joked about the new English translation of the Missal, with its ten-dollar words such as “consubstantial.”

He said, “It's the creed … not the SAT prep.”

The event was hosted by Father James Martin, SJ. He often appears as a guest on “The Colbert Report” and is the show's “official chaplain.”

Tags: Cardinal Dolan, Humor

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

Related News:


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 22, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 1 Sam 1: 24-28
Gospel:: Lk 1: 46-56

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27