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It's No Joke! Pope Francis to Host Comedians at the Vatican

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Next Friday, Pope Francis will step into the spotlight at the Vatican, addressing an audience of over 100 comedians, stand-up performers, and humorists, including well-known American figures Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon.

Photo credit: gunthersimmermacher

Photo credit: gunthersimmermacher


By Catholic Online (California Network)
6/10/2024 (1 week ago)

Published in Celebrity

Keywords: Pope Francis, comedians, Vatican, intercultural dialogue, humor, Catholic Church

Also expected to participate from the United States are Jim Gaffigan, Conan O'Brien, Chris Rock, Tig Notaro, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Organized by the Vatican's Dicastery for Culture and Education and the Dicastery for Communication, the June 14 gathering aims to forge a connection between the Catholic Church and comedic artists. According to a press release dated June 8, the event "aims to establish a link between the Catholic Church and comic artists."

As of June 8, 105 comedians and humorists from 15 different countries had confirmed their attendance.

The Vatican stated that the event seeks "to celebrate the beauty of human diversity and promote a message of peace, love, and solidarity." It promises to be a significant moment of intercultural dialogue and a sharing of joy and hope.

Of the participating comedians, 67 hail from Italy, while six come from South America (Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia). An additional 22 represent various European countries, and two comedians from Mexico, Florinda Meza GarcĂ­a and Chumel Torres, will also be present. The sole Asian country represented will be East Timor.

Jesuit Father James Martin, former chaplain of "The Colbert Report," will be among the participants, appearing to be the only clergy member involved in the June 14 event.

The audience with the pope will be held in the Apostolic Palace, nearly one year after Pope Francis addressed a group of about 200 prominent artists in the Sistine Chapel, an event also organized by the Dicastery for Culture and Education.

The 2023 event featured notable figures such as U.S. film director Abel Ferrara and photographer Andres Serrano, known for his controversial 1987 image "Piss Christ," which depicted a plastic crucifix submerged in urine.

Recently, Pope Francis greeted Italian actor Roberto Benigni after the closing procession for World Children's Day in St. Peter's Square on May 26, 2024. Benigni delivered a lively and inspirational monologue that blended humor with a call for children to read and dream. The Vatican has released a photo of this encounter, crediting photographer Daniel Ibañez/CNA.

Pope Francis previously met with actress and talk-show host Whoopi Goldberg in October 2023.

Another notable participant in the upcoming event is Roman street artist Mauro Pallotta, known as "Maupal," famous for his 2014 depiction of Pope Francis as "Super Pope."

In the announcement of this meeting, the Vatican recalled Pope Francis's words from a 2016 interview with the Italian Catholic television channel TV2000. In that interview, the pope expressed his appreciation for humor: "A sense of humor is a grace that I ask for every day, and I pray that beautiful prayer of St. Thomas More: â€~Give me, Lord, a sense of humor,' that I know how to laugh at a joke ... it's beautiful, that prayer, isn't it? Because a sense of humor lifts you up, makes you see the temporariness of life and take things with a spirit of a redeemed soul. It is a human attitude, but it is the closest to God's grace."

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