Friday, October 12, 2012

More Colbert; Less Voris

Catholic Comedian, Stephen
I have let this one go too long—almost a month—in the pipeline waiting to be posted, but one of the great voices of the faithful speaking up for the Church today is comedian Stephen Colbert.  Colbert grew up in a devout Irish Catholic family where he was taught that it was possible to question the Church and still be Catholic.  (In other words, he got at home what some of us had to be sent to the Jesuits to learn.) 
I am posting an AP account of Stephen Colbert and Cardinal Timothy Dolan,  Archbishop of New York, sharing a platform at Fordham University on September 14th last.

NEW YORK (AP) — In a rare public moment out of character, actor Stephen Colbert told students at the Jesuit Fordham University  on Friday that he loves the Roman Catholic Church  no matter its human flaws.
The host of "The Colbert Report" talked about his faith in a discussion on humor and spirituality with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Rev. James Martin, author of "Between Heaven and Mirth" and the official chaplain of Colbert's show.
Colbert, who has taught Sunday school classes to school-age children, said people in comedy often don't understand how he could remain Catholic. But he said he views the church as teaching joy, which he called the "infallible sign of the presence of God."
"I love my church — warts and all," he said, before an audience of about 3,000 cheering students, who posted his quotes on Twitter using the organizers' (hash)dolancolbert hashtag.
Colbert said people in comedy often make jokes at the expense of religion, but he makes jokes about what he called people's misuse of religion in politics and other arenas. Still, he said, "If Jesus doesn't have a sense of humor, I am in huge trouble."
Colbert took the opportunity to needle Dolan about the new English-language translation of the Roman Missal, the text of prayers and instructions for celebrating Mass. The translation was introduced last fall in U.S. parishes to initial grumbling over what critics called stilted language. A focus of the complaints was the translation of the Nicene Creed, replacing the phrase "one in Being with the Father" to "consubstantial with the Father."
"Consubstantial?" Colbert said, as Dolan shook his head and laughed. "It's the Creed. It's not the SAT prep."
For his part, Dolan, who gave benedictions at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions, told of his encounter with Clint Eastwood the GOP event.
According to the cardinal, Eastwood said he had once played a preacher in a movie and said "I know that neck thing is really uncomfortable."
The cardinal didn't mention Eastwood's peculiar talk on the convention stage with an imaginary President Barack Obama in an empty chair

Colbert, Dolan, Martin—these are the sort of spokespersons who give us some hope for the Church—that maybe the late Cardinal Martini was wrong and our Church isn’t 200 years out of date but maybe, just maybe, John XXIII and his vision of aggoiornamento is still within reach despite the best efforts of the Devil’s Prelates to do the worst and keep the Church in the dark ages.   

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