Monday September 17, 2012

NEW YORK -- 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’ #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."


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