Friday, October 18, 2013

“America’s most famous Catholic" (Colbert) roasts Catholic elite


Video excerpt here  
(Hopefully full video soon)

Two articles excerpted below:

1)When the comedian Stephen Colbert took to the dais on Thursday for his keynote speech at the Al Smith white-tie charity dinner, the annual gathering of New York’s Roman Catholic elite, he immediately flashed a sly glance at Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, sitting a few seats away.

“I have great respect for Cardinal Dolan, though I do have to say, sir, it is not easy when you are wearing that outfit,” Mr. Colbert said, as the portly cardinal, in his traditional vestments, gave a broad grin.

“In that cape and red sash, you look like a matador who’s really let himself go.” 

“Did you not see the invite?” Mr. Colbert added, as laughter echoed around the Art Deco ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. “It said white-tie, not ‘Flamboyant Zorro.’ ” 

It was just one more sign that the two men might be having the most prominent friendship in Catholicism today. 

The men hit it off last year at an event at Fordham University, going zinger-for-zinger and waxing about the intertwining of humor and faith. Last month, Cardinal Dolan made his debut on “The Colbert Report.” 

On Thursday, Mr. Colbert — who teaches Sunday school and is viewed by the cardinal as a fresh, charismatic ambassador for American Catholicism — opened his remarks by declaring himself “America’s most famous Catholic.” 

“I know what the cardinal is thinking: ‘Stephen, pride is a sin,’ ” Mr. Colbert said. “Well, Cardinal, so is envy, so we’re even.” 

The $1,500-a-plate dinner, a regular stop for presidential candidates and world leaders, is both an elegant affair and a Friars Club-style roast. Guests in tail coats munch on caviar and petits fours as speakers crack one-liners about the politicians onstage. Mr. Colbert did not hold back...

...But on a night known for political humor, Mr. Colbert kept the focus on religion. He praised the event’s eponym, the former New York governor Alfred E. Smith, saying he “shattered the stained-glass ceiling” for Catholic politicians, and said Cardinal Dolan could have made pope, “but he blew it in the swimsuit competition.” 

Mr. Colbert took particular glee in addressing the populist bent of Pope Francis, saying that if the new pope had planned the event, “we wouldn’t be in white-tie at the Waldorf — we’d be in sweat pants at the corner booth of the IHOP.” 

If Pope Francis had attended on Thursday, “His Humbleness would be out washing the feet of the coat-check guy or something,” Mr. Colbert said, adding, “We get it, you’re modest.” 

Cardinal Dolan laughed heartily throughout Mr. Colbert’s speech, and offered an embrace as the comedian left the stage, telling the crowd that humor can be critical to a deeper understanding of one’s faith.  FULL ARTICLE


"As an observant Catholic, I believe the Pope is infallible," said Colbert, a Communion-class teacher at a parish in New Jersey. "But he's also wrong about a lot of things."

Colbert, whose conservative persona on the "Colbert Report" often takes a conservative slant on Christianity, poked fun at the new Pope's humble lifestyle, saying that if he were in charge of the white-tie charity event, it would have been held at an IHOP, not New York's glitzy Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

“His Humbleness would be out washing the feet of the coat-check guy or something,” Colbert quipped. "We get it, you're modest."

"But it's not just his humble lifestyle," Colbert continued. "He's off message. He says Catholics need to stop obsessing about homosexuality, contraception and abortion. For Pete's sake, we need something to obsess about now that `Breaking Bad' is over."

The Catholic comedian also teased Pope Francis for taking a softer line on Catholic doctrine than previous pontiffs.

"Being Catholic is like being in the Admiral's Club of Christianity: Membership has its privileges," Colbert joked. "But if even atheists can be redeemed, what's next, Lutherans?  It's madness."  LINK

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