Stephen Colbert Breaks Character, Opens Up About His Catholic Faith At Fordham Chat

Stephen Colbert rarely appears out of character, but the political comedian has in the past confirmed that he is a practicing Catholic — and at a Jesuit Fordham University on Friday, Colbert discussed his genuine feelings about the Catholic Church, despite its troubles in recent years.

Colbert has in the past referenced his Catholicism — most notably the time he and Jack White had a Catholic-off during his show and attempted to out-Catholic one another in a lengthy segment. And if you were an ex-Catholic schoolgirl, it was like, the pinnacle of hotness.

Stephen Colbert will often mock religious hypocrisy in America, but he noted that his jokes were aimed not at religion itself, but at misuse of it in American political theater. Still, he acknowledged the potential to offend when he quipped during the talk:

“If Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humor, I am in huge trouble.”

Of his pointed satire sometimes aimed at the showboating religious types, Colbert explained to the devout audience:

“Then I’m not talking about Christ … I’m talking about Christ as cudgel.”

Colbert and Cardinal Timothy Dolan took questions from the 3,000 cheering students, among them ones about squaring conservatism and hate with loyalty to Catholicism. In response, Colbert told the student:

“If someone spreads hate … then they’re not your religious leader.”

Colbert also spoke to how while the Church isn’t perfect, it’s really up to individual congregants to take the right message from their faith:

“Are there flaws in the church? … Absolutely. But is there great beauty in the church? Absolutely.”

Do you admire Stephen Colbert’s commitment to his faith?