Proud as a peach of my alma mater today after hosting the illustrious Stephen Colbert of the acclaimed Colbert Report and the esteemed Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan for an evening on Catholic Humor, which at times turned serious.
The animation pictured above is awesome and was created by Fordham Senior, Tim Luecke. Awesome job!
First the humor from the NY Times:
Cardinal Dolan introduced Mr. Colbert’s wife, Evelyn, who was sitting in the audience, and brought her up to the stage. The cardinal put his arm around her and gave her a kiss on the cheek, and when Mr. Colbert feigned offense, the cardinal said, in a remark that brought down the house, “I can kiss your wife. You can’t kiss mine.”
Mr. Colbert used his time onstage with the cardinal to air his complaints about the new English translation of the Mass, which was just introduced in American parishes this year.
“Consubstantial!” Mr. Colbert exclaimed, using a particularly cumbersome word that is now recited in the Nicene Creed. “It’s the creed! It’s not the SAT prep.”
The audience sent in questions by Twitter and e-mail, which Father Martin pitched to the two men. Among them: “I am considering the priesthood. Would it be prudent to avoid dating?”
Cardinal Dolan responded that, on the contrary, “it’s good” to date, partly to discern whether the celibate life of a priest is what you want. Then he added, “By the way, let me give you the phone numbers of my nieces.”
Mr. Colbert said: “It’s actually a great pickup line: ‘I’m seriously considering the priesthood. You can change my mind.’ ”
Later the evening turned a bit more serious when a question came forward concerning ….
“So many Christian leaders spread hatred, especially of homosexuals. How can you maintain your joy?”
Cardinal Dolan’s response talked about his ongoing dialogue with Muslims and some thoughts on talking with picketers outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
But the Times noted:
But Mr. Colbert’s response was quick and unequivocal. “If someone spreads hate,” he said, “then they’re not your religious leader.”
The constant live tweeting from Grant Gallicho of Commonweal Magazine gave people a blow by blow account. Some additional tweet highlights:
Q: What’s your favorite beer? (Relief applause.) Dolan: Why don’t u take me out and see? #Dolbert Colbert names Old Style WHICH IS AMAZING.
Agreed on Old Style and I can’t seem to picture Dolan at The Jolly Tinker or The Lantern which have been famous Fordham haunts (I believe the Lantern still exists). I could picture him at Clarke’s, a great old bar which once was right on Fordham Road and then moved to Webster Avenue. But alas, it no longer exists.
@StephenAtHome If Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humor I’m in huge trouble.
@CardinalDolan He does. He chose me to be a priest.
@StephenatHome: Do you want to do this evening thing w/ @CardinalDolan? @StephenAtHome said “Hell yes.” Could be next pope. think of all the indulgences…
Fr. Jim Martin, SJ had some comments before the event with the Washington Post including that the event was only a bit less complicated than planning the Second Vatican Council and then when asked what Stephen Colbert is really like, a question Fr. Martin probably hears twice a day, he responded:
JM: He’s very devout, you can tell he knows his stuff. There are real questions he asks under the guise of humor, under the cloak of his character. People don’t realize they’re being invited into thoughtful questions about religion in a humorous way. He does great evangelizing. . . . We were discussing the recession, and whether or not people are more open to experiencing God in times of suffering, and he asked: Why is lack of money equated with an increase of faith? That’s a great question.
So congrats to Fordham, Fr. Jim and Charlie Camosy who was one of the two Fordham theology professors who came up with the idea to feature these two in this kind of forum.
And to Stephen and Cardinal Dolan…keep laughing.