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Pope Francis with actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg during a private audience at the Vatican in October 2023 (CNS/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis will take the mic in front of over 100 comics, stand-up comedians and humourists, including Americans Stephen Colbert and Whoopi Goldberg, at the Vatican on Friday. Source: CNA.

Jim Gaffigan, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock, Tig Notaro and Jimmy Fallon are the other US comedians expected to take part.

The June 14 meeting was organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education and Dicastery for Communication and “aims to establish a link between the Catholic Church and comic artists”.

As of June 8, a list of 105 comics and humorists from 15 countries had confirmed their participation in the papal audience. 

The Vatican said the encounter intends “to celebrate the beauty of human diversity and promote a message of peace, love, and solidarity, and promises to be a meaningful moment of intercultural dialogue and sharing of joy and hope.”

Most of the comedians and humorists slated to participate – 67– are from Italy, while six are from the South American countries of Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, and 22 from other European countries. Two comedians from Mexico and one from Timor-Leste will also take part. 

Jesuit Father James Martin is also slated to attend. Fr Martin is the former chaplain of The Colbert Report and appears to be the only clergy member listed among participants in the June 14 encounter.

The audience, which will take place in the Apostolic Palace, occurs almost exactly one year after Pope Francis addressed a group of approximately 200 prominent artists in the Sistine Chapel — an event also organised by the Dicastery for Culture and Education.


Pope Francis to meet Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, other top comedians at Vatican (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)


Pope Francis to meet prominent comedians in the Vatican (Vatican News)