107 Comedians and the Pope met at the Vatican

107 Comedians and the Pope met at the Vatican

Sounds like the start of a joke right? And also seems wholly appropriate for a gathering of comedians at the Vatican as part of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education and Dicastery for Communication last Friday 14 June.

Many of the 100-odd comedians were as baffled as you dear reader, but Pope Francis hosted the comedians at the Vatican to celebrate “the need for humour” ahead of meeting with world leaders at the G7 Summit – which clearly won’t be as fun as meeting with a room full of comedians.

The Pope welcomed the comedians from 15 countries, including Jim Gaffigan, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock, Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Conan O’Brien, and Mike Birbiglia.

“In the midst of so much gloomy news and various social and personal emergencies, you have the power to spread peace and smiles,” Francis told the gathered comedians. “You unite people because laughter is contagious,” he continued, jokingly adding, “Please pray for me: for, not against!”

Francis also assured the comedians that it was acceptable to “laugh at God” in the same way we play and joke with loved ones. He emphasised that their work brings joy to both God and His people.

“Remember this: When you manage to bring intelligent smiles to the lips of even a single spectator, you also make God smile,” he said.

After his speech, Francis greeted each comedian individually, sharing brief laughs and jokes with some of them.

“It was great, very fast, and really loving. It made me happy,” Goldberg said afterward.

O’Brien found the event quite baffling. “To be in that room with all my fellow comedians, some of whom I’ve been good friends with for many years, in that environment, was quite strange,” O’Brien said. “All of us were thinking, how did this happen? Why are we here, and when are they going to throw us out?”

It’s clear that both the Pope and God have a sense of humour.

Photo courtesy Vatican Media.


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