The Pope quits: why Catholicism can be funny


When Pope Benedict quit his job this week, he simultaneously stunned his flock and primed the peanut gallery. One one hand, you had Catholics the world over trying to understand and support the first resignation of a pontiff in almost 600 years. And on the other hand, jokes multplied on line and on late night tv like so many fishes and loaves. What's so funny about Catholicism, anyway? It's a religion with a history of violent persecution, with a central figure that died for all people's sins. Father James Martin, author of Between Heaven and Mirth, thinks comedy and mirth deserves more recognition in his faith.

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