Father Dougal to meet the Pope | Ardal O’Hanlon, Tommy Tiernan, Patrick Kielty and Stephen Merchant get an audience at the Vatican

Father Dougal to meet the Pope

Ardal O’Hanlon, Tommy Tiernan, Patrick Kielty and Stephen Merchant get an audience at the Vatican

Comedians Ardal O’Hanlon, Tommy Tiernan, Patrick Kielty and Stephen Merchant are all having an audience with The Pope this week.

His Holiness is to welcome around 100 comics to the Vatican on Friday, also including US stars Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien, Chris Rock, and Whoopi Goldberg 

The Holy See says the meeting is intended to 'establish a link' between the Catholic Church and the comics, as well as 'celebrate the beauty of human diversity ... [and] promote a message of peace, love and solidarity'.

Most of the comedians attending are from Italy but the international contingent also includes Jim Gaffigan, Stephen Colbert and Tig Notaro.

Pope Francis has previously spoken about the importance of comedy, saying he prays daily in the words of St. Thomas More, asking God to grant him a sense of humour.  He has also acknowledged how humorists have 'the ability to dream up new versions of the world,' and often do so 'with irony, which is a wonderful virtue'.

The comedians have mixed attitudes o religion. 

O'Hanlon shot to fame playing dimwitted Father Dougal on Father Ted. He has said he came from a 'very typical Catholic household' and said of the Channel 4 comedy: 'I don’t think I was terribly disrespectful because my family are quite observant.'

He once entertained the idea of entering the clergy, saying: 'The idea of a vocation was not some mad dream, it was a real thing.'

Tiernan also almost trained as a priest, and although some of his routines have upset Christians, he has said: 'I love the familiarity of Catholicism.  I mean, I love it. I love the familiarity of churches, Stations of the Cross, the Eucharist, I love all that But I cannot stand, I cannot breathe in Catholic orthodoxy; something inside me just dies and I go ‘You have to get out of here.'

Kielty's father Jack was a prominent Catholic, who was killed by loyalists in 1988. The comedian rarely talks about his own faith, but has been outspoken against sectarianism.

And Outlaws creator Merchant once told an interviewer: 'I have no religious beliefs so this is the ride. This is it. So I'm just like anyone I suppose, trying to fill out the days in the most interesting way possible.'

Ian Hislop – an Anglican who has joked: 'I've tried atheism and I can't stick at it: I keep having doubts' – was also invited to the audience but was not able to accept. 

The full list of artists taking part in the event is:

1. Malena Guinzburg

1. Fabio Porchat
2. Cristiane Werson

1. Paula Arcila
2. Liss Pereira
3. Maribel Trujillo Botello

1. Redouane Bougheraba
2. François Cluzet
3. Manu Payet

1. Meltem Kaptan
2. Annette Frier
3. Michael Mittermeier
4. Till Reiners
5. Torsten Sträter

1. Ardal O’Hanlon
2. Tommy Tiernan
3. Patrick Kielty

1. Max Angioni
2. Lino Banfi
3. Federico Basso
4. Stefano Belisari [Elio]
5. Alessandro Bergonzoni
6. Don Giovanni Berti [Gioba]
7. Enrico Bertolino
8. Enrico Beruschi
9. Alessandro Besentini
10. Alessandro Betti
11. Luca Bizzarri
12. Massimo Boldi
13. Luca Bonafé
14. Enrico Brignano
15. Jerry Calà
16. Roberta Calcagno Baldini
17. Gabriele Cirilli
18. Raul Cremona
19. Geppi Cucciari
20. Pio D’Antino
21. Gianluca De Angelis
22. Cristian De Sica
23. Maria Di Biase
24. Pierfrancesco Diliberto
25. Emanuela Fanelli
26. Alberto Ferrari
27. Maurizio Ferrini
28. Nino Frassica
29. Andrea Fratellini
30. Giuseppe Giacobazzi
31. Gene Gnocchi
32. Valeria Graci
33. Amedeo Grieco
34. Caterina Guzzanti
35. Paolo Kessisoglu
36. Paolo Labati
37. Maurizio Lastrico
38. Roberto Lipari
39. Luciana Littizzetto
40. Brenda Lodigiani
41. Valerio Lundini
42. Andy Luotto
43. Leonardo Manera
44. Marco Marzocca
45. Paolo Migone
46. Elia Morra [Elianto]
47. Corrado Nuzzo
48. Silvio Orlando
49. Antonio Ornano
50. Enzo Paci
51. Mauro Pallotta [Maupal]
52. Davide Paniate
53. Cochi Ponzoni
54. Giacomo Poretti
55. Saverio Raimondo
56. Luca Ravenna
57. Riccardo Rossi
58. Mary Sarnataro
59. Giovanni Scifoni
60. Mario Simonotti
61. Giovanni Storti
62. Carlo Verdone
63. Giovanni Vernia
64. Francesco Villa
65. Michele Foresta
66. Giorgio Panariello
67. Michele La Ginestra

1. Florinda Meza García
2. Chumel Torres

1. Dorota Łoskot-Cichocka

1. Ricardo de Araujo Pereira
2. Joana Marques
3. Maria Rueff

1. Ian Hislop
2. Stephen Merchant

1. Cristina Castaño
2. Belen Cuesta Llamas
3. Sara Escudero Rodriguez
4. Victoria Martin

1. Stephen Colbert
2. Jimmy Fallon
3. Jim Gaffigan
4. Whoopi Goldberg
5. James Martin
6. Tig Notaro
7. Chris Rock
8. Conan O’ Brien

1. Hazel Brugger

1. Rivelino Barro Gonçalves

UPDATED 12/6: To reflect the fact Ian Hislop was not able to attend

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Published: 9 Jun 2024

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