The Late Show’s New Host: He attends Mass Weekly, Teaches Sunday School, Is an Ordained Minister, Comedian and He’s Catholic…Stephen Colbert!
Stephen Colbert is widely known for being the host of The Colbert Report, in which he satirized conservative political pundits, as well as his work on The Daily Show. He recently became the host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, taking over for longtime host David Letterman.
He has also been involved in politics, with a notable performance at the 2006 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, two presidential campaigns, and the creation of his political action committee in 2012. He’s known for his searing political commentary and off-the-wall humor.
But what many people don’t know about Stephen Colbert is that he is a devout Catholic.
— Brian Strassburger (@StrassburgerSJ) September 9, 2015
Although he does not often discuss it, Colbert regularly attends Mass and teaches Sunday school at his church in New Jersey. He grew up in a Catholic family, and his wife and children are practicing Catholics as well. He is also an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church Monastery, which is a nondenominational interfaith ministry.
While he has not discussed his faith often on his shows or in interviews, when the subject has come up, he has spoken passionately and articulately about the subject. In an event held at Fordham University in 2012, in which Colbert and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan discussed faith and humor, Colbert said “… the real reason I became a Catholic is what the church gives me, which is love.”
A rare interview with Stephen Colbert about his faith will air this Sunday, September 13. He was interviewed by Father Thomas Rosica, at Vatican spokesperson and host of Salt + Light Media’s Witness.
Colbert remains passionate about his faith, regardless of the influences of Hollywood or the media.
Hollywood is becoming less and less religious every day. Most media coverage of religious celebrities skews towards the negative side of it, and there are many celebrities that claim to be religious, or are “cultural Christians” or “cultural Jews”, but do not actually take time out of their busy schedules to practice their faith or stand up for what they believe in. Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory and practicing Orthodox Jew, recently discussed in an interview the struggles of being seriously religious in Hollywood, describing it as “not trendy”.
It is difficult for actors and musicians in this environment to stay true to their beliefs and continue to practice their faith. Colbert is a rarity in that he not only attends Mass every week, but actually gives back to others by teaching Sunday school. He has also stood up for his faith multiple times on The Colbert Report in debates with people such as Stanford professor Philip Zimbardo and religious scholar Bart Ehrman. And he manages to do it in a way that is strong and articulate, without attacking or disregarding other’s opinions. It would be wonderful to see more celebrities follow Colbert’s example and not only claim to be a member of their religion, but actually practice it, discuss it, and set a good example.
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
- The Colbert Report
- The Daily Show
- Universal Life Church
- World Religion News
- David Letterman