Homer Simpson is Catholic, Vatican paper declares

LOS ANGELES Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:38pm EDT

Mexican actors hold up paintings of characters from the Simpsons cartoon as local media hold up microphones during a protest in Mexico City August 3, 2005. REUTERS/Daniel Aguilar

Mexican actors hold up paintings of characters from the Simpsons cartoon as local media hold up microphones during a protest in Mexico City August 3, 2005.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Aguilar

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Simpsons" just got a blessing from the Vatican.

The official Vatican newspaper has declared that beer-swilling, doughnut-loving Homer Simpson and son Bart are Catholics -- and what's more, it says that parents should not be afraid to let their children watch "the adventures of the little guys in yellow."

"Few people know it, and he does everything to hide it. But it's true: Homer J. Simpson is Catholic", the Osservatore Romano newspaper said in an article on Sunday headlined "Homer and Bart are Catholics."

The newspaper cited a study by a Jesuit priest of a 2005 episode of the show called "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star". That study concludes that "The Simpsons" is "among the few TV programs for kids in which Christian faith, religion and questions about God are recurrent themes."

The Simpsons pray before meals, and "in its own way, believes in the beyond," the newspaper quoted the Jesuit study as saying.

It's the second time the animated U.S. TV series, which is broadcast in 90 countries, has been praised by the Vatican.

But executive producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly on Monday he was in "shock and awe" at the latest assertion, adding that the Simpsons attend the "Presbylutheran" First Church of Springfield.

"We've pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic," Jean said. "I really don't think he could go without eating meat on Fridays -- for even an hour."

In December 2009, the Osservatore Romano described the show as "tender and irreverent, scandalous and ironic, boisterous and profound, philosophical and sometimes even theological, nutty synthesis of pop culture and of the lukewarm and nihilistic American middle class."

"The Simpsons", which introduced the catch-phrase "D'oh", is the longest-running prime-time TV series in the United States and is now in its 22nd season.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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Comments (4)
sheavsey wrote:
Ah well. We atheists still have Lisa. Or is she a Buddhist?

Oct 19, 2010 4:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Phuzzy wrote:
Someone has waaaayyyy too much time on their hands but I guess this makes as much sense as anything the Catholic Church does.

Oct 19, 2010 7:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bronco46 wrote:
I see the vatican’s observation scared the producers into making an immediate reply.
This does seem like a silly thing to come up with. But then again universities in this country are constantly coming up with ridiculous things to look at; ie. the University of Virginia recently released the results of a study that found that small children are afraid of snakes and spiders.
So I really can’t fault the priest for his study.
And it’s fun to watch the producers fall all over them selves to deny these observations. I guess that’s what scares them.

Oct 19, 2010 5:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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