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14th Jun 2024

Several Irish comedians meet with the Pope in the Vatican

Stephen Porzio

Two Father Ted actors were in attendance, alongside the likes of Chris Rock, Jimmy Fallon and Whoopi Goldberg.

Irish celebrities Ardal O’Hanlon, Patrick Kielty and Tommy Tiernan were part of a group of about 100 comedians who met with Pope Francis this morning (Friday, 14 June).

The entertainers were present at the event which took place in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City and saw the Pontiff encouraging those in attendance to “cheer people up and help people see reality with all its contradictions,” according to the Vatican News.

Addressing the crowd in Italian, Pope Francis reportedly told the comedians that they are in possession of “a precious gift”, one that can spread peace “within hearts and between peoples, helping us to overcome difficulties and cope with daily stress.”

“You denounce the excesses of power, give voice to forgotten situations, highlight abuses, point out inappropriate behaviour… but without spreading alarm and terror, anxiety or fear,” he told them,” he said.

The Pontiff also stated that people can “even laugh at God, just as we play and joke with those we love.”

He then added, however, that this must be done without offending the religious feelings of believers.

Following Pope Francis’ address, each comedian was given the opportunity to greet the Pontiff.

Alongside Kielty, O’Hanlon and Tiernan – with the latter two famously playing priests in the legendary sitcom Father Ted – other comedians in attendance included Chris Rock, Conan O’Brien, Jim Gaffigan, Jimmy Fallon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mike Birbiglia, Stephen Colbert, Stephen Merchant, Tig Notaro and Whoopi Goldberg.

You can watch a video of the event below. Tiernan greets the Pope at around 17 minutes and 35 seconds, O’Hanlon at 20.40 and Kielty at 24.20.

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