Could Stephen Colbert Be the Next Pope?

Now that everyone is chuckling — albeit some a little nervously — about Stephen Colbert’s campaign for the presidency of the United States, I want to raise a truly serious question.

Could he become the next pope?

Matt Moore, Executive Director of the South Carolina Republican Party, obviously thinks not. “Stephen Colbert,” he says, “has about as much a chance at being elected president in South Carolina as he does of being elected Pope.”

But what if he has a BETTER chance of becoming Pope than of gaining the White House?

Just consider a few things.

First of all, Stephen Colbert is named for the very first martyr to the Christian faith: Saint Stephen, a man “full of faith and power” who “did great wonders among the people” (Acts of the Apostles 6:8) but who — shortly after the crucifixion of Christ — was stoned to death for preaching on His behalf (Acts 7:59). No man of our time resembles Saint Stephen more than Stephen Colbert, a staunch Roman Catholic with a devoted following of young people deeply inspired by his eloquent advocacy of strictly conservative values and Christian faith. A few years ago, I distinctly recall his proudly reciting from memory every word of the Apostles’ Creed — right in the middle of his show. Furthermore, since I taught at Dartmouth for nearly 40 years, I knew Stephen well as an undergraduate, and I can assure you that at least once a week in his Dartmouth years he was totally stoned.

Secondly, at a time when the great ship of Roman Catholicism is rocked by scandal and captained by a frail octogenarian, we desperately need a fresh and firm young hand at the helm. I say this with all due respect to Pope Benedict XVI, who — to shift metaphors slightly — has newly fortified the church’s seawall of dogma and doctrine against all the raging tides of godless modernism: against contraception, abortion, homosexuality, married priests (except of course for ex-Episcopal ministers creeping in through the back door) and the ordination of women, who blindly and stubbornly fail to see that God never meant them to be priests, for otherwise He would have made them bearded Jewish fishermen. For all these reasons, Benedict XVI resoundingly deserves the everlasting gratitude and admiration of his worldwide flock.

Nevertheless, since this 85-year-old pontiff cannot live forever, it behooves us to begin thinking now about his successor. And I can think of no one more worthy than Stephen Colbert. [More]


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