Pope Francis invites comedians including Whoopi Goldberg to Vatican

June 11, 2024 - 3:34 PM
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Pope Francis reacts as he stands with Rome's Mayor Roberto Gualtieri (not pictured) at a balcony in Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Square), during a visit to Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill), in Rome, Italy June 10, 2024. (Reuters/Yara Nardi)

 Pope Francis, who says he regularly prays “Lord, give me a sense of humor”, will welcome comedians from around the world to a cultural event in Italy to “celebrate the beauty of human diversity,” the Vatican said on Saturday.

Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and Chris Rock will be among more than 100 entertainers at the Vatican on June 14.

The pope “recognizes the significant impact that the art of comedy has on the world of contemporary culture,” a Vatican statement said.

British comedian Stephen Merchant – the co-writer of the TV comedy series “The Office” – and Italian comedian Lino Banfi will also be at the event.

The meeting will take place on Friday morning, before the pope travels to Puglia to attend the Group of Seven (G7) leaders’ summit.

“The meeting between Pope Francis and the world’s comedians aims to celebrate the beauty of human diversity and to promote a message of peace, love and solidarity,” the Vatican said.

The audience has been organized by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education and Dicastery for Communication.

Goldberg last month said in an interview that she had offered the pope a cameo in “Sister Act 3”, in which she will reprise her comedy role of a singer who takes refuge in a convent and organises a choir.

“He said he would see what his time was like,” Goldberg said joking, when asked if the pope had accepted her offer.

—Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Tomasz Janowski