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Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert among comedians to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican


Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert were among the many comedians from around the world who visited the Vatican on Friday morning at the behest of Pope Francis.

More than 100 humorists hailing from 15 countries were invited to meet the pontiff for a meeting  organized to “establish a link” between the entertainers and the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Francis meets with comedians at the on Friday in Vatican City. Pope Francis met with more than 100 comedians from around the world, encouraging them to cheer people up and help people see reality with all its contradictions.

Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images

Pope Francis meets with a group of comedians including Stephen Colbert, Chris Rock and Jimmy Fallon, on Friday in Vatican City. (Photo by Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

“In the midst of so much gloomy news, you denounce abuses of power, you give voice to forgotten situations, you highlight abuses, you point out inappropriate behavior,” Francis told the group.

The jokesters were also lauded for spreading “peace and smiles” and making viewers “think critically” through their work.

“When you manage to bring intelligent smiles to the lips of even a single spectator, you also make God smile,” the pope said.

He then praised the comedians for their ability to unite people through laughter.

“While communication today often generates conflict, you know how to bring together diverse and sometimes contrary realities,” Francis said during his address, adding that it’s OK to poke fun at God in the same way “we play and joke with the people we love.”

Pope Francis meets with Conan O' Brien on Friday in Vatican City.

Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images

Pope Francis meets with Conan O’ Brien on Friday in Vatican City. (Photo by Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

Late-night host Conan O’Brien, “Veep” and “Seinfeld” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and stand-up comedians Chris Rock, Jim Gaffigan and Tig Notaro were also among the invited guests from the United States. More than two-thirds of the comedians in attendance were Italian.

Goldberg is no stranger to having an audience with the papal. Last year, the Manhattan native visited the Vatican and offered Pope Francis a cameo in the forthcoming sequel to “Sister Act.”



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