Catholic Jokes: Good, and Good for You

This evening, in honor of Fr. Jim Martin’s new book, Between Heaven and Mirth, my editor, Elizabeth Scalia, has put out an APB for Catholic jokes. Well, as it happens, I have a few to share. The first one I heard from the Dominican priest who baptized me. It goes like this:

What’s the difference between the Order of Preachers and the Society of Jesus?

One was founded in the 13th century to fight the Albigensian heresy; the second, in the 16th century to fight the Protestant heresies.

What’s the other difference?

You seen any Albigensians running around lately?

These two I made up my own self. (One I’m recycling, but hey, that’s stewardship, right?)

How many sedevacantists does it take to change a light bulb?

Stupid question. None of them can stand to change anything.

Did you hear about the conservative bishop? (How conservative was he?)

He was so conservative, he condemned the Hypostatic Union for not operating on a right-to-work basis.

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.

  • http://N/a Richard

    The Dominican/Jesuit joke is an old one but flawed in one substantial fact – Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus with the goal of saving souls. It was not founded to fight the protestant reformation. (It is a good joke, however, and the fact that there are still no Albigensians proves the Dominicans are still good for something.)

    [True story: I once told this to a friend of mine who's a card-carrying gnostic. He got all bent out of shape and started grumbling about crusaders and the Montsegur massacre. Some people are just too goshdamn sensitive.]

  • jkm

    Ha! I was just going to be the kneejerk gnostic, but it seems you have more than one of us among your acquaintances. :) We find nothing at all funny about those bookburning Dogs of God.

    I honestly don’t know any Catholic jokes that don’t involve ribald wordplay concerning Irish priests hearing confession and/or elderly nuns sitting around talking, and those just don’t stick in my head. I’m going to steal yours.

  • Brian Sullivan

    What are the 3 things God doesn’t know?
    What the Jesuits teach, what the Dominicans preach and how many orders of Franciscans there are!

    [In my experience, using the word "order" in connection with anything Franciscan, is a pretty good joke in itself. -- admin]

  • Gail Finke

    Guy joins a strict monastery. During the three-year novitiate, they are permitted to say only two words a year. At the end of the first year he meets with the novice master and says, “Food bad.” At the end of the second year, he meets with the novice master and says, “Bed hard.” At the end of the third year, he meets with the novice master and says, “I quit.” The novice master says… “I’m not surprised. You’ve been complaining since you got here!”

  • JustMe

    How can you tell that one of the Wise Men present at Christ’s birth was a Jesuit? As soon as he was born he turned to Joseph and said “Have you picked out a Catholic high school for him yet?”

  • Mom

    Especially for Max, the son of a Jewish father and Catholic mother, a joke stolen from a comic with the same background:

    One of my parents was Catholic and the other was Jewish; when I went to Confession, I brought a lawyer.

    [Not to split chest hairs, Mom, but to me, bringing a lawyer to confession sounds more Calabrese than Jewish. -- admin]

  • Stephen Taylor

    Sedevacantists? LOL I love it. How many will have to look that up?

    [I've said before that Church jargon is all Greek to me, even when it's Latin or Italian. -- admin]

  • cjdav

    There was a small town that was overrun by wild squirrels. The town leaders had a meeting to decide how to get rid of them. First, the Lutheran pastor spoke and said that his church was prepared to round up all of the squirrels, take them out to the country, and admonish them for their frivolity. The pastor was certain that the squirrels would not return. The Lutheran congregation did as they promised, but, the next day the squirrels were all back and wreaking havoc in the town. Next, the town rabbi offered to round up the squirrels, take them out to the country, and, make them feel guilty for the problems they caused. He was sure that the squirrels would not return. The rabbi did as he said, but, the next day the squirrels returned and were even more bold and destructive. Finally, the Catholic priest offered to round up the squirrels, take them out to the country and make them all members of his parish. The priest did as he said, and now the squirrels only come back to the town on Easter and Christmas.

  • Mike Melendez

    My favorite is old but always draws blank stares when I tell it to non-Catholics.

    They brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus and asked him what to do. He answered, “What does the law say?” “She should be stoned,” they answered. The Lord paused and then said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” The crowd was looking at each other when a rock, zing!, zipped by and clipped the woman. Jesus immediately turned to its origin and yelled, “Mother!”

  • Ryan Haber

    With all the changes in the liturgy from 1963 to present, what are the two things that the Jesuits have never changed?

    The bread and the wine.

  • Richard

    I guess my life long association with the Jesuits makes me a little sensitive to some of the criticism. I note Fr. Martin has a number of good jokes about them. I would point out (building on one of his stories) that while Ignatius was exhorting Francis Xavier, about to leave for the Far East, to “Go set the world aflame” with the spirit of God, the Domincans were already setting Jews and peasants aflame.

    [Word. Funny how Soeur Sourire left that part out, huh? -- admin]

  • Victor

    I honestly believe that there’s a ratio and proportion that fits in with the spiritual sins you’ve committed and the sins in reality that you’ve been forgiven!

    Is that the joke Victor?

    Once UP on a Time, an elder nun was showing a younger nun the ropes and as they were travelling to a near by town, well let’s just say that some men took advantage of them and after the men left, the younger nun was heard saying while sobbing, ‘Mother superior! How are we going to explain to father superior that we got raped twice?’

    Mother superior could’nt help but say, What do you mean twice my child?

    While still sobbing, the young nun replied, Well! we’re going back the same way, are we not? :)

    I hear ya! That will be five Hail Mary sinner vic! :)


  • Laura

    Two nuns walk into a convenience store, grab a case of beer and head up to the cashier. The clerk gives them a look, and one of the Sisters says, “We use beer as shampoo, my child.” Without missing a beat, he reaches under the counter, and throws a sack of pretzels in the bag with the beer. “Curlers on me, ladies!”

  • Keith

    Two men are sitting at a ball game behind two nuns in full habit which is partially blocking their view. One of the men says “when this game is over I’m moving to Minnesota. I’ve heard that only about 50 percent of the people there are Catholic.” The other man replied “when this game is over I’m moving to Utah. I’ve heard that only about 25 percent of the people there are Catholic.” With that one of the Sisters turned around and looked at the men and said, “when this game is over, both of you can go to hell. None of the people there are Catholic.”

  • Ryan Haber

    @Richard: just to note, I love the Jesuits. The joke about the Jesuits and their bread and wine was told to me by my Jesuit spiritual director.

  • TomC

    Oops! Someone beat me to the punch. Sorry about that.

  • Laura

    A priest, running late for an appointment, parks in a no parking zone. He quickly writes a note, leaving it under the windshield wiper, “I’ve circled the block 10 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll be late for my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.”
    An hour later, he comes out to find a citation next to his note. “I’ve circled this block for 10 years, Father. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation.”

  • Steve Cavanaugh

    A young curate complained to the Parish Priest “Father, there are bats in the church and I can’t find any way to get rid of them.” The Parish Priest counseled, “Let’s call the bishop, he’ll be able to help.” “But how,” asked the curate. “Why,” said the PP, “he’ll confirm them; we’ll never see them after that!”

  • Rugosa

    Unitarians don’t recognize the Trinity. Orthodox Christians don’t recognize the Pope. Baptists don’t recognize each other in a liquor store.

    Why are Baptists against sex? It might lead to dancing.

    An Irishman goes to his priest and says “Father, I’m concerned. I think I’m losing my faith and leaning toward becoming a Protestant.” The good father says, “Now just put those thoughts out of your mind. Keep repeating to yourself, I’m not a Protestant, I’m a Catholic.” A few weeks later, the priest decides to drop in on his parishioner and see how he’s doing. It happens to be a Friday. As the priest approaches the house, he smells something cooking that shouldn’t be cooking on Friday. The parishioner happens to glance out the window and sees the priest coming. As the priest comes within earshot, he hears the man loudly addressing the frying pan: “You’re not a steak, you’re a kipper!”

    Two nuns go into a liquor store and ask for a bottle of brandy. The store owner looks surprised and asks “Why are such good nuns as you buying liquor?” They look about shyly and whisper, “Oh, it’s for Mother Superior’s constipation.” A few hours later the man closes the store and starts heading home, but he hears singing and raucous laughter from the alley behind his store. He goes into the alley to see what’s up, and sees the two nuns, a now empty bottle at their feet, carrying on. “Sisters! I’m shocked! I thought you said the brandy was for Mother Superior’s constipation.” They reply “Oh, she’ll shit for sure when she sees us!”

    Roses are red, violets are blueish. If it wasn’t for Christmas, we all would be Jewish.

  • Steve T.

    A group of do-gooders hold a prestigious world religions convention. All the world’s religionsand denominations are represented by their highest authorities. They even convince the Pope himself to come!

    As an icebreaker, each religion’s head is asked to select a flower that best represents the religion, and is asked to explain why the flower chosen is so fitting. The organizers go about the room asking each attendee which flower they’ve chosen. Lily – rose – orchid – morning glory – daisy… the roll goes on and on. Finally they reach the Pope. They ask “Holy Father, what flower do you chose to best represent the Roman Catholic Church?”

    The Pope grunts “the cactus.”

    The organizers are a bit shocked, and ask if he’d like to reconsider. The Pope shakes his head and grunts “the cactus” even more vehemently.

    The organizers shrug and begin setting out flowers in front of each attendee. They need to send someone out to locate a cactus, and he is gone a long time. Meanwhile, each attendee in turn stands and explains the relevance of the flower selected to their respective religion. Purity – truth – innocence… the roll goes on and on.

    The organizers begin to get a bit nervous, as the fellow sent to get the cactus has not yet returned, and the line of speakers is nearing the Pope. Finally, he rushes in with the ugliest, spiniest needle- pointed horror of a cactus anyone’s ever seen; it makes your eyes bleed just to look at it. He plops it in front of the Pope just in time.

    The Pope looks at the thing with a grim smile, and stands up. He clears his throat. The the Pope says, “wit all dose udda flowuhs, you can wipe your a**” and sits down.

  • cathyf

    This may or may not be an absolutely true story…

    How to tell the difference between Jesuits and Franciscans

    A group of Jesuit novices were living together one summer working on various service projects. They adopted a stray cat (or, more precisely, a cat adopted them.) If they had been Franciscan novices, they would have loved the cat as their own and called him Brother Cat. Since they were Jesuit novices, they loved the cat as one of their own and called him F***face.

  • cathyf

    Here’s a little something from 2 years ago: St Joe and St Pete… (although as I complain at the end, Webster bowdlerized my punchline. :-) )

  • jem

    An Irish cop in New York heard that a man was out on a ledge threatening to jump. He rushed upstairs and began to try to talk the man into coming back into the building to safety.

    “Think of your loving mother,” the cop said. The man replied–”She’s dead for years.”
    The cop replied, “Think of your other family members, how sad they will be.” The jumper said, “They all hate me, that’s why I’m out here.”

    The cop, thinking quickly, said, “Think of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin. She wouldn’t want you to do this.” The jumper replied, “Who’s that?”

    “Jump then, Protestant,” said the cop, “You’re causing a traffic jam.”

    [Ian Donaldson of Belfast, a Mason and member of the Orange Lodge, lay in bed, near death. When his Free Kirk pastor called on him, Donaldson ordered him out and said, "Fetch me a Catholic priest. Ah'm converting." When the pastor gasped in horror, Donaldson explained, "Ah'd rather one ay they basthards died than one ay us."]