Jon Stewart’s Tactless Little Joke About the Eucharist

“The Catholic Church,” said Jon Stewart, “is just an ordinary restaurant that only serves wafers.”

And the Catholic League’s on it.

On September 16 the popular political satirist, whose Daily Show appears on Comedy Central, did a report about Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.  He had only good things to say about the new pope; the Huffington Post, in fact, published the video under the headline “Jon Stewart LOVES Pope Francis”.

But The Catholic League thought he should have stopped there:

Here is what he said next: “What, exactly, of Catholicism is left? I mean, you take away Jesus and celibacy—Catholic Church is just an ordinary restaurant that only serves wafers.” At this point, a woman is shown receiving Communion. This is followed by several obscenities.

 They need to hire some practicing Catholics at “The Daily Show.” Someone needs to tell Stewart the difference between joking about celibacy and ridiculing the heart and soul of Catholicism. I am assuming, of course, that that would make a difference.

Contact Comedy Central spokesman Steve Albani:



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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jeffrey Weiss

    1) What he actually said was “an ORNATE restaurant.”

    2) The joke was not remotely about the Eucharist.

    3) It wasn’t all that good a joke. Stewart consistently does less well at accurately satirizing Catholic theology and practice than he does with lots of other things.

    4) The joke was: If you drop the theology of Catholicism (which Francis most assuredly has not), then there’s nothing left but a place that serves wafers. Which is not a joke about the Eucharist but about the centrality of theology in Francis’ message. Which isn’t a good joke because Stewart seems to be missing some of the points Francis has made.
    5) This would not be the first time that the Catholic League has missed *its* target in its protests.

    • joanstevenson55

      As much as I dislike Stewart, I have to agree with you on the point he is making, which is quite profound! How many Catholics actually believe in the presence of Jesus, how many are there left which believe in the church’s teachings? NOT MANY!, so yes, remove the last of the faithful Catholics, and that is EXACTLY what is left of the church!

  • Martha O’Keeffe

    He’s actually making a good point – take away Jesus, and yes, all we have left is a ceremony involving wafers. Or do you think the (insert name of Protestant denomination of your choice) really does confect the Eucharist when celebrating the Lord’s Supper or whatever name they want to call it?

    A church that is only about “good deeds”, no matter how worthy, is not a church. Remove the spiritual element and we’re only playing dress-up.

  • GodsGadfly

    Yes, in a different context, and with a more accurate portrayal of the situation, this would just be a paraphrase of Flannery O’Connor’s famous apologetic quip, “If it’s just a symbol, then to Hell with it!”

    • GodsGadfly

      And I say this as someone who normally can’t stand Stewart, Colbert or Comedy Central in general, but I also can’t stand when Bill Donohue gets mad at someone satirizing “liberal” Catholicism, as is the case here, or when _The Simpsons_ had the infamous “The [Catholic] Church: We’ve made some changes” fake Superbowl Ad episode.

  • kurt

    every one of you is as bad as that so called joke! if you said the same about the muslim faith or islam there would be a bounty on each of your heads! Shame on the catholic faithful for not standing up to this type of liberal bashing! we will all have to answer to HIM our God someday, hope you are ready spiritually!

  • Lisa

    Is there a video of this? I’d like to see what he said, in context, for myself.

    • Lisa

      Never mind. I got it.

    • I like the coffee cup, and I agree with others, this rather serious theological point has been misinterpreted as a joke.

  • JuanV

    The Catholic Church HAS SO MANY MORE THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT other than this!!!

    We have several friends who are Catholic and the way they process information and collect data is simply terrifying. It is as if the entire religion was created for individuals with OCD and Borderline Personality Disorder. There is no point in even talking to them.

    The Pope is infallible and the Church is perfect and apparently the systemic sexual abuse of young boys is just a poor PR campaign from Satan.

    These people have simply lost touch with reality.

    • kathyschiffer

      Juan, sexual abuse was never “systemic”–It was a horrible sin, and the Church had a lower incidence of abuse than, say, gym teachers or police officers or Protestant pastors. Not to excuse; but your prejudice is showing.

      The Church is not “perfect”, but as Abigail van Buren said, the Church isn’t a museum for saints; it’s a hospital for sinners. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; the Catholic Church is where we go to strive for holiness.

      Lastly, the teaching of the Church is not that the Pope is universally “infallible.” He, too, is a sinner, and he makes mistakes. Only that God protects him from error when he is teaching officially on matters of faith or morals. That infallibility doctrine is found in Jesus’ promise to send a Paraclete who would be with us until the end of the age. The Church speaks for Christ. If she can’t speak with authority, then Christ no longer has a reliable church on earth; and we know that’s not true because we have his promise.