The producer of “The Simpsons” has denied that Homer and, his son, Bart are Catholics following the Vatican’s claims.
Al Jean said “My first reaction is shock and awe, and I guess it makes up for me not going to church for 20 years.” Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he added that the First Church of Springfield, where Reverend Lovejoy presides, is “decidedly Presbylutheran.”
Jean’s comments came after the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said “Few people know it and he does everything to hide it but it is true: Homer J. Simpson is Catholic.”
The article quoted an analysis by Rev. Francesco Occhetta, a Jesuit priest. The priest discusses a conversation between Bart and Homer in 2005 after meeting with Father Sean, a sympathetic priest, played by Liam Neeson.
The analysis showed that the TV show’s jokes are “linked to the sense and quality of life”. It said “‘The Simpsons’ remain among the few programs for children in which the Christian faith, religion and the question of God are recurring themes…The family recites prayers together before meals and, in its own way, believes in heaven.”
L’Osservatore Romano’s article made no reference to the fact that the cartoon regularly makes fun of religious figures and it said that parents should not be afraid to let their children watch “the adventures of the little guys in yellow”.
Al Jean however did not agree. In response he said “We’ve pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic…I really don’t think he could go without eating meat on Fridays for even an hour.”