Speaking about Pope Francis, Colbert, in character as the slightly cynical conservative Catholic, admitted:
“I don’t care for the guy.”
“He loves you, Stephen.”
“Well, it’s unrequited at the moment. I’ll tell you why: here’s the thing: he’s too soft. He’s too soft on sin, for me, this pope. You heard what he said about atheists? He said even atheists are redeemed by Christ … If even atheists are redeemed by Christ, why have I been going to Mass every Sunday? I could have gotten another nine holes in! What do you think that means?"
“Look, you don’t got to Mass to win heaven. You go to ask God for help to get you there. You go to Mass to thank him for being such a great God that he wants you to spend eternity with him. That’s why you go to Mass. You don’t go to win heaven because you can’t earn it – it’s a gift. He wants to give it to all of us."
“I don’t always know why I’m going to Mass. But I’m usually glad that I did."
Well, the Cardinal may not have been the most nuanced in his explanation, but his contention that we go to Mass to seek for help for holiness in life to make us worthy of Heaven and to thank and praise God is not far from the truth. Sound byte Catholicism? Maybe. But the truth is in there.
Colbert's response is probably that of a typical Catholic in the pews. They don't always know why they go to Mass, but they are usually glad they did.