Vatican claims Homer Simpson secret Catholic

The Vatican newspaper has not been shy in its praise of the long-running animated TV program The Simpsons - and now we may know why.

L'Osservatore Romano has written a story under the headline "Homer and Bart are Catholic" that included the phrase "few people know it and he does everything to hide it but it is true: Homer J. Simpson is Catholic."

Last December, the newspaper cited the show on its 20th anniversary, praising its philosophical leanings and irreverent take on religion.

Now the paper quoted from an analysis by a Jesuit priest, the Rev. Francesco Occhetta, discussing Homer's and his son Bart's conversion in a 2005 episode after meeting the sympathetic priest Father Sean.

L'Osservatore says behind the TV show's jokes are themes "linked to the sense and quality of life."

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