Image Credit: FoxHe may drink too much and strangle his son—and, sure, there was that time he sold his soul to the devil for a donut—but Homer Simpson seems to have the Vatican seal of approval. In an article from the Oct. 17 edition of the Vatican publication L’Osservatore Romano—which also references a story in the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civilita Cattolica—Fox’s The Simpsons is praised for covering issues of faith, family, and Christianity (plus, they say prayers before meals!). There is also mention of the animated comedy’s 2005 episode in which Homer and Bart consider converting to Catholicism after Bart befriends a Catholic priest (voiced by Liam Neeson). “Few people know it, and he does everything he can to hide it… [but] it is true: Homer J. Simpson is a Catholic,” states L’Osservatore Romano, which also tipped its papal hat to the show last year during The Simpsons’ 20th anniversary celebration. (Perhaps they didn’t see The Simpsons Movie, in which Homer mocks churchgoers as “pious morons” who are “too busy talking to their phony-baloney god.”)

Simpsons HQ is flattered and amused by the attention from the Vatican. “My first reaction is shock and awe,” exec producer Al Jean tells, “and I guess it makes up for me not going to church for 20 years.” That said, Jean is quick to throw not-so-holy water on the Homer-is-Catholic assertion, pointing out that the family attends the First Church of Springfield, which is decidedly Presbylutheran. “We’ve pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic,” he says. “I really don’t think he could go without eating meat on Fridays—for even an hour.”

Do you think the Church has a case, PopWatchers? Or did you question Homer’s faith ever since the episode when he said, “I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me, Superman!

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