D'oh! The producer for television show "The Simpsons" had a holy cow after learning that the Vatican considered Homer Simpson a Catholic.
Executive producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly on Monday he was in "shock and awe" when he heard the assertion, saying, "I guess it makes up for me not going to church for 20 years."
The headline in the semi-official Vatican newspaper, the Osservatore Romano, recently read: “Homer And Bart Are Catholic,” and backed it up by arguing the family prays before meals and that the show explores issues such as family, community, education and religion in a way that few other popular television programs do.
Father Francesco Occhetta, writing in La Civilta Cattolica, said the series is not without its dangers, but that if the show is taken with a grain of salt, parents should not be afraid to let their children watch it.
“The Simpsons remains one of the few TV programs for kids in which Christian faith, religion, and the question about God are recurring themes,” Occhetta wrote.
But Jean told Entertainment Weekly the Vatican's analysis was a stretch.
"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."
He also said the Simpson family attends the First Church of Springfield "which is decidedly Presbylutheran," and pointed out that Homer and Bart only considered converting in the 2005 episode.
This isn't the first time Matt Groening’s popular television family has received the Vatican's blessing. Last December the newspaper also praised the show on its 20th anniversary for its philosophical leanings and irreverent take on religion.