"I love my church warts and all," he said, before an audience of about 3,000 cheering students, who posted his quotes on Twitter using the organizers' (hash)dolancolbert hashtag.
Colbert said people in comedy often make jokes at the expense of religion, but he makes jokes about what he called people's misuse of religion in politics and other arenas. Still, he said, "If Jesus doesn't have a sense of humor, I am in huge trouble."
Colbert took the opportunity to needle Dolan about the new English-language translation of the Roman Missal, the text of prayers and instructions for celebrating Mass. The translation was introduced last fall in U.S. parishes to initial grumbling over what critics called stilted language. A focus of the complaints was the translation of the Nicene Creed, replacing the phrase "one in Being with the Father" to "consubstantial with the Father."
"Consubstantial?" Colbert said, as Dolan shook his head and laughed. "It's the Creed. It's not the SAT prep."
For his part, Dolan, who gave benedictions at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions, told of his encounter with Clint Eastwood at the GOP event.
According to the cardinal, Eastwood said he had once played a preacher in a movie and said "I know that neck thing is really uncomfortable."
The cardinal didn't mention Eastwood's peculiar talk on the convention stage with an imaginary President Barack Obama in an empty chair.