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For the past few days, a meme featuring Pope Francis has gone viral. By using four pictures on Twitter, three of which are usually static, you can show the pope holding up anything you want instead of a communion wafer.

Some Catholics, however, are very unhappy with all of you for this blasphemy. Sister Theresa Aletheia, a death-obsessed nun, said all of these tweets were disrespectful.

Another writer, Simcha Fisher, said the memes were “hurting Catholics.”

It’s safe to say many of the people enjoying the meme are religious themselves and see this as good fun, not social commentary on the Church itself, much else an indictment of Catholicism. None of the critics have said what aspects of the Church people are allowed to poke fun at. If the expression on the pope’s face is off limits, then what’s within the boundaries? And how is this the dealbreaker for you?

Some critics are making that point very bluntly:

If you can’t make sense of a joke involving one of the most famous people on the planet, you’re in no position to tell people what is and isn’t funny. Considering all the damage the Church has caused over the years, let people have this meme. It’s the least you can do.

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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