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Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Stephen Colbert shelved the satire for the evening and opened up about his Catholic faith to a packed gymnasium of students from the Jesuit Fordham University.

The comedian was joined at the New York event, which was billed as a discussion on humor and spirituality, by Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

Colbert, who has taught Sunday school, said his jokes are not at the expense of religion, but rather about the misuse of it, particularly in politics.

“If Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humor, I am in huge trouble,” he joked.

In a transcript of Dolan’s remarks, which were posted on the Archdiocese of New York’s website, the cardinal said his two nieces were thrilled he got to spend the evening with Colbert.

The cardinal, who was introduced as being a future contender for pope, told Colbert he had deep respect for his commitment to his faith.

“Stephen, part of my admiration for you is that, while you often tease and joke about your faith and the church, there’s no denying that you take your faith seriously, and look to the church as your spiritual family,” Dolan told the comedian.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio