Mark Wahlberg, a devout Catholic, asked Pope Francis for forgiveness for his raunchy R-rated comedy “Ted.”
The actor-producer made the plea in jest, during an appearance at the World Meeting of Families Saturday in Philadelphia. Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, Juanes and the Philadelphia Orchestra performed at the event, and Wahlberg served as host.
After 14-year-old Bobby Hill of the Keystone State Boychoir performed an opera solo, he told Wahlberg that he liked his performance in the hit film about a potty-mouthed talking teddy bear.
“He whispered in my ear that he liked the movie ‘Ted,'” Wahlberg told the Pontiff and the crowd. “I told him that was not appropriate for his age. Holy Father, please forgive me.”
Wahlberg didn’t get into box office details Saturday night or he might have sought to atone for “Ted 2,” this summer’s sequel that was a dud commercially.
On a more serious note, the Pope concluded his six-day visit to the United States on Sunday by meeting with victims of sexual abuse. He spent time with five victims — three women and two men — the Vatican said in a statement. All were abused as minors, either by clergy, family members or teachers.
“I hold the stories and the suffering and the sorrow of children who were sexually abused by priests deep in my heart,” the Pontiff told the victims. “I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm. I am profoundly sorry. God weeps.”
The Pope also visited the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia, and told the inmates that confinement was not the same thing as exclusion.