Chelsea Handler

Television host Chelsea Handler is coming under fire from Catholics after a making a sexually charged joke about Pope Francis.

On the Nov. 8 episode of “Chelsea Lately,” while discussing the inclusion of the pontiff on the Forbes list of the most powerful people in the world, Handler said, “So, and the new pope is on the list. That’s interesting since he’s never had penetration. How can he be that powerful?”

Roman Catholic popes are noted for vows of celibacy.

Pope Francis

Handler’s remark is not sitting well with Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

“Any woman who goes on TV to laugh about an abortion she once had, as Handler did with Conan O’Brien, is capable of taking an obscene shot at the pope. But it doesn’t make her gratuitous quip any less offensive,” Donohue said Monday.

Pope Francis is a newcomer to the Forbes list this year, debuting at No. 4, behind Russian President Vladimir Putin at No. 1, President Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China.

Rounding out the Top 10 are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bill Gates, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Saudi Arabia King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and the highest-ranking active business person on the list – Walmart CEO Michael Duke.

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