Danielle Terceiro is highly amused and delighted by the new TikTok subculture of #Catholiccore which plays on Catholic aesthetic and drama.

#Catholiccore – content that plays up the drama and aesthetic of life for young Catholics – goes off on TikTok.

Here’s the real Father Sam French from Broken Bay “explaining” the supernatural for his 65.4K followers: a parishioner asks for a house blessing after hearing scary noises at night. A car pulls up, feet land purposefully on the driveway, a priest’s censer swings to the beat of Ghostbusters. A Gen Z-er opens a door upstairs and is drenched with holy water.

It’s fun, it’s ridiculous – and that’s OK.

Sometimes laughing at something is a sign you take it seriously. Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, journalled on his travels that “suddenly there is a point where religion becomes laughable. Then you decide that you are nevertheless religious”.

Does it matter that Catholiccore humour is not to everyone’s taste?

When the writer Annie Dillard encountered “bathetic pomp” at the Church of the Nativity she saw it as a “grand comedy” that God would put up with bad taste: “And why should he not? Things here on earth get a whole lot worse than bad taste”.

In which case, maybe more than a few of us intuit that we need help from outside ourselves. A 2023 Global Religion survey shows that Gen Z Australians are more open to believing in angels, demons, fairies and ghosts – 20% more so than their Boomer grandparents. The statistics also show that Gen Zs skew towards prayer and turning up at places of worship: they want the whole religious deal.

Are you laughing along at the ghostbusting bad taste, maybe unexpectedly? Caution: laughing along doesn’t rule out believing that it is true.


We asked Australians if they believe in God or the supernatural. Here’s what they said

Natasha Moore comments on a recent survey which suggests that Australians may still be open to spiritual beliefs.