The Vatican newspaper article was accompanied by two scenes from popular comic strips – Batman showing his alter-ego Bruce Wayne as a boy saying his prayers by his bed and the Hulk depicted with rosary beads in his hands.

“Is it enough for a person to have a rosary in his hand to be defined a Catholic?” wrote senior journalist Gaetano Vallini.

But Vallini said there was plenty of evidence to indicate the Hulk was a Catholic.

“Bruce Banner, the incredible green man, in fact married his beloved Betty Ross in a church and a Catholic priest presided at the ceremony.