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Dispatch from pope's UK trip: Benedict's 'nice guy' effect
September 17th, 2010
11:03 AM ET

Dispatch from pope's UK trip: Benedict's 'nice guy' effect

CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John L. Allen Jr. filed this report from London.

When Benedict XVI was elected to the papacy in April 2005, I published a book that recounted the last days of Pope John Paul II, the inside story of the conclave that elected his successor, and predicted where the new pontificate would go. After it appeared I dutifully dropped off a copy for Benedict with an aide, though I had no expectation the pope would actually read it.

Imagine my surprise when a few weeks later the Vatican spokesperson, who was vacationing with Benedict in northern Italy, called me. He told me the pontiff had come down to breakfast that morning with my book in his hands, and he wished to relay a message.

“Please tell Herr Allen thank you for having written this book,” the spokesperson quoted him as saying, “especially the last part about the future of my papacy … because it has saved me the trouble of thinking about it for myself!”

That flash of papal humor illustrates what is perhaps the best-kept secret about Pope Benedict XVI, which is that whatever one might think of his views on gay marriage or his handling of the Catholic sexual abuse crisis, he is, at bottom, a nice guy.

If some of the frost awaiting Benedict XVI on his trip to the United Kingdom now seems to be melting, that’s a large part of the reason why.

Over the years, people who’ve had personal contact with Joseph Ratzinger, the man who is now Pope Benedict, have always been struck by the juxtaposition between his public profile and his private personality. In public, he often seems a polarizing and stern figure; in private, he’s gracious, humble, a great listener, and possessed of a great dry wit.

Typically, the only time most people get a glimpse of that personality is when the pope comes to their backyard on a foreign trip. What they usually see is a smiling, kindly man, not a fire-breathing cultural warrior.

In part, that’s a product of message. One hallmark of Benedict’s teaching is “Affirmative Orthodoxy,” meaning presenting traditional Catholic doctrine in the most positive fashion possible.

 The upbeat tone has been in evidence in the U.K., as Benedict began his trip yesterday by telling the Queen how much he admired Britain’s Christian and humanitarian traditions, among other things applauding the Northern Ireland peace agreement. This German pope even thanked the U.K. for standing up to the Nazis.

In part, too, Benedict’s personality breaks through in gestures and images. In Scotland, for example, he blessed a nine-year-old boy who had written to ask for prayers as he faces cancer, and British papers today were full of pictures of the pope kissing a toddler named Maria Tyszczak, the daughter of Polish immigrants to Glasgow.

The UK  is, of course, hardly the first place Benedict has faced a tough crowd.

He went to Turkey in 2006 shortly after igniting a storm of protest in the Muslim world with a speech that appeared to link Muhammad with violence. His trips to France in 2008 and the Czech Republic in 2009 took him into hostile secular territory, and when he traveled to the Israel and the Palestinian Territories last year, he was also walking a tightrope.

In every case, the trip exceeded expectations, in large part because personal contact with Benedict took the sting out of much of the criticism.

It remains to be seen how the rest of the trip will go, especially given the Vatican’s penchant for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory when it comes to public relations. It’s also an open question whether softening the pope’s image, by itself, is enough to call the trip a success, especially given the real challenges facing the Catholic Church, beginning with the sexual abuse crisis.

Nonetheless, given the skepticism and outright hostility that seemed poised to swamp the trip before it even began, if Brits at least come away seeing the pope as a nicer guy than they had been led to believe, the Vatican would probably take that and run.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI • United Kingdom

soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @CatholicMom
    Your words have blessed me, Thank you dear Lady. God be with you..I will keep my name. Off to rest like you said, may the Lords peace be with you also. Love In C-h-r-i-s-t !

    September 26, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
  2. CatholicMom

    Truthwillsetyoufree,

    I have been watching for you.
    That is too bad that you are so sick. It really feels like a waste of time, I am sure….but use this time to concentrate on the Lord and you will better appreciate this time of suffering.

    If you keep your name we will always find each other I am sure; God willing.

    Rest and get well soon!

    Yes, I see Jesus in you no matter what is said.

    I am on another site with over a 1000 comments and it is not working well for many of us…our comments are not posting in sequence and when you try to redo it, the moderation term is: ‘you have already said that!’ So don’t feel you are missing out on anything…except an additional headache!

    Go lay down now and have peace that only God can give….that is ‘heavenly peace’ that which the world cannot give…..

    September 26, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  3. Truthwillsetyoufree

    Hi CatholicMom
    I am still not up to par yet. I went to the doctors, and have an upper respiratory infection. I am on a antibiotic and another medication for coughing, how miserable! My ribs ache. I also have albuterol mist, for opening up my broncial area. This has been a tough sickness. I usually recoup fast, but this one's been a doozy!
    Hopefully, Cnn won't disable this thread, until I can come back and address your posts. Just typing this is an effort.
    In either case, I will try. Thanks for your blessings, keep me in your prayers for healing, it is much apprecaited. Despite our differences, I now we both love the lord and one another, that is the important thing! I shall keep you in my prayers as well.

    September 26, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  4. Truthwillsetyoufree

    I didn't think that was from you. I know what you mean about the broken records. Thanks for answering.
    I am going to get to your posts eventually. I am sick as of this morning with a really bad cold. Am heading to the doctors. I have a really congested chest, don't want to fool with that.
    Will get back as soon as I can,hopefully will feel better in a few days.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      I am sorry you are feeling sick. God bless you with a quick recovery!

      September 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  5. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @CatholicMom

    Ok re reading that, I suppose it could be Tony's post. Makes me feel better,lol. I do respect you and your thoughts, although I may strongly disagree with alot of them.
    If Tony did say this, I think he owes whomever he was addressing, an apology. No need to call names, just because we disagree!

    September 23, 2010 at 8:31 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Truthwillsetyoufree,

      Those were not my words.......

      Anyone who has to resort to name calling has a personal problem with self-control; needless to say, everyone would love to ‘fly off the handle’ at times out of frustration and sometimes it is just poor word choices, but it would be an illogical move….that is, if anyone has experienced the full effect of such action.

      So, a long life is useful for some lessons….but then I have met those who ‘never learn’….seems their conscience has a scratch in it like an old record…when it gets to that point…..it gets hard to listen to it anymore….and they lose their audience.

      We all can get that ‘scratch’ at any time because it is the delight of the evil one who has devised many ways to break us down; however it is not a battle that has to be lost……..

      September 23, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  6. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @CatholicMom

    No, the post is addressed to Tony....the answer looks like your answering him(written in your style, minus the demeaning name calling), but when I got to the part where the idiot/heretic statement was, I found it hard to believe you would address someone that way.
    I have only known you to try to respond/debate in a decent manner, and never saw you be demeaning in them.
    I was just wondering, if you were the one that asnswered ths post? Thanks!

    September 23, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  7. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @CatholicMom

    Ok As I scrolled back to try and address some of your posts, I saw this...I do not believe you wrote this?

    Tony

    It's obvious you don't know Church history. The Catholic Church with the Bishops in the 300s put together the Bible. Prior to the Bible everything was handed down by word of mouth. As confusion set it, which is bound to happen, the Church stepped in to define what are the real books of the Bible. Sorta like you and Protestants. The Church often needs to stop in to define things. Not because its a new teaching but because idiots and heretics like you are confused. It wasn't until Martin Luther that the Bible as he knew was picked apart. In fact, he was going to remove Revelation but his counterparts told him not to. Every book, aside from the HERETICS, had the correct books.

    September 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS IS FROM YOU BECAUSE OF ONE SENTENCE, HERE IT IS:
    Not because its a new teaching but because idiots and heretics like you are confused
    i HAVE NEVER KNOWN YOU TO BE DEGRADING LIKE THIS...pLEASE SAY YOU DID NOT WRITE THIS? :(

    September 22, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Truthwillsetyoufree,
      You are writing to me, I think, but it is not my post you read…I think Tony is the one you want to direct your post to….right?

      September 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
    • Tony

      Sorry, it's true. I did say it. Jesus did call people dumb and blind. I did the same thing although it probably could have be stated differently. It was not to be taken as a derogatory – rather taken literally:

      DIctionary: Idiot
      2. a foolish or senseless person

      September 23, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  8. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @CatholicMom
    I am off to have dinner, but will read your post tonite and answer. Looks like you got a nice long one to post finally! :)

    September 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  9. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @Tony
    I am not an athiest, but I am with CatholicMom on this one. All people have souls, lol, wether we like it or not. I actually care about my soul. Man is made up of mind,body and soul. We do matter. Its just that sometimes a man decides to forego his soul, because his mind tells him its not logical, based on scientific proof. I disagree. God created us all.
    .

    September 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Truthwillsetyoufree,
      What scientic proof is there that we have no soul?

      September 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Catholicmom: Sorry, I must throw the "LOGIC FOUL" flag on this one. One does not present evidence to disprove a claim that has not been proved. Those who make a claim that a soul exists must provide evidence to verify it. One can examine the evidence and test the results to either verify or debunk the claim based on the evidence. All belief aside, you cannot side step logical process and expect your claims to be taken seriously by reasonable readers. 10 yard penalty and repeat first down!

      September 22, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Sorry, Eric G, what is logical to one may not be logical to another thus they will just have to learn how to live side by side.

      September 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Catholicmom: Logic is not open to interpretation. Logic just is. Kind of like math. I can suggest some references for you to study logic if you like. It may help in your understanding and tolerence of others.

      September 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Eric G,
      Perhaps I could be more tolerant and ac'cepting of persons who do things that I feel they should know better than to do them….maybe look the other way…. or pretend it is okay…so to achieve this I will pursue the virtue of kindness cou’pled with understanding as I see the cir’cu'mstances and use my conscience to seek the good and just action to take and perhaps it will lead to greater tolerance. Thank you for your of’fer; but I will be busy reading my Catholic literature as it is the logical thing for me to read at this point in my life. If I had started earlier, I wouldn’t be so far behind. Thanks for your patience should you care to give me any….

      September 22, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Tony

      @Eric G.
      Lets examine the logic of that question. You want tangible proof for something that is pure spirit. That's like asking an apple to prove it's a lemon. Youre asking for something that doesn't have any physical qualities. If it could be measure it wouldn't be a spirit anymore – der!

      September 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Tony,
      Believe it or not, there are people who do not believe in spirituality. If they cannot see it, touch it, smell it, or hear it, they do not believe it exists; I think that is how it is with them; but however they think about it…it has nothing to do with God. I don’t know how they understand their consciences or feelings inside their heart…. ‘love’, ‘hate’, ‘disappointment’, ‘sadness’, ‘grief’, ‘joy’….those sorts of things….but they seem ‘satisfied’ or even ‘happy’ with not knowing where this comes from. They say they are just ‘compelled’ to do good rather than evil as it is ‘logical’.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Tony

      To do good or evil or to be inclined to do good has no logical conclusion when all we are is matter (or whatever the smallest particle they'll discover tomorrow known to man is) that will simply turn into another form of matter. Self preservation in the interest of preserving ones being doesn't make any sense if you believe were just some small matter that always existed. What's there to preserve but your self???

      September 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
    • Tony

      Self Preservation only has a logical conclusion when you use religious point of view. Other than that, self-preservation shouldn't really matter when matter has always existed and you are simply a degenerate organism heading towards entropy.

      September 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  10. Tony

    @Truth
    If you're an Atheist, what difference does it make if you blow your brains out today? Your body will simply decay into another form of matter and the universe will just go on. Who cares if your family feels the hurt. It's just chemicals responsible for the pain you feel in your brain – nothing more. In fact, your life won't even measure a blip in the entire time-line of the universe. You don't matter. The whole world doesnt matter. Poor people and murdered people dont matter. Were just matter and the universe will go on.

    September 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Tony,
      What are you suggesting....that atheist's don't have a soul? Everyone is a child of God...it is from God that we have life. The body is the temple of the soul....God gives us life and only He should decide when this life is over. Taking your own life is an insult to the One who gave you the gift of life.

      September 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • Tony

      @CatholicMom

      I personally believe everyone has a soul. The point is – atheists don't believe people have souls are we're just a collection of chance atoms. So if were just a collection of atoms, and our feelings are just a collection of chance atoms (formed to create chemicals to create feelings in the brain) then what difference does it make if people kill one another? What difference does it make if there's justice is the world. Justice and love are just man made concepts – right Atheists?

      September 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • Kate

      @Tony

      You can't really speak authoritatively on biochemical processes until you learn what a quantum is, but in the interests of short circuiting your inane babble, I'll simply say this: Stop trying to confuse soul with sentience.

      No matter how confused you are anyways to begin with.

      Just educatin'

      September 22, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • Tony

      @Kate
      I can learn all there is this world has to offer and it probably wouldn't suffice as a good enough answer for you.

      Kate,

      Why aren't you able to answer my question about where did quantum came from?

      September 23, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  11. Truthwillsetyoufree

    Jesus looks at your heat intent ..I meant "HEART" intent above

    September 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Truthwillsetyoufree,

      It feels that we are back at square one, doesn’t it. You seem to get everything posted so I will try again….

      You said, ‘I get fustrated, because no matter how may scriptures I give you,….’

      All I can say about this is… you go by your interpretation of the Bible and I go by the interpretation the Church espouses because She is the pillar and foundation of Truth. We will leave that as it is. If you think that when Jesus told US that He would send the Paraclete to guide and guard US [which is the Holy Spirit] you are wrong….He told the Apostles, not US. He told them to go out to all nations to preach what He had told them AND to Baptize everyone. It is through Baptism, initially, that you and I receive the Holy Spirit and become a member of the Body of Christ, the mystical Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head. He wills all to be members. There are those who do their will and say that all they have to do to receive the Holy Spirit is ask Him to come into their heart. That is following man’s way….which is not the Way Jesus Christ inst!tuted His coming to us. Just think about it….why would He want everyone Baptized?
      Once you are Baptized you receive the Holy Spirit. Can you lose His presence in your soul…which is immortal? Yes, sin drives out the Holy Spirit. He cannot remain in an unclean vessel. Repent of your sins and be restored. Yes, the blood of Christ is what made it possible that all may have life-everlasting…but this does not mean that you can now go off on your own and do as you please… "If a man loves me," says the Lord, "he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him".

      Speaking of unclean vessels….Mary was made clean [saved by Jesus Christ] at the moment of her conception to be the pure vessel [or tabernacle] which would house the Bread of Life come down from Heaven. Yes, her soul magnifies the Lord….what does magnify mean….made so all can see Him more clearly…it is through her that He becomes more clear to us. Now, again, this is Holy Scripture, and if it says Mary’s soul magnifies the Lord, I will believe it and the Church which is the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth [not the Bible] says that is what those verses mean, I believe. How do we know this is true? Because Jesus Christ said that He would bring the Apostles into all Truth AS they can bear it. This is one of the Truths revealed to us through the Pope, from the line of succession of Popes. How else would the world receive these truths?

      You say we ARE ALL ONE in Jesus Christ; no, not everyone is…that is Jesus’ prayer that we all be One in Him but there are many who are not. The mercy of the Lord covers all; when we adhere to His commandments in everything [including Baptism]…not picking and choosing which to follow and which to dismiss because they don’t fit with one’s thinking…then we are One with Him; for those who die without hearing the Good News, we believe that God has mercy for these souls who follow Him by the Truth which has been set in their hearts. We do know that once we know the Truth and reject it, that is a totally different thing….We also know that God is Merciful and JUST. Once we hear the Truth, we choose….that is freewill.

      It was the Church that defined The Holy Trinity: In order to articulate the dogma of the Trinity, the Church had to develop its own terminology with the help of certain notions of philosophical origin: "substance," "person" or "hypostasis," "relation," and so on. In doing this, she did not submit the faith to human wisdom, but gave a new and unprecedented meaning to these terms, which from then on would be used to signify an ineffable mystery, "infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand." I know you are ‘down’ on the word ‘mystery’ so if you are the one who can definitively explain the Trinity so that our human creature mind can fully understand ‘how this can be’…then tell the world! If you don’t like the Church defining the Truths of the Bible, it is your freewill to be able to reject it. Christians who are not Catholic rely on the Catholic Church for much of what they take for ‘granted’ and woe to the one who says, ‘That is not found in the Bible’… because this is how the Holy Spirit promised to keep us in the fullness of Truth….through His Church.

      You don’t seem to like the use of ‘fullness of Faith or Truth’ because it sounds like other Christians only have some…well, it is true…some have a little of it; they believe just parts but not all. If you take part of the Bible and hold it dear to your heart but reject other parts…how can you say you have it fully? Now I know you said you believe in the Trinity but I can see you have no love towards the Church for having defined it for you….is that some part of pride or what…that you cannot own up to giving recognition to the Truth or where you got it? The same thought goes to the Bible…you carry the Bible [the parts, not the full] and scorn the Church that has the full and from which you took your parts.

      You said, ‘Everything you quote at me from what God said,etc., I am already aware of.’ Then if you are aware, you should not be so down on the Catholic Church from which any Truth you have came from Her. Anything that you have stated that is contrary to the Bible is all that I have disputed. The Word is there…it is the individual interpretations that are scattered in the 35,000 ecclesial communities that I am disputing; your interpretation [or the anti-Catholic ones you follow] are just part of the 35,000 different paths that people are on. I think anyone who takes the Bible from the Church that has the promise of the Holy Spirit to guard and guide it and to bring His Apostles and their successors into remembrance of what He said, and the promise to bring them into the fullness of Truth as they can bear it… if that person leaves all of that to strike out on their own, they are no different than the foolish maidens without enough oil for their lamps.

      You said, ‘praying to the dead, which is contrary to scripture’; Our God is God of the living. The dead are lost. Once a member of the Body of Christ, you are living in Him. Is He dead? No! As a family we can ask ANY member to intercede for us. Do you never pray intercessory prayers for anyone….do you only pray for yourself? Do you pray? When a member passes from this life into eternal life, if they were a member of Christ’s body, they are not cut off as a branch is cut off the vine as one which produces no fruit or bad fruit. God will recognize members of His body. Of course, we are not to pray to the dead for any reason because our prayers cannot help them anyway, plus to ask them for favors would be playing into the hands of the evil one…what would you be asking for….to learn what the future holds…how you can get back at someone you hate…how to make yourself rich? To talk to or to try to conjure up these evil spirits is a sin.

      You said, ‘1950 when Pope Pius XII proclaimed that her body had seen no corruption but had been taken to heaven. You were talking about Mary….This is another ‘fullness of Truth’ from the Holy Spirit to His Church and Apostolic Successor of Peter, the Pope. Do you honestly think that Elijah, probably the greatest prophet, could be taken up, body and soul, but not the Mother of God? Why would Jesus not assume His Mother’s body and soul to live with Him for all of eternity since we know He could do this if He wanted to. Our human creature mind can tell us what He did for Elijah He would surely do for His Mother.

      You said, ‘How can I therefore, stay in a religion or belief system, that depends on the leaders of that church to "interpet" Gods words for me? Where do you propose to go….to an ecclesial community that has no authority to interpret the Bible or stay home and interpret it yourself? The Holy Spirit did not authorize anyone else but the Church He founded to interpret His Word.

      You said, ‘I see the Rcc as an inst-i-t-ution, that has taken what Jesus said, and twisted it to meet with thier own agendas.’ Then which of the 35,000 ecclesial communities has twisted the Bible back to being the Truth? Or if you don’t trust them, was it you?

      You said, ‘The RCC is giving people false hope they can be saved after they die..which is simply a lie.’ You are listening to anti-Catholic spewings about things which they are not good at explaining….go to the source to learn about Purgatory. Do you think everyone at the moment of death is as pure a vessel as can be? If you died this minute, do you think there may be a blemish somewhere on your soul…maybe you told someone she was as pretty as can be when you know you really meant the opposite, or that you might not have full love for your neighbor because he paid his house off and you may lose yours…a little jealousy there instead of absolute gracious love and happiness for the blessings bestowed upon them….how do you reconcile those things with ‘be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect’, ‘strive for that holiness without which one will not see God’, ‘account for every idle word on judgment day’, and[1Cor 3:15] ‘you will suffer loss, but will be saved as through fire’, or, [Rev 21:27] nothing unclean shall enter heaven.
      The Church, just like when they formulated the Trinity, formulated this purgation period because of gaining the fullness of Truth as the Holy Spirit promised the Apostles and their successors. When you go before God, you will either go to Heaven or Hell that is it….being cleansed, if necessary, on the way to Heaven is a gift. We may think ourselves perfect but as the Bible says..[Roman 7:19] For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. These are the venial sins which causes Jesus Christ to turn His face away from us; the fires of purification [Purgatory] may cleanse them; but mortal sins are those that send us on our way to Hell upon judgment. We know that there are sin that can be forgiven in this age and sin that can be forgiven in the age to come and there is sin that cannot be forgiven in the age to come. [1 john 5:16-17] tells of differing degrees of sin…

      So that you have an understanding of Indulgences….The Church tells us that ‘Christ himself is at work in the liturgy, so that the action of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, participates in the saving act of Christ as priest. ‘ The Priest, in Persona Christi, along with those who are part of the body of Christ have an active part in the saving grace of the Liturgy/Mass. The Second Vatican Council pointed out that the spiritual life “is not limited solely to participation in the liturgy….and according to the teachings of the Apostle, the Christian must pray without ceasing.” An indulgence is a special devotion whereby God grants the prayer of the Church that the temporal penalty for sin due to someone be reduced (or possibly eliminated). By God's grace, participation in a prayer or action that has an indulgence attached to it brings about the necessary restoration and reparation without the suffering that would normally accompany it. The granting of an indulgence by the Church is "the expression of the Church's full confidence of being heard by the Father when—in view of Christ's merits and, by his gift, those of Our Lady and the saints—the Church asks Him to mitigate or cancel the painful aspect of punishment by fostering its medicinal aspect through other channels of grace. This is the beauty of the Communion of Saints which the Church is ever thankful to God for this blessing and for His grace that flows from it.

      I can understand how someone who says they are already saved and guaranteed heaven, and whose sins are not counted as sin anymore could feels they do not need prayers, grace, or anything, but I cannot understand where that notion comes from… if they heard the Word of God. The Bible is a big, thick book with tiny writing….how could it all be dismissed….and say very little of it is any concern anymore because I am covered in the blood of Jesus? Yes, Jesus’ blood was shed so that we might have life-everlasting; but now you no longer need His Church, His Sacraments filled with grace, the hearing of the Gospel by an ordained priest who has been SENT…., none of it, because you are saved? Jesus did not come to save the righteous but sinners….. and He has the final Word.

      September 22, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  12. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @CatholicMom

    CatholicMom

    Truthwillsetyoufree,

    You asked….
    ‘Whats to say people can't branch off and remain faithful servants of God, as long as they do as he commands?’

    Branching off goes against Jesus Christ’s prayer that we all be One in Him. He calls us His friends IF we do what He commands. Branching off is doing ‘as I see it,’ not as Jesus Christ commanded. He said there is One Fold, One Shepherd, One Path, One Life, One Truth, One Way. Not 35,000.

    I know you are angry at me for saying the things I write; they are not my commandments….these are not my sayings…. I have to adhere to them, too, you know.

    Some people think it is a cross to bear to follow Christ….it is not….it is freedom from burden, it is a light yoke….. It only becomes a heavy cross when you see people wandering in all directions and it seems there is nothing one can do to help them

    CatholicMom,
    I am not "mad" at you for anything. If anything I get fustrated, because no matter how may scriptures I give you, or how many writings by other Christians (which you seem to attack if they are not of theRCC) I cannot penetrate that wall you have built around yourself and the dicietful practices that the RCC is using on its people to keep them in darkness. Everything you quote at me from what God said,etc., I am already aware of. Its just that you take off on that same path, its the Rcc or nothing.

    We are all one in him, by doing wha he says. Difference is, you again, insist if your not Catholic, your not of Christ. I assume then that makes God a liar.
    If a person accepts Jesus as his personal savior, is Baptised and believes on the Lord, it is thru his grace we are saved. Jesus said he will send the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.
    You are saying its not so. If I am convicted by the Holy Spirit, because my reading (and praying as I do this) his word, shows me I am not to do certain things (ie, praying to the dead, which is contrary to scripture) you say I am wrong. How can I therefore, stay in a religion or belief system, that depends on the leaders of that church to "interpet" Gods words for me?
    We are told to seek his word and learn from it.
    So, I see nothing wrong with obeying Gods words, and his guidance. I am sure the people who are one with Christ, left the Rcc because it CONFLICTED with what God instructs from his holy words.
    I see the Rcc as an inst-i-t-ution, that has taken what Jesus said, and twisted it to meet with thier own agendas.

    We are told not to seek the dead.
    We are told not to bow down to statues..(You can say you don't, but go google some Virgin Mary "appearances" and you will see that.
    We are told there is one mediator (not just for his sacrifice) between God and man. If we are sending requests to God thru prayer for healing, or whatever, he says he is the ONLY way. He does not say, PRAY to dead Saints...go to Mary, etc.
    Regarding Mary, Jesus mother:

    Mary, while to be respected, was a sinner. She said so here:
    God bestowed a great blessing on Mary by choosing her to give birth to the Son of God. Mary later went to visit her relative Elizabeth, who “spoke out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!’” (Luke 1:42). Yet Mary remained humble, as can be seen by her song, recorded in Luke 1:46–55. It begins, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (verses 46–47, emphasis added).

    •Mary acknowledged that, like all human beings who have sinned (Romans 3:23), she needed a Savior.

    •She said God, her Savior, had “regarded the lowly state of His maidservant” (verse 48)
    .
    The idea of Mary as a sinless and holy mother figure, exempt from the penalty of death, culminated in 1950 when Pope Pius XII proclaimed that her body had seen no corruption but had been taken to heaven. At the heart of such a belief is the teaching that the soul is immortal. A careful reading of the Scriptures, however, reveals that the soul is mortal and is not conscious after death (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10).

    The apostle Paul said that “the dead in C-h-r-i-s-t” are “asleep” in the grave waiting for the resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13–17).

    •There is no scripture that even suggests that Mary was an exception—that she was “assumed into heaven.” Based on the Bible, she remains dead until the resurrection.

    And then there is the Marian devotion , google and read.

    We are told Salvation comes thru Jesus. Why then, does the Catholic Church try to PRAY people out of Purgatory (which is another untruth, where is that at?) When we die, we are dead. There is a ton of scripture that supports this. The RCC is giving people false hope they can be saved after they die..which is simply a lie.

    And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment> Hebrews 9:27

    2 Peter 3:9
    says that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
    According to your method of getting to Heaven (Being Catholic only), CatholicMom, then that would also mean that all those in remote places who never had the bible preached, would go to Hell! Men, women and children!

    Hence, you are passing judgments without seeing into the hearts and minds of those people,
    as well as those who left the Catholic Church, or who were never a member of it. Because you are saying there is no Salvation for those outside of Roman Catholism, thats a lie. DON'T deny the word of God and HIS promise of forgiveness. read the bible more carefully please and don't judge who will go to hell. that is GOD'S job, not yours

    Indulgences http://www.catholic.com/library/Primer_on_Indulgences.aspes

    Indulgences are part of the Church’s infallible teaching. This means that no Catholic is at liberty to disbelieve in them. The Council of Trent stated that it "condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them"(Trent, session 25, Decree on Indulgences). Trent’s anathema places indulgences in the realm of infallibly defined teaching. ,HOW UNCHRISTIAN! WHAT CONDEMNATION....DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE JESUS WOULD APPROVE OF THAT?

    Pope Paul VI said: "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful C-h-r-i-s-tian who is duly disposed gains under certain defined conditions through the Church’s help when, as a minister of redemption, she dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions won by C-h–ri-s-t and the saints" (Indulgentiarum Doctrina 1).

    What hogwash! Give us some money and we will pray you to Heaven! Also, JESUS PAID THE PRICE WITH HIS BL-O-O-D AT CALVARY. He did it 100%, no need to do anything else!

    Whats this??a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven....IF JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS, ALL OUR SINS WERE COVERED BY HIS B-L-O-O-D. This is just another man made thing of the RCC.
    I could go on and on, but chances are, you will still blindly follow man, and listen to what you THINK is the true word of God thru him.
    I am seriousy concerned for you, but the good news is, Jesus looks at your heat intent and not the outward things. I pray he sends you the Truth, as the Holy Spirit can only impart, and not that of man with all his rituals and rules, Peace!

    September 22, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  13. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @CatholicMom

    you say:
    CatholicMom

    Truthwillsetyoufree,
    In Martin Luther's case....
    There are 3 voices we can listen to....the voice of the Holy Spirit
    the voice of the evil one
    or our own voice

    It may have been Martin Luther's voice he was listening to.....but it should have been the Holy Spirit's. Maybe it wasn't his voice, or conscience, as he put it....it wasn't the Holy Spirit though.....we know because the Holy Spirit would not have started a split that has turned into more than 35,000.....that many different Truths?...no, the Holy Spirit said there is One.

    Thats kind of hypoctiical, don't you thinK? Especially when you took a vow as a Catholic that says:
    In accordance with "The Profession of Faith of the Council of Trent" (Nov. 13, 1565), all faithful Catholics must agree: "I shall never accept nor interpret it ['Holy Scripture'] otherwise than in accordance with the unanimous consent of the Fathers."

    How then do you get the Holy Spirit? He does speak thru scripture, you know.
    One of them has to tell you what the Holy Spirit said? Mayby thats what Luther did? Oh yeah, and they tried to k-i-l-l him too! Real Christian thing to do.
    Btw, how do you know that YOUR not getting the word of the evil one, as spoken thru the "Holy fathers'?
    Are not these the same "holy fathers" that are r-a-p-i-ng kids in thier bedrooms on the eve of thier confirmations? Or, is that ok because they said it was?
    I see it as "control" by the so called Holy fathers.
    Thier practices, indulgences, praying to the dead saints, veneration of Mary, praying people into purgatory, (which don't exist), thats why Luther left. Whats to say people can't branch off and remain faithful servants of God, as long as they do as he commands?
    No, the Catholic Church loses alot of money when that happens. What a cult.

    September 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Truthwillsetyoufree,

      You asked how the Holy Spirit speaks to me....

      The Holy Spirit speaks to me all day long as I go about living my life…and He also I am reminded as I read the Bible….that to fully understand what the verses mean, I must HEAR the gospel; I must HEAR the Word of the Lord preached by someone who has been SENT. As Jesus Christ was SENT by the Father…so it is that He sent the Apostles…to do what?...to preach what Jesus had TOLD them. This is Tradition. There was only the Old Testament at that time and Christians had to HEAR the Truth from those who had been SENT. This went on throughout history up to this day.

      Yes, for over 300 years the Church grew even though the Church had not compiled the Bible yet….how could that be? Through HEARing the Word by someone SENT to preach it. If someone has to be sent then someone has to do the sending. A person does not send themselves.

      Were all the Christians hearing the Word from the Original 12…no. When one went to his eternal life, another took his office through ordination…the laying on of hands….just as is done today.

      Just be reminded when you read the Bible and you come to verses that say ‘listen’, ‘hear’, or ‘I am telling you this….’ It has everything to do with listening and hearing the Word and not by just anyone…it has be by someone who has been SENT.

      The Bible does not say ‘read the Word’ of God and interpret it as you wish.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Truthwillsetyoufree,

      You asked….
      ‘Whats to say people can't branch off and remain faithful servants of God, as long as they do as he commands?’

      Branching off goes against Jesus Christ’s prayer that we all be One in Him. He calls us His friends IF we do what He commands. Branching off is doing ‘as I see it,’ not as Jesus Christ commanded. He said there is One Fold, One Shepherd, One Path, One Life, One Truth, One Way. Not 35,000.

      I know you are angry at me for saying the things I write; they are not my commandments….these are not my sayings…. I have to adhere to them, too, you know.

      Some people think it is a cross to bear to follow Christ….it is not….it is freedom from burden, it is a light yoke….. It only becomes a heavy cross when you see people wandering in all directions and it seems there is nothing one can do to help them…..

      September 22, 2010 at 12:04 am |
  14. Truthwillsetyoufree

    Continued Part 2

    Third time I tried to post after editing...!
    It is acknowledged by all, even by Catholic scholars, that there are contradictory Christian traditions. In fact, the great medieval theologian Peter Abelard noted hundreds of differences. For example, some fathers (e.g., Augustine) supported the Old Testament Apocrypha while others (e.g., Jerome) opposed it. Some great teachers (e.g., Aquinas) opposed the Immaculate Conception of Mary while others (e.g., Scotus) favored it. Indeed, some fathers opposed sola Scriptura, but others favored it.

    Now this very fact makes it impossible to trust tradition in any authoritative sense. For the question always arises: which of the contradictory traditions (teachings) should be accepted? To say, "The one pronounced authoritative by the church" begs the question, since the infallibility of tradition is a necessary link in the argument for the very doctrine of the infallible authority of the church. Thus this infallibility should be provable without appealing to the Magisterium. The fact is that there are so many contradictory traditions that tradition, as such, is rendered unreliable as an authoritative source of dogma.

    Nor does it suffice to argue that while particular fathers cannot be trusted, nonetheless, the "unanimous consent" of the fathers can be. For there is no unanimous consent of the fathers on many doctrines "infallibly" proclaimed by the Catholic church (see below). In some cases there is not even a majority consent. Thus to appeal to the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic church to settle the issue begs the question.

    The Catholic response to this is that just as the bride recognizes the voice of her husband in a crowd, even so the church recognizes the voice of her Husband in deciding which tradition is authentic. The analogy, however, is faulty. First, it assumes (without proof) that there is some divinely appointed postapostolic way to decide — extrabiblically — which traditions were from God.

    September 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Exceptionally well said. Unfortunately, you seem to be someone who is searching for the truth, and you are speaking to Catholicmom, who thinks she knows the truth. That is the fundamental difference. Science has evidence, but makes no absolute claims. Believers make absolute claims with no evidence.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Truthwillsetyoufree,

      You said, ‘Inde-ed, some fathers op-posed sola Script-ura, but others favored it. Now you are quoting Norman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie. So if you are following them, then you must be able to provide the historical doc-ument showing which Church Fathers favored it. How many Church Fathers were living in Martin Luther’s day?

      September 21, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Truthwillsetyoufree,

      You stated [verse 16] that all Scripture is inspired by GOD and is useful for teaching, reproving, and instructing in justice. That is fine. But, please note that all this verse says is that Scripture is useful, and in no way does it say, or even ins!nuate, that it is the only useful tool for teaching. This one observation of this one verse is sufficient to destroy the false doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

      Paul said, "ALL Scripture is insp!red by God...". Just what Scripture did Paul have at the time? The only Scripture available to Paul was the Old Testament in either of two forms….. the Hebrew, or the Greek Septuagint. Scholars agree that the Septuagint was the most quoted in the N.T., and it had all of the books including those which Protestants rejected during the reformation. This then puts SS believers in the difficult position of having to accept the "Deuterocanonicals" (called "Apocrypha by them"), which were in the Septuagint which Greek speaking Jews, including Saint Paul used.

      Martin Luther almost 1500 years later rejected, Wisdom, Sirach, Judith, Tobit, Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. Since those two translations were the only ones available to Paul, and he did say all Scripture was insp!red by God, then those seven books had to have been insp!red by God also, were they not? If so, then who would have the authority to remove them? Do you remember what the Bible said about adding to, or removing from the Word of God,…. and what would happen to those who did it?

      Obviously, Sola Scriptura believers cannot use 2Timothy 3:16-17 without throwing out all of the New Testament, and they would have to accept all seven Deuterocanonical books as being insp!red.

      Once again, since Paul said all Scripture was insp!red, do you feel this remark was meant for all future Scripture from his time also? It obviously could not, as Paul would not make such a blanket statement about future writings, with his not knowing their content.

      If you still ins!st that ALL Scripture is insp!red, then, please, tell me why the Gospels of Peter, Thomas, James, Matthias, Barnabas, Bartholomew, and Andrew, or the Acts of Peter, Paul, and Philip are not in your Bible?

      If you insist on believing it does cover future writings, then you would have to admit that the hundreds (250-300) of books, that were rejected as not insp!red, are in fact insp!red, simply because Paul said so. By the way, who do you think rejected these many uninsp!red books, and retained the books you now have in your Bible?

      September 21, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    • Tony

      It's obvious you don't know Church history. The Catholic Church with the Bishops in the 300s put together the Bible. Prior to the Bible everything was handed down by word of mouth. As confusion set it, which is bound to happen, the Church stepped in to define what are the real books of the Bible. Sorta like you and Protestants. The Church often needs to stop in to define things. Not because its a new teaching but because idiots and heretics like you are confused. It wasn't until Martin Luther that the Bible as he knew was picked apart. In fact, he was going to remove Revelation but his counterparts told him not to. Every book, aside from the HERETICS, had the correct books.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  15. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @CatholicMom
    You say:

    CatholicMom

    Truthwillsetyoufree,

    So in light of the above statements, you can see how, all due to Martin Luther, the splits began happening and are happening still today. It was most alarming to him because as soon as Luther separated from the Catholic Church in 1521, immediately there were squabbles between him, Zwingli, his fellow reformer from Switzerland, and Thomas Munzer. In that same year, Munzer broke away and formed the Anabaptists. John Calvin separated in 1536 and formed Calvinism. John Knox parted company and formed the Presbyterians in 1560. John Smith started the Baptists in 1609, and John and Charles Wesley started Methodism in 1739. From the moment they separated themselves from the Catholic Church, Protestantism lost their ability to properly interprete the Bible. They lost the Papacy and the Magisterium, and they lost all of the authority given to those two offices by GOD Himself.

    Lets look at:
    From the moment they separated themselves from the Catholic Church, Protestantism lost their ability to properly interprete the Bible. They lost the Papacy and the Magisterium, and they lost all of the authority given to those two offices by GOD Himself.

    That is a lie. The Protestant did not lose thier "ability" to properly interpet the bible, nor the rest..
    I will prove it.

    This is why YOU believe what you wrote above:
    The Council of Trent emphatically proclaimed that the Bible alone is not sufficient for faith and morals. God has ordained tradition in addition to the Bible to faithfully guide the church.

    Infallible guidance in interpreting the Bible comes from the church. One of the criteria used to determine this is the "unanimous consent of the Fathers. In accordance with "The Profession of Faith of the Council of Trent" (Nov. 13, 1565), all faithful Catholics must agree: "I shall never accept nor interpret it ['Holy Scripture'] otherwise than in accordance with the unanimous consent of the Fathers."

    Hmmm, see, they don't want YOU to read Gods word or you will find out that:

    the Bible does teach implicitly and logically, if not formally and explicitly, that the Bible alone is the only infallible basis for faith and practice. This it does in a number of ways. One, the fact that Scripture, without tradition, is said to be "God-breathed" (theopnuestos) and thus by it believers are "competent, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, emphasis added) supports the doctrine of sola Scriptura. This flies in the face of the Catholic claim that the Bible is formally insufficient without the aid of tradition. St. Paul declares that the God-breathed writings are sufficient. And contrary to some Catholic apologists, limiting this to only the Old Testament will not help the Catholic cause for two reasons: first, the New Testament is also called "Scripture" (2 Pet. 3:15-16; 1 Tim. 5:18; cf. Luke 10:7); second, it is inconsistent to argue that God-breathed writings in the Old Testament are sufficient, but the inspired writings of the New Testament are not.

    Further, Jesus and the apostles constantly appealed to the Bible as the final court of appeal. This they often did by the introductory phrase, "It is written," which is repeated some 90 times in the New Testament. Jesus used this phrase three times when appealing to Scripture as the final authority in His dispute with Satan (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10).

    Of course, Jesus (Matt. 5:22, 28, 31; 28:18) and the apostles (1 Cor. 5:3; 7:12) sometimes referred to their own God-given authority. It begs the question, however, for Roman Catholics to claim that this supports their belief that the church of Rome still has infallible authority outside the Bible today. For even they admit that no new revelation is being given today, as it was in apostolic times. In other words, the only reason Jesus and the apostles could appeal to an authority outside the Bible was that God was still giving normative (i.e., standard-setting) revelation for the faith and morals of believers. This revelation was often first communicated orally before it was finally committed to writing (e.g., 2 Thess. 2:5). Therefore, it is not legitimate to appeal to any oral revelation in New Testament times as proof that nonbiblical infallible authority is in existence today.

    What is more, Jesus made it clear that the Bible was in a class of its own, exalted above all tradition. He rebuked the Pharisees for not accepting sola Scriptura and negating the final authority of the Word of God by their religious tradi-tions, saying, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?...You have nul-l-if-ied the word of God, for the sake of your tradition" (Matt. 15:3, 6).

    CONTINUED..SEE PART 2

    September 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm |
  16. Truthwillsetyoufree

    @CatholicMom

    You stated:
    However you failed to explain what do you do when you come to a part in the Bible you don’t quite understand…it could mean ‘this’ but it could mean ‘that’…that’s the problem. Even the Bible tells you there are things that are hard for us to understand..
    2 Peter 16-17
    16 ‘.....In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures.
    17 Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability.

    The Bible is a Catholic Book, don’t fool yourself into thinking otherwise…even Martin Luther conceded that without the Papists there would be no Bible.

    ‘The Bible says everything’ is not within the pages of the Bible…. "Many other signs also Jesus worked in the sight of His disciples, WHICH ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of GOD, and that believing you may have life in His Name." John 20:30-31
    "There are, however, many other things that Jesus did; but if every one of these should be written, NOT EVEN THE WORLD ITSELF, I THINK, COULD HOLD THE BOOKS THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE WRITTEN." John 21:25

    Obviously Holy Scripture has said very clearly, that everything is NOT in Holy Scripture.

    First part....you quoted 2 Peter V16-17
    Please understand this is speaking of FALSE TEACHERS...

    2:10 Who are the "dignities"(KJV) to whom Peter refers here?
    Opinions vary among bible scholars as to what or whom Peter is referring here. The KJV call them "dignities". The NIV "celestial beings", and other versions the "glorious ones, the glorious beings above", and the "glories of the unseen world". Vines expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words defines dignities as "angelic powers, in respect of their state as commanding recognition". However, the Greek root word doxa is a general term that could include angels or men who have been vested with governmental authority by God. This includes church leaders. Therefore, the most likely explanation of what Peter says is that those in authority in the church had been slandered and abused by the false teachers. The parallel passage in Jude also bears this out (CP Jude 8).

    The general sense of both Peter and Jude's charges against the false teachers is that they slander and abuse those whom God has set over them in the church and openly scorn God's authority over human ethical behaviour. Yet the angels, who are superior in power and might to the false teachers, do not speak reproachfully of them before God. (Remember, angels are witnesses to all that happens in the church. They are being taught the manifold wisdom of God by the church and observe believers constantly (CP 1Cor 4:9; 11:4-10; Eph 3:9-11; 1Ti 5:21; 1Pe 1:10-12)).

    Both Peter and Jude contrast the shameful behaviour of the false teachers to the humble restraint displayed by the angels (CP 2Pe 2:11-12; Jude 9-10). See also comments on 1Cor 11:3-16, Eph 3:9-12, 1Pe 1:10-12.

    Next, The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

    We know that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible declares itself to be God-breathed, inerrant, and authoritative. We also know that God does not change His mind or contradict Himself. So, while the Bible itself may not explicitly argue for sola scriptura, it most definitely does not allow for traditions that contradict its message. Sola scriptura is not as much of an argument against tradition as it is an argument against unbiblical, extra-biblical and/or anti-biblical doctrines. The only way to know for sure what God expects of us is to stay true to what we know He has revealed—the Bible. We can know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Scripture is true, authoritative, and reliable. The same cannot be said of tradition

    YOU QUOTED:
    ‘The Bible says everything’ is not within the pages of the Bible…. "Many other signs also Jesus worked in the sight of His disciples, WHICH ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the C-h-r-i-s-t, the Son of GOD, and that believing you may have life in His Name." John 20:30-31

    Note that the beginning sentence "Which are not written" (the many other signs infers that some of the signs were, so mayby it was not important to include them all) Second part says But these ARE written..
    which only makes a point that the things needed were written there. I fail to see how you can use this to just-ify your argument.

    Martin Luther:
    Sola scriptura was the rallying cry of the Protestant Reformation. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church had made its traditions superior in authority to the Bible. This resulted in many practices that were in fact contradictory to the Bible. Some examples are prayer to saints and/or Mary, the im-maculate c-o-n-ception, tran-s-ub-stant-iation, infant baptism, indulgences, and papal authority. Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church and father of the Protestant Reformation, was publicly rebuking the Catholic Church for its unbiblical teachings. The Catholic Church threatened Martin Luther with excommunication (and death) if he did not recant. Martin Luther's reply was, “Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the Word of God, I cannot and will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me! Amen!”

    September 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Truthwillsetyoufree,
      In Martin Luther's case....
      There are 3 voices we can listen to....the voice of the Holy Spirit
      the voice of the evil one
      or our own voice

      It may have been Martin Luther's voice he was listening to.....but it should have been the Holy Spirit's. Maybe it wasn't his voice, or conscience, as he put it....it wasn't the Holy Spirit though.....we know because the Holy Spirit would not have started a split that has turned into more than 35,000.....that many different Truths?...no, the Holy Spirit said there is One.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.