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Vatican issues warning for new Confession app
The Vatican says the app is not meant to replace Confession.
February 9th, 2011
04:38 PM ET

Vatican issues warning for new Confession app

By Hada Messia and Dan Gilgoff, CNN

Rome, Italy (CNN) - Yes, the Roman Catholic Church still supports the new app designed to help Catholics make confession. To a point.

The Vatican qualified its support for "Confession: A Roman Catholic App,” on Wednesday, a day after the program’s developer announced it was the first app to have official church sanction.

“It is essential to understand well the sacrament of penitence requires the personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor and the absolution by the confessor,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters on Wednesday. “This cannot in any way be substituted by a technology application.”

“One cannot talk in any way about a ‘confession via iPhone,’ ” Lombardi said.

The app’s developer, Little iApps, created Confession in consultation with two Catholic priests, one of them an official with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

And it has been given the blessing of Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend, Indiana, marking the Catholic Church's first known imprimatur on a mobile app.

The app’s developer said Wednesday that he welcomed the Vatican’s warning about Confession.

“The app we created is supposed to be used in the actual confessional,” said Patrick Leinen, co-founder of Little iApps. “This is an aid to confession and in no way, shape or form a replacement.”

The app has three parts.

The first is an examination of conscience that's designed to help Catholics prepare for confession before stepping into the confessional, “so you don’t walk in and just start making up sins off the top of your head,” Leinen said.

The second part features step-by-step instructions for what to do inside the confessional.

The last part is a space to record any absolution or penance from the priest.

The Vatican’s Lombardi implied some support for the app on Wednesday. “One cannot exclude that someone can - in preparation for the confession - reflect with the help of digital instrument, as in the past one did it with the help of the written word on paper,” he said.

Leinen said that he was surprised his app had provoked a Vatican response but that he was grateful for it.

“There just seems to be some confusion,” Leinen said. “Some people think they will be e-mailing their confession in and that’s just not how it’s going to be used.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Technology

soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Pointless1

    I wonder if Jesus is with ATT or Verizon now?

    February 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  2. Someone

    Why cant they simply pray for God to forgive ur sins? that easy, Why confess to a priest. I dont think a priest will make God forgive u. He will judge you only.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • voice of reason

      The Bible teaches to confess sins to man. Additionally, Christ gave his Apostles the right to retain and forgive sins and have say on Earth and in Heaven. Today, through Apostolic Succession it is priests who have this ability given to them by Christ.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Religious sects

      Most likely because the Catholic church recognizes the importance of having a person confess to a person. Airing your most intimate secrets (sins) directly to another human is more cleansing than if you confess to a God, that in truth, few actually honestly truely believe exists anyway.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Someone,

      The Bible teaches us to ‘confess your sins to one another’. James 5:16

      The priest stands in for Christ as in persona Christ…so that Christ can continue His High Priesthood;…once a priest always a priest;….how was Jesus to fulfill that commission about priesthood if He had not established the priesthood here on earth?

      Matthew 18:18 explains that whatever is held bound or loose on earth…so it will be in Heaven…this is the authority Jesus Christ bestowed upon His Apostles and their successors.

      2Cor 5:17-20 explains the given ministry of reconciliation.

      You should confess to someone who has been SENT by Jesus Christ [not just any minister or person]. Jesus Christ was SENT by the Father with power and authority and He said that as He was sent so it is that He is sending His Apostles.

      February 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  3. duh

    Don't be fooled! It's so Steve Jobs or the government can see who was naughty, then they sell the data to Santa Claus.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  4. dike

    Now if this app called your spouse and leaves the confession in the mail box the sin rate will come down.... I am sure Jesus will be OK with that...

    February 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  5. America is agnostic

    Doug, are you angry because Abby's opinion disagrees with your "truth"? IF you catholics actually believed what you preached, you wouldn't have to worry about others. Worry about yourself, and if you keep invading other people's lives, then don't be hypocrites about it. People like you make me sick, but that's life.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • LiberateUs

      Yeah, and I'm sure you're any better than we are (sarcasm)

      February 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • America is agnostic

      Did I say I was? I'm not the one being a ridiculous hypocrite, and your post only strengthens my argument. Step down off your high horse and take a good look at reality. If you need a religion to help you live a moral life, fine. Don't tell me I need one though. People like are seriously out to lunch, and it's disturbing. Judging everyone else but yourself. Get over yourself and get on with your life. Atheists live moral lives without the threat of eternal damnation. What does that say about you? You need a threat of epic proportions, just to live a decent life. It's disgusting... and born-agains are the worst. Don't judge others. Follow your religion, instead of talking about it all the time.

      "Religion is based . . . mainly on fear . . . fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race." [Bertrand Russell]

      February 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Lulu

      AIA – It's not 'fear' that keeps the faithful thus, it's hope, love and wonder. Our morality is founded in secular principles – which we believe are formed in us all by a Higher Being. We don't need religion to lead a more moral life, but it does help us lead a richer one (in our eyes, not in yours).

      February 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • America is agnostic

      Lulu, "It's not 'fear' that keeps the faithful thus, it's hope, love and wonder."

      Oh it's fear alright. Why do you think so many agnostics turn to religion when dying? Humans are afraid of the end, the unknown, and most of all, the possibility of eternity in h3ll. It's human nature to ask questions. It's human nature to fear what is unknown. It's religion that has exploited this and over time it became accepted. Religion is responsible for human complacency in these realms and therefore is slowing down the progress of mankind. Religion has no proof of the unknown but has brainwashed you and so many others like you into believing it has the answers. This is a dangerous path and there's a reason it is met with such hostility. Faith leads to a complacency that quite possibly could mean the demise of the human race. If anything, your faith is responsible for more pain and death than any ideology in human history. Religion has no place outside the hearts of its followers. Sadly, it has become so mainstream that laws and regulations in a country like the United States are based on it.

      February 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  6. There Are No Gods!

    do people not see how completely ridiculous this whole religion thing is? Can you people who are believe in this non-sense not see how just made up and fake this whole notion of gods and jesus is? Why do people believe in these sort of lies? It just makes my head spin to hear priests or anyone talk about the rules of religion and how they apply to the human spirit? Spirit? Another thing that just makes no sense to me. Its all a load of bs! There are no gods and jesus is a lie!

    February 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • LiberateUs

      Why do you feel the need to tear others down? INTOLERANCE IS A MENTAL DISORDER

      February 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Fast Fred

      I happen to know there is a god......Steve Jobs.

      February 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • There Are No Gods!

      Intolerance of lies for example your religion is necessary. Belief in things that are not really there convincing people to destroy one another based on these beliefs is a mental disorder. Obviously you can not comprehend this as you are infected by the lies. Wish I knew you in real life so I would know who exactly to avoid like the plague. There are no gods, jesus is a lie!

      February 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  7. Jonny Canuck

    If you call a dogs tail a leg then he would still have only four legs. Abraham Lincoln.
    calling a rose an onion does not make it smell bad.

    Who is the anti-christ?
    Who holds office in EVERY ONE of these organizations identified as anti-christian?
    Bohemian Group, CRF, the Fed, Exxon, IMF, Chase Manhattan Bank, Bilderburg Group.
    Look at this wiki bio
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rockefeller
    His name adds up to 6
    He is the 6th child in the 6th generation & born in the 6th month in 1915
    (Which is 7, that also has meaning)
    and controls the tool of the devil which is the US Dollar bill
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQQnti7XKz0&w=640&h=390]
    You cannot buy or sell internationally unless you have the US Dollar.
    and the dollar is the devils instrument.
    REVELATION 13:16-18
    "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their
    right hand, or in their foreheads:"
    "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the
    number of his name."
    "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number
    of a man; and His Number Is Six Hundred Threescore and Six."

    Now that we know who he is what are we going to do about it?

    February 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Tom

      While some like to give in to conspiracy theories and prophesize the end of the world – best just not sound like a crazy nut and live a good life loving others.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  8. Speedster

    Did the Vatican also put out a warning about leaving your children alone with priests?

    February 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  9. Doug

    abby

    LOL – the church is grasping at straws to keep young people in the church – I wonder how many times the pedophile priests have to post their confessions and how many "Hail Mary's" they have to say – most "Catholics" I know got baptized by their parents and had to go through confirmation classes and get confirmed and then never set foot in church until someone dies or gets married....

    THIS PERSON IS CLEARLY A BIGOT, AND ANTICATHILIC. WE DONT NEED TROLLS LIKE HER SPEWING HER HATE.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  10. Religious sects

    We have mega-churches, televangelists and internet ordinations, why is anyone shocked at this.
    Religion to me is more about self help than anything else. If this app helps someone to help themselves, I say it has some worth.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  11. A Thinker

    ...wow... an app for confessions... hilarious LOL... leave it to the catholics to make their religion easier... not that it already wasn't the easiest 🙂

    February 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  12. Fast Fred

    I understand if you fail to use the app enough, they post your last confession on Facebook.
    Understand only good Catholics have iPhones.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  13. regis123

    Confession...I'm over it. Raised Catholic...Catholic school...church every morning before class...and taught in religious classes to feel guilty about life and the decisions you make. I, like many other Catholics growing up in the 50's, harbor resentment towards the church and it's teachings. Give it up...if you were raised with values you know the difference between right and wrong and hopefully practice it daily. No need to confess to anyone

    February 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Shadow159

      Wow, long time to hold resentment. Get some counseling and find your faith again (if you ever had it).

      February 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • LiberateUs

      Sorry, I'm not leaving my faith. You may have been slapped in the hand with a ruler once or twice, but that was like 60 years ago. Things have changed since then.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • corporal punishment

      the problem is that they didn't slap you hard enough and you turned into a snot nosed brat. You can't understand your own failings and therefore believe you don't have any. Guess what. You're wrong.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • America is agnostic

      "Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

      February 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • regis123

      Hell, it wasn't 60 years ago you moron, and faith, had lots of it. It's what was pounded into me daily. I went to church every Sunday, Holy Day and every other Saturday for confession. But what I have witnessed throughout these years is hypocrisy, especially in my own family. I live a good, honest , decent life. My children have been raised with values that their peers respect. Get over it. Live your life everyday as if it was your last..and you will have no one to answer to but yourself.

      February 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • regis123

      Here's one for you staunch Catholics....Who remembers Pagan Babies???

      February 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Regis123,

      I am Sorry you had bad experiences with your education. I don’t know what the resentment is concerning the Church….the fact that you sinned and were reminded to confess them? I don’t know…you didn’t really say.

      Your statement: ‘Live your life everyday as if it was your last..and you will have no one to answer to but yourself’. Sorry, you will have God to answer to; did you forget? We cannot judge our souls as if we are saints…God will decide if we are perfect.

      In Revelation, Jesus says something like this: because you are lukewarm and not cold, and not hot, I will start to vomit you out of my mouth.
      That is, if you are cold it is because you have not heard the Word of God and your heart is empty; you are hot if you have heard His Word and live your life by every Word that came out of His mouth; but you are lukewarm if you have heard His Word but live your life your way, not His.

      Do you not believe in the real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist?

      Do you think God doesn’t love you?

      What is it?

      February 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Something

      regis123,

      Good for you.

      Your history is very similar to mine. I did not leave the Church because of childhood knuckle rapping or from any particular transgressions of the members (and I did get a good basic education). I left because I no longer believe their supernatural dogma and doctrines regarding imaginary beings and places. I clung on for way too many years before leaving too...

      February 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Something

      regis123

      "Here's one for you staunch Catholics....Who remembers Pagan Babies???"

      Ah, yes, I certainly do. Were yours in Africa? I guess it may have worked though... the priest at the local church is from the deepest, darkest part of that continent. You can't understand a word he says, but I suppose that doesn't matter as long as he can 'bless' stuff and can perform other magical activities.

      February 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • regis123

      Thank you, Something...I suppose we have found our own answers to a higher calling. Do I believe in one true "God"...no but, I do believe in a higher being. I have nothing but love in my heart for mankind. I was taught that the Catholic religion was the "one true religion" and learned as I grew older that this was not true (for Muslims, Jews, Methodists, Baptists). Don't question my beliefs Catholic Mom, you have no right. My soul is in the right place..and for you to even begin to question that is stepping over a line.

      February 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      regis123,
      I never judged your soul....but you are...and you will continue to because God placed a conscience within your being that is pretty hard to kill.

      February 9, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  14. big tuna

    all is not forgiven!

    February 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  15. lredus

    @Jen – Indeed He did. Constantine didn't like that setup though. Jesus also did away with temple worship, sacred relics and sacred places. Man just loves his religion.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Tom

      Your evidence supporting your comment? You have none. Jesus did not do away with any of those things just as He did not do away with the LAw – only that we should follow Him becasue of belief and love not becasue of some written rule to fear.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  16. Why not just confess to God?

    The Bible teaches us to confess our sins to God, not man. Why do Catholics feel they need to confess to a man anyway?

    February 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • abby

      because the priest gets off listening to your "dirty" sins....

      February 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Why not just confess to God?,

      The Bible teaches us to ‘confess your sins to one another’. James 5:16

      The priest stands in for Christ as in persona Christ…so that Christ can continue His High Priesthood;…once a priest always a priest;….how was Jesus to fulfill that commission about priesthood if He had not established the priesthood?

      Matthew 18:18 explains that whatever is held bound or loose on earth…so it will be in Heaven…this is the authority Jesus Christ bestowed upon His Apostles and their successors.

      2Cor 5:17-20 explains the given ministry of reconciliation.

      You should confess to someone who has been SENT by Jesus Christ [not just any pastor]. Jesus Christ was SENT by the Father with power and authority and He said that as He was sent so it is that He is sending His Apostles.

      February 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  17. TheRationale

    I just can't take this Confession App seriously...it's too funny!

    Do you get a favorites list of sins you commonly do so you can keep track lol?
    How about a counter? "It has been [600] posts since my last confession"
    Or a loading bar? "40/90 Our Fathers...44% Complete!"

    Too much, man, too much.

    February 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • abby

      LOL - the church is grasping at straws to keep young people in the church - I wonder how many times the pedophile priests have to post their confessions and how many "Hail Mary's" they have to say - most "Catholics" I know got baptized by their parents and had to go through confirmation classes and get confirmed and then never set foot in church until someone dies or gets married....

      February 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • neoritter

      Abby, I think you need to be asking yourself what made you such a bigot.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • America is agnostic

      neo, I think the church did a pretty good job on their own. If you aren't willing to accept what vile and immoral people the church associates with, that's your thing. Are pedophile haters considered bigots?

      February 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • CatinHat

      If u stop and think a moment, it might make a little sense for you, even on merely a practical level. Do a quick internet search for "confession aid booklets" or head to a Catholic bookstore and you can find any number of printed aids for Catholics to prepare for Confession. It's called making an examination of conscience. And they typically go through the 10 Commandments with a series of questions based on each one. For example: #5 Thou Shalt Not Kill...have I harmed anyone's reputation? Have I torn down a person through slander or malicious gossip?..etc what's so odd about making this help digital?

      February 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  18. Nesto

    fashion*

    February 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • gram

      ridiculous*

      February 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  19. Nesto

    intresting...i just hope when i go to church it wont have a jumbo-tron in the center stage...this is rediculus. what happen to old fashin confession and all that?

    February 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Lulu

      Good old-fashioned confession is still there – this is a tool to help you think through what you have done BEFORE you go to confession. It is NOT a mobile/virtual confessional.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Magic

      "...this is a tool to help you think through what you have done BEFORE you go to confession."

      Yes, and to speed things up for the ever-shrinking number (yay!) of priests. They don't have time for all the' ummms' and 'errrrs'.

      February 9, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  20. Jen

    "the sacrament of penitence requires the personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor and the absolution by the confessor,”
    I thought that Jusus became the new high priest, that there was no longer any high priest needing to intercede to God for the people, and thus through Jesus you can approach God directly, without having to go to a priest for some confession ritual. Penances don't make sense to me, because Peter tells us "It is by faith you are saved, not by works, so that none may boast."

    February 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • David

      Nice job deliberately missing the point.

      I'm no Catholic (and clearly, neither are you), but Catholics don't take their sins to Christ. They take them to a priest. But I suspect you know this and are simply publishing an advertisement for protestant beliefs. Under that assumption, are you thinking your post is so well written that it can undo hundreds of years of religious indoctrination or is your opinion of Catholics so low that you believe they can be fooled into believing you're one of them but with different information?

      Why not just post John 3:16 and leave it at that? Prostelytizing for Jesus shouldn't be so shady. And so lame...

      February 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Valerie

      What are you talking about? This is an app for CATHOLICS who believe you are saved by faith and GOOD WORKS...so you "thought" something? SO what? That doesn't make it so. Taken from the book of Matthew:

      On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"

      Explain THAT!

      February 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • America is agnostic

      Debating religion is like arguing over which fast food restaurant serves the least shtty food. Who cares? It's all bullsht, so let's leave it at that.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Dutch Schultz

      What a joke confession is meaningless, you want to confess, confess to yourself He'll know.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Scott bradford

      It's said quite clearly in the Book of James: "Faith without works is dead." And in the Book of John, when Jesus sends out the Apostles, he tells them "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."

      This is where Christ gave the Apostles (the first leaders of the Church) the authority to forgive sins in Jesus' name and on his behalf. We rely on Priests to intercede for us because Christ told them to...right there in Scripture.

      You'll find that if you study many of the practices we Catholics are criticized for by non-Catholic Christians, most of those things are spelled out right there in Scripture or derived from the earliest recorded Christian traditions...be careful though, because an honest, accurate, historical study of Catholicism by non-Catholic Christians often leads to conversion 😉 that's how I ended up Catholic.

      God bless you.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Tom

      Jen,

      I know that sometimes the sacraments are confusing but I do ask you to read the other scriptures that support confession and writing of the early church fathers. Confession used to be public but the current form was developed by the Irish in the 6th century.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • voice of reason

      In the Bible, Jesus says that humans are to confess their sins unto man. And Christ gave the power to loose and bind on Earth and in Heaven to his Apostles which is passed down by Christs to priests through the Apostolic Succession. So Catholics, do indeed follow the commandment in the Bible.

      As for this app. It's not revolutionary in my eyes at all. It's a tool for somehthing that people have used a pen and a notepad for for years and now they use their iPhone. So what?

      February 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Out of all the stories and things we know about Jesus, do you really think that he would not forgive someone who confessed in thier hart and is truely a good person?

      February 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • voice of reason

      Of course in extreme cases God will probably forgive you for your sins if you repent for them even at the last minute of your life. This is extra-ordinary though and the simplest, most fool-proof, and most Biblical way to repent would be to go to confession. Similarly, in the last moment of your life if you want to baptized, anyone can do it with plain water so long as they do it in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. But it would be best for a priest to do it with holy water and annoint you afterwards.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Jared

      This is why I gave up on religion. Depending on which parts of the bible you're reading at any given time you'll be given conflicting instructions. Confession v.s. No Confession, etc. Whoever wrote that book got confused halfway through.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Also did Jesus not get upset with the Pharcies for following the letter of the book to closely and not the spirit of it.

      I just do not think that Jesus would use accounting like rules to determine if you are a good person or not.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • voice of reason

      Which part of the Bible is that?

      February 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Lulu

      @ Jared – easily confused, are you ?

      February 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • America is agnostic

      @ Lulu,

      easily fooled, are you?

      February 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Jeremy

      The Bible was compiled and edited by Constintine and other Romans at the time a few hundred years after Jesus no longer walked the Earth.

      All I'm saying is that Jesus and God know if you are a good person in your heart, I really don't think they have a strict set of rules that you must follow or else, everyone makes mistakes but if you feel sorry about it, then you are a good person.

      February 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Jeremy,

      The canon of the Bible was completed around 375 A.D.

      Emperor Constantine died 337.
      St. Julius became Pope the year Constantine died and was Pope until 352.
      Liberius was Pope from 352 -366.
      St. Damasus I was Pope 366-83

      Do the math.

      February 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Jason

      There is a free application for Android devices that is similar called PenanceProject. It helps users do an examination of conscience before the Sacrament and to pray afterwards.

      You can get the application here: https://market.android.com/details?id=appinventor.ai_jamorrow.PenanceProject

      To find out more about The Penance Project and why Catholics confess please visit: http://www.thepenanceproject.org

      February 10, 2011 at 9:31 am |
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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.