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Sainthood explained: Understanding John Paul II's beatification
Pope John Paul II in Berlin, Germany, in 1996. He will be beatified in Rome on Sunday.
April 26th, 2011
10:41 AM ET

Sainthood explained: Understanding John Paul II's beatification

By John L. Allen, Jr., CNN Senior Vatican Analyst

Rome (CNN) - The beatification of Pope John Paul II this Sunday will probably be the biggest event in Rome since his death in April 2005, with at least 300,000 people expected to turn out for the ceremony and more than 2 million to take part in beatification-related activities in Rome, including a vigil service on Saturday in Rome’s Circus Maximus and visits to John Paul’s tomb.

Beatification is the next-to-last step in the sainthood process. It means the candidate can be referred to as “blessed,” and that one miracle has been confirmed in his or her name. Another miracle is required for canonization, the formal act of declaring someone a saint.

Here are more questions and answers about the process – and about John Paul II:

What is a saint, and how many are there?

Catholics believe a saint is someone who lived a holy life and who’s already in heaven. Saints are considered role models for people still on earth, and are capable of interceding with God on someone’s behalf when a request for help is made in prayer.

The actual number of saints is impossible to calculate. One well-known work called "Lives of the Saints" lists 2,565 Catholic saints but that doesn’t count thousands of others celebrated in local regions all over the world. The Catholic Church has a feast, All Saints’ Day, on November 1 to honor the countless saints who aren’t formally canonized.

So how does one become a saint?

In one sense it’s a democratic process, beginning with a grassroots conviction that a given person lived a holy life. From there, things unfold in three stages. First, Church officials make a study of the person’s life. In John Paul’s case, a four-volume study stretching over more than 2,000 pages was produced, including testimony from more than 100 witnesses.

Next, one miracle after the candidate’s death is required for be beatification - and another for canonization. Usually the miracles are healings, which must be instantaneous, permanent, and complete, in addition to scientifically inexplicable. Catholics see the miracle as God’s seal of approval, a way of verifying that the saint really is in heaven.

As pope, John Paul II made the sainthood process faster and simpler – but it’s still not cheap. The biggest expenses are usually the ceremonies for beatification and canonization. When St. Josemaría Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, was canonized in 2002, Opus Dei estimated that it had spent roughly $1 million on the process from beginning to end, stretching over three decades.

Why the rush to beatify John Paul II?

John Paul’s beatification is the quickest in modern times, made possible because Pope Benedict XVI waived the normal five-year waiting period after death to get someone’s beatification rolling. Benedict was responding to crowds who chanted “Santo Subito!” (Sainthood Now!) at John Paul’s funeral Mass and to a petition signed by the cardinals who elected Benedict.

In one way, the pace of John Paul’s cause is a result of his own policies. He sped up saint-making in 1983, a move meant to lift up contemporary role models of holiness. Since then, at least 20 candidates have been beatified within 30 years of their death. For the record, John Paul’s is not the most “fast-tracked” sainthood of all time. That distinction belongs to St. Anthony of Padua, who died in June 1231 and was canonized less than a year later.

What was John Paul’s miracle?

It concerns a 49-year-old French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001 and whose religious community prayed to John Paul II after his death. After writing the late pope’s name on a piece of paper one night, Sister Marie-Simone reportedly awoke the next morning cured and was able to resume her work as a maternity nurse. The miracle has a poetic arc, since John Paul also suffered from Parkinson’s.

Last year, media reports implied that the sister had fallen ill again and that a physician had questioned the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The Vatican resolved those doubts to its satisfaction, as the miracle was approved by its panels of medical and theological consultants. Sister Marie-Simone will attend the beatification ceremony in Rome this weekend.

Why was John Paul II such a significant pope?

Tradition recognizes 264 popes since St. Peter, described in the Bible as the leader of the disciples of Jesus and regarded by Catholics as the first pope. Only a handful of popes, however, have left a deep mark on history, and John Paul II belongs on that list.

He played a key role in bringing down Communism, made 104 foreign trips and is commonly regarded as having been seen in the flesh by more people than any other figure in history, and improved ties with Judaism and Islam. Internally, John Paul II reenergized Catholicism, inspiring a “John Paul generation” of young lay people, priests and bishops. Some commentators have suggested that he will be remembered as John Paul the Great.

That said, there is debate over some aspects of John Paul’s record, including his handling of the Catholic sexual abuse crisis. Officially, the Vatican insists that beatifying and canonizing a pope is not the same thing as endorsing every decision of his papacy. Instead, it means that despite whatever failures occurred, the pope was nevertheless a holy man.

What’s the next step in making John Paul a saint?

Officials will begin looking for that aforementioned second miracle. If one is approved by the Vatican and by the pope, John Paul II could then be canonized. It’s not clear how long that might take, but there doesn’t seem much suspense about the eventual result: Sooner or later, the Church will add “St. John Paul II” to its list.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Italy • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (469 Responses)
  1. John Adams

    Why do the Pops and the priest wear hats but not the other christians? just want know why.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Ed

      depends on the servace unless you mean the congregation then some of us do when we want

      April 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Buckminster Fullerene

      @Ed,
      Now come on Eddy. "servace" ?
      The "a" on the keyboard is way over on the left. The "i" is mid to right keyboard. There is no way that was a mistake.
      You simply flunked third grade. Admit it. Did the nun slap you silly on the wrists for spelling like that ?

      April 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Jay

      Good question. I was raised Catholic, but left it in my 20s. Best thing I ever did for my faith journey. Now I look at those costumes and hats.. and think.. did the apostles wear garb and have folks bow to them? I don't think so.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • gerald

      Jay, you might want to check out the book of revelations and the early church fathers.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Jay

      Gerald, What passages in Revelations specifically?

      April 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • juststoppingby

      Please follow these links for a comprehensive answer to your question. The first gives the origin, development and meaning of all vestments in the Catholic Church, the 2nd is a list of all such vestments in use in the Church and a brief description of what they mean. I hope it helps.
      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15388a.htm
      http://www.catholicdoors.com/courses/roman.htm

      April 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Jay

      Gerald, I just scanned those links. It didn't help at all. There is no reference to Revelations.. just early church traditions and customs.. I"m talking about the original Christ followers and what they expected from their followers. It wasn't bowing and yielding to them.. rather it was to Christ. The traditions that developed over the centuries do not seem to have any origin in the scriptures.. that's all I'm saying.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • gerald

      You seem to have a problem with vestments/robes. Well Rev 7 speaks of there being robes in heaven. Seems God doesn't have a problem with robes. Doubt he has a problem with hats of any kind either. If you read the early church fathers they are quite Catholic. That is the men who followed the apostles. Try Clement of Rome, the third pope. Ignatius of antioch, very Eucharistic writings and he was a Bishop. Polycarp shows the practice of relics in the early church, still practiced today. Your protestant religion does not trace back to Christ except through the Catholic Church.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • gerald

      Jay, what does John 6 mean to you? "unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood you shall not have life within you". Doesn't sound like the protestant symbol to me. "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him". "my flesh is TRUE food. My blood is TRUE drink". "This is my body...This is my blood..." The Eucharist. As a protestant you don't have it. It was believed pretty much Christianity wide until Luther started watering it down and zwingli completely denied it.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Ed

      your right Buck I just spelled it wrong wnet to public school not catholic. Joined the church as an adult was not raised catholic. I have admtted my faillings as a typist and a speller if all you going to do is follow me through the blog and correct my mistakes please leave me be. I am not here to have a fight but a good converstion your friend admiral already wasted enough of my time.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Jay

      Gerald, if there are robes in heaven.. and I believe there certainly could be... do just former priests wear them? Likely not. Then why have robes just for clergy?

      I also do not believe that there is a need for a constant sacrifice on the alter. Christ died just once.. no need for a sacrifice each time there's a mass. I don't know where in Scripture there's any reference to man having the power to transform bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Where in Acts or the early church is there reference to this occuring in any gathering among the apostles? So, the priest in my parish who abuses children one day, is given the supernatural power to transform elements into a spiritual realm the next day? The priest is a sinner just like me. I just cannot believe this is necessary for salvation. The criminal on the cross adjacent to Christ didn't have communion. Rather, he simply believed.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • gerald

      Jay,

      Malachi 1:[11] For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in EVERY PLACE incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

      The Early Church Fathers took this to refer to the constant sacrifice of the Eucharist.

      Jesus told the apostles after he said "this is my body...this is my blood" "do this in remembrance of me". Evidently they were doing it if you look in 1 cor 10 and 11. Paul even says that those who eat of the eucharist unworthily are guilty of the body and blood of the lord. Strong words for something that is just a bit of bread. Acts 20 is another example of the early church celebrating the Eucharist.

      So your going to sweep John 6 under the rug rather than explain it.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • gerald

      Yes priests are sinners. The High Priest who had Christ crucified prophesied in John 8 and 11. Surely there is no greater sin in the history of man than condemning the son of God to death. Yet when he said "it is better for one to die for the many" it says he did not speak this of his own accord but through his office as high priest, i.e. it was prophetic and from God. That is why it is recorded in scripture. Paul killed Jews yet God performed miracles through him. Cures, conversions. No, I think a great message in the scriptures is that God does work through sinners like you and I. It gives me hope. How about you?

      April 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • gerald

      By the way, seems noone can resist bringing up the abuse scandal. How you all love to point fingers. Yet your protestant pastors abuse children as well. Check out the work of Phil Jenkins, a protestant who indicates abuse might even be higher among protestant clergy. So if a protestant pastor molests children and preaches a sermon that converts someone the next day, are they really converted? I have no problem with God working through him even though he is a sinner and may even go to hell.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Jay

      The ongoing sacrifice tradition is a very far stretch.. again not in scripture. It is an intepretation by men.

      I am not sweeping John 6 under the rug in any way. It's clear what he said. What I don't understand is how human beings have the power to convert bread and wine into Christ's body, to commemorate that statement he made. You haven't given me a passage that enables men – sinners – to perform that miracle. I believe celebrating Communion is completely symbolic. It is a very reverent act that commemorates what Christ did and said.

      Yes, I agree Protestant ministers also abuse children. Don't believe in any way that it is at the same rate – given the lawsuits and bankrupt dioceses you read about. Can you tell me about the last multi million lawsuit against a Protestant denomination?

      April 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • gerald

      Jay, follow the money. Protestant Church structure does not allow for such big awards as Catholic diocese which span multiple states. Take baptists for instance. Their individual churches are autonomous. Lawsuits have focused on diocese, not individual parishes.

      April 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • gerald

      My flesh is true food. My blood is true driink... This is my body...This is my blood.... Ya that sounds pretty symbolic to me all right. No I think it's a man's interpretation that it is symbolic. Nowhere in scripture does it use the word symbolic and these words I quote are not the words of symbology. You complain about the interpretations of men and then you give me one. The problem with sola scriptura, every man becomes his own pope.

      April 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • gerald

      So you don't believe Jesus gave men this power so it can't be true? Jesus gave a command, stated that his body and blood were true food and drink but gave men no way to access this truth? Really? Again if you read 1 Cor 10 and 1 Cor 11 it is pretty clear the Eucharist was practiced. Also if you look at the last supper and claim that Jesus was speaking symbolicly ( a word that you add to the scriptures because it is not in there anywhere) this seems rather untendable since he already had plenty of symbols there in wine, the lamb, and even the seder meal which already included bread. The Jews in John 6 even took him literally "How can he give us his flesh to eat" but he does not back down and digs the whole deeper. "Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood you shall not have life within you". Sorry Jay, your not even treading water with your own personal interpretation. You can't posibly claim that it is more than an interpretation unless you can show me the word symbol somewhere.

      April 26, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • gerald

      By the way Jay there is tons of other evidence for the Eucharist in scripture for one who really wants to know. I suggest a book by a man named Scott Hahn called "The Lambs Supper". As a protestant he attended the Mass one day. In it he saw a direct parallel to the book of Revelation. Then later he found out that he hadn't discovered anything new. The Church throughout the ages had known this.

      April 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • gerald

      Jay, I might add that the consecration of the Eucharist is not performed by the priest but through the priest by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now where is your problem with it????? The Holy Spirit can't do this?

      April 26, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Buckminster Fullerene

      @Ed,
      Tell ya what Eddy,
      You stop with the ignorant, misspelled, grammatically challenged posts, and then we will leave you alone.

      April 27, 2011 at 6:45 am |
    • Finger Puppet

      It's all built on an ancient world view. Do you really think that before the magic words the organic and biochemical spectum of the elements are bread and wine, and after, something else ? Aquinas says that it's the "substance" that changes. That artifact of human linguistic history has become, essentially, meaingless today.
      And if they really believed it, why are they all not in church in front of it, bowing and praying all the time ? Clearly they don't really buy it.

      April 27, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • CatholicMom

      John Adams,

      All through the Bible vestments and priests were important. Jesus Himself had his robe ‘without seam’ taken from Him. Such robes were meant for Kings. Priests are standing in for Jesus Christ here on earth so that Jesus Christ can continue with His Priesthood. Here are a few verses to help you understand the ‘why’ about the robes, mitered diadem, and such:

      John 19:23
      The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

      Remember the soldiers drew lots to see who would win the royal seamless robe…..

      Remember also that the Old Testament is hidden in the New Testament and the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.

      Isaias (Isaiah) 22:21
      And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda.

      Ecclesiasticus 45:12
      He gave him a holy robe of gold, and blue, and purple, a woven work of a wise man, endued with judgment and truth:

      Exodus 28:39
      And thou shalt gird the tunick with fine linen, and thou shalt make a fine linen mitre, and a girdle of embroidered work.

      Wisdom 18:24
      For in the priestly robe which he wore, was the whole world: and in the four rows of the stones the glory of the fathers was graven, and thy majesty was written upon the diadem of his head.

      Ecclesiasticus 45:9
      And he girded him about with a glorious girdle, and clothed him with a robe of glory, and crowned him with majestic attire.

      1 Machabees 10:20
      Now therefore we make thee this day high priest of thy nation, and that thou be called the king's friend, (and he sent him a purple robe, and a crown of gold,) and that thou be of one mind with us in our affairs, and keep friendship with us.

      Genesis 41:42
      And he took his ring from his own hand, and gave it into his hand: and he put upon him a robe of silk, and put a chain of gold about his neck.

      All for the glory of God!

      April 27, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • gerald

      Jay,

      still waiting for you to show me the word symbol in the Bible associated with passages dealing with the Lord's Supper? I've showed you plenty that indicate some mystical reality of what Christ left us. Something beyond our understanding that we need to accept on faith.

      April 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  2. FifthApe

    Why does god hate amputees? Why are the miracles always the -fuzzy- kind.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Ed

      what do you mean

      April 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • PlagueDoc

      @Ed FifthApe means: Why doesn't God ever cure an ailment that can only be rectified by unnatural causes, such as a severed limb growing back, so we will know it was an actual "miracle" and not just coincidence.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Ed

      Ok thats a great questions and I don't have an answer. I wish I did amputees deserve a better answer sorry.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Pretty sure blind-from-birth people were cured in the Bible, as well as paralyzed. You might then come up with the argument that they were faking it the whole time. Well, I'm sure their parents knew that the person was blind for their whole life. In fact, it even mentions that in the Bible. I believe it is in John.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @FifthApe
      I'm not sure why God hates crippled people, but He is pretty blatant about it! They're not even supposed to go to Church...
      Lev.21:17-23
      "Whosoever ... hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. ... Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries."

      April 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • PlagueDoc

      @TheTruth72 What FifthApe and I are looking for are verified examples. I assumed that that went without saying, but then as an educated and rational person I do not interact with bible believers very often, so please excuse my poor communication skills. How do you know these "blind from birth" individuals from the bible were not cured by Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz," Harry Potter, or one of the thousands of other literary characters who, like God and Jesus, have no verifiable existence outside of a book written by ordinary human beings.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Doc Vestibule,

      Have you ever heard that the New Testament is found hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is the fulfilled in New Testament?

      If you have sin on your soul, it is a blemish…do not approach the priest to receive the Holy Eucharist until you are cleansed of your sin through Confession/Reconciliation; likewise no unclean thing will enter Heaven.

      April 27, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  3. PlagueDoc

    If John Paul II actually cured this woman's Parkinson's disease, then by the same logic he also tortured and murdered the thousands of people who suffered and died from Parkinson's on his watch, not that this would necessarily make him any less of a saint in the eyes of the catholic church.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Questionauthority

    Anyone who takes the bible literally is a FOOL. It contradicts itself from the very start: Genesis- "And God created THEM"....only to state a chapter later: "God created EVE". Who are "them"? Adam and Lilith?
    Stories and Fables like all the other religious books....the "clergy" only use them for power over the illiterate and uninformed. "Sleep with the priest and go to heaven! You too can have salvation for the low low price of your virginity!"

    April 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Not really sure where it contradicts itself. It's not any fault but your own that you don't want to keep reading and find out more. Much of the BIble is pretty thought provoking and it appears that there are many people that can't handle it.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Suzie

      "it appears that there are many people that can't handle it."

      In your ignorance you are assuming that we haven't read it. Many of us have several times, it's a great read but it's not fact, it's fiction.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • HA25

      Really Truth? Not sure? All over the place! The Sermon on the mount – look at the different accounts. Each account has it taking place in a DIFFERENT PLACE.

      The Resurrection Itself – the accounts all differ as to who saw what & when! Were there 2 witnesses? 3?

      April 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  5. Artist

    Ah yes, more ramblings from The Holy Book of Hearsay from HeavenSent.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Ed

      that ok admiral taking up the other side with all the same closed minded dogamtic zeal and about the same manners.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • ThinkYourself

      Indeed

      April 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  6. Up Your Rear Admiral

    Yeah, thanks Ed. Thanks "for proven" and for bein so polite-like. Now p_ss off, you puny-minded sub-git.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  7. FifthApe

    Saint = scam. To be called a saint is to be put in with the likes of Thomas Moore and Mother Teresa. I keep much better company than that.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  8. phoenix

    love your enemy the heathen heap burning coals on their heads,sell all your goods to the heathen poor and follow christ.these aren t really humans today anyway[ not like original man back in the old testament] keep the faith.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  9. ezequiel ochoa

    Steve George is right

    April 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  10. MarciaMarcia

    So he is a saint because the Vatican says so? ummm sure.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Artist

      Depending on the boy ra pes perhaps? God does like to watch.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  11. ezequiel ochoa

    the catolic church is a joke ,bunch of child molesters they have no moral antority there are no saints on earth

    April 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      That's a pretty bold generalization there. I'm would bet that there are some child molesters in the US that are not part of a religion. Does that make a bunch of the US child molesters?

      Please think before you say something, instead of watching CNN and spouting every word you hear them say.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  12. MAU

    I thought the Bible was the word of God (originally it was). I wonder what's Peter and the others are doing in there and who put them there.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • mb2010a

      No, the Bible is the Word of Man...God didn't write any of it.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  13. Steven George

    Actually becoming a saint is as easy as faithfully obeying Acts 2:38 – the gospel message that has never changed. 🙂

    April 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  14. MAU

    The people who are sinful and less pious than the pope decide that he deserves sainthood???

    April 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  15. vbscript2

    1) The Bible does not in any place describe Peter as the leader of the church. He just happens to have the second most recorded talking (the most being Paul.)

    2) How to become a saint: become a Christian. There is no differentiation between the two terms where the Bible is concerned.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • gerald

      vbscript,

      Isn't it odd that Peter is mentioned far more than the rest of the apostles? 190 or so times to the next closest, john at about 30. Peter is named first in all the lists and called first even though andrew became and apostle before him. Jesus prays for Peter alone that he may be restored and then HE might restore the others after the crusifixion. Peter always speaks when the GROUP is asked a question. Peter performs the first miracle and converts the first gentile after the resurerection. I'm not sure what Bible you have that this isn't it? So lets say there is a head pastor at your church. Do you suppose he might be listed first on lists of pastors, spoken of the most by the congregation, and answer most of the time when the group of pastors is asked a question? No it's pretty clear Peter was the leader to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • gerald

      By the way that's just a small part of the list of items that indicate peter was the leader. There are about 50 of them.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • gerald

      2) By the way, the CC does not claim there is a difference between being a christian and becoming a saint. The list of saints is only examples of lives that we can look at and see real modern day examples of how one becomes a saint today. But we of course all believe we will become saints when we enter heaven.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  16. Observer

    Anything in there about ignoring child molesters?

    April 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Who is guilty of changing the laws so the guilty never see justice down on earth? It wasn't the Christians that erased God out of our legal system.

      Those who change the laws now are complaining?

      Amen.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • HA25

      You're right, HeavenSent. We should definitely be required to stone people to death for Apostacy. (Deutoronomy 20 I think it is or very close to it).

      April 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  17. juan

    mojo is right

    April 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  18. chris

    Dungeons and Dragons. How to be a warlock. Given what is going on in the world, who cares about this silly mysticism. CNN shouldn't waste space for this ridiculous topic as people are dying in the world, and far more relevant news shape our world.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  19. sanjosemike

    Nothing but Vatican "Public relations" scam. Forget about "beatification." Instead return Bernard Law back to the U.S. for prosecution of aiding and abetting child abuse. Get control of your priests.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • HA25

      AMEN!!!!

      April 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  20. LookandSEE

    Follow the Bible & the Bible alone. Go to Jesus directly on your knees, you don’t need a priest or Mary to help you. Only God can forgive our sins(i.e. that’s Jesus , not the Pope)
    7 Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.
    9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
    Revelation 17:7:11

    April 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Mumbo jumbo wumbo beast mumbo cometh in your gumbo. On your knees and you blow purple chunks. Mary had a blue chicken. Mumbo Gumo. Booga wooga chatanooga. Mumbo gumbo.
      =Revelation, any verse

      April 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • FifthApe

      Funny thats not the way _____ does it. Your god is imaginary – get over it. Its nothing more than just another invented god, one of hundreds over the many years.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • 500Vest

      John Paul the Great...sounds great!!

      April 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Admiral, you really should pay attention to the book of Revelation, meaning to reveal. Scriptures tell His truth of your generation, end of days ...

      Revelation 13:3-4

      3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
      4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

      Amen.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      @LookAndSee....I've been a part of the Catholic church my whole life until just recently. I am 27 years old. After reading the Bible, it is plainly obvious that the Catholic church has distorted bits and pieces here and there. The Christian body has to get back to what matters and that's the salvation of souls through Jesus Christ.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Pam

      Those who recognize the bible as the sole source of authority, to some degree (and many without knowing it) recognize the authority of the Catholic Church because bible Bible would not exist as it is today without the authority of the Catholic Church! Look it up!

      April 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      I forgot to mention that we are all considered saints. It is not a special "cool group" of a few Christians. All true Christians are saints.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Todd

      The Bible is complete garbage. The Bible also says it's OK to sell your daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7-11), should we take this literally too?? Who gets to decide what parts of the Bible we follwo and don't......laughable.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Andrew Messenger

      TheTruth72 is on the right track, as is the original commenter. Paul never prayed to Mary. Peter never prayed to Stephen. Christ taught us how to pray, and it starts with "Our Father", not "Our Saint John Paul II", and definitely NOT "holy Mary".

      The Catholic church does recognize that ALL who are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit to be followers of Christ are in fact saints. This is what the Bible says. Anyone who calls on the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Lord, who have been regenerated by the Spirit, are saved, and are now called saints. Paul calls them saints.

      However, for recognition purposes the Catholic church likes to take it to another level: there are saints (little "s") and there are Saints (big "S"). All who are Christian are saints, little "s". Those who are recognized by the Catholic Church as good examples of Saints on earth, are put into Sainthood eligibility. After they pass a few tests, they become officially canonized to be Saints of the Catholic Church (big "S"). Eligibility requires I think a three pronged test: they have to be dead now, they have to have been recognized for sainthood by the C-church, miracles have to be identified as a result of others praying in their name (not in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). The part about praying to sleeping saints confuses me.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Buckminster Fullerene

      @HeavenSent,
      I'm reading that whole series. Which Harry Potter was that one in ?

      April 26, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      TheTruth72,
      Please get yourself a Catechism and learn your faith…don’t let others tell you what the Church is teaching. Have you decided which of the 38,000 ecclesial communities have interpreted the Bible correctly…?

      April 26, 2011 at 9:30 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.