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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. jaime lewis

    Why does the news media default to Catholics when it comes to doctrone? Not all Christians believe or give the Catholic church authority over anything. Saints are all christians who believe in Christ.

    Jaime from Denver

    April 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  2. andrew

    And Artist, here is my general opinion about life: We are all put on this Earth to do 3 things, eat, poop, and screw. So if you're job isn't helping someone do that, it's not very important.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Artist

      lol

      April 26, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  3. andrew

    Melanie, I never said I supported the Catholic Chruch, nor did I say that I support child molestation, or religion in general. I said that I believed he was a good man, despite his failings. Do I believe he should be considered free of all sin? No. Nor do I believe that he is blameless in many issues. I simply think he was a good man. And in case you were interested, I consider myslef a Pastafarian (and yes, that is joke of a religion).

    April 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  4. Chanselor Jenkins

    Pope John Paul was a good man. He played a great roll in ending the cold war.

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

      And he was in charge of the biggest organized child ra pe ring in history. Perhaps he will get a special ba dge in heaven. He will be tap ping that che rub @ rse every day in heaven.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  5. LookandSEE

    I agree that the Roman Catholic Church preserved the Bible. They also chained it to the shelf so u couldn’t read it. If you were fortunate enough to have a page of Scripture and u were caught u would face death.
    The Jewish religion preserved the Old Testament, they didn’t except Him as Messiah
    The Empire of Rome never really left the scene, it just has a Christian religious leader now.
    In the sixth centry when the Ostrogoths were defeated c. 538 the Christian church entered a phase where she became a religious and political power rather than just being concerned with religious maters. This phase ends as the French revolution and the American revolution are establishing a separation of Church and State. The end of this period has a more dramatic event than the beginning. In 1798 Napoleon's general, Berthier, entered Rome, proclaimed a republic, and took the pope prisoner. The pope died in France shortly thereafter. Although a new pope was elected the papacy is no longer a political power to be feared. This is the 1260 days or 42 months, time times and dividing of time. Use the day for year principal (Nun 14:34)
    I saw that one of its heads seemed to have been mortally wounded, but this mortal wound was healed. Fascinated, the whole world followed after the beast. Rev13:3
    In 1929 Italy’s dictator Benito Mussolini signs the Benito Mussolini signs the Lateran Concordat which gives the Vatacan EVERYTHING she lost including the right to be a government of it’s own. So when this Billion dollar ++ leader comes to your home town, your taxes pay.
    If major disaster happens, our world leaders will ask the pope what is wrong and he will say, “Make the people go to Church on SUNDAY.”
    REMBER the Sabbath, six days the Lord created the Heavens and the Earth and RESTED on the SEVENTH!

    April 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • gerald

      They chained bibles to pulpits (not shelfs) because the bindings had gold in them, they were very difficult to create as they had to be hand copied, and they didn't want people running away with them so they could read them at services and at other times. If what you say is true about being forbidden from reading the Bible there sure are alot of quotes in the writings of priests, nuns, and laymen in the time you say the Church was forbid reading it. Your claims are old wives tales that don't pan out in examination of the historical facts.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  6. Artist

    Is it me or does his hat in the picture look like a cheap one could get at Burger King?

    April 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Let's Go Down to the Bowkerline

      No sooprise. Popey likes to hang out at Booger King because that's where the kids can be found.

      April 26, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Odie Colognie

      No hun, it's his birthday prize from McDonald's.

      April 27, 2011 at 6:32 am |
  7. thebigatheist

    @Prove Me Wrong- No, being an atheist is NOT a religion (please refer to the definition of religion). Please know what you are speaking of before you spew such falsehoods. If you don't care, fine. But do not bunch atheist in the same category! That is pure ignorance. Real atheist do not judge, they challenge. We do not believe in supernatural fairy tales PERIOD.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Except for the fairy tale of evolutions' Tinkerbell and her random mutation wand.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Real atheist don't judge. Ok. I'll be sure to tell that to Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Prove Me Wrong

      I am fully aware of the implied, textbook definition of atheism, bud. But in the end, atheists;

      • Feel strength in numbers
      • All admire and redirect to group leaders (Rand, Dawkins, etc) for validation with what they recite
      • All back each other up when cornered
      • Argue incessantly with those who think differently, and try to change the way the opposition thinks
      • Claim to honestly, absolutely know for certain what happens when they die

      That is a religion, dude. Atheism is still a "theism". I am unaffiliated, my positions are my own, I am peace with that and I don't try to change anyone's mind. In a perfect world, atheists, monotheists and polytheists would just leave well enough alone.

      April 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  8. Melanie

    Andrew, Pope John Paul may have been a good man in general, but when you really think about it, what do any of them really do that is useful? I say absolutely nothing! Every Christmas, Easter and what ever big Holiday they all pray for Peace. What a joke that is. The have the best of the best, while so many people in the world suffer. How many babies are born and die a miserable death, because their parents are brainwashed to believe that Birth Control is a Sin. I so hate everything about the Catholic Religion. It really blows my mind, that so many people believe this crap.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  9. food4real

    Thank God I'm a Catholic 🙂

    April 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  10. David

    One Day the Pope and all popes, peoples of all tribe and nation will bow before the real "Great High Priest" Jesus Christ, who is Lord of Heaven and Earth. This pope I agree with AB led billions astray with false teaching, false gospel and good works.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Artist

      And maybe after another 2000 years there will be less rambling fools to this god? It has been 4000 years...any day now...i can feel it...you got toooo believe

      April 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Odie Colognie

      I think I saw that one. Didn't Rita Hayworth and Robert Garner star in it ?

      April 27, 2011 at 6:31 am |
  11. Wayshower

    Good Will and Compassion Towards all.
    Love each other Unconditionally from the heart.
    Do not judge each other based on differences in beliefs, race, culture, or politics
    Love Unconditionally, for we are all One.
    The True God of this world is Compassion.
    Our true enemy of this world is our excessive judgement of each other based on differences.
    We are All One.

    Namaste my fellow humans. Love and Light to you all.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Artist

      And cheers to p! ssing in the wind

      April 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  12. Artist

    "Despite his failings regarding the child molestation issue"
    .
    I know that is a small issue. Actually that says a lot about his character. He is no different than the ra pists they lock up. I wouldn't be shocked if he put some moves on with his chorus boys. He is worm food like everybody else.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  13. andrew

    Regardless of yout opinion about religion, Pope John Paul was, on his own merits, a good man. I'm not a religious person, but I will still say a prayer in his name today. Despite his failings regarding the child molestation issue, I believe that he paid his dues and did good work while on Earth, and I do believe him to be a role model.

    As far as taking care of the molestation issue, I think the Church should adopt a new policy: Pedophile Crucifixtions (sp?). They gave us the idea, might as well use it.

    Also, to B-Dog, number 2 is probably a better choice. They certainly aren't getting any the regular way, might as well bribe them.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • jefe

      The Bible tells us that on his own merits, neither the pope nor any other man/woman save Christ himself was/is good.That's a foundational aspect of the gospel. So one's view of a pope or anyone else is very much informed by one's opinion of religion. If you are a secular humanist, you might arrive at the conclusion that a person other than Christ is good on their own merit, but then, you probably wouldn't be praying in their name.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  14. Prove Me Wrong

    Matthew 7:1 is a joke.

    These user comments are a breeding ground for empowering close-minded, judgmental narcissists on all sides:

    "I'm holier than you are!"
    "Are not!"
    "Am so!"
    "My church came first!"
    "At least I'm going to Heaven!"
    "Yo momma!"

    You "believers" are just a bunch of sad, over-sheltered kids. And people wonder why I left Catholicism (and all other religions, for that matter) behind. I'm not even an atheist (which is a rotten, judgmental "religion" in and of itself, absolutely no better than any polytheism or monotheism). I just don't care.

    Life is short. Enjoy.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • greg50

      Amen!!!

      April 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Ed

      Just point out you expressed that in a very judgemental way.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Sad

      Well stated.

      I am a proud Catholic, but I'm a Christian first – as are, I'm sure, those on this thread who identify themselves as Protestants. It makes me sad and embarrassed to see people on all sides of this "debate" mocking and attacking anyone and everyone who doesn't believe exactly as they do. There is far more that unites us than divides us, but it's exactly this sort of self-righteous mudslinging that drives people like Prove Me Wrong away in disgust.

      We're the ones who will have to answer for it.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Andrew Messenger

      Matthew 7:1, Good point.

      Jesus did NOT like organized religion. He commonly healed people on Sabbath day for the sole purpose of making the religious leaders angry at Him. (John 7:14-24).

      He did NOT LIKE man-made traditions and rituals. He was more interested in matters of the heart. What is in your heart is what matters most of all.

      The idea is, it is NOT about religion. It is about a relationship with Jesus. Jesus resides in the heart(s) of those who call on Him as Lord and Savior. It has NOTHING to do with what church you go to, or even if you go to one. Seek first the Truth. It has nothing to do with what you can DO for Jesus, it has everything to do with what you allow Jesus to do (for others) through you.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Prove Me Wrong

      @Ed

      We are all - and I mean ALL - judgmental to some extent, but I don't claim immunity or sanctuary from being judged. Unfortunately, I know far too many Christians who'll fight their way to the front of the line to proudly cast the first stone.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Ed

      @prove me wrong Unfortunately you are probabaly correct in that assumtion far to many of us think we are prefect when we are far from it. I certainly am in no position to cast any stones. My comment was in response to your first post where you stated "These user comments are a breeding ground for empowering close-minded, judgmental narcissists on all sides" then stated "You "believers" are just a bunch of sad, over-sheltered kids. And people wonder why I left Catholicism (and all other religions, for that matter) behind. I'm not even an atheist (which is a rotten, judgmental "religion" in and of itself, absolutely no better than any polytheism or monotheism). I just don't care" you seemed to be against being judgemental but said it a a rather judgemental way was just pointing that out. Did not mean to imply you were any worse then the rest of us or any more judgemental to saome of the people on the blog sorry. I try not to be but probably fail way to often.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Prove Me Wrong

      @ Ed

      You are spot-on to call me out; I still harbor a lot of venom for my friends and family who ousted me for marrying a non-Christian (going on over 15 years now). Nowadays I just boldly dismiss anyone who claims to have a deep-rooted faith, as I believe it protects me and my wife from being hurt again in the long run. I'd rather just not get to know any of them and save us all the trouble.

      Most Christians incessantly prosthelytize, and that's what burns me the most. For some reason, they believe they do not offend others when they prosthelytize (confidently claiming it's their job to rake in new converts), but it is DEEPLY offensive to those who do not believe. So, if other people (in all their self-righteousness) don't hesitate to offend me when they prosthelytize, then why should I hesitate to offend them with equally stinging, anti-Christian comments? It wasn't until I stepped back and was able to look at Christians from a third-person point-of-view that was able to see just how much the church encouraged and nourished judgment-making and putrid bigotry. I guess if I am still judgmental, it's remnants of my sunday school days still bubbling to the surface.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Ed

      @ Prove me wrong,

      Again I agree too many of us judge to easliy on bith sdies of the convesation. I sorry your family treated you and your wife so poorly. They were wrong to do so. The should follow Christ's teaching a little better. Not all of us behave that way, but too many christians do. As for preaching the athiest to quite a bit of that as well. Many of them seem intent on getting converts too. It seems some what of a contradiction to try to convert to a non belief but that is their right. I'm not defending or excusing the treatment you have recieved or even saying your wrong. Just pointing out your comment was a little judgemental.

      April 27, 2011 at 8:21 am |
  15. The Process

    First, you are brainwashed to believe fairytales, yada yada yada, you die and people might call you a Saint.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  16. B-Dog

    How to become a saint? There are 2 ways.

    1) You can go to poor African countries where HIV/AIDS runs rampant and you can tell the people not to use condoms because it's a sin. (Mother Teresa)

    2) Blow the pope?

    April 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  17. Todd

    Gerald – if you support the Cathlic Religion, by definition you are supporting the current pope. It cannot be denied that the current pope PROTECTED known child molesters, and instead of bringing those molesters to justice, the Pope transferred them to other churchs to allow them to continue molesting more kids. It is fact that this pope has protected child molesters and helped them molest more kids instead of putting a stop to it. If you support that, you are as bad as the molesters themselves, period.

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

      I do not support the moving of priests around as some bishops did. However it has been shown that the claims against Benedict XVI were in fact not very well supported with the facts. A letter he might have received among millions of letters. A priest whom was in his diocese that molested. But no evidence that Benedict new of the whispers. you believe everything you read apparently.

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

      @Todd, Fair point the Pope was wrong he should have turned them over to the law and defrocked them. He is a man and made a mistake. Its a poor excuse the the victims deserve better. But its not fair to blame the entire group for the actions a few evil pri-cks. I am not excusing the action one priest doing it is too many but the total number doing it is less then the number of pedos in the general population of must countrys in the world. That does not make it excusable.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • gerald

      Not a fair point Ed. We shouldn't concede what is baseless. There is no evidence that when Benedict was the ARchbishop of Munich he knew the priest was a child molester. The priest later went on to molest children. Yes he moved him but big deal. Priests are routinely moved every 5-10 years. Most of them without incident. The other priest from Wisconsin was dying by the time he was before the Pope for defrocking but the process would not have been complete by his death.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Ed

      @Gerald in general the church has handle this problem very poorly Benedict has made some mistakes here too. John Paul may have I don't know. But it is a fair point for some one to point out the error of the church as a whole on this subject. We can not fix it by dening it thats the mistake they made the first time.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  18. CareJack

    Finally the moment world has been waiting for is coming. John Paul was great man. I mean God.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  19. Carl Pio

    There are a lot of Catholic haters writing on this blog – and they don't understand the Catholic faith – nor does it seem they want to. Only God can forgive sins but Jesus gave to his apostles the grace to forgive sins in his name; Matthew 16:19; 18:18, and in John 20:21-23. As for Saints – the Church doesn't "make Saints' – God does that – the Church, through a rigorous process acknowledges their presence in heaven. As for child molesting – one priest abusing a child or for that matter anyone is one too many however more married men abuse children than do priests. The Bible is the Word of God but anyone who has taken Theology 101 knows that God inspires men to write his words down. Instead of being so anti-Catholic try and open up your heart to the good that the Church does. As the old saying goes, those who believe, no explanation is needed, for those who don’t then no explanation will suffice. It’s obvious from the diatribes I read here where most of you stand – God love you all.

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

      Go read your fairy tales...

      April 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Todd

      Really, so God wants you to sell your daughter into slavery ( it's OK to sell your daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7-11) ) This is the word of God??? Seems God would be against slavery.

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

      And you statemet that more married men abuse is just stupid. Of course more marreid men abuse kids because there are far more married men than priests. But if you look at the PERCENTAGES, there is a FAR FAR FAR greater percentage of priests who molest kids than percentage of married men.

      But you believe in god, so we all know actual FACTS have no place in your life

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

      Carl, just one single priest that molest a child is to much!!! He deserves to die, and anyone that covers for him and hides him deserves the same punishment. Take your head out of the sand.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Carl Pio

      Instead of having a thought provoking discussion there are terms like sad, over-sheltered kids, brainwashed to believe fairytales, Blow the pope, etc. How sad. Thanks for making my point that those who believe, no explanation is needed, for those who don’t then no explanation will suffice. You have learned a lot from the like of Saul Alinsky.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Ed

      @Todd actuall precentages go the other was approximantley 5-8% of the population in general molest kids, less than .1% of priest. even assume 20-30 times that really do its less then the genral population. Accord to my criminal psch prof in college who was also a departmental shrink for a police department so his stats were probably pretty accurate. He only gave stats on general poulation the preist stat was from a friend not a cop or anything so it could be wrong

      April 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Ed

      @melanie I agree with you 1 is far too many

      April 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Odie Colognie

      @Ed,
      Too bad Melanie didn't say "too many", she said "to many", and she also said "single priest that molest".
      Why didn't she go to high school ?
      Then she says that a (supposedly) wealthy clergy member does not pay taxes. She is TOTALLY wrong. All clerics file Federal Income taxes and state income taxes, for the simple reason they wish to be eligible for Medicare when they hit 65. The members of religious orders, who take vows of poverty, may have their taxes filed by their order's accountants for them, but single priests who work for a diocese all file and pay their approprite taxes, assuming they are not tax cheats. Another example of people here who feel free to post anything they feel like, even if they have no idea of that which they are speaking.

      April 27, 2011 at 6:12 am |
  20. Todd

    TO become a saint in the Catholic church, hmmmm....well it helps if you molest children or protect priests who molest children to make sure they can molest as many as possible. THe Catholic religion is disgusting mockery of morality, anyone who still supports the piece of garbage human beings that make up that religion (The POPE being the biggest piece of crap of all), is as bad as the molestors themselves

    April 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • gerald

      He who paints with a broad brush shows his bigotry.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Melanie

      Todd, I could not agree with you more. The Pope should be stoned to death, and all the Bishops and ALL of the pedophile priests deserve the same punishment. Last week I saw a Mercedes S500 in front of me with a Clergy sticker in the rear window. To think that they don't pay any taxes just makes my blood boil, and all of the stupid people that support them financially just boggles my mind. What brainwashing Cult Religion is. Catholic Religion I hate the most!!!

      April 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • reading posts

      to Todd & Melaine

      you two are stupid people!!!!!

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

      The Vatican: A saintesizing manufacture of poor quality prodoucts.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • jefe

      @Melanie, pastors (and priests I would assume) all pay income tax just like the rest of us. The churches themselves are not taxed as corporations, but everyone who receives a salary from a church generally does, at least with the churches I know about. Also, many pastors pay their own parf of FICA, like being self-employed.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      4% of the total American population are Pedophiles. Less than 1/10th of 1% of Roman Catholic Priests have even been accused. By your Standard then all Americans are molesters? As an American I object. As a Catholic I pray you turn away from hate.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Know What

      Southern Celt,

      Here's the deal:

      Pedophiles, when caught in secular society are sent to prison. Your hierarchy HID and COVERED UP the pedophiles' crimes. Your hierarchy - all the way to the top - betrayed you (and society). This, added to quite a few other instances of corrupt behavior throughout history, makes them unworthy of being trusted.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Artist

      SouthernCelt

      4% of the total American population are Pedophiles. Less than 1/10th of 1% of Roman Catholic Priests have even been accused. By your Standard then all Americans are molesters? As an American I object. As a Catholic I pray you turn away from hate.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
      -------

      and 100% of the catholic leadership worked to cover it up and allowe dit to go on. That puts the catholic shurch at 100% supportive. Catholics still support the church...they support ra pists.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • gerald

      Know What,

      So 4% of the population are abusers. A little math here. 4% x 300 million is 12 Million. Now are there 12 million in jail for CSA? Not anywhere near that. There are 11,000 cases of accused priests of which 4000 I believe it is, have been convicted. There are many reasons why some are not convicted both in society and the priesthood. First it's hard to prove abuse. Secondly statute of limitations prevent many from being convicted. Third victims don't like to come forward. But the fact of the matter is there are a higher percentage of prist abusers convicted than the general public.

      April 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • gerald

      To add to my point there are 2 million people in prison in the US so a MUCH LOWER population of peds have been prosecuted than Catholic priests.

      April 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Odie Colognie

      Boittom line is, Todd, would you leave your 12 year old son alone with one of them ? I sure as hell wouldn't.

      April 27, 2011 at 5:47 am |
    • Odie Colognie

      Sorry. That was meant to be @gerald, not Todd.

      April 27, 2011 at 5:52 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.