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June 17th, 2011
10:27 AM ET

U.S. Catholic bishops revise guidelines against sex abuse

Seattle, Washington (CNN) - To fight child abuse by priests, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops revised its 2002 charter Thursday, the group said.

Child pornography is a crime against church law and the abuse of someone who is mentally disabled is equivalent to child abuse, the conference said in a statement on its revised Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The charter was created to battle the sexual abuse of minors by clerics, the conference said.

Read the full story about the American bishops revising guidelines for dealing with abuse
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church

soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. jwitness

    The Truth about the Watchtower.
    Protect Your Children! – http://tinyurl.com/6562tb6

    How to Protect Your Children – http://tinyurl.com/yl693ez

    Inquiries on Child Abuse -http://tinyurl.com/6xf94t2

    June 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  2. fernace

    This blog is not about personal diputes or who's doctrine is correct. It's about churches not standing up for their most innocent parishioners. While the Catholic Church is most visible in the media, it's obviously a denomination wide problem. One problem, demonstrated on these posts, seems to be that believers take it as an insult to their faith, & therefore to themselves. People get very irate when their faith is alledged to be involved in questionable activities & denial is rampant! We need to remember that it is not our churches that are being investigated, but individuals who may have harmed our children! That must take precedence over church, priest or parish! Those individuals must be turned over to the law & prosecuted, if found guilty! Christians cannot stand by silent, because we want to protect our faith!!

    June 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      What ALL of you detractors refuse to acknowledge (and therefore insist upon being liars about it) is that the individuals were arrested and prosecuted by the state on state criminal charges and have been sentenced and are serving time in the state penitentiary. The prosecutors (and the judges .. and even the juries) were Christians and Jews and faithful to both God and the state. Now if you refuse to accept that and say they were not then you are advocating a lie (an outright lie). You know it to be a lie. So it is time for you detractors to admit your true motives because it looks like you just want to tear down (any) religion (to suit your individual prejudices)

      June 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  3. fernace

    If you read secular & Catholic histories you'll find that there is a tradition of upholding the Vatican law as superior. After all, it was the Church & the Law in many European nations for centuries. Unfortunately the Church is not handling this devastating crisis with the urgency it deserves. This abuse has been exposed & dicussed for several decades, but children are still violated & priests quietly moved to remote areas. What needs to happen is immediate turn-over of abusing priests to law enforcement. When the accusations starts coming in, let it automatically become a legal matter, not a church matter. The Church obviously can't judge this issue fairly, the result is more suffering & upheaval. Not only is the law not biased, but this is a criminal matter & should be treated as such!

    June 19, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      Well this is completely false and misinformation. If you actually read history you would know that Becket told Henry II that he would not allow him to try criminous clerics in civil courts and Henry told five knights to chop his head off (and they did). That argument led to decades of the conflict culminating in the Reformation and the establishment of the Anglican church (ousting the Vatican entirely). Similar church-state conflict in France, Germany and the Hapsburg Empire. In the most recent cases the priests were tried by the government (state government) and are serving prison sentences. Their churches were tried in civil courts and are paying multimilion dollar judgments. It is absolutely false to say that they were not tried and punished in U.S. civil courts. They were. Punishment was severe.

      June 20, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Frogist

      @fernace: I couldn't agree with you more.

      June 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Artist

      RightturnClyde
      .
      Only ones punished are the ones that the church could not hide or protect. Lovely church you belong to.

      June 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  4. Jim

    Oh? They revised the rules? No more Anal? Mouth only for the little ones?

    They need to all be locked up in Jail.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eqKb5ViN_Q&w=640&h=360]

    June 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  5. yanko

    http://www.wpray4u.com

    June 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  6. MJSouth

    I am pretty sure God will understand if I use the time given me to live life to the fullest, give others a helping hand, teat others as I would like to be treated, but don't spend a lot of time in useless pseudo intellectual babble. Go take a bike ride!!

    June 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  7. Daniel

    Gee...then why are these atrocities STILL happening?!? The priest there says what he says very 'matter of fact'-ly, but the crimes continue.

    June 18, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Daniel,

      You ask, ‘Gee...then why are these atrocities STILL happening?!?’

      Yes, people continue speeding after their fines, too……
      They still come out of prison and do another DWI…
      They still stalk…
      They still abuse….
      They still fornicate…
      Why do these and thousands of other atrocities still happen? My opinion is that people do not have a love of neighbor in their hearts…their lives are miserable; unhappiness surrounds them; they cannot get enough of their god [which is not God] and many have a ‘me-me-me’ mentality.

      June 18, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Jim

      There is nothing wrong with fornication, just don't do it to a child.

      June 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Frogist

      @CatholicMom: I think it is unfair to dismiss Daniel's anger by saying these things will always happen. Just another atrocity, what can you do? What the church can do is work towards it not happening again. Playing it off nonchalantly as just another day with humanity, trivializes the seriousness of the crimes and diminishes the church's responsibility.

      June 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Frogist,
      I didn't say 'always'; some people change, some have a hard time of it.

      June 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  8. Zelda

    The church is an example to all others. Families, schools and secular in-sti-tu-tions should follow the good example.

    June 18, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • Daniel

      Bladderflap, Zelda. The church is putting on a good face, but the crimes continue. Maybe it's time for the church to beeping wake up and make some serious changes. The whole celibacy thing is sick and twisted. That's a sick rule one of the sickest popes came up with. Time to wake up and make some serious changes. Beep the church anyway. Religion is comforting and crippling.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Zelda

      @Daniel, no, celibacy is the most beautiful Christian calling. The Church will fix itself and continue rescue mankind. You just watch.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • LinCA

      @Zelda

      You said: "@Daniel, no, celibacy is the most beautiful Christian calling. The Church will fix itself and continue rescue mankind. You just watch."
      The only way the church is going to fix itself is by making celibacy required for all of its followers.

      June 20, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • Zelda

      @Linca, celibacy is not for everyone. What are the Canadian Catholics doing, not educating Canadians on Catholicism properly?

      June 20, 2011 at 3:56 am |
  9. John Richardson

    Does anybody with an ounce of sense or compassion really trust these guys to do ANYTHING right about this issue that they aren't forced to?

    June 17, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  10. Robert Hagedorn

    Adam and Eve? Do a search: First Scandal.

    June 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  11. Artist

    "In the United States, eight Catholic dioceses and one Jesuit order filed for bankruptcy protection in response to lawsuits from victims, according to Bishop Accountability, which tracks reports of abuse by priests."
    ------
    Now if only they could start seizing the property. Seeing a catholic church go up for sale would bring tears of joy.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      I'd buy one and turn it into a Starbucks or something usefull.

      June 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • John

      Why don't you make US schools starbucks ... they didn't teach either of you anything... and that is where most child abuses occur.

      June 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  12. Reality

    For full disclosure of the news:

    Why did today's pope, prelates, preachers and rabbis, so focused on society's se-xual sins, lose sight of clerical se-xual sins?

    FEAR, SHAME and GUILT and COVER IT ALL UP!!!-

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_and_child_se-x_abuse

    “As with other religious organizations, Jehovah's Witnesses have been obliged in recent years to develop child protection policies to deal with cases of child abuse in their congregations. Details of the policy have been published in Jehovah's Witnesses' publications and press releases issued by their Office of Public Information.[1][2] Some details are found only in letters to elders which, while solely for internal use, have been made available on the Internet.”

    From: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1855948_1861760_1862212,00.html#ixzz0jg0lEyZj

    “Facing calls to curb child se-x abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of molesting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and ped-ophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse.

    http://www.eutimes.net/category/criticism/pedophilia/

    "Yet another prominent Orthodox rabbi has been charged with se-xual abuse. This time it is Rabbi Mordechai Elon, one of the foremost rabbinic leaders of the Israeli Orthodox movement and former rosh yeshiva at the flagship Yeshivat HaRav, where last year a Palestinian mounted an assault which left several students dead. The result was that students of the yeshiva and other far right Jews went on a rampage and tried to burn down the home of the family of the perpetrator of the attack. Elon’s brother is Benny, a former MK for a far-right pro-settler party.

    At one time the rabbi was so renowned he’d hoped to be named chief rabbi. Alas, that hope is all but dashed as he was charged several years ago with abusing boys at his yeshiva:

    Takana, a rabbinic forum established in 2003 to clamp down on se-xual misconduct by Orthodox educators, went public February 15 with allegations that Mordechai “Moti” Elon had taken advantage of his influence over male students and performed “acts at odds with sacred and moral values.”

    The panel later said that two people, whose complaints alleged acts from about 25 years ago, had been under 18 at the time. More recent alleged acts involved students of Elon who were 18 or older. Since its initial disclosure, the panel reports having received one more complaint of an alleged underage encounter…

    What is unusual about this case is that a splinter group of the Orthodox community is taking the position that the entire prosecution is an attempt to destroy rabbinic authority and the Orthodox movement. It calls for refusal to cooperate with state authorities (or to deal with the charge through a beyt din)."

    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

    And let us be wary of Boy Scout leaders:

    http://www.ocregister.com/news/ordered-245722-abuse-oregon.html

    "A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered se-xual abuse as a child at the hands of his troop leader — the largest such award levied against the organization, reports The Oregonian.

    Attorneys for 38-year-old Kerry Lewis said the verdict exposed the organization’s “dark history with pe-dophiles and its unwillingness to come to terms with the problem.” They waved “perversion files“ around the courtroom – secret files kept by the Scouts doc-umenting claims of se-xual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers over a 70 year-period."

    June 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  13. RightturnClyde

    The law(s) of the U.S. and of the states in which each incident occurred WERE applied to the priests and the church. The priests were prosecuted and are serving time. The churches are paying multi-million dollar judgments. How much MORE do they owe? When are you satisfied that the US justice system has done its job? If you have an accident with yoru car do you think you ought to owe MORE than the court thinks you owe? Do you think you owe more than the insurance adjuster thinks you owe? Most likely you whine and complain when you pay a speeding ticket. Are YOU different? Are there special rules for you (but not for others?) Do you ALWAYS pick up your trash in the movies? Do you always THANK your wife? Do you ALWAYS tip the waitress 25%? Do you pay full price even when you have a coupon? Or do you think different rules apply to you?

    June 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Right-wingers are known for stupidity the world over

      You found some free time in between beating your wife and abusing your children to make another one of your pus-filled posts, eh?
      But of course you think you are right when you are wrong. That's what people like you do. You can't help it. Pathetic.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • danny

      What an arrogant reply.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Artist

      Wow you just reduced ra pe and compared it to traffic infra ctions and lit tering.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      No .. the priests are serving time (have you ever served time for a speeding ticket .. I don't think so). The churches are paying multimillion dollar judgments. Do you pay multimillion dollar fines in your state> Not likely. The issue raise was: why aren't priests and churches subject to the same LAW as the rest of us. They have been subjected to the same law (federal and state) and are PAYING their penalty. But since you (non readers) failed to grasp THAT from the media reports it seems maybe you can understand an analogy to traffic tickets. (Give you do not understand that the U.S. and state court system (and not the Catholic church) sentenced the priests and imprisoned them - and executed tort judgments against the church. But you are not satisfied with that? You want MORE? What penalty do you think is JUST? If our courts are not just, what do you believe to be just? Why would you seek HIGHER penalties for priests and churches than you would expect for your friends and neighbors? Why do you think the priests and churches have not been punished enough? How much is ENOUGH for you? When do you feel vindicated? And why should THEY have higher penalties than would be just for you?

      June 18, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Summary Judgment

      @RightturnClyde
      How about the death penalty for child molestation? That would certainly put an end to their serial criminal behavior, wouldn't it?
      None of this "speeding ticket" nonsense, just blast them from the face of the earth, give all their money, etc. to the victims, and then we can move on to getting rid of the other ones. Kill them all, that's what I say. And they certainly won't need any money or anything if they're dead, and the victims deserve some restltution. Why complain if you aren't one of them?
      Clyde, you sound like you're afraid they're going to find you and put you in prison. I'd rather they just shoot you.

      June 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      @ Summary Judgment (well I can see that you leap to conclusions that fit your point of view) Actually I put a good many people IN prison before you were weaned from pablum. I am sure you would not have liked me (I would not have cared). My point has been that the LAW really does have teeth and those priests and their churches have felt its bite. I have had assignments in counties you could not walk through in broad daylight. I handled everything from 30 car pile-ups to RICO cases. I survived (more than a few) situations that would make a good Christian out of you (one reason WHY I am a Christian).

      June 20, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  14. gerald

    You like to generalize "the bishops". Which ones? How much did they know? When did they know it?

    June 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  15. Colin

    Ten signs you are a Catholic.

    1. You believe that the Pope has personal conversations with God (that nobody else ever hears) and is infallible when speaking on matters of Church doctrine. You then wistfully ignore the fact that Church doctrine changes and that former Popes therefore could not possibly have been “infallible”. Limbo, for example, was touted by Pope after Pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go, until Pope Benedict XVI just eradicated it. Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong – as they were on Adam and Eve v. evolution.

    2. You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours. You are blissfully (or intentionally) blind to the fact, that had you been born in another part of the World, you would be defending the local gods and disdaining the silliness of Catholic beliefs.

    3. You begrudgingly accept evolution (about a century after Darwin proved it and after accepting Genesis as literally true for about 2,000 years) and that Adam and Eve was totally made up, but then conveniently ignore that fact that your justification for Jesus dying on the cross (to save us from Original Sin) has therefore been eviscerated.

    4. You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Mary and thousands of named saints and angels, all with magic “godly” powers of some kind.

    5. You bemoan the "atrocities" attributed to Al.lah, but you don`t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!

    6. You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that God impregnated Mary with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to “forgive” an ”Original Sin” that never happened.

    7. You disdain gays as sinners, but have no problem when Lot got drunk and committed father-daughter in.cest (twice) or offered his daughters to a mob to be gang ra.ped, or when Moses, time and again, offered his wife up for the “pleasures” of the Egyptians to save his own skin.

    8. You believe that your god will cause anyone who does not accept your Bronze Age stories to suffer a penalty an infinite times worse than the death penalty (burning forever in excruciating torture) simply because of their healthy skepticism, yet maintain that god “loves them”.

    9. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you of the deep inanity of your silly faith, some priest doing magic hand signals over bread and wine is enough to convince you it is thereby transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus because of the priest’s magic powers (or “sacred powers” to the extent you see a difference).

    10. You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to Lourdes, Fátima and other magic places and prayers in general. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. The remaining 99.99% failure was simply “god moving in mysterious ways”.

    11. You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Catholicism and church history – but still call yourself a Catholic.

    Ok, that was 11, but I'm sure, if they pray hard enough, the Catholics can turn it into a 10.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • michael

      thank you, colin. that was simply beautiful.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Arse Majoris

      Awesome, dude! I laughed at number 11, but I'm sure it would be easy to extend the number of insanities to a hundred where Catholics are concerned. I notice you left out the pedo-priests, too. Well, you can always rewrite it just for me, rite?

      June 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • TN

      Thank you Colin!!! God bless you!!! You are the MAN!!!

      June 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • danny

      Someone's been reading Dawkins.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Artist

      lol nice one and how true

      June 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Chris

      10. You pray to the God of 'science'. Your prayers are rarely answered, but still you faithfully prostrate and pay obeisance to your deity. You call your faked and spun facts 'science' even after they've been embarrassingly disproven many times.

      9. You reach cognitive dissonance when confronted with words and concepts of an All-Powerful Almighty. Insanity approaches soon afterwards.

      8. You are prone to spastic, spittle-flecked, violent outbursts regarding the 'intolerance', 'illogical', 'unreasonable' position of those "nutty Christian fanatical fundamentalists".

      7. You cannot conceive of a place called Hell, because in your fantasy version of Christianity, God is a kind pushover who will never punish you for anything you ever do, regardless of how heinous or sinful. It's just inconceivable that this "God" would actually punish you for doing something wrong, therefore Hell cannot exist.

      6. You constantly tell others of your expert status on the Bible, yet consistently twist, distort and outright misrepresent verses of the Bible in order to further your perverted view of the Book.

      5. You think 'tolerant' and 'loving' means you NEVER get punished for anything. If this "Jesus" guy said to "love", that means to never judge anyone for ANY actions, to never reprimand or rebuke ANYONE for any sins. Love in your bizarre reality means total and complete acceptance of all actions, regardless of how perverse.

      4. You consistently misrepresent and distort the true picture of Christianity, alleging that the entire Christian faith abhors concepts like evolution, when in fact many prominent Christians have said that the Bible and evolution are not mutually exclusive.

      3. You are in general a mean, nasty, sad person who sees their 'purpose' in life to demonize and destroy those who you believe to be the source of all evil in the world, the scourge of the planet, those evil, tyrannical Christians.

      2. You in general have no idea or real understanding of a structure like the Christian concept. You only believe what your atheist sites have told you and parrot it willfully and blindly without any real thought as to what you are saying.

      1. You start pointless, boring threads excoriating your strawman version of Christians, attempting to paint REAL Christians with this false brush, spinning broad webs of deceit with every stroke. You contribute nothing to society except your ludicrous assertions that Christianity is the greatest evil to populate the planet, leading millions of otherwise sane people to become completely brainwashed and lead a horrifying life of trying to do the right thing. How utterly shocking.

      June 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Chris Thanks for proving once again how lame Christians are at satire.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Colin

      Chris

      10. You pray to the God of 'science'. Your prayers are rarely answered, but still you faithfully prostrate and pay obeisance to your deity. You call your faked and spun facts 'science' even after they've been embarrassingly disproven many times.

      Atheists have no god. That is why we are atheists. Science is a methodology, a way of thinking. If a theory is disproven (truly disproven, not wished away by a theist) it must de dropped or modified. That is the essence of science.

      9. You reach cognitive dissonance when confronted with words and concepts of an All-Powerful Almighty. Insanity approaches soon afterwards.

      Mere insult. No response needed.

      8. You are prone to spastic, spittle-flecked, violent outbursts regarding the 'intolerance', 'illogical', 'unreasonable' position of those "nutty Christian fanatical fundamentalists".

      Mere insult. No response needed.

      7. You cannot conceive of a place called Hell, because in your fantasy version of Christianity, God is a kind pushover who will never punish you for anything you ever do, regardless of how heinous or sinful. It's just inconceivable that this "God" would actually punish you for doing something wrong, therefore Hell cannot exist.

      No, we cannot conceive of hell because it is every bit as ludicrous a concept as heaven. How can an atheist, who does not even believe in a god, have a view on its “forgiveness”?

      6. You constantly tell others of your expert status on the Bible, yet consistently twist, distort and outright misrepresent verses of the Bible in order to further your perverted view of the Book.

      We read it and quote the more egregious, violent and barbaric elements of it, which are an embarrassment to Christians and Jews.

      5. You think 'tolerant' and 'loving' means you NEVER get punished for anything. If this "Jesus" guy said to "love", that means to never judge anyone for ANY actions, to never reprimand or rebuke ANYONE for any sins. Love in your bizarre reality means total and complete acceptance of all actions, regardless of how perverse.

      See point 7 above.

      4. You consistently misrepresent and distort the true picture of Christianity, alleging that the entire Christian faith abhors concepts like evolution, when in fact many prominent Christians have said that the Bible and evolution are not mutually exclusive.

      See point 6 above.

      3. You are in general a mean, nasty, sad person who sees their 'purpose' in life to demonize and destroy those who you believe to be the source of all evil in the world, the scourge of the planet, those evil, tyrannical Christians.

      See points 8 and 9 above.

      2. You in general have no idea or real understanding of a structure like the Christian concept. You only believe what your atheist sites have told you and parrot it willfully and blindly without any real thought as to what you are saying.

      See points 8 and 9 above.

      1. You start pointless, boring threads excoriating your strawman version of Christians, attempting to paint REAL Christians with this false brush, spinning broad webs of deceit with every stroke. You contribute nothing to society except your ludicrous assertions that Christianity is the greatest evil to populate the planet, leading millions of otherwise sane people to become completely brainwashed and lead a horrifying life of trying to do the right thing. How utterly shocking.

      See points 8 and 9 above.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • PeterVN

      Colin, great post, and also classy and fair response to Chris. Well done.

      June 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • TheresaEE

      "Limbo, for example, was touted by Pope after Pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go, until Pope Benedict XVI just eradicated it. Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong..."

      Since it would take anyone with Internet access only a fraction of a second to discover that "Limbo" was never "de-fide" dogma, the above comment by "Colin" gets the prize for outstanding ignorance in spewing forth his bilge. So much for his "10 signs you are a catholic."

      Try this wiki article for starters:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbo

      After Colin learns to read, he may come across as a bit more intelligent.

      June 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      Colin,

      I wish I could sub you like in YouTube... Again I start at a slow clap... and move to thunderous applause.

      Like, Like, Like.

      June 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ Chris
      A little defensive are you? First line of Colin's post is: Ten signs you are a Catholic
      but you accuse him of painting all christians with the same brush... I think he is very specific to his target audience.

      @ Colin (I'm getting a man crush on you. lol)
      awesome replies to Chris.

      June 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      After TheresaEE learns to think, she might come across as having intelligence. No evidence of that yet.

      June 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Leviathan

      May God have mercy on your soul Colin. I will pray for you. "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." May the peace of Christ be with you all.

      June 18, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • LinCA

      @Leviathan

      I don't pretend to speak for Colin. He does a fine job all by himself.

      Do you realize how stupid it sounds to say that you will be praying to a god for someone who has clearly stated that he doesn't believe in that god? You want to convince (convert?) me or any of the other atheists? Try rational arguments. Make your case for your god with evidence and logic. Until someone, anyone, provides evidence that there ever was a god, believing in one is unreasonable.

      Just asserting that you believe in Bob the Magical Blue Sock, doesn't make Bob real. All it shows is that you believe (in fairy tales). I'll take your word for that one (see, I believe, too).

      June 18, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • TheresaEE

      @LinCA:

      You state: " Try rational arguments. Make your case for your god with evidence and logic." It works both ways, you know. Building straw men that are easily torn down is neither rational, logical, nor productive. I speak specifically of Colin's "10 signs you are a catholic." From the first sentence, to the last, there is nothing but misinformation, misunderstanding, and misrepresentation of what the Catholic Church really teaches, and what Catholics really believe. Colin's entire exercise falls flat on its face with regard to his attempt to make Catholics appear foolish, while simultaneously demonstrating a great deal more about Colin that I think he would like – namely, how foolish he is. He is not only ignorant of his subject, but also too lazy to take the time to study in order to truly understand what he is attempting to attack. In any debate, the effectiveness of one's argument is directly proportional to how well one understands his/her opponent's argument. Otherwise, one comes across looking like a little child, blindly throwing punches, hoping that one might hit its mark.

      When silly straw-man arguments like Colin's are then followed up by numerous posts, praising him and patting him on the back, one can only conclude that it isn't Catholics who blindly and without thought follow-the-leader. Personally, I don't believe any self-respecting athiest would care to put him or herself in that same camp as those who either lack the intelligence, or the diligence, to build a rational and reasoned argument against the Catholic Church.

      I have already given one example of Colin's silliness – his example of Limbo. Colin attempts to argue that Limbo was infallibly defined as de fide dogma by numerous popes, and now has been "eradicated" by B16. This, according to Colin, somehow "proves" that papal infallibility is a sham, and any catholic who doesn't follow Colin's "logic" on this is an idiot. The sad fact is, (sad for Colin), "Limbo" is and was theological speculation. It was never taught, nor defined infallibly by any Pope or Council as de fide dogma, so even if B16 did "eradicate" it, it would in no way touch on the question of infallibility. Nevertheless, B16 didn't "eradicate" the speculation on where unbaptized babies go after death, so Colin is wrong on this point, too. It would take only 5 minutes to discover these facts, and since Colin didn't bother to take those 5 minutes, it demonstrates that he neither knows his subject, nor does he choose to attempt to even appear to know his subject.

      That's fine, but he won't "convert" any thinking person to his way of thinking. So, the requirement for reason, logic, and evidence works both ways. If athiests want to argue against the Catholic Church, you'll need to begin thinking for yourself and study your subject, rather than just regurgitating the same tired, ineffective straw men that Colin presents.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Colin

      TheresaEE – Sifting through your emotive vituperations, the one point you substantively take issue with in my (somewhat randomly selected) 11 criticisms of Catholic theology is the degree of certi.tude prior popes afforded limbo. In your view, this particular after-death kingdom, unlike heaven, hell and purgatory, was always merely “speculative.”

      I would ask you this. What is it about heaven, hell and purgatory, the other three layers in the simplistic four-level Catholic cosmology of after-death kingdoms, that makes them any less speculative? I mean, at its most fundamental level, how can one after death kingdom be speculative and the other three certain? Indeed, being honest to yourself, how can anything the Catholic Church teaches about life after death be anything other than completely speculative?

      Let’s face it, we all know the answer. The whole thing is a product of man’s imagination, so we have a complete license to flash them in and out of existence as we please. Limbo disappeared because the underlying zeitgeist changed and it became no longer socially acceptable to regard unbaptized babies as “at fault” or otherwise deserving of spending an eternity stuck in the Catholic god’s mezzanine floor. For this same reason, Christians are backing away from hell as a fiery pit of punishment. The zeitgeist changes, so the Catholics’ magic kingdoms have to keep pace, lest they become the Coney Island of the theological amusement parks.

      One would have thought that, with about 2,000 years of “infallible” popes, all with a mental “bat phone” straight to the cosmic White House, we would have a definite, immutable answer on these fundamental issues.

      Finally, so as not to leave a hanging chad, I actually disagree with your assertion that “limbo” was ever “speculative”. I was taught it as a fact for 12 years of Catholic school. Indeed, I have never heard the Catholic Church admit that anything it believed was merely “speculative.” It tends to claim a monopoly on the truth, even as that Catholic “truth” morphs, changes and wiggles in its chair, as it has since before the Dark Ages.

      June 19, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • LinCA

      @TheresaEE

      You state: "" Try rational arguments. Make your case for your god with evidence and logic." It works both ways, you know. [...]"

      To that I would say: What Colin said.

      June 19, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • TheresaEE

      @Colin:

      My last 2 responses to you have been buried in "Moderator Limbo" since Saturday, (don't ask me why), so I'll just make this as brief as possible.

      You think that because you went to Catholic school for 12 whole years that you know everything there is to know about what the Church teaches. How many Mathematicians do you know who ended their education in Math in the 12th grade? How many Biologists, Chemists, or Physicists, ended their education in high school? Does your high school education qualify you to teach English, or any other subject? Hardly, yet you think you are qualified to instruct others (including Catholics) what the CC teaches.

      High school religion classes don’t go very deeply into distinctions between de fide dogma, doctrine, discipline, or theological speculation. For that, one must continue their education beyond the basics they get in grammar and high school. Even so, if I challenged you to quote directly from your religion textbook that “Limbo” was “a fact” – I doubt seriously that you could do that even if you still had your book.

      I have spent more than 20 years beyond my 12th grade Catholic education, studying what the Chruch teaches. Regardless of whether you "agree" with me or not, the truth of the matter is that the CC has never defined the Limbo of Infants as de fide dogma. Once again, (for the third time), that is something you could easily discover for yourself, if you weren't so convinced that you know it all.

      I focused on this one point in my original "emotive vitupurations" over and against your 11 emotive vitupurations against the Catholic Church’s theology simply because it was “number one.” I could similarly demolish and demonstrate that the other 10 are nothing more than silly straw men. Your 12 years of "catholic" school no more qualifies you to articulate Catholic theology than it qualifies you to teach 3rd grade grammar; you build nice little straw men who might fool those who, like you, have a child’s education, rather than an adult’s, (which is why your straw men fall flat under scrutiny); and you can't spend 5 minutes looking something up before you go spouting your childish misunderstandings in comboxes.

      If this post ends up in moderator limbo, I will conclude that the CNN moderators simply don't want Catholics here giving a reasoned defense of their faith against the silly straw men arguments being posted.

      June 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  16. RightturnClyde

    You should not need to explain the Ten Commandments or moral consequences to a clergy (priest, minister or rabbi) ... maybe to a Mullah since they seem to have no notion of morals .. not to a Judeo-Christian clergyman.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  17. Patrick O’Malley

    The Catholic church barely made any changes, and the most important thing is that no reporting is mandated. Bishops have leeway in terms of whether they have to report.

    We're talking about priests raping children, and they still don't take it seriously. The Catholic church doesn't care enough.

    Parents – get your children out of there.

    June 17, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • John

      Here is another lie... The Church made sweeping changes in Catholic schools and how priests are vetted. There hasn't been a substantiated report of a priest abuse in over 10 years... The ones in the news happened in the 70s and 80s.

      June 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Leviathan

      @John there is no sense in fighting illogical responses with logic. They do not believe and do not want to believe. The best you and I can do is not argue with them but, rather, pray for them. Just like we do every Sunday for all the non-believers. Maybe someday they will enter a catholic church and attend a Mass and realize how beautiful it really is. Hopefully, one day, even if they still do not believe, they can sit back and not judge the rest of humanity who does respond to the call of the Lord.

      June 18, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • LinCA

      @John

      You said: "Here is another lie... The Church made sweeping changes in Catholic schools and how priests are vetted. There hasn't been a substantiated report of a priest abuse in over 10 years... The ones in the news happened in the 70s and 80s."
      You may want to open a newspaper that was printed in this century. Last year a raid in Belgium on the Catholic Church headquarters drew protests from the Vatican, even after the Bishop of Bruges had admitted to sexual abuse.

      Sexual abuse by priests and covering it up by catholic authorities is still rampant.

      @Leviathan

      You said: "[...] there is no sense in fighting illogical responses with logic."
      You are correct up until that point. After that you start to ramble. I have a news flash for you; you don't have logic on your side.

      You said: "The best you and I can do is not argue with them but, rather, pray for them. Just like we do every Sunday for all the non-believers."
      How about you don't pray for me and, in return, I won't think for you.

      June 18, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  18. Reality

    Added credence to the following:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    June 17, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  19. Artist

    Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy the "catholic" church did this because they could not cover it up anymore. Nice integrity for the original christian (cough) church.

    June 17, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  20. The Bobinator

    > Child po-rnography is a crime against church law

    Try "Child po-rnography is a crime against the law." The church should be bound to the same laws as any other organization. They shouldn't have their own special laws.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • PeterVN

      Bobinator, re "The church should be bound to the same laws as any other organization. They shouldn't have their own special laws."

      Also, if that were the case, the church could possibly be prosecuted for instructing and inciting violence and other crimes, including abuse, animal cruelty and much more, plus false and misleading advertising. And then finally perhaps the church (or churches, given all the many Christian sects/cults) could be finally put away into the dustbin as the criminal organization that it is.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • PeterVN

      PS Bobinator, meant to say at the beginning of that, I fully agree with your statement.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • gerald

      The Church can't have it's own rules for it's people? Really? Gee then I guess neither can there be rules for baseball and football. Church rules don't mean that they are not subject to the laws of the country they live in.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > The Church can't have it's own rules for it's people? Really? Gee then I guess neither can there be rules for baseball and football. Church rules don't mean that they are not subject to the laws of the country they live in.

      Then why did the bishop make the distinction of church law. You have a knack for changing words to support your argument too btw.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Daniel

      @ gerald – The problem is that the bishops have been neglecting to report crimes they know priests to have committed to law enforcement, and have lied to police about that knowlege, and have in some cases been caught lying, and THIS WAS ALL PERFERCTLY OKAY with the Vatican. It was in fact OFFICIAL POLICY to cover up wrongdoing. Now it is left to bishops as a "matter of conscience" to determing whether or not law enforcement should be performed.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Daniel

      performed? I meant "informed", of course.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:08 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.