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March 20th, 2012
10:17 AM ET

Vatican begs forgiveness of Ireland abuse victims

By Richard Allen Greene and Peter Taggart, CNN

(CNN) - The Vatican begged forgiveness from Irish victims of child sexual abuse by priests as it released a major report into the problem Tuesday, but victims responded with anger and disbelief at the report's finding that new safeguards are working.

"With a great sense of pain and shame, it must be acknowledged that within the Christian community, innocent young people were abused by clerics," a high-level Catholic Church committee found.

"Those who should have exercised vigilance often failed to do so effectively," the committee found.

"For these faults, forgiveness must once more be asked: from God and from the victims!" the commission of top church leaders said.

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, echoed those words Tuesday.

"In expressing true sorrow and regret, we make our own the heartfelt plea for forgiveness from the victims, and from God, for these terrible crimes and sins," he said.

But activists for survivors of abuse said the report did not go nearly far enough.

"In a very, very small way in the summary they acknowledge the fact that damage has been done by what they call 'the problem' of the abuse of minors," said Jon McCourt of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse.

But, he added, "the church could have used Ireland as a beacon of light and hope for victims of institutional and clerical abuse across the world. And it looks like the opportunity has been missed."

And a U.S.-based group dismissed the report as "another tired, ineffective re-hash of the promises made by U.S. bishops a decade ago, promises that have had little impact on this crisis."

"No institution can police itself, especially not an ancient, rigid, secretive all-male monarchy with a horrific history of ignoring and concealing child sex crimes," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

She said internal reports were "nearly meaningless," and argued that "self-serving Catholic officials can't police or reform themselves," so secular authorities should do so.

"That's the real remedy - increase the will and the ability of independent professionals in law enforcement and the judiciary to investigate, expose, punish and deter child sex crimes and cover-ups," she said.

The Vatican suggests in its report Tuesday that the problem is largely in the past.

"Beginning in the 1990s, decisive progress has been made, leading to a greater awareness of the problem and profound changes in the way of addressing it," the report said.

Guidelines dating from 2008 "have proved to be an effective instrument for handling accusations of abuse and for increasing the awareness of the entire Christian community in the area of child protection," it continued.

"Much attention and care has been shown to the victims, both in terms of spiritual and psychological assistance and also from a legal and financial standpoint," the report said.

The investigators make a number of recommendations, including suggesting that seminaries do more to prepare candidates for the priesthood for "a life of priestly celibacy."

They also recommend that the Irish Church develop guidelines for what to do with priests who have been accused of abuse but whom authorities have declined to prosecute.

And they advise that procedures be put in place to help those falsely accused and then cleared of abuse, and where to house those who are convicted of abuse.

Pope Benedict XVI set up the investigation, formally known as an Apostolic Visitation, in response to a series of independent reports that found thousands of Irish children had been physically or sexually abused by Catholic clergy over several decades.

Confronted with accusations of abuse, bishops tended to move abusive priests to new parishes, the Irish government-backed reports found.

The most recent one, known as the Cloyne report, found that abuse and cover-ups continued well after the scandal broke, and after safeguards were established by the Catholic Church in Ireland.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Ireland

soundoff (356 Responses)
  1. fred

    Christian prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Christianity makes you frothy in your south like Rick Santorum. See http://santorum.com
    Christianity prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Christianity makes you fat.
    Christianity wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Christianity contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Christianity fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Christianity can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Christianity reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Christianity exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Christianity makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Christianity makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Christianity makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Christianity gives you knobbly knees.
    Christianity dulls your senses.
    Christianity makes you post really stupid shit.
    Christianity makes you hoard cats.
    Christianity makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Christianity wastes time.

    March 22, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  2. peter King

    There is nothing like atheists. Human mind is not capable of denying the existence of something. Because it must perceive it first and then deny its existence. Atheists perceive God but deny His existence which attracts alot of attention to them. They are just truant children of God. If you want to know if God exists dont ask His children. Go to a quiet room and tell Him you want to know if he exists and to give you a sign. If He doesnt then you can trumpet around!

    March 22, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • Over It

      peter King,

      Do you believe in invisible flying unicorns?

      Let's assume that you don't.

      To deny them you must perceive them then, right? Yet you deny the existence of something that you perceive? Really?

      Would you ask the unicorns to give you a sign that they exist?

      Many atheists are former believers. We know that asking drill and many have performed it numerous times. No answer. There is no-one out/up/over/under/around there.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Kebos

      pK: I've done that. No sign. No images on my toast either. And I eat a lot of toast. Of course, I eat whole grain. Does Jesus dwell only on enriched flour? I mean, i figured if he can create the whole universe in 6 days then he ought to be able to show up on whole-grain bread on the 7th. Please, tell me. I need to know!

      March 22, 2012 at 6:38 am |
    • Jesus

      "Go to a quiet room and tell Him you want to know if he exists and to give you a sign. If He doesnt then you can trumpet around"

      It's been proven to be a waste of time. An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!~~

      March 22, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • sam stone

      yet you know enough about god to assign it a gender?

      March 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  3. Kebos

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/9153676/Dutch-Roman-Catholic-Church-castrated-at-least-10-boys.html

    March 21, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven,

    March 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Jesus

      - You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!! .. .. .. ... .. .

      March 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • mandarax

      Sadly, I bet every one of those children being abused by priests was desperately praying that it would stop.
      Powerless.
      Ineffective.
      Disproven.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  5. chief

    The Vatican suggests in its report Tuesday that the problem is largely in the past. ..... that means they are hiding it better

    March 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Kebos

      And let's not be fooled here. It is still going on.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  6. myweightinwords

    I wanted to pull this out of the thread below, because I saw some ideas in it I wanted to explore...not that it necessarily deals with the article, but it's something I've thought about in recent weeks.

    Fred said, "The actual science does not prove squat as purpose for our being or why there is good and evil."

    As I understand it, science isn't meant to explain our purpose of being or why there is good and evil (although I suppose some side branches of psychiatry and the like might be said to pursue that to some degree). I am no scientist, but if I am looking to define my purpose in life, I'm not turning to science to answer the question.

    My purpose in life is too big and at the same time far too intimate a question for science to define. It is a question we must each answer for ourselves. We see some say that their purpose is to pass on their DNA. I know that isn't my purpose. I have no desire to have children. My answer to that question might be slightly more esoteric than physical, and different, I can assume, than Christians or Muslims or Buddhists.

    Fred also said, "There is good reason why 40% of scientists are deists beside the fact these statistics include the soft sciences. Nothing in science can or will prove or disprove God. Christians believe God gave us the intellect which produced science, music, art and language. What is the purpose for earth’s existence?"

    I realize my sample is fairly skewed, but of the scientists I know personally (counting Doctors, research scientists, engineers, astrophysicists and other sciences), 70% are atheist, 10% are Pagan, 5% are Buddhist and the rest are undeclared, at least to me. Which isn't actually my point.

    My point is, again, why would we look to science to define the purpose of existence. Is it not enough that we exist? Science can define the reasons we exist, the biological processes that combine to make a person or a tree or dirt, but asking it why seems a bit like asking a frog to posit the virtues of french fries.

    "Without God you cannot find spiritual meaningfulness in your existence. It does not matter if you are smart or average in intelligence religion is not your master."

    Spiritual meaningfulness? How are we defining that? What does it have to do with the purpose of our existence? I'm not saying you're wrong here, necessarily, just looking for definition. For me, spiritual meaning came AFTER I left Christianity. It began for me in searching my heart for truth, in holding myself to that truth, to put it into practice. It became more meaningful when I found the path that resonated with my heart.

    Spiritual meaning helped lead me to my purpose, to that which I feel I am called. It has never been my purpose. I think that making spiritual meaningfulness (however you're defining that) you're whole purpose in life leads you to miss out on an awful lot of very good and wonderful things.

    "Religion is not our master and is most often the slave of wicked men. "

    On this we can agree. Religion and dogma are, entirely all too often, tools used by those who would control and enslave the masses.

    "We give ourselves to Christ in love for what God has done for us. If you have a significant other that you love properly they are not your master yet you give them everything you can which includes your own life."

    Perhaps this is your path, even your purpose. I hope it brings you joy. For me, I found nothing there but anguish and self-hatred. Today I have found a purpose that fills me with love and hope and kindness and I am able to spread that love and hope to those I meet on the journey.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • chief

      when you tell a long story... have a point ... learn from my ability of being to the point ... you point whatever it was was missed due to all the bs you wrote.

      March 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • northern light

      Brevity can be beautiful when applied correctly.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  7. WDinDallas

    To the Irish. Hang one or two. Remember, we believe in absolution. If this happens again in Texas we will damn sure hunt him down and have a hanging.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  8. @youignantdotcom

    "just sayin

    You poor deluded fool, Christianity grows by divine intervention Jesus Christ was, is and forever shall be God."

    Yep according to a bunch of men.....#youignant

    March 21, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  9. False Dichotomy

    Sorry to post a bit off topic here, but I am calling a lie a lie.

    From earlier, in numerous places "Okay, b4bigbang, one last chance to demonstrate that creationists don't just make stuff up... I'm calling you out. Show me the modern textbooks that present "Nebraska Man" as a hominid fossil, show me or admit once and for all that you creationists often simply lie to try to support your point of view...I'm serious. What textbooks?"

    So, despite repeated attempts, b4bigbang has not responded (though he has continued to comment on quite a lot on other things). Although I also have heard other creationists make this claim, no one else has responded either. I am going to go ahead and call a lie a lie. My point here is not to particularly attack b4bigbang, it is to take this one pretty typical creationist claim and point out that it is an absolutely unsupportable falsehood, and that this is pretty typical of creationist arguments.

    There seems to be some unwritten rule that it's okay to say absolutely anything in order to further the creationist cause, and whether it is true or not is irrelevant. The dishonesty is so pervasive and is in relation to so many subjects that it's often hard to know where to begin to address it.

    The one thing I am never quite sure of is if a particular individual is knowingly lying, or if they are innocently ignorant and merely perpetuating the lies of others. A number of people, somewhere along that chain of propaganda have to be aware of the dishonestly and freely perpetuate it anyway...ironically, knowingly lying in the name of "Truth."

    March 21, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Primewonk

      I think the creationists fall into a couple categories. One group truly are ignorant because they have not had the proper training or education. Another group did get the basics in school, but have been told by their religious masters that this is all a lie.

      We don't see many of the first category. We see a lot of the second category. They will refuse to accept an evidence that disagrees with a literal Genesis – this right on the webiste of AIG. There is absolutely nothing we can do about them. But we need to keep beating them back in the public domain in case some of the first category creationists are watching. If we can get them to look at the actual science, we win.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • fred

      Primewonk
      The actual science does not prove squat as purpose for our being or why there is good and evil. There is good reason why 40% of scientists are deists beside the fact these statistics include the soft sciences. Nothing in science can or will prove or disprove God. Christians believe God gave us the intellect which produced science, music, art and language. What is the purpose for earth’s existence?
      Without God you cannot find spiritual meaningfulness in your existence. It does not matter if you are smart or average in intelligence religion is not your master. This is where you fail to understand what Neanderthal knew; there is something greater. Worship of God is not foolishness rather simple honest recognition that humility and acknowledgement of the source of love and purpose is greater than self. Religion is not our master and is most often the slave of wicked men. We give ourselves to Christ in love for what God has done for us. If you have a significant other that you love properly they are not your master yet you give them everything you can which includes your own life.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Nathan

      "Without God you cannot find spiritual meaningfulness in your existence. "

      That is not true, people who meditate and don't believe in a God actually have the same chemical reaction in their brains as those that have a need to believe in a God. You don't need spirituality to have a meaningful existence.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • jimtanker

      @Fred,

      The “purpose for our being” is to spread our genetic material to the next generation thereby propagating the species. Humans aren’t special. Don’t read too much into your own existence.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • fred

      Jimtanker
      A rat, a bug, a flower and man have the same purpose and meaningful existence?

      March 21, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • jimtanker

      Same purpose yes, what do you mean by "meaningful existance"?

      March 21, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • GodPot

      "There seems to be some unwritten rule that it's okay to say absolutely anything in order to further the creationist cause, and whether it is true or not is irrelevant." Once they start down the path of believing in things because they cannot be disproved Christians feel a sense of power and continue to use it for any argument and feel that's their "get out of lie free" card. It works like this. Child is told by parents/peers that God exists and that they are special. Child bolsters faith by repeating parental rhetoric that they believe in God because non-believers can't prove God doesn't exist. This allows them to venture into other areas that they know nothing about and make absolute statements based on their belief God exists such as "God made the universe in 6 days" "We did not evolve" "Man is different from the animals and deserves more than this existence" "You will burn for eternity if you don't put this wafer on your tongue and drink this red wine" "You'll be happy if you just accept my God as your own" "fossils are fakes" "science doesn't know anything" "Darwin was possessed by a demon" and when any of us attempt to correct them they scream "You can't prove it!! You don't have all the answers yet so Hah!!"

      March 21, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Primewonk

      Fred wrote, " The actual science does not prove squat..."

      For the bajillionth +23rd time – IN SCIENCE WE DON'T PROVE THINGS, WE EXPLAIN THINGS. For some bizarre reason, you refuse to understand / comprehend this. Until you "get" this basic premise of the scientific method, you have no hope of understanding science.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • GodPot

      An atheist is walking along the beach and a rogue wave hits and sweeps away a member of their family. They think to themselves "I should have been more aware, I shouldn't have turned my back on the ocean and need to have more respect for the power of nature."

      A Christian is walking along the beach and a rogue wave hits and sweeps away a member of their family. They think to themselves "What did I do wrong God? Why are you punishing me? Or was it something my daughter did? Why did you have to take her? Did you need more angels? Yeah, that's it, God needed more angels, she will happy there, i'm sure she is in heaven now with God and someday I will go there and meet her..."

      Which person learned the more important lesson and found the correct meaning in this example? Yes, that's right, the atheist, who will likely never be as careless near the ocean again. The Christian didn't learn anything other than how to cry and blame others, sin, God, Satan, whatever, instead of learning from their tragedy and making sure it doesn't happen again.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • fred

      Nathan
      Perhaps even the result of that chemical reaction is the same but where does it lead ? Evolution reflects a pattern and direction towards greatness with the greatest on top of the mountain of ancestors. People of old looked outward and upward in worship. Science has uncovered a direction but cannot tell you why. Meditation can bring about spiritual awareness but it does not tell you why. The Bible is one complete 6,000+ year story of God redeeming a people for himself through the eyes and writers of their day.
      Can you explain why outside of that?

      March 21, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • fred

      Primewonk
      Please tell me, using junior high science to explain, your purpose in life.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Nathan

      "Can you explain why outside of that?"

      Wow dude you are one lost person. Why would the existence of God guarantee the meaningfulness of each of our lives? Is a life of unremitting drudgery or unrequited struggle really redeemed if there’s a larger plan, one to which we have no access, into which it fits? That would be small compensation for a life that would otherwise feel like a waste — a point not lost on thinkers like Karl Marx, who called religion the “opium of the people.” Moreover, does God actually ground the values by which we live? Do we not, as Plato recognized 2500 years ago, already have to think of those values as good in order to ascribe them to God?

      Second, and more pointedly, must the meaningfulness of our lives depend on the existence of God? Must meaning rely upon articles of faith? Basing life’s meaningfulness on the existence of a deity not only leaves all atheists out of the picture; it leaves different believers out of one another’s picture. What seems called for is an approach to thinking about meaning that can draw us together, one that exists alongside or instead of religious views.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • fred

      GodPot
      Nonsense, the atheist and Christian both learn what happens when you put your hand on a hot stove (or turn your back on wave). Yet, you make an important example. The material world is all the atheist knows and has very limited thought thus is never as well rounded as a Christian. The Christian not only can see the material cause and effect but, can see how the entire being functions mind and spirit.
      Stop with this going back to some old ideas about the age of the universe to justify atheists as intelligent and Christians as idiots. Science has dated the universe from 6 days to 25 billion years and currently has settled on 13.78 billion and calls their waffling an astonishing achievement in greater knowledge by virtue of scientific method. The Bible on the other hand does not say how long the universe, earth or man have been around. People just like scientists have come up with their ideas which range from 6 days to 13.78 billion years also. How about if I hold up the scientists that said the earth was flat and parade him around as an example of how stupid scientists are?
      Get a grip GodPot the Bible does not mention a time specific in years. Six days is a biblical and important time period and foundation with significant meaning attached to the day of rest which follows. Just so we are clear on this when God rested he did not say it was good but the creation was very good. OMG GodPot did you notice there are 7 days in a week and the best part is that day of rest? Give it a rest. God wants only the best for you.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Fred,

      The difference between a religious nut like you and a person of science is that when confronted with new evidence a person of science will change their mind to meet the evidence, not the other way around.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      @fred: "The actual science does not prove squat as purpose for our being or why there is good and evil."

      I don't necessarily agree, but even if that were true, it says absolutely nothing about the reality of biological evolution. If you are fighting evolution because it doesn't explain your existential purpose, that is a total non-sequitur.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Fred wrote, "Primewonk, Please tell me, using junior high science to explain, your purpose in life."

      My "purpose" is done. I passed on my genetic material to fertile offspring. The rest is all gravey.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • fred

      Nathan
      “What seems called for is an approach to thinking about meaning that can draw us together, one that exists alongside or instead of religious views.”
      That is the plan and has always been the plan according to the Bible. Saul of Tarsus was well educated zealous Jew to begin with that ended up leading the establishment of the church. He knew the old Scripture Jesus referred to as well as what Jesus said. Unity of man and God was the central theme. Without this core unity there is division. Meaning and purpose was with God and freely giving ourselves to God makes us part of that unity.
      Religion normally makes a mess of things because mans ways end up dominating. Jesus said I am the way and the light which makes It easy for anyone to follow. The plan is that we as individuals become Christ like in thought and love for each other and God. This collection of beings forms the temple of God which God then is integral and the center. A perfect unity in a timeless eternal state in and through Christ is formed.
      This forward vision outside of self is a great opiate. Marx and others attempted to create some kind of nirvana on earth leaving man with his ways and his thoughts. It has never worked in all recorded history and if we can say anything it would be that man has proven his ways are not Gods ways.
      As to the beliefs of others including proclaimed Christians that are not on the path God has layed out to the evolutionist it is no different than a bunch of salmon swimming upstream. Only a few make it to point where they can pass on the “DNA” it takes to be on that new branch which leads to eternal unity with God.
      Jesus and the prophets of old used the tree and branch analogy very consistently. Unity with God is not limited to the chosen ones of the Hebrew Bible as Jesus says others were grafted into that tree of life. I have no idea who is on the ins or outs with God but, if we have the same goal then we would be drawn together naturally.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • fred

      False Dichotomy
      I ran to the various arguments of the creationist to shore up my belief in God when it came under attack. I was very discouraged to find intentional false statements from intelligent persons that sent me down a rabbit hole.
      Personally I am not that smart so I rely on others that know their stuff. There is a strong possibility that I cannot accept an existence/purpose of life as PrimeWonk suggests (simply passing on DNA) because there is something in evolution that does not sink into my head. I know that before I had a personal experience with God my meaning and purpose was much like other atheists. Suddenly I understood the talking snake. Perhaps one day a light will go off and I can see that nothingness is next to godliness

      March 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • GodPot

      @fred – "The material world is all the atheist knows and has very limited thought thus is never as well rounded as a Christian." So to you, looking for additional "spiritual" meaning behind either tragedy or victory makes you "well rounded"? This would be like saying that when preparing for a physics exam instead of studying the material you read the Genesis account several times to be "well rounded". My bet is you will fail the exam because you didn't learn the important lessons. The Christian from my earleir example is wasting his time asking the questions "What did I do wrong God" because God had nothing to do with letting his child get swept away, and if he did then why would he serve such a disgusting murdering pig of a God anyway. There was no additional praying he could have done to prevent it, only being more careful and aware that waiting on God to fix your problems or protect your family is both lazy, arrogant and foolish.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Nathan

      "that is the plan and has always been the plan according to the Bible."

      The whole problem with your argument is you want everyone to believe as you but millions that do not. About a third of the world that buys into your version of religion but religion has actually caused the division of this world and killed more people, not the other way around. Human beings are actually the ones that came up with the concept of what is good and what is evil then wrote a book to get others to buy into those definitions. The fact that religions have killed more people and caused division among societies world proves your whole theory wrong.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • fred

      GodPot
      I agree with you and Christians are not to throw their brains in the trash as we were given them for a reason. Certainly you do not think Christians sit around waiting for God to fix a flat tire etc. Christians are held to a high standard by God to be an example to the community In terms of conduct in all ways. Last time a tragedy hit my atheist friend he asked me where my God was through all this. At funerals atheists and well as Christians ask why.
      A well rounded individual does not take a chemistry exam based on a reading from the Bible. You must know some strange Christians.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Fred wrote, "...there is something in evolution that does not sink into my head. "

      This is because you choose to be ignorant about science.

      Perhaps your time would be better spent by auditing a remedial biology class at a community college?

      March 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • GodPot

      "because there is something in evolution that does not sink into my head."

      It's common among Christians, the thought process is something like this:

      "I know we cannot prove God's existence, and all the available science points to evolution as the method of our existence, but I just want to FEEL like there is more for me, can't I have been an Emporer in a past life, shouldn't I get to live on in some other form for eternity even though everything we know about mankind says we only get 70-80 years of life on this planet, shouldn't I be more important than the Ape at the Zoo? Shouldn't I get a special place where all my dreams come true? Why should I just accept life as I recieved it, why shoudln't I lord it over the other creatures on the planet and use the earth as my footstool? If I accept evolution, then I am just like everyone else and everything else on this planet, and that doesn't feel very special to me..."

      Personally I think a better life mantra would be:

      "I know I cannot prove God's existence, so I will concentrate on learning what we can prove about the universe, for the only way to learn something new is to first learn what we know. I'm already a mega-lotto winner just by being born so I will live my life like the winner that I am and share the world with all the other winners, because every single creature alive today is a winner and just as valuable to the balance of life on this planet as I am.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • GodPot

      "At funerals atheists and well as Christians ask why." Yes, but they are posing the question to very different places. The atheist may ask why the tragedy happened, what could have been done to prevent this, was something at fault that could be fixed so that no one else need go through a similar tragedy. The Christian asks why of God as if God had some hand to play in the demise of their loved one, which is both sad and infurriating at times because it doesn't focus on how to prevent this happening to others, it focuses on finding some invisible spiritual fault, did they or I not pray enough, why would God let this happen, and it makes it all worth it for them when they snuggle up in the warm and cozy lie of an afterlife and look up as if their loved one is looking down on them as if "up" and "down" would exist in a spirit realm. It just smacks of childish lies like those told of Santa bringing them goodies for good behavior, it's just apparently theres no adults around to let you in on the truth when you grow up.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • fred

      PrimeWonk
      I have a mechanic fix my car and bike because I really do not have time to figure it out and know that I could not acquire the insight of a skilled mechanic. I have friends who are atheist and Christian that are physicists, doctors and biology professors. They like to poke fun at me because I have only been evolving for 6,032 years while they have 165 plus millions of years of evolution behind them. We all agree that what is currently known and assumed by science is valid a far as we know. All but the two die hard atheists further agree that science and faith do not contradict each other rather complement each other.
      The atheists did succeed in getting us to understand nothingness is more like an unknown than a state of existence. Personally, if I did audit a class it would be a philosophy class rather than biology. I cannot understand why anyone could possible think this is all there is when we know only .0000000000000000000000000000000001% of what is.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • jimtanker

      @ Fred,

      "Suddenly I understood the talking snake."

      Are you sure that you're not off of your meds?

      March 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • fred

      GodPot
      I watched 3 little girls going up a hill. One was way ahead yelling hurry hurry the other was holding onto dads hand while another was way behind moaning how hot/dust and tired she was. I thought how we all approach life different with different needs. Some imagine a great place just over the hill, some need to be loved and held in the journey, others are way behind drug down by the weight of it all. Yet, all are on the same path and all will finish the journey. It is ok to need God but that is not for everyone.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      So Fred, among your friends, all of those who are "faithful" claim that science is best augmented by faith, and all the ones who are not "faithful" do not think faith is necessary. That's not very surprising at all.

      At least they all agree that science is a valid way of seeking explanations. Which brings me back to my original frustration. Why fight science? Why fight it so stubbornly that whole groups of "faithful" would condone outright lies in support of their fight?

      Another thought resulting from your description. You have a mechanic fix your car because he has expertise. Why not fight the field of auto mechanics? It doesn't contribute to spiritual meaning either, so it must be wrong (?).

      March 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • jimtanker

      And just how did you come up with your .0000000000000000000000000000000001%? It could be 100% or it could be 0%. You and I have no way of knowing. Until you have a doctorate in physics please stop making yourself look more ignorant.

      We are here, that is proof that what is "is". There may be many more universes out there in a the "multiverse" or this universe could be all there is and has existed for eternity. But someone saying that a god that has always existed and was never caused did everything is a cop out.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • fred

      Jimtanker
      That talking serpent caught the attention of Eve and a desert nomad people thousands of years ago where a bite brought death. There were two trees in that Garden one the tree of life and the other the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Jesus the tree of life spoke out for all to hear and offered the fruit of the Spirit and millions turned from that tree of knowledge to the true voice of the Good Shepherd.
      I am happy to share my meds with any that ask if it would help them hear the voice that brings life not death.
      Can’t you hear the voice of knowledge and materialism telling you not to listen to that shepherd from 2,000 years ago?

      March 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • jimtanker

      That talking snake is just another character in your big book of multiple guess.

      March 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • fred

      False Dichotomy
      The fight is the same as it was when the Church decided on a flat earth policy. Their position was threatened so they hung the bugger. When people began to follow Christ the Temple Priests became threatened and hung the bugger. Religion that is not founded upon truth is founded upon fear and fear makes people do stupid things. The Pope, the Mormons and the Muslims built their house on the foundation of men not truth. Scientists are men often brilliant men that have taken the staff of power from the Priests of today. What they fail to realize is that when they build their church based upon the ways of man they are subject to the ways of man. Had they stuck with the things of God and built their foundation on the truth of God there would be no problem with science.

      March 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Fred wrote, " They like to poke fun at me because I have only been evolving for 6,032 years while they have 165 plus millions of years of evolution behind them."

      No. Humans have been modern humans for 200,000 years. Bur we (collectively) have been evolving for 3.5 billion years.

      You wrote, "Personally, if I did audit a class it would be a philosophy class rather than biology. "

      Why? It's science that you are profoundly ignorant about. Biology (evolution). Chemistry (abiogenesis). Physics and astronomy (cosmology). These are the classes you need. You will never get past your ignorance as long as you choose to stay ignorant.

      March 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • fred

      False Dichotomy
      Evolution – God created the heavens and the earth then God reached down and made man from the dust of the earth. What is the conflict did not the organic and inorganic matter come out of the Big Bang? What is the conflict is man not made from this created material?
      Age of the Earth- Currently estimated at 4.5 billion years. What conflict? Even our own Hebrew Bible does not give an age. Perhaps the age of the earth is of little value to a story that speaks to eternity with an eternal God.

      World-wide flood or local flood- Clearly science and the Bible cannot both be right about this one based on current evidence. Ok, desperate fall-back position God can do anything and someday science will figure out how God did that. Today embrace the known geology and physics which will drive people to read the account again. Wait it is a story about how God cares for those who love Him, provides security from the floods of life and brings you to rest on mountain tops. It is a story about those who reject God and mock those who find favor in the eyes of the Lord, it is about a swift and final judgment of those who oppose God, it is about the type of people God establishes a covenant with and the fate of those who are not a part.
      Bottom line the science of flood or request size of flotilla to feed the animals does not change the purpose of inclusion in or story of Noah in the Bible.

      March 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      I'm not sure I follow. If I understand you correctly to be saying that these stories are parables and analogies, that's fine. It just leads right back to the question: why all this energy spent fighting science, and looking the other way as people lie in order to do so?

      March 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Fred wrote, "[regarding Noah and the flood] Wait it is a story about how God cares for those who love Him, provides security from the floods of life and brings you to rest on mountain tops."

      Well, except for tens of millions of innocent babies he murdered. Except for the millions of innocent fetuses he murdered. Except for all the puppies he murdered. Except for all the little lambs that never got to meet mint jelly. And all the poor kittehs who can never haz cheezburger.

      March 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Duh

      "World-wide flood or local flood- Clearly science and the Bible cannot both be right about this one based on current evidence."

      That's why the bible has been proven not to be a historical document.

      March 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • fred

      Duh
      The Bible contains historical accounts as well as poems etc. There is no evidence outside of the Bible that the flood account is historical in which case you should read it again. I would be interested to see your take if you read it as intended for you.

      March 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • fred

      Primewonk
      Perhaps you and I should audit a class together on logic. You cannot say God murdered millions of babies based on the flood then say the flood story is BS. Take your pick.
      If I assume you believe the flood story then you recognize the Character of God. Your comments are outside of Gods character so you must look for another explanation. The babies are better off because do not forget their culture was totally corrupt from top to bottom with evil that was unbearable and getting worse. Those who die before the age of accountability receive special blessings from God. God does what is best.

      March 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Sorry Fred – It's your myth. If you believe the myth is real, then your god is nothing but a sick twisted schizophrenic psychotic putz. If your myth isn't real, then your god lied. Either way, he much of a god worth loving, is he?

      March 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Duh

      "The Bible contains historical accounts as well as poems etc. "

      Your opinion holds no value when the experts have proven it's not a historical book but a religious one. There are many books that contain parts of history in it doesn't make that book an historical document, it's still fiction. You'll come up more excuses to justify your ignorant belief but it will never make it truth.

      March 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • fred

      Primewonk
      Any specific examples?

      March 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • northern light

      To Fred

      You are a poor deluded fool....wasting your time and ours on this site with your imaginary friends.
      Go sit down in the corner now ....there's a good lad.....leave the normal people be.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Fred – specific examples of what?

      March 22, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  10. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWBIES:

    The Vatican should start by apologizing for the Infamous resurrection con they have been pulling for the last 2000 years. Of course, if they did that there would no longer be any theological basis for Christianity.

    To wit:

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    p.4

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under

    March 21, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  11. Easternsailor

    One of the prophecies of Sister Elizabeth, the Holy Catholic Church shall be invaded by the Anti-Christ! In the Book of Revelation, The Lamb of God will prevail and the wicked shall be throw in the Lake of Fire, has brimstones with sulfur and unquenchable fire!

    March 21, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      The Anti-Christ? They are the Anti-Christ!! They're a bunch of sicko ped.o.philes!!! They all need to be chemically castrated and imprisoned!!
      For proof and facts go to bishopaccountability.org

      March 21, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Reality

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      March 22, 2012 at 7:37 am |
  12. Easternsailor

    No such thing is Roman Catholic., wrong doctrine, butcher & ID...

    March 21, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  13. Norma V.

    The Vatican can beg forgiveness and do little to solve the problem. Keep protesting Ireland, and may your voice be strong.

    March 21, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • Easternsailor

      The Vatican ask to 4give the victims! O Lord don't let me b misunderstood! O Lord Jesus! Save us all!

      March 21, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  14. Buddy Kowalski

    Religions just keep getting better don't they?

    March 21, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • Easternsailor

      I don't think u have the human gene, your Pss...

      March 21, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  15. Kebos

    The Roman catholic doctrine is fundamentally flawed. Priests must be allowed to marry or have partners as all normal human beings do pursue to have. Until then, the RC church will continue to be a haven for deviants. The same crimes will continue. In fact, they are happening now.

    March 21, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • Buddy Kowalski

      I think you are wrong. If only for the reason it keeps these idiots out of the gene pool.

      March 21, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • AGuest9

      That's an interesting way to look at it, Buddy.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  16. doctore0

    CNN: Please don't censor comments for the Vatican...It can only hurt you in the long run
    Thanks

    March 21, 2012 at 5:03 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Only an automatic word filter here...

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-oon
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      March 21, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • just sayin

      The vatican is shit.

      March 21, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • levend

      Tthe victims have suffered, time for vatican to compensate them, after all for decades the church has blamed the victim or protected the criminal.

      March 21, 2012 at 5:56 am |
    • Kebos

      The Roman catholic doctrine is fundamentally flawed. Priests should be allowed to marry or have partners as all normal human beings do pursue to have. Until then, the RC church will continue to be a haven for deviants. The same crimes will continue. In fact, they are happening now.

      March 21, 2012 at 6:17 am |
  17. Brendon

    How anyone can belong to such a cult leaves me quite stumped.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:26 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 21, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Agnostic

      Is it for non-living things?

      March 21, 2012 at 4:43 am |
    • Jesus

      You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!! .. .. .. ... .. .,

      March 21, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  19. Arnold

    The catholic church is nothing but a safe haven for pedophiles it will never change

    March 21, 2012 at 3:51 am |
  20. Mr G

    The only fate these "priests" have to face is execution. Did any of the innocent children deserve what these animals did to them? I hope they get tossed in hell for eternity.

    March 21, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • northern light

      Unfortunately there is no hell for them to be sent to.......jail will have to do .....and while in jail our only hope is that they become some very large nasty person's .......girlfriend ......oh wait maybe they would like that.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:03 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.