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American nuns come out swinging against Vatican in face of ‘radical feminist’ accusations
Protesters in New York show support for American nuns in the face of Vatican criticism.
June 1st, 2012
09:42 AM ET

American nuns come out swinging against Vatican in face of ‘radical feminist’ accusations

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – The leadership representing most of America’s nuns came out swinging Friday against the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, in the face of charges from the Vatican that the nuns are espousing “radical feminism” and straying from church teaching.

The Vatican’s criticism of the American nuns has “caused scandal and pain throughout the church community, and created greater polarization,” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious - which represents about 80% of American nuns - said in a statement Friday.

The board of the group had convened in Washington this week for three days of special meetings, provoked by an April assessment from the Vatican that said America’s nuns had largely gone rogue and warned that they could be a negative global influence on the church.

The Vatican report said that at an annual gathering of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, guest speakers who preached "radical feminism" went unchallenged. The report also said the nuns were too focused on social justice and not enough on opposing abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious said Friday that the assessment “was based on unsubstantiated accusations and (was) the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency.”

“Moreover, the sanctions imposed were disproportionate to the concerns raised and could compromise (the nuns’) ability to fulfill their mission,” the statement continued.

The Leadership Conference’s 22-member board said that its leaders would travel to Rome this month to meet with the head of the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the office that launched an investigation of the American nuns several years ago.

Hours later, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement from Archbishop Peter Sartain in which he vowed there was a wholehearted commitment "to dealing with the important issues raised by (the Vatican's) doctrinal assessment and the LCWR board in an atmosphere of openness, honesty, integrity and fidelity."

"I look forward to our next meeting in Rome in June as we continue to collaborate in promoting the important work of the LCWR for consecrated life in the United States," said Sartain, who heads the Archdiocese of Seattle. "The Holy See and the Bishops of the United States are deeply proud of the historic and continuing contribution of women religious - a pride that has been echoed by many in recent weeks."

Pope Benedict XVI, a theologian by training, was the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for decades before he was elevated to papacy. In interviews conducted while he held that earlier post, he spoke often about growing the church by pruning - becoming smaller but more devout before expanding.

Church experts say that the nuns have a few options in responding to one of the most powerful offices in the church. They could accept the assessment, negotiate or resign en masse and form a new group outside the watchful eye of the Vatican.

–CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Vatican

soundoff (1,467 Responses)
  1. bill

    the vatican, nuns, priests, bishops are the biggest group of organized criminals in the world. Who else, besides the GOP, holds more wealth, power and influence to get away with so much criminal activity? Jesus himself would not step foot in vatican city.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • sortakinda

      Bill-Catholics believe that Jesus IS in every taberncale in Vatican City.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Uh yeah......AND St. Peter's is built right on the bones of St. Paul, the first vicar or rock of the Church. I had the wonderful benefit of visiting for the first time in December and Jesus most definitely steps foot there. Sure, there are sinners there...and there are saints. Just like when He walked the earth, He walks with both. Thank goodness or I'd be in a pickle!

      June 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  2. Melissa McCurley

    I don't think it should be considered a break from their vow of obedience if the one giving the orders is wrong. I don't know how this guy got the vote to become pope. Popes since the beginning have been corrupt, but c'mon...a nazi/nazi sympathizer? ...and someone who thinks legislating his personal beliefs is more important than helping somone–he is off track with what Jesus preached.

    By the way...I am an athiest. But...if these nuns/religious sisters got into this business to serve Christ & to serve his 'children', I applaud them for standing up for themselves & what is right.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Popes have not been corrupt from the beginning. That's a bunch of nonsense. Sure there have been corrupt leaders as there have been corrupt leaders in any nation or faith. So many popes have been holy, devout men, giving every ounce of their energy and love, working hard on their humility...giving every last ounce until their death. Go to Rome. Visit Benedict. Pray with him or at least allow him to smile and bless you. He is not perfect, but he truly seeks holiness for others as much as for himself.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  3. Demo Joseph

    SEE what they are doing to the sisters. The Old White Boy's Club that is all the catholic religion amounts too. I am catholic. I believe in GOD not those hollier then thou good ole boys who make rules for women that have as much education then they have and are more productive to the world the preaching crat to educated folks about how to rear children when they do not have familes and no responisibilty for any. Yet they know what is right for us. Hell, wise up folks, this is is Club. God, his son and Mary had nothing to do with that mess. I am on your side Sisters. Say hello to Sister Rita, Sister Nathalee, Sister Mary Ann and all the wonderful sisters who worked so hard to make IHM school so wonderful for so many years.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  4. Blame Bush

    HOORAY for the Nuns, the backbone of the church, true keepers of the faith.

    I've never heard of even one Nun being accused as a pedophile.

    NUNS should be running the church.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • kenny

      as an atheist i would LOVE to see nuns run the church since religion is generally about wealth and power and that's what men are into, so give the ladies a shot and see the vatican put up for auction to feed the worlds poor.... it would ALMOST get me to believe...

      June 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  5. AZ1962

    86 the church...they want little boys!! sick men...its on its way out!!!

    June 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  6. sortakinda

    Form a group "outside the watchful eye of the Vatican?" Hey, you wanna be a Catholic, you follow the rules. You wanna be an egomanical ex-nun, be my guest. "Watchful eye of the Vatican?" That's just a stupid statement by CNN. Would YOU prefer laissez-faire? Just how would CNN run the Church?

    June 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • sbp

      Who died and appointed the Vatican the official authority for RC? Given the pervasiveness of the corruption, it would be a good thing if there was a coup and they all got tossed out.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • sortakinda

      Sbp–the continuity of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church dates back to Jesus and the Apostles. "On this rock (Peter) I will build my church" is in the bible. Only three of the Apostles accomapnied Jesus up Mt. Tabor. The Acts of the Apostles describe the earliest Christian communities as having elders, deacons, presbyters, etc. In answer to your question, it appears Jesus established a Church with a hierarchy that has continued to this day. Not all of the leadership has been admirable. Just ask Judas.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Angela Birch

      I don't know about CNN but I would start by turning every bit of evidence od child molestation over to law enforcement. I would follow it up by making sure every priest against whom there is evidence would be available to law enforcement. There is something creepy about a church that refuses sacraments to someone that uses a condom byt has no problem with child molesters. Yes I know they have issues a statement saying they are so grieved, but talk is cheap. They are still protecting priests that abused kids of both genders.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  7. Jean

    The American nuns have a problem on their hands...follow Christ?...or follow the Vatican? Which shall it be? I understand how that could be a difficult decision.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  8. Kweso

    The women of Europe had a simple solution: They turned away from Catholicism. Roman Cathlicism will not survive the challenges of the postmodern world.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • TC

      It survived Nero's persecution, Nordic invaders, Dark Ages and protestant reformation – it will make it through this too.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Outsider

      Yes TC, they also survived the Inquisition. Oh wait, that's when they were killing everyone else. My bad.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • TC

      Yep – church leaders and the church as a whole has done some terrible things. What nationality or race are you? You belong to a group of peole that have done abhorrent things. We all have. So fight to make it better or go try and hide from the evil group and you are a coward.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • rjk

      I do not think that the Church will survive the education and empowerment of women. Radical feminist = capable woman. I very much doubt that educated women will continue to support an organization that treats them as second class citizens.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Oh yes it will. What misplaced pride and arrogance to think this generation is so much more powerful. The Catholic Church will and does survive. Like in every generation, many remain willing to give their lives to make sure it survives. Try a little research on the martyrs of the 20th century. The Church will survive. Its strength comes from God, not from us imperfect members of the Church.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Jen

      Every generation of women is becoming more and more powerful. Starting with the right to vote, to overturning abortion law, to becoming Fortune 500 CEOs. It's happening whether you like it or not.

      By the way, if my husband ever told me to do something (like clean the floors), I would tell him to shove the mop up his *ss. He married a person – not a robot.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  9. Mark in California

    Sorry but it's the Vatican this a negative global influence. These old men in their old suits can't grasp the changes in the world and can't keep up. The Catholic church as it sits in Rome is a dying church.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • AZ1962

      and from the looks of it...GOD must be done with Rome as well...earthquakes...taking it down!

      June 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  10. RussTnuts

    So they're saying Catholic Church stop bullting nuns? They have apparently spend a lifetime in an organization they know nothing about!

    June 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  11. TC

    Chef makes a good point – this is all about faith and those who are Catholic – so if you are not – why are you here and why do you care? Focus on your atheism and your own problems and leave God and religion to those who believe in it.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Paul

      Sure, TC. As soon as you stop trying to force the fariytales you believe on the rest of us, we will. Stay out of our public policy. Stay out of women's health care. Stay in your churches and shut up.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Outsider

      I think that most atheists would but it does seem to get shoved in their face constantly.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • TC

      You bet – we don't force you to believe in something other than yourself. You make your own choices and you ared oing it now – commenting on a subject that doesn't even concern you.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • TC

      Catholics aren't door knockers and shove it in your face – talk to the Southern Baptisits, mormons and Jehovah's

      June 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Paul_1

      Ummm... because there are many religions other than Catholicism and we all believe in God.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • sam

      @TC – when religious folks stop trying to influence/pass legislation that affects the rights of others based on what it says in the bible...we'll go away. You stay out of the secular world's business, and we'll stay out of yours.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • TC

      @ Sam – I don't disagree with you but we hate when folsk kill their babies and try to kill invalids an old people. Or when the hateful bigtotry of atheism tries ot force us to pay for things we don't believe in. Take a look at who is inserting themselves – mostly secular.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • lc

      I was brought up a Catholic but not by choice. I believe in a "Higher Power", but I also believe all these zealots, bible thumpers, and religious fanatics are going to be the downfall of human existence. I'm not religious but even I can see the "signs". It's so simple . . . Don't cheat, don't lie, treat others as you want to be treated. The Roman Catholic Church & all religions are pompous and corrupt.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Force the fairytales?! Who is forcing what?! Who writing here is intolerant? Who is belligerent? Who is genuine and who is not? I force no one to my "fairy tale." When I suggest people spend a month in research, it's only for tolerance. If you watch the show "30 Days" people don't end up living the lives they explored. They just develop tolerance. Familiar word? It has great value that is underutilized. Yes, of course I invite you to explore my Catholic world. I love it. I love the Shepherd of my wonderful church. I love my priests and respect their service to my community. I love the wonderful families in my parish and I love the beautiful teachings that enrich my life. I'd be a fool not to invite you. Force it on you, though? That doesn't work with broccoli. Why would I ever think it could work with my faith?

      June 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • sam

      'Try to kill babies, invalids and old people'? What the hell are you talking about? Man, never mind, that is too far down the hyperbole rabbit hole as it is, I don't want you to add to it.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  12. Kathy

    Nuns, religous sisters......laidies, there would be no way I woul know you are nuns the way you are dressed. At least the father wears his collar all the time. Please, it is a respect thing, wear something to say, I am a Nun, how do we teach our kids about nuns when we can't even see one?

    Besides all this, the Catholic Church has been a cult for years and years, their secrets have been coming out for the last 15 years. Unless they change, they will lose a lot of Christians who will flock to more in tune churches.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • TC

      More in tune churches? The ones that make up thier own beliefs based on who the pastor is at the time? The ones that support abortion and LBGTs? Any community outside the main branches of eastern and western christianity is not in tune with doctrine – they make up their own rules.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • JeffJ

      Yes TC I grew up in the Catholic Church and can tell you I think it funny how they pick and choose what they want from the Bible. So funny and sad how you only mention Abortion and LGBT. Like I said the bible says a lot of thinkg and I truly doubt you follow all of it.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  13. just sayin

    The Pope is about to show the Nuns the Pimp sid eof his hand.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • BRUCE

      DOES JUSTIN BIEBER KNOW ABOUT THIS?

      June 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      As in our pop culture world, "just sayin" = "brief, useless, uninformed and unintelligent remarks made solely to irritate (not be tolerant of) others. Just saying.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • sam

      Catholic Clarity, you are full of zingers today! You sure showed that whipper snapper!

      June 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  14. Chef

    It's all based on a belief and "faith" about invisible gods anyway so all this bickering is moot. At least Zeus and the Olympian Gods were a lot of fun. I also like Thor.

    Chef Sun

    June 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • closet atheist

      It's so funny how quickly people dismiss mythology as "silly" or "just myths".

      If the human race is around still in a few thousand years (which I doubt), they will look back at all the "silly myths" (christianity, islam, hinduism, judaism, blah, blah) of our time and laugh also.....

      June 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • sortakinda

      News flash: God Loves Atheists, Too. We have here on one hand, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato-all believers by deductive reasoning that there is a prime mover, a first cause, a God. On the othre hand, you have your atheists, who say there is no God. Why? Because they don't want one.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  15. Catholic Clarity

    Okay, right off the bat, this seems strange. Religious sisters are different from nuns. These are religious sisters – nuns are cloistered. They all take serious vows of obedience. It seems quite strange that someone who took vows of obedience would picket with signs calling their boss a bully and telling him to clean his house. This seems to be an incomplete report aimed as a jab at the Church. "thetruth" has it right – vocations searching out religious communities who wear the habit and are faithful to the Magisterium are thriving; no matter how much good they do, vocations for communities without the habit are not as strong. Personally, I think both types of communities should exist. I do not, however, support women who took a vow of obedience and then act in this manner.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      Bad NUN on your knees before the father....***zzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip***

      June 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Wow, you are nasty. That was uncalled for.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      I wrote nothing disrespectul about anyone in my post. I find your message to be rather "intolerant." Hmm. Ironic.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Kamalarani

      Yes, you are right! Stupid women, can't even understand the meaning of what it really means to be obedient. Yeah, Just shut the f..k up, and scrub those convent floors again. No one wants to hear your stupid whining. You signed away your rights, so now just do what your told, bwhahahahahhahaha...................................amen

      June 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Denise

      I think that at a quick glance this article may be misleading in that I am pretty sure the picture is of layman protesters, not sisters. I don't know in what "manner" the sisters are acting. If you read the reports of their reactions to the "investigation" and subsequent report they have been portrayed as confused and shocked. Nothing I have read has shown a rogue sister "acting out"....

      June 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      I didn't sign away anything...unless you count my marriage certificate. I do clean my floors from time to time. Occasionally my husband requests it. Unlike you, though, I have spent time in a convent and I have seen the joy that comes from obedience. You have absolutely no idea. None whatsoever. You're just hiding behind the mask of the internet to try to rile people unnecessarily. I challenge you – find a religious community (any faith will do) and spend a month in daily prayer. Find your soul and life your true self instead of these tyrannical rants. Maybe that's not "fun" enough for you. *yawn*

      June 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Damien

      The Catholic church has throughout the centuries been a male-centric and politically driven religious autocracy helmed by the pope, and people who think any different are folling themselves, they helmed and drove wars including the holy wars and the spanish inquisition. The pope is essentially a dictator over the catholic faith and is why in the US we created a country free from religious influence, at least until Fox N Friends came about.

      They still treat the women in the service of the catholic church as if they are handmaidens its 2012, we no longer have the black plague or medically treat people with leeches, unless of course they have skin issues.

      The catholic faith has for years operated in bad faith, hiding priests who were abusing young boys for decades or moving them out of the country so they could avoid jail sentences, why should we believe they will be open honest or treat their women differently now, when history shows otherwise.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Tobeclear

      It doesn't say that those women protesting are nuns, just protesters who support the nuns.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sam won't investigate CC. You are correct. He is only interested in creating strife. I too can substantiate your experience. My own discernment for religious life was met with warmth and openness but not any hint of desperation for lack of other more suitable oblates

      June 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • stgeorgemv

      Often people confuse vow of obedience to blind obedience. It is not. If a priest/bishop/cardinal told a nun to shoot a group of children would the be bound by their vow to obey? No. The sisters will have to prey and discern what God is calling them to do. God's will, not Rome's.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      THanks, Catholic Clarity. Glad you're here with your balanced observations. But you will discover that balance and moderation will not be tolerated here.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • FraterT

      They promise obedience to their religious superior, not the bishop or Pope.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Excellent point, stgeorgemv. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa wrote a nice little book about obedience which is very enlightening. It's not about obeying commands. The religious sisters who take these vows are not required to go against their conscience or any teaching of the Magisterium. It's difficult to understand that if you have never experienced life in a religious community. It's not perfect by any standard, but it's quite different from what many might expect.

      One example from Fr. Cantalamessa's book that has always stuck with me: Moses gazed out over the promised land from afar, but knew he would not make it there. He was obedient, renouncing the Promised Land according to God's command...similar, he says, to the obedience shown by a parent who dies too young, trusting others to care for her beloved children. True obedience is never disloyal to God, never contracticting. True obedience brings all sorts of graces...to those children who lost their parent, to the followers of Moses, and to all of us for whom these religious sisters pray each and every day.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • lc

      So it's okay for the priests who took an oath of abstinence to play with little boys?

      June 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      No, FraterT, the vow of obedience is to submit their will to their superior, but their true obedience is to God, just the same as their superior!

      June 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Priests do not take an "oath of abstinence" as you call it. There is nothing that gives anyone the license to have inappropriate relations with children...even of unconsenting adults or adults to whom they are not espoused, in fact!

      Listen, creeps know where children are. Let's be real. They saw a weakness and wasted no time in trying to twist it towards their own personal and sinful pleasure. It's sick whether it's a priest, a minister, a teacher, a coach...it's just sick. It's that simple.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • sortakinda

      Well said, Clarity. But here at CNN, if there's a story about a priest saving an entire family, cats, dogs and parakeets from a fire, 80-90% of the comments will be to the effect: he was looking for little boys; he's stupid, there is no God and he probably started the fire. If you want to know what walking among virulent anti-Catholics is like, step this way.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  16. mcdanel

    "...the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the office that launched an investigation of the American nuns several years ago."

    Google the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith...you're probably more familiar with it's Inquisition.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Hard to understand what you're writing...perhaps you could make your point, preferably edited so spelling and grammar make it easier to understand?

      June 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Aardie

      The point was that the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith was responsible for the Inquisition. The grammar was better than that of most posters. You seem to need a little more clarity.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Thank you for providing it. So you're trying to connect the sins of generations ago with today's generation. Hmm. Doesn't seem so popular with other social issues in our country, but okayyyy.........hmm.....

      June 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • mark

      @catholic clarity. you couldn't understand it? the first line is a quote of the article... the second line uses an 'it's' when it should be 'its'. i was able to overcome that. seemed pretty clear to me

      June 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • mark

      if your point originally was that you disagreed with the association you should have been clear about it, not claim that spelling and grammar was what irritated you. catholic clarity...yes.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  17. Dana

    The Vatican needs to excommunicate these she devils. They are a plaque planted by Satan to create chaos in religion.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • SN

      Your CRAZY!! The vatican is an old's boys club that needs to join the modern age and stop keepign women behind the curtain. They aren't any different the people who are radical muslims and keep women in servitude.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Peter Pearson

      Another stupid and gross generalization. Being Catholic doesn't have to include mean-ness, judgmentalism, and ejecting everyone who isn't on your page. Why don't people like you just leave? It would be easier for everyone else.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Uh, SN? Have you BEEN to the Vatican? What in the world do you know? I find it interesting that so many claim everyone should be tolerant and respectful, but blatant intolerance, disrespect, and uninformed statements take the place of intelligent discussion.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • sam

      @Catholic – you picked out that comment, but didn't say anything about the 'she devils' remark? LOL

      June 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Which God?

      @Dana. Really?? You are off the mark there. Religion is the cause of chaos. Xtians can not even decide amongst themselves who are xtians and who aren't, as there as so many sects. Baptist say they are, Methodists say they are, blah, blah, blah. As for the one that calls itself the one true, the rcc ( or is that islam?), it's as big a joke as the rest.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      Sorry, Sam – I scrolled just so and didn't see the top comment. I was not going to post directly on that comment, actually, because I don't agree with that type of argumentative remark. It accomplishes nothing. Admonishing the faithful and instructing the ignorant are good things, but crossing the line to intolerance, disrespect, and judgement is just plain wrong and it is not what the majority of faithful Catholic and Orthodox Christians are all about.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • mark

      just burn them

      June 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  18. Bill

    Hey Crazyyyy,
    Whats funny is the joke will be on you when you are cast down to the fires of hell!! What ,did the whole universe just create itself! Oh yeah one day when there was nothing and a big bang just came out of nothing and then there was the universe.Use your feeble head, some one had to start it all. It's sad when you have no hope in a after life! Must be sick feeling inside thinking when you die thats it! Too much hate in you!

    June 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • sam

      Really? This again? You really think there's a hell to burn in? ::facepalm::

      June 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Guest

      Moron, the sick feeling is religion using fear of "hell" to forceably convert them to their faith.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Which God?

      @Bill. Sorry, to inform you but satan and his fiery pit of hell does not exist. I don't believe your god exists either. Please show mw the proof. Has it stopped any wars, or cured the human race of the diseases it has inflicted on its creations? Stopped drought that is killing millins? Turned salt water into fresh so people don't die of thirst in rain parched areas, etc, etc? Nope, it hasn't done a d@mn thing, has it? Keep prayin' though, it's like a runners high, gets you nowhere, but you feel good, until you come down. Need your prayin' fix?

      June 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Herp derp

      Logic fail, science fail, all around fail, etc...

      June 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • sbp

      But believing a magical wizard living on a cloud did it – that's using your head. Wow.
      You want to have faith, go ahead, but please don't think it's logical.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • mark

      i think anyone who finds it funny that anyone suffers eternal torture for not agreeing with you should not be allowed into heaven

      June 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Tampa

      Your Crazy for believing that!! Wacko!

      June 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  19. Zues

    LOL! This is perfect Domestic dispute in the catholic church!

    June 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  20. thetruth

    In orthodox Roman Catholic convents so many women are applying that they don't have the space to house them all, while vocations to the so-called "progressive" convents are dying on the vine. Why? People hunger for the truth!

    I have visted one such orthodox convent (the Norbertine Sisters) and there is a great holiness there that is readily discernable.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • sam

      Suuuuuuure. Can you back up your stats, or do you just feel them in your heart?

      June 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Patti

      It's because in the orthodox Roman Catholic convents are filled with women who aren't free thinkers and slaves to religious dogma.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      I can back up thetruth's "stats" (?) anecdotally – during the years I discerned religious life, I found the most orthodox communities had the lowest age limits because of the high numbers of possible postulates. As for Patti's uniformed statement, I challenge you. Have you ever seen the show "30 Days"? Perhaps you should discern – visit these communities and talk to these women. Then after thirty days with daily meaningful contact (including daily prayer) tell me if you would represent yourself with the same remark. Oh, and true understanding of the truth is rather freeing – no slavery involved!

      June 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Outsider

      You do realize that lying is a sin, right?? Everyone knows that Catholic vocation is declining rapidly and is a major problem for the church.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • sam

      So you both have kind of an anecdotal feeling...based on your direct involvement with something you're invested in. Might be a little forest for the trees, there.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Catholic Clarity

      I'm not invested at all. I just have experience. I admitted my experience is anecdotal. You're not really interested in an answer to your question, though, are you? If you are, I suggest you do some research yourself since my experience is not acceptable for you. Spend a month with a religious community. Pray every single day. Share life experiences with religious sisters. Here are a few communities for you to begin your research: http://www.cmswr.org/

      Now be careful. Try not to do what you accuse others of – try not to just judge. Try a month of research. Contact these women. Visit some who might be close enough. Pray with them, interview them, ask them for the statistics they provide to their superiors and (in some cases) to their dioceses.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      So it would seem the Church is being pruned in anticipation of a new more devout growth cycle. Hmmm, perhaps His Holiness is a more astute administrator than he has been given credit.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:50 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.