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American nuns face Vatican over rogue charges
Sisters Pat Farrell and Janet Mock met with Vatican officials over claims their group had gone rogue.
June 12th, 2012
12:05 PM ET

American nuns face Vatican over rogue charges

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – After weeks of anticipation, the leaders of American's largest umbrella group of nuns met Tuesday with the Vatican to address charges the nuns had gone rogue.

At the Vatican, Sisters Pat Farrell and Janet Mock, president and executive director respectively of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, sat down with Cardinal William Levada, head of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith the church's doctrinal watchdog group, and Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, who is charged with bringing the nuns back in line with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican.

The sisters and church officials met to discuss a doctrinal assessment finding the influential group of American nuns had strayed too far from the church's teachings.

In a statement afterward, the nuns said, "The meeting had been requested by the LCWR to address what the conference considered deficiencies in the process and the results of the doctrinal assessment of the organization released by the CDF in April."

“It was an open meeting and we were able to directly express our concerns to Cardinal Levada and Archbishop Sartain,” Farrell said in a statement from the nuns' group.

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In a statement, the Vatican said, "The meeting provided the opportunity for the Congregation and the LCWR officers to discuss the issues and concerns raised by the doctrinal assessment in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality."

The Vatican reiterated that under canon law, which dictates how the church operates, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious "remains under the supreme direction of the Holy See in order to promote common efforts among the individual member institutes and cooperation with the Holy See and the local Conference of Bishops."

Cardinal William Levada, head of the Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog group, had called the face-to-face meeting critical

"The purpose of the doctrinal assessment is to assist the LCWR in this important mission by promoting a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium," the statement continued.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is a group of 1,500 nuns who lead more than 300 religious orders. Together, its members represent 80% of the 57,000 nuns across the United States.

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The group's board met two weeks ago in Washington for the first time to discuss the assessment, saying it “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 group said in a statement.

The lengthy doctrinal assessment, released in April, listed a number of concerns church officials had with the sisters.

It said that at an annual gathering of the group, guest speakers who preached "radical feminism" went unchallenged. The report also alleged sins of omission, saying the nuns were focused too heavily on social justice and not enough on opposing abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage.

Levada, an American who was formerly archbishop of San Francisco, earlier had called the face-to-face meeting in Rome critical.  "Such a personal encounter allows for the opportunity to review the document together in a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration, hopefully thereby avoiding possible misunderstandings of the document’s intent and scope," he said in a statement at the time of the assessment.

"As the issues evidenced in the doctrinal assessment involve essential questions of faith, the Holy Father has given the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith a special mandate to collaborate with the (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) in a renewal of their work through a concentrated reflection on the doctrinal foundations of that work," Levada said.

The nuns' group said their leaders will return to the United States and discuss its options with members at their annual meeting in August.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious was formed at the behest of the Vatican and is still under the auspices of the Holy See. One approach the nuns are said to be considering is the "nuclear option," with the sisters resigning en masse and forming a nonprofit group outside the Vatican's reach.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (702 Responses)
  1. Tired of Religion Perverting the World

    I see Hitler is right again. Religion is indeed the opiate of the masses.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Tired of Pretentious Atheists

      Marx said that, not Hitler.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  2. Duckup

    @ Heaven Sent: So since when does fear of anything beget knowledge! Fear and ignorance are terms that can, (more times than not) be used interchangeably.
    @Colin: Kudos plus for one of the most well thought out posts ever!
    As for the subject at hand: Congratulations to a handful of brave women who stand-up to an outdated and unjustly cruel and patriarchal so-called religion, whose primary concern is to maintain control over the ignorant. These women deserve respect.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  3. Freedom524

    They need to usher all of the child molesters out of the Vatican and get them on course with bubbah in prison

    June 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  4. Freedom524

    Catholic....Just another made up religion trying to suppress people.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  5. Random

    Please, this article makes me laugh.....we all know what happens here. Nuns stray, the men at the vatican tell the nuns to get back on course. The nuns choose to stop being nuns or get back on course. There is no discussion here and for sure the vatican isn't going to change anything just because some nuns in the U.S. feel even the slightest change is needed.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Joshua

      Yes, in several international organizations the US is a major player and transient positions by leaders in the US affect the whole world. The Catholic church isn't like that at all. The church is also a voluntary organization.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  6. Gary

    The sooner the women who think of thenselves a 'nuns' get that their in a cult, the sooner they can get on with their lives!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • SBSTR

      It appears that these nuns truly are doing what is right by the society and there-in lies the problem, that they are not being culti-ish. The whole problem the Vatican has with them is that they are not more doctrinal.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Bob

      Cult's don't let people leave. Anyone who wants to leave the church is free to do so.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  7. Bob B

    I hope the rouge US nuns kick some Vatican butt.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  8. John Dodig

    Go get 'em sisters. If they won't listen and relent, just drop out and form your own organization. YOU at least do good work. Those pompous, over costumed, power-hungry old men need to be put in their place.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  9. Samuel

    Can the pope trade these nuns to the Lutherans for a couple priests, a church, and a deacon to be named later?

    June 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • The Luthrans

      Throw in a pope hat and you got yourself a deal.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  10. Tired of Religion Perverting the World

    Hi, I'm new here. I was wondering if anyone could prove the existence of an "almighty creator" of any sort that man has suggested without resorting to threats, the use of scripture, or the use of the word "faith".

    June 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Samuel

      Sure! You just have to have faith...

      Wait... DAMMIT!

      June 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Tee Dee

      Only after you prove how we and the universe came into existence.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Tired of Pretentious Atheists

      Yes, look outside.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • crackedskull44

      Wow looks like we are in the same boat...only I am currently waiting on scientists to stop using artists interpretations on how a star looks like billions of miles away which cant be photographed but insist its there.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • overthereoverhere

      You can't disprove me. Therefore I exist.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Bob

      Yes, God exists. He would have answered your question himself but he is busy so he sent me.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ tee dee
      Sure
      The big bang. Evidence: cosmic background radiation.

      Sun creating our solar system. Evidence: age of sun, earth, other planets, and asteroids. Also observation of other solar systems and individual planetary systems.

      Abiogenesis. Just a guess. But one that has a high probability of being right.

      Evolution. Evidence: fossils and general diversity of similar species

      Now your turn, please provide the evidence to support your position

      June 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Samuel

      Bob, aren't you supposed to bring a helicopter and a boat to get me off my damned roof and save me from this flood?

      June 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • I wonder

      Tee Dee
      "Only after you prove how we and the universe came into existence."

      Yeah, so until then it HAS to be a magical sky fairy that did it... and not only that, an uneducated Middle Eastern Hebrew desert tribe's sky fairy, right?

      June 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Tee Dee

      @imthebest

      prove it. where is your proof? put your reply in front of any "scientist" and the response will be that it's only a theory. Fossils? are you crazy?

      as for my proof, I have none. that is the definition of faith. acceptance. certain thing have happened in my life, along with my view of the beauty of life, that leads me to believe there is a supreme being keeping an eye on things ;)

      as for you, I think I can make an assessment about your life having never met you. jobless, divorced, angry, at one time a pot smoker (or more); essentially a have not. most that shun religion are in this situation. prove me wrong...

      June 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      "prove it. where is your proof? put your reply in front of any "scientist" and the response will be that it's only a theory. Fossils? are you crazy?"

      Most of what I said is only a theory, but I don't think you understand the true meaning of the word. You think of theory as something someone made up, whereas the real meaning of the word is an idea that is backed by facts and evidence. Scientists would say it's just a theory, but that's actually a good thing.
      And what's wrong with fossils? You ever heard of transitional fossils? Or DNA sequencing?

      "as for my proof, I have none. that is the definition of faith. acceptance. certain thing have happened in my life, along with my view of the beauty of life, that leads me to believe there is a supreme being keeping an eye on things "

      So you have zero proof, and I have some proof. ..... So, which side would scientists side with again?

      "as for you, I think I can make an assessment about your life having never met you. jobless, divorced, angry, at one time a pot smoker (or more); essentially a have not. most that shun religion are in this situation. prove me wrong..."

      Wow, are you way off. I'm actually an engineer making a good bit more money myself than the average household income. Never been married but currently dating a lovely girl who is a Nurse at a highly respected hospital. I admit that I have tried pot but I do not smoke it, and never tried anything else. I'm generally a very happy person with many friends and a great life.

      Now let me try you...
      Always thought you were better than everyone else because of your 'high moral standard'. Only time you truely had fun was when you played a prank on your sunday school teacher when you were 12. Now you sit at home with a child from a divorced marriage and your only friends are from your church who are just as smug as you and when you get together all you do is badmouth 'those kids today' or how you can't believe the morals of 'them homasecuals'.
      Am I close?

      June 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • owl96

      It seems to me that most every culture on every corner, field, and forest believed in some greater power. That in itself sees to show that humans have a internal sense that there really is a God. Why else would there be an universal belief unless there really was a greater power? (By universal belief, I do not mean every person, but mean every culture.) For me, that is enough to hold my faith.

      June 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Ryan

      Russ, the point isn't that your birthplace geography renders your beliefs any more or less valid. The point is that different cultures invent different religious mythologies, which should prompt us to wonder why it is humans have this in common. It should also force us to ask the hard questions about human psychology and biology and how those areas might contribute to this evident need for explaining the universe around us by creating deities and religions. Some researchers have proposed that natural selection may have played a role, i.e. groups that share strong religious beliefs will fight together and defend themselves more effectively, thus propagating their genes through the generations. Interesting idea, to say the least.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Just us E

      You were born. Birth is a miracle.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Get Real

      Tee Dee, "... jobless, divorced, angry, at one time a pot smoker (or more); essentially a have not. most that shun religion are in this situation. prove me wrong..."

      The Atheist and the Materialist
      those who have no need for gods and some who have no need for the supernatural:

      Douglas Adams, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Woody Allen, Fred Armisen, Lance Armstrong, Darren Aronofsky, Isaac Asimov, Dan Barker, Dave Barry, Ingmar Bergman, Richard Branson, James Cameron, George Carlin, John Carmack, Adam Carolla, John Carpenter, Asia Carrera, Fidel Castro, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Clarkson, Billy Connolly, Francis Crick, David Cronenberg, David Cross, Alan Cu'mming, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Ani DiFranco, Micky Dolenz, Harlan Ellison, Richard Feynman, Harvey Fierstein, Larry Flynt, Dave Foley, Jodie Foster, Janeane Garofalo, Bill Gates, Bob Geldof, Ricky Gervais, Ira Glass, James Gleick, Robert Heinlein, Ernest Hemingway, Katharine Hepburn, Christopher Hitchens, Jamie Hyneman, Eddie Izzard, Penn Jillette, Billy Joel, Diane Keaton, Michael Kinsley, Keira Knightley, John Landis, Hugh Laurie, Artie Lange, Richard Leakey, Bruce Lee, Tom Lehrer, John Lennon, Tom Leykis, James Lipton, H.P. Lovecraft, Bill Maher, John Malkovich, Barry Manilow, Todd McFarlane, Sir Ian McKellen, Arthur Miller, Frank Miller, Julianne Moore, Rafael Nadal, Randy Newman, Mike Nichols, Jack Nicholson, Gary Numan, Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, Camille Paglia, Trey Parker, Steven Pinker, Paula Poundstone, Terry Pratchett, Robin Quivers, James Randi, Ron Reagan Jr., Rob Reiner, Keanu Reeves, Rick Reynolds, Gene Roddenberry, Joe Rogan, Henry Rollins, Andy Rooney, Salman Rushdie, Adam Sav.age, Brian Sapient, Bob Simon, Steven S'oderbergh, Annika Sorenstam, George Soros, Richard Stallman, Howard Stern, Matt Stone, Julia Sweeney, St'uds Terkel, Pat Tillman, Alan Turing, Eddie Vedder, Gore Vidal, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Steven Weinberg, Joss Whedon, Ted Williams, Steve Wozniak, HUNDREDS MORE...

      The Agnostic
      those who declare themselves agnostic

      Margaret Atwood, Antonio Banderas, Susie Bright, Warren Buffett, Vincent Bugliosi, Dick Cavett, Robert X. Cringely, Clarence Darrow, Charles Darwin, Alan Dershowitz, Richard Dreyfuss, Umberto Eco, Timothy Ferris, Carrie Fisher, Bill Gates, Stephen Jay Gould, Matt Groening, Bob Guccione, Robert (Bob) James Lee Hawke, David Horowitz, Bob Hoskins, Robert Jastrow, Matt Johnson, Jack Kevorkian, Larry King, Tony Kushner, Dave Matthews, Larry Niven, Neil Peart, Sean Penn, Roman Polanski, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, James Taylor, Charles Templeton, Uma Thurman, Ted Turner, Robert Anton Wilson, MORE...

      The Ambiguous
      apparently skeptical of theism or religion

      Trey Anastasio, Richard Dean Anderson, John Perry Barlow, Lewis Black, Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Arthur C. Clarke, George Clo'oney, Billy Co'rgan, Dalai Lama, David Duchovny, Patrick D'uffy, Danny Elfman, Mo'rgan Freeman, K'inky Friedman, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Spalding Gray, Seth Green, Stephen Hawking, Hugh Hefner, Sir Edmund Hillary, Molly Ivins, Angelina Jolie, Mark Knopfler, Stan Lee, Monica Lewinsky, G. Gordon Liddy, Marilyn Manson, Sarah McLachlan, Mojo Nixon, Krist Novoselic, Emo Philips, Natalie Portman, Christopher Reeve, Andy Richter, Oliver Sacks, William Shatner, Neil Simon, Mira Sorvino, Donald Sutherland, Mark Twain, Gene Wilder, Bruce Willis, Edward O. Wilson, Terry Wogan, MORE.

      http://www.celebatheists.com/wiki/Main_Page

      June 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Get Real

      p.s. Tee Dee, you are wrong.

      June 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Trp55

      It's not a question of whether we beliee in God or not – the problem lies in alll the various religions abuse of power in God's name.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  11. boocat

    I hope all of the nuns resign...then who will these men lord their power over?

    June 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Dan

      Little boys.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bob

      The rest of the nuns all over the world that adhere to the tenets of their faith.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Rob Anderson

      Little boys?

      June 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  12. Reality

    The following vitiates the "so what" differences between said nuns and the Vatican:

    Saving Christians like said nuns and Vatican officials 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 Ascension 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. "

    June 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  13. Gloria Steinem

    Let the fembots see how far their lame opinions go with the Vatican. The Catholic Church does NOT rule by consensus. Prepare for submission...or excommunication. Feminism has just met its worst enemy.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • flip1

      being excomned is not a bad thing considering who they are currently taking orders from; I would follow them anywhere.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  14. inewt

    I hope the nuns overthrow the evil empire

    June 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Really does not matter...nuns are just as lost as the Pope and Catholics. They will burn for eternity. They do the work of the Father of Lies.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      says the phony heavensent that has shame along with no clue to what righteousness means.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Who's the real HeavenSent? Me! That's who, not you.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am the real HeavenSent and a lesbian and a Christian living in Jesus Truth.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  15. Doc Vestibule

    Why do Catholics oppose birth control?
    The condemnation of birth control stems from their belief that God wants humans to spew forth as many cro/tch critters as possible in order to populate heaven and to "be fruitful and multiply" (gen 1:28).
    To purposely countermand God's will to breed like rabbits is to lie to the Holy Spirit in the same way that Ananias and Saphira did in Acts 5 : 1-11 when they held back a portion of their gift to God. God's slaying of that couple is one of the few instances of divine wrath in the New Testament.
    They also believe that many forms of birth control, like IUDs and the pill, are actually forms of abortion and therefore consti.tute murder.
    There is also a heavy emphasis on self-denial as a path to righteousness amongst Catholics, this stemming from Matthew 16:24 in which Jesus says "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
    For Catholics in terrible marriages, God allows separation (and therefore lifelong abstinence) but not divorce.
    It was the apostle Paul's opinion that it was far better to be single and abstinent, but marry if you can't control your loins.
    "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion." (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)
    There is also the old fear of witches and warlocks and their ungodly potions which God condemns in Gal. 5:20 and Apoc. 9:21. Today's sorcerers are pharmaceutical biochemists.
    But most of all, the scripture cited by Catholics in regards to contraception is Genesis 38:9.
    In that uplifting story, God commanded a fellow named Onan to impregnate his sister in law.
    They repeatedly got jiggy, but Onan kept pulling out at the critical moment. For this transgression, God killed him.
    Contrarily, the Vatican teaches the concept of Primacy of Conscience.
    "Man has the right to act according to his conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters". (catechism of cath. church)
    The quid pro quo is that Catholics are expected to develop their conscience based on obedience to the infallible dogmatic tenets of the Magisterium. In other words – Catholics are encouraged to make their own judgment calls when it comes to morality, but they go to hell if their conscience dictates other than that which the Church mandates.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Reality

      Catholics do not oppose birth control- the Vatican opposes artificial birth control. Most Catholic men and women disagree with said Vatican and use artificial means:

      Some added words of wisdom:

      The reality of s-ex, contraception and STD control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate) – Vatican approved
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

      Followed by:
      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent) – Vatican approved

      June 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • monkey

      blah, blah, blah, blah

      June 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  16. junior

    Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
    1 Corinthians 1:25

    June 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And God is in me, which makes me wiser and stronger than man and the rest of you sinners on this blog.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Samuel

      Bad line. I can't believe someone wrote that and it got stamped with approval from the councils.
      They are really claiming that god exhibits foolishness and weakness? Nice post.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sam, you are foolish and blind. I would explain but I do not think you woul deven understand.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Samuel

      Hahah ok whatever bro.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      HeavenSent,

      In other words, you've got nothing...

      June 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Thnak you Sam, you help make my case. Everybody knows I am not a "bro". You are blind, foolish and now dumb.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Frayed,

      I have shared my wisdom on the word of God for quite some time. If you knew anything about me, you would already know that his wisdom makes me even wiser. I don't have time for foolish children.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Samuel

      Who is this guy? Acting like everyone in the world knows you by some random internet handle. Fools talking about fools. That's what we have here. So tell me, holy man. What if I were to tell you that god is in ME, which makes ME wise and unbending? What if you are a false prophet calling the righteous fools. And on the internet no less, where words are really not what you think they are. Perhaps your holy spirit has betrayed you and in reality you just have a mild case of schizophrenia. Perhaps you are not awake at all.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      HeavenSent,

      You calling yourself wise? I think there's advice against that in your magic comic book.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sam, and again you prove how stupid and foolish you are. I am not a "bro". Not my problem if you don't know who I am on this blog. Now move along foolish boy.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent is irked again for the real HeavenSent posting Jesus' truth.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Samuel

      Nope. I don't care if you think you are the pope. You are a fool. This is not your blog. You are a moron for thinking you can gain some clout on a cluster of 0s and 1s with people posing behind anonymous handles. So you get to cry and moan, and I will laugh. For I am better than you. Case closed, bro!

      June 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Samuel

      lolololololo

      June 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony and Father of Lies has struck again. Atheists are jealous of the truth and wisdom I speak of.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sam the foolish little boy speaks again. Instead of rejecting my wisdom, let God open your ears to hear what I have to say. Myself and other Christians speak with the authority of God.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Samuel

      Now that I look back you haven't said a damn thing

      June 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am HeavenSent and I am, in fact, a bro.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Samuel

      I am a wise and strong grown up man! Strong like Tree!

      June 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Samuel

      Nobody knows you nobody cares about you. People like me. :)

      June 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am HeavenSent and in fact a "lesbian"

      June 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Samuel

      Now that I look back you haven't said a damn thing

      And again Sam, you prove your stupidity. I haven't said a thing..yet you still rambled on as if I did. Move along little boy.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Samuel

      Woot! HeavenSent, please keep hanging out on page one to get the last word in against a guy who doesn't exist. lololo

      June 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Samuel

      It's awesome. Troll on troll.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  17. PJ

    If the fellows in the Vatican has even a fraction of the goodness our Nuns have we would have a very strong Church. As it is now we cannot listen to anything that comes out of Rome or the Bishops.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  18. Samuel

    Go get 'em sisters! Bring your rulers, the pope will run screaming.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  19. junior

    Thank you Colin god. If it weren't for you I may have misdirected my daily life as a Christian in the fullness of the Catholic Church. Are you still available for reconciliation this weekend? There is quite a bit I need to get off my chest.

    Your Humble Servant,
    junior

    June 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  20. Colin

    Dear Catholics:

    God here.

    First, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was edited over the Centuries, yet you cite them for the most extraordinary of claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifth, I would not care who you do or how you “do it”. I really wouldn’t. This would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Oh, the egos.

    Sixth, I would have smited all traditional Catholics, (and evangelicals and fundamentalists) long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric even for me to contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Ninthly, had I existed, do you really think my representation on Earth would have such a history of corruption, retardation of science, financial misdeeds, political intrigue, outright criminal behavior and $exual misconduct, including pedophilia, as the Vatican does. I mean, come on! As a CEO, I would be fired for allowing my organization to run amok century after century.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    June 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Thanks, Colin. Very apt post.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Which God??

      You sure put it well Colin. Kudos to you, sir.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Fools Abound

      Without the true fear of God, one is left knowing nothing (1 Timothy 6:4), because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7).

      A person does not even begin to have knowledge if they do not fear God, as it is written, "fools hate knowledge" (Proverbs 1:22). Without the true fear of God, a person is a fool, because the true fear of God is also the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).

      A person does not even begin to have wisdom if they do not fear God, as it is written, "fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7).

      The sad reality of all of this is, such is the miserable state of mankind. They are fools (Psalm 14:1-3).

      There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:18)

      This is why, "The hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live" (Ecclesiastes 9:3), because they do not fear God (Psalm 36:1).

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The Word of God is within me and I speak with authority from God.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Huebert

      Andrea Yates also herd the voice of god. Go get yourself checked out.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Tired of Religion Perverting the World

      A little over the top, but funny.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Samuel

      Too long, didn't read.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Angie

      Hmmmm.... After your entire argument, you have still failed to provide any tangible evidence that God doesn't exist... Heaven forbid God not provide that type of evidence for you who obviously is so deserving of it. Get over yourself. People can believe what they want. It doesn't hurt you in the slightest. Maybe you should take a look into the originations of your negative feelings toward people of faith. You may find more of the answers you're looking for there.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • boocat

      Excellent post!!!

      June 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Claude Gothic

      Well done, Colin!
      Very nice.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Nick

      This is excellent.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Angie
      It is not possible to provide "tangible evidence that God doesn't exist."
      It isn't possible to provide solid, physical evidence that ANYTHING doesn't exist.
      I as.sume you don't beleive that faries exist. What kind of tangible evidence could you provide to someone who DOES believe in them?
      It would be up to the fairy believer to provide solid evidence to prove they DO exist.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Nick

      @Angie
      "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

      June 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Angie,
      "People can believe what they want. It doesn't hurt you in the slightest. "

      I'm just bettin' that you'd be among the first to have a hissy fit if the Muslims were trying to make all the rules for society here and were desirous of taking over our government.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • soulcatcher

      I'll buy your post if you can do the same for all reliigons.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • james

      so you have no problem with the universe suddenly spawning out of thin air but you can't imagine a higher being than you?

      June 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Danno

      Don't confuse God with religion.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Satin

      You said it!!

      June 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Someone

      Colin, well done! and so very true.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • DontTellMe

      Colin, Would you mind if I shared this with friends on Facebook? You've summed up all the reasons I end up punching thesofa after hearing about Midwest tornadoes where, instead of getting right to cleaning, rebuilding, and looking for those in need of help, half the town runs to what's left of a prefab church to ask Gozar the Gozarian for 'help' , usually followed by a statement such as "This is god's way of telling us we haven't worked hard enough against the [insert minority or oppressed group here]. I wouldn't be surprised if your article went viral.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Colin: multiple fallacious arguments (that mainly involve self-projecting) do not form a single, coherent (much less compelling) argument. Especially not when simply cut & pasted with regularity.

      In response:
      1) Age would not be an issue to a being that **created** time.

      2-7) If there is an infinite, personal God who made all this, do you really think you can dictate the terms upon which he/she/it acts and/or reveals him/her/itself?

      2) the Bible is the most heavily scrutinized book in history. Despite assertions frequently on this blog, the scholarship and doc.uments available are of a higher order of magnitude than any others in the same time period.

      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/21/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/

      4) the VAST majority of humanity throughout recorded history has believed there is something greater than us which made us – a Creator, if you will. While majority opinion does not make a sound argument in & of itself for God's existence, it certainly is contrary to your notion that no one has any basis for belief.

      5) If there is a God, would he be able to disagree with you? Does he know & do things contrary to how you would? It certainly sounds like your very notion of God is merely Colin... projected until he's really, really BIG – but still only does what "little Colin" would... even though he's infinitely wiser, stronger, etc. You are simply self-projecting. Again, that appears to be your main argument. And – no, that is not how most religions understand themselves.

      6) If Jesus really rose from the dead, isn't talking animals & walking on water a minor thing to "accept"? And yet all of Christianity hinges on this central, miraculous claim.

      7) Life has no definition apart from the metaphysical. Even Biology ("the study of life") admits on p.1 that it can't define life. It just observes it. And notably, without a metaphysical referent, life quickly has no intrinsic value. Which leads to all sorts of ethical problems... unless you're Peter Singer.

      8) It seems like you are struggling with the math here. Have you studied calculus? Is 7B any bigger dent in Infinity than 2?
      Again, you are self-projecting. Yes, that's overwhelming for Colin – even for "Colin God." But not Infinity.

      9) Genesis 3. Corruption entered creation at *our* doing, not His. And we are ALL rife with it (especially pastors, priests, etc.). It's the reason God's clearest statement of his heart toward us is the cross – which tells us two things:
      a) we're all that messed up / it's worse than we want to admit (we deserve that)
      b) yet he loves that deeply (he's willing to take the cost upon himself)

      10) As Alvin Plantinga has pointed out, this is an overused, horribly flawed argument:
      “Suppose we concede that if I had been born of Muslim parents in Morocco rather than Christian parents in Michigan, my beliefs would be quite different. [But] the same goes for the pluralist...If the pluralist had been born in [Morocco] he probably wouldn't be a pluralist. Does it follow that...his pluralist beliefs are produced in him by an unreliable belief-producing process?”

      In SUM: your theme is self-projection. Most of your concerns are due to a concept of the divine that merely is Colin as god. If that is all you know, then of course atheism is more rational for you. But that is not an honest engagement with the claims of MOST religions, much less the Christianity you are attacking in particular.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • luvscout

      Colin
      That was so awesome, it should be submitted and published.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent, you posted " The Word of God is within me and I speak with authority from God.".

      I love when you get tweaked and out of sorts.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • 42

      Haha!! Great post. Almost reminds me of a Monty Python sense of humor approach to religion.

      Mankind invented religion as a coping mechanism eons ago, it is time to drop it and move forward.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony, your colors show. Everybody knows that my ego is justified by the wisdom of God in me.

      Amen.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • flip1

      This guy pops up everytime theres a something about the RC church-with the same story.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • fred

      In Luke 23: 39-40 we see two types of souls in this existence hanging next to Christ on the Cross. One criminal mocked Christ the other simply observed “we deserve this but this Jesus has done nothing wrong”. Jesus said to him” today you will be with me in Paradise” while to the soul with mocking lips Jesus said nothing. Jesus also said nothing to those who falsely accused him at trial.
      Colin and those who applaud his hateful mockery could never hear what Christ would have said thus nothing has been said to them. Our very soul is the essence of who we are and some belong with God by their very nature. That soul could not be at rest anywhere else but in unity with God. The mockers on the other hand do not belong nor would they ever desire eternity in the presence of God. These will also return to where they truly belong. It is really not that complicated. One need simply contrast the love Colin reflects to the love Christ reflected and understand which essence rises to holiness.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:20 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.