home
RSS
June 22nd, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Prominent atheist blogger converts to Catholicism

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – She went from atheist to Catholic in just over 1,000 words.

Leah Libresco, who’d been a prominent atheist blogger for the religion website Patheos, announced on her blog this week that after years of debating many “smart Christians,” she has decided to become one herself, and that she has begun the process of converting to Catholicism.

Libresco, who had long blogged under the banner “Unequally Yoked: A geeky atheist picks fights with her Catholic boyfriend,” said that at the heart of her decision were questions of morality and how one finds a moral compass.

“I had one thing that I was most certain of, which is that morality is something we have a duty to,” Libresco told CNN in an interview this week, a small cross dangling from her neck. “And it is external from us. And when push came to shove, that is the belief I wouldn’t let go of. And that is something I can’t prove.”

CNN's Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories

According to a Patheos post she wrote on Monday, entitled “This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal,” she began to see parts of Christianity and Catholicism that fit her moral system. Though she now identifies as a Catholic, Libresco questions certain aspects of Catholicism, including the church’s positions on homosexuality, contraception and some aspects of religious liberty.

“There was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth,” Libresco wrote about Catholicism in her conversion announcement post, which has been shared over 18,000 times on Facebook. “I asked my friend what he suggests we do now, and we prayed the night office of the Liturgy of the Hours together.”

At the end of the post, Libresco announces that she is in a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults class and is preparing for baptism. She will continue to blog for Patheos, but under the banner, “A geeky convert picks fights in good faith.”

According to Dan Welch, director of marketing for Patheos, Libresco’s post has received around 150,000 page views so far.

“Leah's blog has gotten steadily more popular since she arrived at Patheos, but a typical post on her blog is probably closer to the range of 5,000 page views,” Welch wrote in an email. “Even now, a few days later, her blog is probably getting 20-30 times its normal traffic.”

Libresco’s announcement has left some atheists scratching their heads.

“I think atheists were surprised that she went with Catholicism, which seems like a very specific choice,” Hemant Mehta, an atheist blogger at Patheos, told CNN. “I have a hard time believing how someone could jump from I don’t believe in God to a very specific church and a very specific God.”

Mehta says that Libresco’s conversion is a “one-off thing” and not something that signals any trend in atheism. “The trends are very clear, the conversions from Catholicism to atheism are much more likely to happen than the other way around,” he said.

But while atheists were puzzled by the conversion, others commended Libresco.

“I know I’ve prayed for her conversion several times, always thinking she would make a great Catholic,” wrote Brandon Vogt, a Catholic blogger. “And with this news, it looks like that will happen. Today heaven is roaring with joy.”

Thomas L. McDonald, a Catholic Patheos blogger, welcomed Libresco to the fold: “Welcome. I know this was hard, and will continue to be so. Don’t worry if the Catholics make it as for difficult for you as the atheists. We only do it to people we love.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Libresco says one of the most common questions she has received is how she'll deal with atheists now.

“The great thing about a lot of the atheist and skeptic community is that people talk more critically about ideas and want to see proof provided,” Libresco said. “That kind of analytical thinking is completely useful and the Catholic Church doesn’t need to and should not be afraid of because if you’ve got the facts on your side, you hope they win.”

Libresco is just switching the side she thinks the facts are on.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church

soundoff (7,475 Responses)
  1. cworr

    It's funny to read the responses on this. This girls beliefs are just as valid and deserving of respect now as when she was an atheist. If she changes her position again, we should still respect it.
    As for all the comments on Catholicism, Catholic Theology is far more complex than most people, including Catholics, realize. It is like a giant palace or hotel with a lot of rooms. You could find your peace in just one room, even if not all of them. The life of a monk or nun living in a monastery is an entire world away from the Catholic that tries to make it in to Church every Sunday. And there is a whole lot in between. As for her choosing Catholicism as a specific religion, I think that's great, but it probably had more than a little to do with the fact that her boyfriend was Catholic.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • JAM

      No she doesn't! She is and was a fraud! Using the word "Catholic" is one of the greatest marketing campaigns in history outside of using the generic God as a proper name! That's like me calling myself the Human! Its lame and still doesn't make a solid argument. It just gets the masses to drink more Coke! Lame, lame, lame!

      June 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      JAM appears upset

      June 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • JAM

      No, Bill Deacon, just annoyed!

      June 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • n222s

      cworr, you may be right about her reason for her choice but I suspect she isn't the first man or woman to make a choice out of concern for losing someone they think they love. Do you believe people make religious choices based upon losing someone? Apparently. Do you believe, for example, people choose to have an abortion for fear of losing a loved one? OH NO, THAT choice is always made for the right reasons. We could go down that road all day long.

      I'm not changing the debate. I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy in believing that choices we feel are valid are always made for the right reasons. Choices we feel are invalid are always made for the wrong reasons. You aren't a hypocrite are you?

      June 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  2. Abe Pacana

    Atheists? Pfffttt !! These are people who hates authority. Who hates laws. Hate their parents, teachers and traffic cops. They don't like that. They don't want to worship a supreme being. These are people who matured very early and engaged in fornication and they like that. They don't want anybody to tell them that it's immoral. Yeah, be an atheist because it's cool.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Linden Pike

      Please do not reproduce. That mentality needs to die out.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      either awful trolling or you seriously have no idea what you are on about.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Abe Pacana

      ATHEISTS TURNED ME INTO A NEWT!

      June 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  3. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    This might be a good place to post something many here might find challenging, and sorry for the long post. I find the thoughts of Albert Einstein very interesting and quite challenging.

    ATHEISM AS BIGOTRY ...

    The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.
    – Albert Einstein, published posthumously

    As atheists it is important to remember that no thinking person likes to endure proselytizing by others – either by theists, or indeed by atheists.

    Politics and religion are taboo subjects in the workplace and in socializing. No one likes a zealot. Atheists do not have churches to attend where we can all go to smugly congratulate ourselves on our wisdom – like the religionists do.

    The internet is our de-facto church. We are passionate about our faith and we share our faith there.
    Sometimes we get so passionate we forget that such expression is no less bigotry than that of the religionists.

    ATHEISM AS FAITH ...

    All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.
    – Albert Einstein (1937 and 1950)

    We all want answers to the eternal questions
    – Where did we come from? (cosmology)
    – Why are we here? (purpose)
    – Where are we going? (death)

    Religion of course has ready answers for those who are willing to believe. Science, or "natural" philosophy (remember that we still handout advanced degrees in the sciences as a PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy) provides material answers to the cosmological questions, but does not answer questions regarding purpose or death, which many (including apparently Ms. Libresco) find difficult.

    We place our faith (and yes, that is what it is) in measurable, repeatable and predictable approaches (the scientific method) to explain the universe around us. These are not absolute truths. When we get it wrong, we fix the model – to a new order of approximation.

    ABSOLUTE TRUTH IS UNKNOWABLE == THERE IS NO MONOPOLY ON TRUTH

    – Any religionist who says absolute truth is knowable is kidding themselves. They say God is truth, but they cannot explain God. He is too “mysterious” for mortal comprehension.

    – Any atheist who says absolute truth is knowable is kidding themselves. If you can satisfactorily explain strong nuclear forces and weak gravitational forces and dark matter without creating an even more complicated model to try to get all the pieces to fit, please write a paper and let the Nobel committee know. (They'll want to hear from you, trust me.)

    SO WHAT?

    Be thoughtful. Be generous. Don't be rude to others. Help others. Leave a legacy. Be remembered well. Live a good live, it's all we've got.

    ________________________
    If you're interested, Einstein was a Spinozan; a belief that is difficult to label and full of nuance and subtlety. I can see why it would appeal to him.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Devin

      I rather like that post! It sets a challenge to be tolerant of others, and doesn't dismiss either atheists or theists. I would further challenge anyone in both of those categories to respectfully ask questions of not just those that believe as you do, but also of those that believe differently than you do.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Devin,

      thank you for your reply. The aggressive 'bait and bite' style of posting that goes on here is tiresome. It makes people with whom I might otherwise agree look silly.

      With this topic now on CNN's US front page the post rate is so high that very few will likely read my post. By the time any cogent post is typed the 'top of thread' has moved onto a new page.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Cade

      I am a Christian and you basically just said what I was thinking. Nobody really knows anything for sure. We each must figure it out for ourselves. What is the point in tearing each other apart because the other person will not believe what I believe.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Joe Cogan

      "I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have
      expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious
      then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as
      our science can reveal it." – Albert Einstein

      June 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "We followers of Spinoza see our God in the wonderful order and lawfulness of all that exists and in its soul ("Beseeltheit") as it reveals itself in man and animal."
      – Albert Einstein (published posthumously)

      He has a lot of very interesting things to say on the intertwined natures of science and religion. It is clear that Einstein thought of metaphysics as shades of grey, not black and white (though even this metaphor is weak).

      June 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  4. Lhijfdelwe

    WHO CARES

    June 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Mello

      I do. I think it's awesome.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  5. Puzzled in Peoria

    How quickly these comments turn into name-calling and hate.

    Now for some evidence, or proof: Courts accept eyewitness testimony as evidence. The gospels are eyewitness testimony. And, if you haven't been following the trial over the James Ossuary, an Israeli court has ruled that the ancient inscription on it, which includes the name "Jesus," is authentic.

    You can read the court's verdict here:http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/article.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=38&Issue=4&ArticleID=2

    June 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Linden Pike

      And if I were to dig up some graves in Mexico, I am sure I would find a few JESUS myself.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Rynomite

      Um the gospels were not eyewitness testimony. They hearsay recordings of supposedly eyewitness testimony. Most well-respected –>Christian<– biblical scholars will even tell you that.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • JAM

      That is the same reason why so many inmates are being released and then getting tax payer money for all the years they lost due to "eyewitness" testimony. Humans are and always will be liars. We just differentiate little lies from bigger lies. The Catch 22 is you can say its not true, which would also be a lie!

      June 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "And, if you haven't been following the trial over the James Ossuary, an Israeli court has ruled that the ancient inscription on it, which includes the name "Jesus," is authentic"

      no they didnt, they didnt even come close to saying that. What they said was that the prosecution had not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it was fake. That is a huge difference and it is disingenous of you to claim otherwise.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Puzzled in Peoria

      Cedar Rapids, you're absolutely right. The court did NOT rule the inscription authentic. It ruled it NOT a forgery. Sorry for my mistake. But did you read the article I listed? Did you read the evidence Hershel Shanks compiled? No, I guess you didn't.

      Rynomite, where do you get that about "Most well respected Christian scholars will tell you that"? Do you know for a fact–can you PROVE that the gospels of Matthew and John (eyewitnesses to Jesus' life) were NOT written by them? The consensus of Christian biblical scholars, at least the editors of my Bibles, say those gospels WERE written by those two. If you think Dom Crossan and the Jesus Seminar are respected Christian Bible scholars, then you don't know much about Bible scholarship.

      But once again, God cannot be known through the "evidence" or "reason" atheists demand. He is independent of this universe so our laws do not apply to him. No one is going to convince anyone of anything in these comments, Christians or atheists alike.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  6. Linden Pike

    Can I take a picture behind a microphone and be labeled as "prominent" too? Been atheist for 20 years and never once heard of this confused lil lady.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Obviously more ppl care about what she thinks than you...that's why you are commenting on her and not the other way around.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  7. Andrew

    Poser.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Velo

      Obviously, she was very adept in Science.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Ben

      "God" ain't nuthin' but a word, like all words a random arrangement of letters that together represent a concept. In this case, a very powerful concept, because it's a concept that poses answers to questions for which there are no logical answers. Why is it bad to steal? Why is it bad to murder? Why is it important to honor the Sabbath (simply a day off from work, set aside for contemplation and introspection)? Why SHOULD we treat others as we wish to be treated?

      It's crucial to remember that the Old Testament was written at a time when people were still crawling out of caves. "God" provided an answer to essential moral questions, and the "word" of God was delivered in a style and language that relatively uncivilized people could understand. In MY religion, Judaism, we have debated Biblical stories for centuries and centuries to uncover the truths behind these often childlike tales. It's part and parcel of our religious practice. Does God want us to do this? SOMETHING does! And frankly, who cares what that something is, as long as we examine the way we're living our lives and retain faith in what we now (sometimes) consider indisputable truths?

      The irony is, Atheists of course demonstrate their own brand of faith. Belief in some kind of internal source of moral wisdom, some kind of behavioral compass, IS faith. Because "faith" also ain't nuthin' but a word, a word that means belief in the absence of logical proof.

      Measure a person by their actions, not the source or object of their faith. Use the word "God," if you like...use "Ralph," if that feels better. But please, let's stop criticizing each other for the various paths we take toward living moral, thoughtful lives.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  8. WayneKilmer

    “That kind of analytical thinking is completely useful and the Catholic Church doesn’t need to and should not be afraid of because if you’ve got the facts on your side, you hope they win.”

    What facts? Religion is devoid of fact. Religion is not based on fact, it s based on faith. And why, pray tell, must a moral compass be external? Why can't morality be a self-realization? I suspect, given her age, the blogger was never a true Atheist to begin with, but rather someone lost looking for any light at the end of a self-inflicted tunnel.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • ialsoagree

      I completely agree with you about this blogger.

      I've been down that road before, and always ended with having a belief in god.

      I am now an agnostic atheist, and my reasons – and my opinions about god – are completely different than the ones I had when I "thought" I was an atheist.

      I am now an atheist because I seem no compelling argument, nor no evidence for a god. I don't "believe there is no god," and I welcome being convinced that such a thing exists. But as a scientist, I see no compelling reason to hold such a belief, and think that if any such reason existed, it would have been presented long ago.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • n222s

      Well, Wayne, if following a religion helps her live a moral life, what is wrong with that? If, as I suspect is the case with many of the atheist trolls on these boards, some people are sitting in their mom's basement in their underwear looking for the next opportunity to bash Christianity, perhaps they, like she, need an external force to kick start their quest to lose 80 lbs.

      Wayne, I'm sure you're healthy and fine as are 90% of the people, atheist or Christian. But you can say people should rely upon internal morality that comes with self realization but not everyone is as lucky to be as moral or svelte as are you. They (and me) need help!

      June 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  9. JAM

    What a bunch of baloney. No athiest up and "converts" to anything as it is implicit that there is no other side of the argument. This person was never an athiest to begin with and is and was a fraud!

    June 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      OK I love this. Here is my chance. I'm gonna do it. Wait for it wait... NO True Scotsman!

      June 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • n222s

      Except for C.S. Lewis. But he doesn't count JAM because he isn't as intelligent as you.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  10. Jack

    "A young man [or woman] who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." – CS Lewis

    June 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Adam

      That's spoken like a true Christian fundamentalist... oh ya, he was one..

      June 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      you can read as many books as you like but it still doesnt make a person walking on water any more ridiculous.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      He was also an Oxford professor who converted from atheism based on his own investigation and logical questioning of his beliefs. Isn't that something you support?

      June 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  11. Uncouth Swain

    Thank you CNN for this story. It really shows how the atheists on here think. Most are just like any other humans...they will praise those that agree with them. They will call them intelligent, smart and highly critical thinkers. But when one of their own decides to change their mind...all that is out the door.

    Simply put....many atheists are hypocrites. If you decide there is no god and become a good little atheist sheep...you will be praised and lauded. But if you go against the atheist grain....you must not have been thinking or something happened to you. How dare anyone be atheist and change their mind!

    June 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • WayneKilmer

      All atheists, much like all religious, are not cut from the same cloth.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • ialsoagree

      I certainly question why she was an atheist in the first place, but everyone is welcome to believe whatever they want.

      I'm an agnostic atheist. I'm not particularly plussed about an atheist who claims to now be a theist. No skin off my back! It doesn't make an argument for god any more compelling.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Adam

      Honestly, no disrespect to anyone.. if you want to convert from Atheism to Catholicism.. more power to you. I'm just confused by her motives... There's more than enough literature out there that supports secular morality. As a matter of fact, you could view morality on a secular level even if you're a religious person. I'd be interested to hear what her reasoning was to make such a decision.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Paige

      Your comment reeks of hypocrisy.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • slovestra

      works both ways

      June 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @WayneKilmer- agreed...that's why I also said "many".

      June 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Curious waht you mean Paige.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • oit

      You don't understand the "sheep concept" do you? I have never heard of this "top" athiest blogger or that web site, so I'm guessing cnn needed a story. People should believe whatever they want to believe and not get screamed at for those beliefs. Personally I will believe in God and Jesus when they come down and slap me in the face with their you know whats. Is it blasphemy to say penis?

      June 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @oit- I understand it perfectly. There are atheist sheep out there. Let's be honest...it doesn't take some kind of secular awakening to be an atheist. Really...you don't have to be that smart to be an atheist. So yes..there are those that are atheist sheep.
      You hearing of this person is irrelevant. You are NOT that well versed in what is going on out there.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Her conversion does not make a better case for the existence of God, except to her. This is how conversion works it is not something that can be empirically proven, only comprehended through experience. Those who are asking for external proof are asking the wrong question. A better line of inquiry might be something like "If there were a God, what would he say to me?"

      June 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  12. Kari

    Christians do not have the market on Morals covered.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Adam

      Right?? Most atheists I've talked to would never convert to Catholicism of all things... weird.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Adam

    I'm confused by this. She converted to Catholocism because she couldn't decide how humans find their morality without God? That seems like an odd angle for an so-called Atheist. Socrates cleared that up in Euthyphro... not a new concept at all. It was a question that had been answered before Christ was even born.

    The bible, on the other hand, doesn't offer a lot of justiication for what's right and what's wrong.. it sort of just tells you what's right and what's wrong. Not much discussion about why.. with exception to some of the scriptures. But they certainly do not cover it all by any stretch of the imagination.

    I dunno, I need to re-read this article, I must've missed something.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • DR Smith

      Adam,
      Your confusion is understandable. Leah is simply changing from the religion of atheism to the religion of catholicism. I don't mean to offend catholics by that assessment. The truth is that Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ, the resurrected Lord. If you don't have that relationship which is based upon Him revealing Himself to you and not any good deeds of yours, you won't understand it. The various denominations and religions are probably the biggest obstacle to people knowing Jesus because they think they're all set based on the "tenets" of those denominations and religions. Without any input from anyone else, I would suggest you slowly and quietly read the fourth book of the New Testament, John. Have a great day.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  14. Obviously

    If you consider her Blog title, you will understand her perfectly.

    "Unequally Yoked" refers to her relationship with her boyfriend. That is her main idea.

    “A geeky atheist pick fights . . . " reveals insecurity in her double use of self-deprecation to describe herself. Fight-picking geek. Insecure.

    " . . . Her Catholic boyfriend,” Again, relationship is the important thing to her.

    Two major references to her boyfriend, two references to her own weakness, and only one reference to atheism.

    It wasn't a blog about atheism. It was a weak-chick is desperate for guy" blog. Of course she converted to his religion.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Adam

      very interesting perspective.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "weak-chick is desperate for guy"

      Wow...condescending much?

      June 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Paige

      Yes, I read the same thing into this–it's about the relationship with the boyfriend. As a former catholic who found the truth about 4 years ago, I couldn't ever imagine rejecting facts and logic and returning to religion, a human invention. I respect her decision, but I am scratching my head. I think her conversion will be temporary as she learns more about Catholicism.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Obviously

      That is her self-stated position.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Wow Obviously..I must have missed the part where she called herself a "weak-chick is desperate for guy".

      June 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    I am also convinced that Libresco plays a game (maybe for money).

    It is very suspi-cious that she was never baptized as an infant. Is she a Jew or a Muslim, which wants to destroy the Christian faith?

    June 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • nottolate

      First, water baptism doesn't save anybody. Second, infants shouldn't be baptized anyway because they cannot make a profession of faith in Christ. Who are you to decide for the infant? So that's a farce. Third, Catholics aren't Christian anyway. In that regard you have been duped by Satan.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @nottolate

      You answered very quickly. However, if Libresco would shift from Catholicism to your cult, she would be like a person which had gone from pan to fire to hell. Rebaptism is a sin.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • nottolate

      You don't even know what a cult is. Couldn't explain it even if your soul depended on it. Please give the forum the THEOLOGICAL DEFINITION of a cult.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  16. nottolate

    @bluegillyonthefly,

    "You know, "On this Rock I will build My church" and all that?"

    You failed to understand the meaning of the that verse and have been duped into believing what the RCC tells you it means. The real explanation follows:

    By the rock on which Christ builds his church, is meant, not the person of Peter; for Christ does not say, upon thee Peter, but upon this rock, referring to something distinct from him: for though his name signifies a rock, or stone, and there may be some allusion to it; and he is so called because of his trust and confidence in the Lord, on whom he was built; but not because he was the foundation on which any others, and especially the whole church, were built: it is true, he may be called the foundation, as the rest of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are, Eph 2:20 without any distinction from them, and preference to them; they and he agreeing in laying doctrinally and ministerially Christ Jesus as the foundation of faith and hope, but not in such sense as he is; neither he, nor they, are the foundation on which the church is built, which is Christ, and him only. Moreover, what is said to Peter in these, and the following words, is not said to him personally and separately from the rest of the apostles, but is designed for them, as well as him, as appears by comparing them with Mt 18:18. As he spoke in the name of them all, to Christ; so Christ spake to him, including them all. Peter had no preeminence over the rest of the apostles, which he neither assumed, nor was it granted; nor would it ever have been connived at by Christ, who often showed his resentment at such a spirit and conduct, whenever there was any appearance of it in any of them; see Mt 18:1 and though Peter, with James, and John, had some particular favours bestowed on him by Christ; as to be at the raising of Jairus's daughter, and at the transfiguration of Christ on the mount, and with him in the garden; and he appeared to him alone after his resurrection, and before he was seen by the rest of the disciples; yet in some things he was inferior to them, being left to deny his Lord and master, they did not; and upon another account is called Satan by Christ, which they never were; not to mention other infirmities of his, which show he is not the rock: and, after all, what is this to the pope of Rome, who is no successor of Peter's? Peter, as an apostle, had no successor in his office; nor was he bishop of Rome; nor has the pope of Rome either his office, or his doctrine: but here, by the rock, is meant, either the confession of faith made by Peter; not the act, nor form, but the matter of it, it containing the prime articles of Christianity, and which are as immoveable as a rock; or rather Christ himself, who points, as it were, with his finger to himself, and whom Peter had made such a glorious confession of; and who was prefigured by the rock the Israelites drank water out of in the wilderness; and is comparable to any rock for height, shelter, strength, firmness, and duration; and is the one and only foundation of his church and people, and on whom their security, salvation, and happiness entirely depend. Christ is a rock that is higher than they, where they find safety in times of distress, and the shadow of which is refreshing to them; and therefore betake themselves to him for shelter, and where they are secure from the wrath of God, and rage of men: he is the rock of ages, in whom is everlasting strength; and is the sure, firm, and everlasting foundation on which the church, and all true believers, are laid: he is the foundation of their faith, and hope, and everlasting happiness, and will ever continue; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Which church do you belong to?

      June 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • cworr

      That is your interpretation of those scriptures, but there have been many millions who would disagree. Do you really think Jesus wanted 5000 Churches scattered around the world, backbiting and insulting each other, insisting that only they were the "real" body of Christ? Do you really think that? Do you not see a desire from Christ for his followers to be unified? 1.2 billion Christians are Catholic. 800 million are Protestant. There can't be any unity among Christs followers without the Catholics. We all have far too many challenges in the world today. In the middle east, they do not ask if you are Catholic or Baptist before they persecute you. I am Catholic and I promise you I am just as committed to Christ as you are. Fighting amongst ourselves is not only unproductive, but it is exactly what satan would want.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Stephen Carr

      Welcome.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  17. THOR

    Bow before me puny mortals! I keep you free from Ice Giants!

    Do you see Ice Giants? I think not!

    If you do not worship me, I may stop protecting you from ice giants!

    I can hear your skepticism within your minds! You are thinking "this God isn't real!" But I AM!! And I am Omniscient!!!

    Did I not just forsee your skepticism?

    Think to yourselves, "Shouldn't I worship Thor? Just in case? What if those Ice Giants are really real? What can it hurt?"

    June 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  18. Big Tex

    Just as there are "educated" Christians, being atheist doesn't mean you know everything. Usually, they're smart enough to see the through the facade of religion. Just being a blogger doesn't mean you're right, either, so don't start assuming that all atheists are going to "see the light" and follow her footsteps.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  19. n222s

    I will never, for the life of me, understand why atheists have a problem with the choice of an individual believer. If we, as individual Catholics, live up to the tenets of our beliefs why would there be an issue?

    Of course, the stock, illogical response is "that's the problem, they don't live up to their beliefs". That is a problem with the individual NOT the belief.

    In effect, too many atheists buy into their religiously (lol -intended with the secular meaning) held belief that collective sins taint the morality of the individual. The core beliefs of Catholicism call upon me to live by the golden rule and perform acts of kindness and charity. In effect, "they will know we are Christians by our love",

    The Catholic or Christian that fails to live up to the moral code of their beliefs is no more, or less, guilty of societal wrongdoing than an atheist that professes to live by a secular moral code and then fails to live up to it. Have people done great evil in the name of religion? Without a doubt. Have atheists (followers of Marxism are hypocrites if they are not atheists) done great evil in the absence of religion? Without a doubt.

    Only idiots believe that the evil acts of another nullify the INDIVIDUAL'S responsibility to live a moral life. If I want to, as people wrongly believe, worship statues but I treat you with kindness and respect, what in the world is wrong with that? And if I pray in public how is my expression of free speech in the form of a missive to God different than your right to express your disbelief in a deity? Each of us believes the other to be wrong but it's okay with me for you to be wrong about your beliefs. Why isn't it okay on this board and in public for me, in your opinion, to be wrong?

    June 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Jiminy Cricket

      Well, ignoring your straw man response to your own question, the real reason is that religious people like you have always attempted to force your religion on us, through law, and in the case of Catholicism, inquisitions, wars, torture, political oppression, crusades, the attempt to wipe out rival religions, and just so much other ugly stuff.

      If you minded your own business, there would be no problem. But religion always tries to impose itself upon others, and Catholicism has a particularly ugly history of it.

      In the future, don't put words in our mouths. That is dishonest argumentation. Skip the straw man . . . it only reveals that you really do not want the truth.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • n222s

      Jiminy, a few million who died at the hands of Communism would seem to indicate that Christians are not the only ones who have attempted to impose their beliefs upon others. Integral to Marxism is atheism for to believe otherwise is to deny the ultimate authority of the state.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  20. waterman

    >> Libresco is just switching the side she thinks the facts are on.

    LOL, what facts might those be?

    June 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Jiminy Cricket

      The "fact" is her boyfriend.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108
Advertisement
About this blog

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.