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November 23rd, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Explaining the Pope's Christmas debunking book

(CNN)–CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi explains how the Pope's new book challenges long held Christmas traditions.

Read the full story on the Pope's new book here.

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Faith Now • Jesus • Pope Benedict XVI • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (751 Responses)
  1. Atheism is healthy for children and other living things

    Hi Poppa, thankyou for the warning. I am canceling my Fakemas trip to the Vatican later this yeear ;-)

    December 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  2. Harry

    Many anti christs have gone out into the world

    December 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      And I appreciate them all.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Wait, anti-christs are wandering around?

      How will I know one when I see one? And why do I care?

      December 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  3. m

    something is really off about this Pope. No matter what religion you are....beware of this Pope! This is no "holy" man!

    December 3, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • the AnViL

      absolutely no popes were "holy men".

      they were all degenerate products of a corrupt organization.

      and that's a flat fact.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Seyedibar

      There is no such thing as holy men... or holy anything.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Doug

      To be Holy means to be Pure. When one converts to God, he experiences a change of heart and no longer has the disposition to do evil. Unfortunately, we've had people in Religious circles who have never really experienced the change in heart. It is like the change of heart that one experiences in Zen.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • buck cameron

      What gave him away? HIs stint with the Hitler Youth, his running of the Inquisitions? So many clues!

      December 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      "When one converts to God, he experiences a change of heart and no longer has the disposition to do evil."

      Are you frigging serious?

      December 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Everyone say it with me.

      "Doug's post is classic No True Scotsman"

      December 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  4. Peter

    What did the Pope say about pedophiles in the church? Should he remove them from the "service to God", or just transfer them to another parish where they can keep doing there abuse?

    December 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  5. Peter

    To me, Jesus, if existed, was the son of an Iraqui with a Palestinian, a man that looked a bit like Saddam Hussein looked, why is he portrait as white with blue eyes? He was really no body. The christian church was really really created by another jew: Saul, who changed his name to Paul. He is the one, like Brighamian did in the US with the mormon cult, elevated the cult to christian religion. Those books in the bible were written by hired writers with good imagination. How come the fanatics say, this is the word of god. What god?

    December 2, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Seyedibar

      which god? the jewish mountain god Yahweh, son of the Canaanite gods El and Beirut. And he had about 20 brother and sister gods. Of course, most brainwashed christians will vehemently deny that their god is just one of many. They have no interest in knowing the true history of their god because it would violate the dogma the roman cooked up.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  6. Bob

    My question is why is the Pope the one that is supposed to know all that there is to know about the gospels and Jesus decided to release this info now? Did He just discover it or is there other motives like the rise of the Roman Empire we see in revelation. This will not be accomplished till the world takes its eyes off Jesus and focuses it on someone. While the story of the manger is not a big deal with the newest info being Jesus was actually born in a cave that they used to use for cattle and animals but a bit more troubling is the fact that he says the Nazis did not want to wipe out the Jews. This is totally false and denies the truth which makes me question all he has to say. Jesus is LORD that is the truth.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Doug

      Actually, the Nazi's never intended to kill the jews. They wanted to export them, but they couldn't find a country that wanted to take them.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      The Nazis didn't mean to kill Jews?

      How fortunate that they happened to have all those facillities around to do just that

      December 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  7. Christmas debunker

    First "they" told me there was no santa..what I found out was, there was a real St. Nicholas, (even if he didn't live with elves and flying reindeer).
    Next "they" told me there was no such thing as ghosts...and I believed them until I saw one.
    "They" also told me that there was no such thing as ESP...until that happened to me too.
    Now "they" are saying there is no such thing as God.
    No offense to "them" but so far, they've only been partly right.

    December 2, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • the AnViL

      st.nicholas never crawled down chimneys or delivered toys to all the children of earth. there's no santa... even if the idea of santa was based on a historical figure... the rest is myth.

      there is no such thing as ghosts... if you've seen ghosts – you are delusional.
      claiming esp is real denies all the evidence to the contrary.

      and there is absolutely no evidence at all to support the idea that there is an imaginary man in the sky.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Christmas debunker

      I was at my friends house, I saw her little brother behind me, she told me later that her cousin (not her brother) had drowned in that lake and that people see him all the time.
      Another time I heard the words "Change for a dollar" in my head about twenty times in a row, within ten minutes someone asked me for change for a dollar.
      Believe what you want about ESP and ghosts, I have a boatload of experiences like that. I'd love a scientific explaination for them, problem is there isn't one.

      December 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Captain Obvious

      Did you work at a casino, grocery store, mini-golf, arcade, etc. or stand near a vending machine when you heard the words "change for a dollar"?

      December 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  8. Dave Harris

    "The pope is not against the historical critical method at all, in fact, he uses it, he appreciates it,"

    Why would a holy man who claims to be infallible have need of the historical critical method? What need is there to study or debate anything when he can just reveal the Truth to us all? If there's anything he thinks he doesn't already know, he can just ask his god. Pretending to be a scholar is just a waste of time for a guy like this.

    December 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • A faithful Catholic

      The Pope is a man just like any of us, and he is only infallible when it comes to proclaiming religious dogma. He is guided by the Holy Spirit, but often times, discerning what is the Will of God or what the Holy Spirit is saying can be hard, so he, just like any other rational human being, uses logic and reason to figure what is right, whether it be morally, historically, scientifically, etc.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Eduardo

      The person A Faithful Catholic, is exactly right!

      December 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • the AnViL

      the only people who believe in the infallible divine nature of the papacy are those who haven't studied the history of the papacy.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      And they are vastly outnumbered by the people who don't know what it means

      December 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  9. Mac

    Radiometeric dating of EARTH fact.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12853798/ns/technology_and_science-science/

    November 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  10. Please Read with Open Mind..

    Quran says, (holy Islamic scripture)

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary did you say to the people, `Make me and my mother idols beside God?' " He will say, "Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets.[5:116]

    The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate! [5:75]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided. Quran [2:186]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • joseph

      give me a proof or evidence that there is god and i will believe. i don't rhetoric i want something tangible where i can see and prove whether allah or jesus christ. then maybe i will believe.

      November 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      There's nothing in the Quran or the Bible, or the Book of Mormon, or Dianetics, or any other book that a religion was based on, that provides evidence.

      It's all just men, believing things, then writing them down. Oh, and also men claiming that an angel spoke to them, then writing that down. Men lie, and cheat, and defraud all the time to convince other people to follow them. Why should I follow your book, or any other book?

      Quoting a portion of your book provides no value to me whatsoever.

      November 30, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • J. Charles

      Read "godgoogledme" at Amazon. Maybe you will believe GOD is REAL.

      November 30, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Really Charles, because someone keeps finding the number seven, therefore god exists? You're using that logic on the wrong guy. I invented a religion called "sevenism" years ago, and have several followers.

      Okay, I only had one follower. But the website is still there: sevenism.com.

      November 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • A faithful Catholic

      Read the Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas. It doesn't give tangible evidence, but it does provide the logical rationale to prove that there is, at least, some sort of higher being

      December 2, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • the AnViL

      A faithful Catholic:

      the summa theologica by thomas aquinas was an exercise in circular, skewed, flawed logic, and glaring presuppositions.

      and that's a fact.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Fantasy role playing games and books such as the Harry Potter series are completely logical, but no sane person would use them as evidence of any god. No tangible evidence equals myth!

      December 3, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Aquinas states that "Unbelief is the worst sin in the realm of morals."

      If a deity existed, and if that deity cared whether some lively bacterium such as us, on some far-flung planet, believed in him, and yet did nothing whatsoever to prove his existence to us, then he is the cause of unbelief, and is therefore, the worst sinner in the realm of morals.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  11. E.T.'s ???

    Again I hope someone has a thought or comment. People who claim to have seen a nordic alien, people who claim to have seen an angel and people who have claimed to have seen satan are all giving a nearly identical story. People who take DMT for example routinely have a vision of "others" being around them. To put it into perspective, to a mole you and I do not exist. I don't know for sure or anything but I've always wondered.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Adelia

      I desagree ,we all exist and so as God,was for Jesus why can people understand that he his God,this was Gods will to come to the world as a man,this way people would freek when they see a bright fire in front of them,thats God the light.there for God had to choose a good woman to be born through her ,they for they became the trinity Father witch is GOD the son witch is Jesus,and the light of God witch is the spirit.the trinity is one God.No one can never tell me that theres no God I have experience to much trough Gods will,and His Angels,and believe me Im not on drugs I know what I have seen,felt it.It was pure love no one but God can give us that.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  12. E.T.'s ???

    Yes I know how it sounds, aliens. Like science fiction..and it probably is, but what if everyone's religion is *partly* true.

    November 30, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  13. E.T.'s ???

    Here is something that's been on my mind for a while. What if there are extra terrestrials walking around among us, what if they've been here for a long time and what if the last thing they want is for people to know they are there. For example the nordic alien encounters are not unlike the Moroni sightings by Joseph smith or "angel" encounters. Maybe all the world religions are just a tiny piece of the puzzle.

    November 30, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • The Eternal Satyr

      http://www.legendarytimes.com/

      November 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  14. Steve

    What ever happened to those Christmas books that involved yarn and pine cones?

    November 30, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  15. leonard burkland

    the resurrection and the following martyr's deaths of most of the disciples of Jesus is proof of the deity of Christ. not to mention the countless numbers that followed under Nero etc. he appeared at over 500 different places after his death, this is history.

    November 30, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • the AnViL

      absolutely nothing written in the bibles will ever be proof or evidence of the validity of the things written in those bibles.

      every account of jebus was hearsay – and ever account of the account of jebus was hearsay.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Captain Obvious

      You do not even know your own book. The CLAIM is that he appeared to over 500 people once....

      December 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  16. leonard burkland

    the resurrection and the following martyr's deaths of most of the disciples of Jesus is proof of the deity of Christ. not to mention the countless numbers that followed under Nero etc. he appeared ay over 500 different places after his death, this is history.

    November 30, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • .

      Where can I read about these historic truths ?

      December 1, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • the AnViL

      again:

      absolutely nothing written in the bibles will ever be proof or evidence of the validity of the things written in those bibles.

      every account of jebus was hearsay – and ever account of the account of jebus was hearsay.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  17. Steve

    How festive!

    November 30, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  18. Earl

    Good day
    May you read the following link about the exposition of the greatest deception made upon men which is the teaching that Jesus died for the sins of mankind.
    The Bible is composed of both the God's word in the prophecy in the Old testament and the so-called fulfillment of the prophecy in the New Testament.
    But nowhere can you find in the prophecy in the Old testament that God said He will send His only Son to die for the sins of mankind. Therefore the so-called fulfillment of the prophecy, which are the writings of the apostles or the New testament (except the Book of Revelation, which was written by a Prophet whose name is also John) is but a fabrication of the apostles to make it appear that Jesus' death was for our sins but in reality -Jesus was punished by God for his own wrongdoing.
    This truth in the Bible when exposed, will prove that all religions most especially-Christianity and Islam are founded on a false teaching and since Jesus died for his own sin, it will mean that the promise of heaven is not true and therefore the greatest scam that was ever made upon men.
    You will know more in this link:http://www.thename.ph/thename/revelations/greatestdeception-en.htm

    November 30, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • Joanna the agnostic

      Religion is a jumbled mess
      And no one has an answer
      They finger point, and swear and lie
      While all the while there's cancer
      Each rendition new and special
      Each data better than the last
      Should we just default to science
      Should we try and pray and fast?

      I wish I'd never heard your cries
      I wish you'd never opened my eyes
      I've not ignored what you might say
      I'll probably still pray anyway.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  19. Julie

    Jesus Christ came in the flesh and he was God in the flesh – Read John 1 – He was deity – He did not sin and He died on the cross for all of our sins – He rose from the grave and sitting on right hand of God – There is No other name whereby we can be saved – He was born of a virgin mother and He is calling you all to come repent, take up your cross and follow HIM

    November 30, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Huh?

      " He was deity"

      Nope Mithra was, all hail Mithra!

      Mithra
      Was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a cave, attended by shepherds
      Was considered a great traveling teacher and master
      Had 12 companions or disciples
      Promised his followers immortality
      Performed miracles
      Sacrificed himself for world peace
      Was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again
      Was celebrated each year at the time of His resurrection (later to become Easter)
      Was called "the Good Shepherd"
      Was identified with both the Lamb and the Lion
      Was considered to be the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
      Celebrated Sunday as His sacred day (also known as the "Lord's Day,")
      Celebrated a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper"

      November 30, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • james

      how can he be God and sit next to God ?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • EnjaySea

      I don't believe you Julie.

      And the fact that some guy named John wrote something down, and then someone else came along and gave one of his sentences a number, provides no evidence to me whatsoever.

      November 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Tony

      @James:
      Gives new meaning to being beside yourself, huh?

      November 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tony

      @Julie:
      And you know this why? You read it where? And please don't say the bible. Please provide an independent, unbiased source.

      November 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Euge

      I do not believe in slavery but Jesus did. I am more moral than god!!!

      December 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • the AnViL

      again!

      absolutely nothing written in the bibles will ever be proof or evidence of the validity of the things written in those bibles.

      every account of jebus was hearsay – and ever account of the account of jebus was hearsay.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • sam stone

      Funny that you desire eternity with a being from whom you have to be "saved".

      December 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  20. jrvinnh

    Jesus was a dissident who was trying to get the people to rise up and cast off a repressive system. He was sort of like Washington, Jefferson and Adams. As such he had to be gotten rid of. That's why he got arrested, tried, convicted and executed. It was all done to shut him up.

    And it was actually the Roman soldiers that did the actual dirty work. They were the mindless paid enforcers of that time. They sold themselves to the system that was paying them and blindly cast morality aside. Sort of like the concentration camp guards in Nazi Germany for example.

    Now we have them here in America too. They mindlessly do what the politicians, lawyers, judges and the corporations that own the entire government tell them to do. Watch out folks. They may be coming for YOU next!

    November 30, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Steve

      Sadly you are correct. There is no shortage of man's inhumanity to man.

      November 30, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Huh?

      "blindly cast morality aside."

      You're Jesus was a fraud. All hail Mithra the true son of God!

      Mithra
      Was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a cave, attended by shepherds
      Was considered a great traveling teacher and master
      Had 12 companions or disciples
      Promised his followers immortality
      Performed miracles
      Sacrificed himself for world peace
      Was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again
      Was celebrated each year at the time of His resurrection (later to become Easter)
      Was called "the Good Shepherd"
      Was identified with both the Lamb and the Lion
      Was considered to be the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
      Celebrated Sunday as His sacred day (also known as the "Lord's Day,")
      Celebrated a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper"

      November 30, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Christmas debunker

      "Huh>?",

      All religion aside there still historically existed a Yeshua (activist). To put it onto perspective for you there really was a St. Nicholas.
      Granted, nobody believes the real St. Nicholas flew up and down chimneys...but there was a St. Nicholas (historical figure).

      I hope this makes sense to the history deniers who deliberately confuse all the myriad of pagan/Christian and fantasy things with actual history because they feel despirate to proove that humans don't fly (which most people already were aware of).

      December 2, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • timelord7202

      Non-sequitur.

      Jesus was framed, by a man who would later off himself out of guilt.

      Washington, Jefferson, et al, fought an oppressive system – but had an oppressive system of their own. They were slaveowners. True, some forefathers were unable to to successfully deal with the issue, but until I get a time machine and observed what had happened it's impossible to fully parallel...

      Have you seen the movie "Schindler's List"? It's a classic.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:24 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.