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Pope opens a personal Twitter account
December 2nd, 2012
02:11 PM ET

Pope opens a personal Twitter account

By Eric Marrapodi and Ben Wedeman, CNN

(CNN) - The Vatican revealed the new personal Twitter account for Pope Benedict XVI, @Pontifex, on Monday, meaning the leader of the global Catholic Church will officially join millions of people around the globe on the social media site.

The pope will answer a question about faith in his first tweet, slated for Wednesday, December 12, Vatican officials said. They said that anyone could send in a question via the hashtag #askpontifex or #B16. The Vatican said the initial tweets from the pope will come on Wednesdays in conjunction with his general audiences in Rome, but that the 140-character missals may become more frequent.

The formal announcement came in a press conference Monday morning at the Vatican with Catholic and Twitter officials.

"The Pope's presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena,” the church said in a written statement to reporters. The pope’s account on Twitter, the statement said, “can be seen as the 'tip of the iceberg' that is the Church's presence in the world of new media.”

A Vatican official told CNN the pope will be composing the tweets for the new account himself. For the first tweet from the account, the pope will also press the button to send the tweet himself, but after that others will send the tweets on his behalf.

In June 2011 the pope sent his first tweet from the Twitter account for the Vatican news site, @news_va_en, to launch the new site http://www.news.va. He wrote, “Dear friends, I just launched News.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”

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That signature had led some to guess that @BenedictusPPXVI would be the account name for the 85-year-old pope's personal account, although @Pope would have been fitting as well. (Benedictus PP XVI is the pontiff's signature in Latin, with the "PP" standing for papa, the Latin word for pope.)

With @Pontifex, which means "bridge builder" in Latin, the pope chose a handle with another name for the office he holds.

The details on the long-expected event were revealed at the press conference featuring Vatican officials, including spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi and Greg Burke, media adviser to the Secretariat of State, who were joined by Claire Díaz-Ortiz, who heads social innovation at Twitter. Burke is a relatively new addition to the Vatican staff, having been recruited away from the Fox News Channel, where he was Rome correspondent. Díaz-Ortiz has been influential in getting religious leaders to join the social networking site.

Other religious leaders have found great success with Twitter. The 140-character limit for tweets allows for short messages, perfect for small verses of scripture or inspiration.

The Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama), Rick Warren (@RickWarren), Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen), and scores of other religious leaders utilize the site to spread their messages.

A Twitter spokeswoman said that religious leaders “punch above their weight” on the social networking site.

“An average religious leader has a rate of about 1 RT for every 500 followers, while a musician on Twitter would get one RT for every 30,000 followers,” said spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz, referring to retweets.

“We see a very high level of engagement with religious and spiritual content: followers respond to these topics with replies, retweets, and clicks on links much more often than they do other subjects,” she added.

While Benedict is the first Catholic pope to take to Twitter, he isn’t the first twitterized pope. That honor goes to His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, the 118th pope of the Coptic Church of Egypt. But Pope Tawadros has around 6,300 Twitter followers; Benedict has tens of thousands on his first day out.

John Paul II, who preceded Benedict, was the first pontiff to use the Internet, and the 20th century saw a string of other milestones for popes using technology to reach the masses. Pope Pius XI made the first papal radio broadcast in 1931. His successor, Pope Piux XII made the first papal television appearance in 1946.

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

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said, "The initiative comes from the Pope's desire to utilize all opportunities for communication which technology offers and are characteristic in the world today," according to the semi-official newspaper of the Vatican, L'Osservatore Romano.

The paper reported that Celli went on to say the pope has stressed how God communicated with mankind through Jesus, who was a "communicator who addressed the people of his time, using their own language."

One outstanding question remains: What language will the pope use to tweet? When the Vatican sends out important documents, it often uses multiple languages to communicate with the billion-plus members of the Catholic Church. In addition to the English version, the Vatican news twitter feed also has Spanish, French and Italian versions. The appearance of eight pontifical accounts seems to suggest he will be tweeting in all eight languages.

The pope’s foray onto Twitter provoked us to ask “What would Jesus have tweeted?” by tweet. A few responses:

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (665 Responses)
  1. click this

    I have been browsing on-line more than three hours today, yet I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is pretty price enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the web might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

    December 16, 2012 at 7:02 am |
  2. Leif

    And he should take off that damn ugly hat...seriously.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:20 am |
  3. Leif

    The Pope should ask for everyone to forgive the Catholic Church for persecuting Galileo.

    December 13, 2012 at 6:19 am |
  4. Holy pope-er-oni

    The internet is no place for church going folks.

    December 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    HOw about: @God : how come there is no peace and no end of suffering on this EARHT yet ? ;-)

    December 8, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Leif

      Good question. Ask God the next time you are in his/her/its neighborhood

      December 13, 2012 at 6:23 am |
  6. johnny

    Better yet @pastypervertinaclownsuit

    December 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  7. johnny

    his should have been @NaziKingOfPedofiles

    December 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  8. fred

    Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Let us all pray that you do not correct spelling or punctuation on the Popes first tweet !

    December 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Given that the Pope is likely smarter than a breadbox, doesn't write or edit his own stuff, and is therefore leagues beyond you, dear, I doubt I shall have any need to do so.

      December 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • fred

      If you do would that be Cardinal mistake……?

      December 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Fred, you're cute, but I still disagree with everything you post.

      December 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  9. gman tello

    great article about the pope, hes awesome

    and so is

    http://www.airsplat.com/Items/ER-GG-M4-R8L-B.htm

    December 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  10. TheXian

    I wish to refute materialism now.

    Youre walking along a rural road in ireland and see something. It is wooly, white, 4 legs, and eating grass. You judge this to be a sheep. Another things walks next to the sheep. It has three eyes, is brown, 800 feet tall, and a tail. You judge this is not a sheep. (No jokes against the Irish!) Then another wooly, white, 4 legged, grass-eating thing walks up. You judge this to also be a sheep.

    This, believe it or not, proves that immaterials exist. There is a category "sheep" that exists. Only "sheep" fall into this group. There is a specific order that the DNA must take for it to be a sheep. This is not a concept within our minds, but the "form" exists in reality. Our minds perceive this "form" and from this, we distinguish the species of the world.

    If you argue against me, you must throw aside that there are "species". The conclusion is that there is no difference other that organization of matter. The difference between a human and a spider is DNA, nothing more. Fair enough, right?

    Wrong. There is an "organization of matter". We recognize an "organization". An organization is not material. There may be things that are organized, such as DNA, a room, a schedule, whatever, but we see an organization. There is an organization in reality, not in our minds.

    Please comment, refute, debate, ad hom, cry, threaten my mother, or whatever below.

    December 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And how do you come to the conclusion that it must be organized that way be an organizer? You see something, it's a certain way, therefore design? Really? We tend to express things in terms of what we already understand, which is how DNA gets labeled as a "code" when at its basic level it is chemistry. Now, we see organization in a room because the things in a room are not animate organisms that self replicate and change, which is what sheep, DNA, etc. do. An organization of matter would imply purpose, and what is the purpose to the sheep? Does this mean a naturally occuring thing such as H20 is a code? No, it is labels of elements that will naturally combine into the most stable set they can.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • TheXian

      I said nothing about an organizer. I was simply refuting materialism. That argument needs a whole lot more to actually get to "therefore there is a god". While I do believe there is a god, this is not the end all be all. I am only saying there is immateriality.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      So you're saying material things prove immaterialism? Sorry, that's a complete non-sequitur.
      Also, as you seemed to have skipped over this, how does a perception of organization leap to "therefore immaterial".

      December 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • TheXian

      Also, using your definition of "stable", you are describing something in reality, yes? "Stable" is something that matter can be. However, you will never find "stability" without attached matter. "Stability" is not matter, but a "form" that the matter can have.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Money is god

      Your premises are wrong, your presuppositions are wrong, and your conclusions are wrong. Arguing with you would be like arguing with a kindergartner. Until you get some education, you do not understand the concepts with which you are attempting to dally.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • TheXian

      "Also, as you seemed to have skipped over this, how does a perception of organization leap to "therefore immaterial"."

      Sorry I missed it!

      The "organization" is not matter. Matter may be "organized", but it itself is not matter.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • TheXian

      @MoneyIsGod

      Educate me. Start with my premises.

      December 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • fred

      TheXian
      "You need to find something that comes from God that does not have a physical correspondence."
      The Spirit of God
      Faith
      Dimensions other than the 3 observable dimensions
      Time eternal

      everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.

      December 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Of course not, organized is just a label. Just like Hydrogen, or Oxygen, or stability. Are you saying labels prove there's an immaterial?

      December 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • TheXian

      @fred

      Time is physical
      Spirit of God is begging the question
      Faith is a thought, which is chemical
      There are no other dimensions that are non-physical

      Those are easily written off.

      @HawaiiGuest

      Our recognition of labels. We assign the sound to the thing, but we distinguish things by their differences. By recognizing differences and similarities of things, we are recognizing something that is not material. We recognize that a thing is existent, then we recognize how it is existent. This "how is it existent" is the "form".

      Example. Hydrogen is different than Oxygen. Why? They are built of the same things, but they are different. We recognize more than just the stuff, but how the stuff is compiled. The manner in which the stuff is compiled is existent. However, the manner in which it is compiled is not material. The organization is immaterial. This organization is not a concept in our minds, but it is in reality. There is a "form" present. If our minds were not looking at the atom, there would still be an organization of the parts. The organization of Hydrogen is one, while the organization of Oxygen is another. This is not mental. This is observed.

      December 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Xian

      I'm sorry, but that makes no sense at all. Differences are physical things. We see it, feel it, touch it, and observe it. In essence, what you're saying is "things are a certain way, therefore the immaterial exists". That's a complete non-sequitur

      December 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • TheXian

      I'm really bad at articulating, so lemme give it one more try.

      The number of protons differs between hydrogen and helium and is measurable. The size of the atom is measurable. The frequency of light bouncing off is measurable. Lots of things are measurable in the atoms themselves. My claim is there is at least one thing not able to be measured, "form" or "organization" or "arrangement". The span of the electron cloud is measurable, a picture can be taken of it, but this does not explain its "arrangement".

      Perhaps another example will better explain than elements, though. Lets take something bigger. Like a galaxy. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy. Why do we call it a "spiral"? It's "form". Basically, it's arms spiral inward. Angles can be calculated, distances calculated, lots of things calculated, but the combination of the numbers, themselves, is not a number. The combination is "form".

      December 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Xian

      You're using language that suggests what you're eventually trying to prove (an organizer). We don't know if this is the case. Things merely are the way they. Let me put it this way, if Hydrogen for some reason had more neutrons or something like that, your argument would be the exact same.
      Here's why the argument from design (which is where this is leading) fails.
      You will eventually contend that the universe must have been created because we see design. The problem arises when asked about your dataset of universes. Did you examine a universe that was not designed or organized to determine that the "structure" of this one had to be designed?

      December 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @TheXian

      The label doesn't matter at all. You're taking language and saying it proves the immaterial, which still just doesn't make sense.

      December 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • TheXian

      I AM NOT MAKING A TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT FOR GOD.

      Man, I already stated that. I'm not proving that. At all. I'm proving immaterials.

      I'm not trying to say "we categorize things, therefore immaterial".

      I'm not saying "the way we use language means there are immaterials".

      I AM trying to take perception and expand on it. The name "spiral" means nothing. Lets call it "Z" instead. Look at the Milky Way. It's a called a "spiral galaxy". We calculate everything. The combination is the "Z". You cannot get "Z" without the combination. The arrangement of parts makes "Z". "Z" is not material, but is an "arrangement". The "arrangement" exists in reality.

      December 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Xian

      And absolutely none of that shows "immaterial"

      December 5, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • TheXian

      Tell me how it is not? It isn't matter! Its an arrangement! Its not physical, even if we see it in physical things.

      December 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Xian

      That makes absolutely no sense. It's a particular state of something physical so it's not physical? Really? How does this make sense to you?

      December 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  11. fred

    God is reality the only question is why can’t atheists see that?

    Reality is God exists which cannot be proven by common scientific method or 140 word tweet. I was thinking that following my conversion a broader reality came into focus that I could not see before. What was that or what did not change I asked myself. I noticed that prior to conversion I had a sense that there was more to existence than meets the eye. I noticed that imagination, artistic creativity, self awareness and thought was not confined to my brain nor did it have a fixed physical location. Illusions, delusions, daydreams and fantasy would spontaneously appear ……..where did these originate….what form are they.
    We know they are not from the known physical world so we speculate that it is simply a product of our miraculous brain and does not have properties outside of our brain. Unfortunately I do not see anything inside my brain (hawaiiguest would be more than happy to attest to that) so I believe it to be of another dimension. From that standpoint I have always felt or had awareness of something separate from the physical body.
    God (if there is God) is not of known matter and exists outside our known dimensions which are known by our 5 senses. This dimension where I have a personal relationship with God and can “see” God and “walk” with God is real and existed before I believed there was a God. God is reality and very real and part of everyone’s reality regardless if they can see God or not. In the case of the atheist the unknown is part of their reality which incorporates everything outside of baryonic matter. God may or may not be there they just don’t know it yet.

    December 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • TheXian

      Dude. Your post does not apply to a materialist. They will say it came from your brain. The synapses in your brain cause all those things. Its chemicals. While the physical and the non-physical may work together, the materialist will say the ONLY cause is physical. You have to find something whos ONLY cause is non-physical, but is comprehended.

      December 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Fred, you don't know there are any gods anymore than atheists know there are not. The difference is that a believer who admits there may not be any gods destroys their worldview, while it is normal, and not worldview shattering, for an atheist to admit there might be gods. In other words, believers must maintain their delusions 'cause they can't deal with the alternative (without seeking help for their mental illness).

      December 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      blah dee blah bee fucking blah. You only have the same useless pile of garbage you always do. Asserting your god exists doesn't make it so, but you don't care do you? As long as you get to spout your stupidity and feel like a self-righteous soldier for your immoral fucktard of a god right?

      December 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • fred

      0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls
      It would be worse than that. If I admit there is no God then I have been talking to myself the last few years so now I would be mental but no longer delusional. Everyone walks around in some level of delusion. Given there is no proof possible for the unknown, atheists and Christians would be most delusional people on earth…….is that what you said?

      December 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • fred

      TheXian
      "You have to find something whos ONLY cause is non-physical, but is comprehended."
      That could only be God...............oops is that what you just said?

      December 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Atheists are not delusional because they (we!) do not believe things for which there is absolutely no proof and which disregard all known laws of physics. We might be wrong (low probability) but we are not delusional.

      December 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      There you go again assigning attributes to God without taking into account the source of your assigned attributes. Tell me again how you use the Bible to draw conclusions about God yet it is not circular reasoning when you do it!
      It would also be to your advantage to start with the God the writer is speaking about then assonate the character. Otherwise you are just making up your own character and then attacking what you just made up.

      December 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • TheXian

      @fred
      Well, indirectly, yes. You need to find something that comes from God that does not have a physical correspondence. I've only found 2 things. There may be more.

      December 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      I don't care how you rationalize away the evil in the bible, because that's all it is. Rationalizations.

      December 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • fred

      0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls
      Really? You have no clue as to what is outside the limits of your 5 senses so you say it is unknown but not God yet 6-8 billion people before were aware of a creator and you are the less delusional? Jesus Christ the single most influential historical figure said if you call upon my name with a true heart you will see God…………………to this day millions of people a year do just that and find God yet you claim the majority is delusional while you are sane. There are an estimated 6-10 billion Bibles about while the Dawkins bible the God delusion has sold a little over a million…where is the delusion?

      Dawkins has extended the theory of biological evolution into a world view of purpose for existence is that not delusional?

      December 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Money is god

      Fred
      You ask where is the delusion. It is in your bible. Just because millions have repeated falsehoods doesn't make them any more true.
      Your bible is a work of man, and all your post proves is the bible is the single largest scam on humanity that ever was.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • fred

      Money is God
      So, basically you are saying 96% of mankind that has existed in the past 10,000 years fell for a scam but the atheist hiding behind lack of knowledge is not falling for that old trick.
      It is better not to know than to be a fool.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      fred, thank you for perfectly demonstrating my point! And for demonstrating that you cannot read for comprehension. i very calmly allowed that there might not be gods and that I might be wrong. You on the other hand seem to be foaming at the mouth at the thought that you might be wrong.

      Re: billions and billions falling for a scam, my answer is an unequivocal yes.

      December 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  12. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    All the tweets in the world will not put the twit's church back together again. Too many flaws in both history and theology as with all religions.

    See p. 9 for added details.

    December 5, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • TheXian

      Modern Historicism is bunk. They rely upon the philosophy of materialism to investigate religion. The whole point of religion is about the immaterial world. Its like using a microscope to measure temperature. Everything that the religion says that disagrees with materialism, they throw out. First, prove materialism. Then, maybe it will have some weight.

      December 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Xtian

      Weeee shifting the burden of proof how fun.

      December 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • TheXian

      "Burden of proof" should apply to all affirmations. I say "there is a god". I do have proof for that, but you wouldn't really care for philosophy, so I will abstain from instructing. You say "there is no god" and that too should be proved. Currently, there is no proof for the godless universe as necessary world. The best proof is an "occam's razor" idea, that its "more simple", so therefore it is. However, the principle of "the more simple is true" is never proven. It just sounds nice.

      Basically, I would like someone to prove materialism before asserting it as undeniable fact.

      December 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Xian

      You are saying people are asserting things before anyone even responds to you. When did I say "god is not real"? I do not believe your claim, and require evidence on your part. Taking the opposite stance, and applying it to anyone that just disagrees with you is pretty dishonest.
      Dishonesty from a christian, WHAT A SHOCKER!

      December 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • TheXian

      Dishonesty is not the right word, but whatever. Call me what you wish. I will say that you never said that, I was just guessing since most people who disagree with a theist on here are atheist.

      What are you, sir/ma'am?

      December 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Xian

      Oh I'm an agnostic atheist, but unfortunately for your assumptions, atheist does not mean I'm making an assertion of no god. If I said I was a gnostic atheist, then your post would apply, but I'm not one.

      December 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • TheXian

      The agnostics of all varieties do get a pass: they never get the burden of proof. Therefore, since I am asserting the existence of a god, I'll go ahead and pose it. Basically, I'm transforming the 5th way of Thomas Aquinas to include Calculus and the scientific measurement of the size of the universe.

      Basically, we have this finite universe. Existence does not necessarily have to be caused, but it this case it must. Matter/energy is finite. If it is existent, and not caused, existence would be from itself. Total existence. Not partial. The universe should have infinite matter/energy. But it doesn't. This means there is an outside source of existence. Finally, i claim this outside source to be what I call "God".

      I made it really short, so if you have questions on how I connect things, I'll explain.

      December 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Reality

      And once again, summarizing with a prayer and some added observations:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock/comet and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

      December 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Wait a second. So from your post, am I correct in assuming that when you talk about matter and energy being finite you mean the amount?
      Also, by what justification do you assert that matter and energy have to be infinite unless it were created by your concept of god?

      December 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • TheXian

      Yes, I'm talking about amount. The amount of matter/energy is finite.

      The assertion that matter/energy must be infinite comes from the "existence is from itself". If existence is from itself, existence would have no limit; existence would literally be in the universe in its entirety. So what is existences entirety? Infinity. There is no limit to existence.

      A more simple form: There is a finite amount of matter, X. It is possible for there to be X+1 matter. It is possible for there to be X/3 matter. It is possible for there to be X*0 matter. However, there is X. Existence is not limited. If matter exists by its own power, it should exist without limit.

      December 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Xian

      You're throwing out a lot of assertions and ill defined terms here. For one, define what you're talking about when you speak of existence.
      Next, when you said "The assertion that matter/energy must be infinite comes from the "existence is from itself"."
      1) Explain "existence is from itself"
      2) Explain how it must then be necessary that existence be infinite

      December 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • TheXian

      This is CNN, not my personal book. I figured that most definitions could be understood by context and by other definitions/similar words. Plus, even Heidegger says that "being" is undefinable. You know what it means, we just have to clear it so that you and I know we're talking about the same thing.

      Existence: true being/actual being. "Snails are existent" "Fairies are non-existent" "matter is existent"

      1) Explain "existence is from itself"

      "Existence is from itself" is opposed to "existence from outside itself". In the former, the participation in reality is from its own self. Basically, it needs no cause because of what it is. In the later, its reason for participating in reality comes from outside itself. Basically, it does need cause. My claim is that the universe needs cause because the reason it exists is not from its own self.

      2) Explain how it must then be necessary that existence be infinite

      I assert that the universe, all physical things, get their existence from outside themselves. If existence is from within itself, existence must be wholly present. Total participation in reality. Total existence would would be unlimited. This is infinite existence. The infinite existence is based on the ability to exist in and of itself.

      December 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Xian

      And that assertion needs evidence. What evidence do you have that matter/energy are not infinite? As far as we know, it cannot be created or destroyed. What evidence do you have that would go against this?
      And I really don't know what you mean by "total participation in reality"? If you're talking about interactions, then I would contend that matter/energy always and only interacts with other matter/energy (be it dark matter/dark energy or not).

      December 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Spade

      What? Okay, now you're just mocking the RCC and proving nothing. Nobody cares about your stupid Atheist's Creed. It doesn't prove anything to me, all it does is iterate the viewpoint of nonbelievers, which I have had ENOUGH of!! Do you understand that the location of Jesus' body does not matter? And the part about the Easter story being completely fabricated...you probably sourced that from some atheist scientist! It'll take more than some biased nutjob's assumptions to convince me that the Ressurection was fake; I'd definitely like to see your references. Your statements are as opinionated as mine. Again, I'll need to see your sources before I really believe that Jesus was a "temple rabble-rouser".

      Plus, if these 'stories' are really as false as you say they are (which is 100% false), then how would it get so popular as you say it got? Over 30% of the world is Christian, and Christianity has existed for, well, 2,012 years. Do you really think that these people (or anybody else religious, which is over 80% of the world) have ALL been fooled for so long? I've never heard of anything else like it; it doesn't seem like human nature for false beliefs to exist in such magnitude.

      Plus, you apparently still don't understand that I accept that 30% of the NT is untrue! The Earth and universe will end, blah, blah blah. I accept that too, but I also accept the existence of God! That's the freaking main point here! Not that the universe will be forever existent or that Jesus and Mary's bodies traveled to heaven. The existence of God and of JC is really all that matters! You think that Catholicism is around facts like "the Garden of Eden was real"; it's not! And again, I don't believe that JC is coming again, and if he is, it won't be on an asteroid. You really think we're nuts, don't you? Really, who would actually believe that JC is coming on an ASTEROID, of all things! Last time, he arrived like any other human, and it's been 2000 years...I don't think he's coming back.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Spade

      By the way, hawaiiguest and TheXian: It doesn't matter if there is or isn't a finite amount of matter in the universe. If the universe will end, so be it. If it won't, then good for us. We're talking religion here, not science. The important part is that Reality automatically assumes (like an atheist) that if God exists, the universe should live forever. I can't recall anyone saying that, and if someone in history did say that, it would be in that 70% of the NT that is false, which is according to Reality himself. So he's still trying to demonstrate that the Bible isn't entirely true. WE GET IT!!!! And it still doesn't disprove God!

      Frankly, he knows a lot about the Bible for an atheist...lol

      December 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  13. lol??

    "......It was NOT Simon Peter who went to Rome to become Apostle to the Gentiles, but the SIMON in Rome was SIMON MAGUS....", Dr. E.L. Martin.

    December 5, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Gerald

      That's a nice theory. Problem is the name Simon does not translate to Peter. They are not the same but Simon Bar Jonah's name was changed to Peter. It may be that Simon Magnus did go there but it is quite clear that Simon Peter did from the writings of early historians and Church Fathers. Try Eusibuis, The Labryth, Augustine, Tertullian, etc. etc.. A modern day "scholar" would know better than them? Total nonsense but protestants have to come up with anything and everything to justify their existence.

      December 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • TheXian

      To bad the "Primacy of Peter" wasn't discussed until later. And, btw, the Eastern Orthodox was clueless to this concept the entire time. That's why there were/are problems with the great schism. The west had the concept, not the east. Would it not seem more reasonable to say that the current concept of a "pope" was not discussed until later?

      December 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • lol??

      Gerald, "Gal 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircu mcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circu mcision [was] unto Peter;"............"Rom 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.".........Why did Paul specifically call them Gentiles, If Peter did the work? Also the breadth of the book indicates a need for heavy duty doctrine and correction. That's my story and I'm stickin' with it. Complaints?

      December 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  14. saggyroy

    A lot of trouble just to remind his followers not to eat fish on Friday.

    December 5, 2012 at 6:38 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      But if there really was a god and he (the alleged god) really was omniscient and pope-a-dope really was chatting with him, pope-a-dope could send a tweet to those about to commit some sin, complete with Babble reference and penalty. Thinks of the souls (assuming soul is more than an unsupported concept) saved!

      December 5, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • TheXian

      Well technically since God is omniscient and omnipotent, he could jump down and stop anyone from ever sinning ever. You raise a really common and one of the few actual good questions on here, "Why is there suffering/sin with an omnipotent omnibenevolent god?"

      However, im still a Christian. This question can be answered fully. But do people really care? Nah. Its easier to say "**** YOU I HURT" than think about it.

      December 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Leo

      If God came down and forced everyone to be good that would take away your gift of free will, and you really wouldn't like being forced to do anything now would you?

      God created MAN with free will so that he has no excuse for his actions. The only one to truly blame for his rebellion is himself.

      Only an awesome and loving God would create us that way, so that we could choose to love him and not be forced.

      A Holy God will not accept the sinful man as he is, but he is willing to Pardon us all and pay the price for those sins, so that those that love and accept him can be with him for eternity. That is Love.

      2 Peter 3:9
      The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

      December 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • TheXian

      Good Leo. I'll play devil's advocate. Why does he allow my choices to become other's consequences? Why not let us choose whatever we want and not let it hurt? Why is free will necessary?

      December 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  15. Jorian Drake

    Poor man, he will probably get spammed and trolled very quickly by atheists and catholicism haters.

    December 5, 2012 at 6:15 am |
    • End Religion

      and rightly so!

      December 5, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Gerald

      And a religion hater immediately rears his ugly head to your post. Funny. "and rightly so" he says.

      December 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • End Religion

      My head is pretty, super doofus.

      December 6, 2012 at 3:15 am |
  16. Name*Nelson

    I wouldn't follow the protestant popes either: R. Warren , J. Olsteen, and F. Graham. People brainwashingly follow these people more than Catholics follot the pope.

    December 5, 2012 at 3:19 am |
  17. The Latest Tweet from Pope Bentdikk XVI

    @ HeeeeeresPOPEY!!!!! "Yo my homeboys! Orgy . . uh . . . Bible study at my place tonight!! Bring KY! And some viagra for me. Lots of viagra."

    December 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • TheXian

      So original...

      December 5, 2012 at 1:03 am |
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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.