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Pope pardons butler jailed over Vatican leaks
December 22nd, 2012
08:41 AM ET

Pope pardons butler jailed over Vatican leaks

By Laura Smith-Spark and Saskya Vandoorne, CNN

(CNN) – Pope Benedict XVI has pardoned his former butler, Paolo Gabriele, weeks after he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for leaking the pope's private papers, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said,

The pope visited Gabriele in prison "in order to confirm his forgiveness and communicate in person his decision to grant Mr. Gabriele's request for pardon, thereby remitting the sentence passed against the latter," said a Vatican statement.

"This constitutes a paternal gesture toward a person with whom the Pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years."

Gabriele was immediately released and has returned home, the statement said.

Full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. prophet

    it seems that even athiests are having problems agreeing with each other. Their religion is the most bizarre, after all atheism is a religion

    December 24, 2012 at 3:23 am |
    • Ted

      As a great man said, atheism is no more a religion than bald is a hair color. And atheism is no more a religion than not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      Get over your delusions. The world is leaving your absurd supersti-tions behind. Gradually and with a lot of kicking and screaming by the vested interests of the televangies and priest-crooks and mullah-bullies, but it is happening.

      December 24, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • sam stone

      how is atheism a religion?

      December 26, 2012 at 7:21 am |
  2. prophet

    Butler pardons pope

    December 24, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  3. Chick-a-pee

    Well, actually, Jesus wasn't a divine being and the whole Christian resurrection thing is a silly fairy tale. And why anyway would a "god" need to sacrifice a son to save anything? And how can an omnipotent being "sacrifice" anyway. Stupid people, stupid religion.

    December 23, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      there's no good evidence to suggest jesus was a real person. the myth of jesus was taken from other religions/mythologies. see mitra, osiris and many others. if he was real, if he did live, he certainly was not the son of a god that doesn't exist. so jesus never did anything requiring magic - turn water into wine, heal the blind by touch, walk on water, etc. if jesus did live, he was just another nutty cult leader that wanted everyone to worship him, like david koresh.

      December 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      That topic was covered a few days ago. Please keep up with the class.

      Would you like me to repost it?:

      December 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      That topic was covered a few days ago. Please keep up with the class.

      Would you like me to re-post it?:

      December 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee HeavenSent

      I'm stuck in a repost loop and I can't get out. How can I get carnal with Jesus now?

      December 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  4. Chick-a-dee

    @ "What?": Here's your homework to read, study and meditate on.

    Jesus Christ Established a Visible Church On Earth
    Every Christian believes that Jesus Christ established and sustains a community of faith, hope and love for all believers. This community we call His Church. The Church that Christ founded is the Catholic Church which has a formal earthly structure established by Christ and which continues under His authority and protection.

    In the Old Testament we see God's continual involvement in the lives of the Israelites through appointed prophets. God delivered, instructed and admonished the Israelites. He made His motions in a visible, specific and formal way. He always did so through human hands, mouths, feet, minds and wills. God established a law and a means for executing it.

    In concert with His redemptive act, Jesus did three things that established the framework of His Church. First, He chose humans to carry out His work. He appointed Peter to be the visible head of the Church. Jesus said to Peter, "You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church." (Matthew 16: 18) Jesus said "build," as in to create a structure. Jesus built His structure on specifically chosen human beings Peter and the apostles.

    Second, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles the power and authority to carry out His work. "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven."(Matthew 16:19; 18:18) "Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain, they are retained."(John 20:23)

    Third, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles commands as to what that work should be. At the last supper, He commanded, "Do this in memory of Me." (Luke 22:19) He commanded them to "Make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19), and to "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

    The early Church was structured in a hierarchical manner as it is today. We see in Acts, chapter 15 how the apostles and the elders came together under the leadership of St. Peter to decide the question of what was required of Gentiles. We also see how St. Peter was regarded as the head of the Church when St. Paul, "Went up to Jerusalem to confer with Kephas [Peter] and remained with him fifteen days." (Galatians 1:18) There is no Scriptural evidence of independent local churches.

    The Catholic Church is the only church that can claim to have been founded by Christ personally. Every other church traces its lineage back to a mere human person such as Martin Luther or John Wesley. The Catholic Church can trace its lineage back to Jesus Christ who appointed St. Peter as the first pope. This line of popes has continued unbroken for almost 2,000 years.

    God rules, instructs and sanctifies His people through His Church. Under her teaching office, the Catholic Church preserves the Word of God. She is the custodian, keeper, dispenser and interpreter of teachings of Christ. And she accomplishes this under the protection of the Holy Spirit.

    by Fritz Tuttle

    December 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Just in case you don't know where to look:

      MATTHEW
      Chapter 16
      Peter’s Confession about Jesus.* 13h When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi* he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14i They replied, “Some say John the Baptist,* others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16* j Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood* has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. 18k And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19l I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.* Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
      * [16:13–20] The Marcan confession of Jesus as Messiah, made by Peter as spokesman for the other disciples (Mk 8:27–29; cf. also Lk 9:18–20), is modified significantly here. The confession is of Jesus both as Messiah and as Son of the living God (Mt 16:16). Jesus’ response, drawn principally from material peculiar to Matthew, attributes the confession to a divine revelation granted to Peter alone (Mt 16:17) and makes him the rock on which Jesus will build his church (Mt 16:18) and the disciple whose authority in the church on earth will be confirmed in heaven, i.e., by God (Mt 16:19).

      * [16:13] Caesarea Philippi: situated about twenty miles north of the Sea of Galilee in the territory ruled by Philip, a son of Herod the Great, tetrarch from 4 B.C. until his death in A.D. 34 (see note on Mt 14:1). He rebuilt the town of Paneas, naming it Caesarea in honor of the emperor, and Philippi (“of Philip”) to distinguish it from the seaport in Samaria that was also called Caesarea. Who do people say that the Son of Man is?: although the question differs from the Marcan parallel (Mk 8:27: “Who…that I am?”), the meaning is the same, for Jesus here refers to himself as the Son of Man (cf. Mt 16:15).

      * [16:14] John the Baptist: see Mt 14:2. Elijah: cf. Mal 3:19; Sir 48:10; and see note on Mt 3:4. Jeremiah: an addition of Matthew to the Marcan source.

      * [16:16] The Son of the living God: see Mt 2:15; 3:17. The addition of this exalted ti.tle to the Marcan confession eliminates whatever ambiguity was attached to the ti.tle Messiah. This, among other things, supports the view proposed by many scholars that Matthew has here combined his source’s confession with a post-resurrectional confession of faith in Jesus as Son of the living God that belonged to the appearance of the risen Jesus to Peter; cf. 1 Cor 15:5; Lk 24:34.

      * [16:17] Flesh and blood: a Semitic expression for human beings, especially in their weakness. Has not revealed this…but my heavenly Father: that Peter’s faith is spoken of as coming not through human means but through a revelation from God is similar to Paul’s description of his recognition of who Jesus was; see Gal 1:15–16, “…when he [God]…was pleased to reveal his Son to me….”

      * [16:18] You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: the Aramaic word kēpā’ meaning rock and transliterated into Greek as CĒphas is the name by which Peter is called in the Pauline letters (1 Cor 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:4; Gal 1:18; 2:9, 11, 14) except in Gal 2:7–8 (“Peter”). It is translated as Petros (“Peter”) in Jn 1:42. The presumed original Aramaic of Jesus’ statement would have been, in English, “You are the Rock (Kēpā’) and upon this rock (kēpā’) I will build my church.” The Greek text probably means the same, for the difference in gender between the masculine noun petros, the disciple’s new name, and the feminine noun petra (rock) may be due simply to the unsuitability of using a feminine noun as the proper name of a male. Although the two words were generally used with slightly different nuances, they were also used interchangeably with the same meaning, “rock.” Church: this word (Greek ekklēsia) occurs in the gospels only here and in Mt 18:17 (twice). There are several possibilities for an Aramaic original. Jesus’ church means the community that he will gather and that, like a building, will have Peter as its solid foundation. That function of Peter consists in his being witness to Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God. The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it: the netherworld (Greek Hadēs, the abode of the dead) is conceived of as a walled city whose gates will not close in upon the church of Jesus, i.e., it will not be overcome by the power of death.

      * [16:19] The keys to the kingdom of heaven: the image of the keys is probably drawn from Is 22:15–25 where Eliakim, who succeeds Shebnah as master of the palace, is given “the key of the house of David,” which he authoritatively “opens” and “shuts” (Mt 22:22). Whatever you bind…loosed in heaven: there are many instances in rabbinic literature of the binding-loosing imagery. Of the several meanings given there to the metaphor, two are of special importance here: the giving of authoritative teaching, and the lifting or imposing of the ban of excommunication. It is disputed whether the image of the keys and that of binding and loosing are different metaphors meaning the same thing. In any case, the promise of the keys is given to Peter alone. In Mt 18:18 all the disciples are given the power of binding and loosing, but the context of that verse suggests that there the power of excommunication alone is intended. That the keys are those to the kingdom of heaven and that Peter’s exercise of authority in the church on earth will be confirmed in heaven show an intimate connection between, but not an identification of, the church and the kingdom of heaven.

      * [16:20] Cf. Mk 8:30. Matthew makes explicit that the prohibition has to do with speaking of Jesus as the Messiah; see note on Mk 8:27–30.

      MATTHEW
      Chapter 18
      18* k Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
      * [18:18] Except for the plural of the verbs bind and loose, this verse is practically identical with Mt 16:19b and many scholars understand it as granting to all the disciples what was previously given to Peter alone.

      JOHN
      Chapter 20
      23* n Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
      * [20:23] The Council of Trent defined that this power to forgive sins is exercised in the sacrament of penance. See Mt 16:19; Mt 18:18.

      LUKE
      Chapter 22
      19* j Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.”
      * [22:19c–20] Which will be given…do this in memory of me: these words are omitted in some important Western text manuscripts and a few Syriac manuscripts. Other ancient text types, including the oldest papyrus manuscript of Luke dating from the late second or early third century, contain the longer reading presented here. The Lucan account of the words of insti.tution of the Eucharist bears a close resemblance to the words of insti.tution in the Pauline tradition (see 1 Cor 11:23–26). See also notes on Mt 26:26–29; 26:27–28; and Mk 14:22–24.

      MATTHEW
      Chapter 28
      19h Go, therefore,* and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,

      GALATIANS
      Chapter 1
      18* Then after three years* I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas and remained with him for fifteen days.m

      * [1:18–24] Paul’s first journey to Jerusalem as a Christian, according to Galatians (cf. Acts 9:23–31 and the note on Acts 12:25). He is quite explicit about contacts there, testifying under oath (Gal 1:20). On returning to Syria (perhaps specifically Damascus, cf. Gal 1:17) and Cilicia (including his home town Tarsus, cf. Acts 9:30; 22:3), Paul most likely engaged in missionary work. He underscores the fact that Christians in Judea knew of him only by reputation.

      * [1:18] After three years: two years and more, since Paul’s call. To confer with Cephas may mean simply “pay a visit” or more specifically “get information from” him about Jesus, over a two-week period. Cephas: Aramaic name of Simon (Peter); cf. Mt 16:16–18 and the notes there.
      MARK
      Chapter 16
      15i He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.

      December 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      Jesus is hinduism, fabrication of hindu's, crooks of Rom, no one ever existed by this hindu fabricated name, just a platform to spew hinduism, absurdities to make human their gentile, slave.

      December 23, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Reality

      The autheniticity of Chick-a-dee's "thu-mping" can be checked at http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=Crossan_Inventory, http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html and in Professor Gerd Ludemann's book, Jesus After 2000 Years, 695 pages, Prometheus Books, 2001.

      One example:

      Matt 16: 18,19

      Again the problem is in the history. Did this simple preacher man, an illiterate rabbi at best, establish a church? No, based on the lack of historical proof e.g. "Thou art Peter" (Matt 16: 18-19) passage only appears in one gospel."

      Matthew, whoever he was, was therefore a part founder/"necessary accessory" of the Catholic Church, as was Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James his brother, Mary Magdelene, Mary, Joseph and another father if you believe the mamzer stories, the Apostles and Pilate (and Constantine). It was a team effort with Pilate being the strangest "necessary accessory".

      http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb073.html and Professor Ludemann's conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 197 and 198: "The passage was put in the mouth of Jesus by Peter or by his followers and subsequently predated by Matthew into the life of Jesus. It is inauthentic."

      December 24, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  5. Colin

    I'd love to know what the trade off was – the information still undisclosed in return for "forgiveness".

    December 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      It's called the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

      December 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Kelly

      No, it's called "Assume the position."

      December 23, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  6. there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

    Pope is nothing more than any other human, he eats same and sh its the same, on has to be a hindu ignorant to believe him any more than any other Joe.

    December 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      just like Jesus, if he actually existed....

      December 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  7. Chick-a-dee

    Christians are baited and generally ridiculed here. But... the real hate & venom is saved up for the Catholics. No wonder. Evil attacks Belief with its futile efforts in intensity commensurate with how close to the real Truth a belief is. Jesus founded the Catholic Church and the Evil one can't stand that it is still here, strong, & spreading the good news.

    December 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Sigh...

      December 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • What?

      Jesus never founded the Catholic church. The phony Scribes and Pharisees leaped to the highest seats of the Rabbis and Priests to ensure Satan's lies be present while twisting Jesus' truth.

      December 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Docking Bro

      Chick-a-dick
      The only thing your spreading is your butt cheeks. The "Evil" one wants you to receive his seed so you may gestate a butt demon and birth it as your child. Neat stuff

      December 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Sigh all you want. The ink wasn't "dry on the paper" before "What" and "Docking Bro" were falling over themselves to post something to prove my point.

      December 22, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • apostate

      Orthodoxy disagrees, ye first protestants.

      December 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You guys love to feel persecuted and completely ignore the hurt the church inflicts on others.

      December 23, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • midwest rail

      No one "proved your point". You knew the wording of your post would draw a response. Then you feigned surprise that exactly that happened.

      December 23, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Richard

      Christians deserve ridicule. Just look at the nonsense that they believe in. Love me some talking snakes and virgins birthing, the latter stolen from older fables.

      December 23, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      rail: There's never a surprise here.

      December 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Thus the wording of my post – "feigned" surprise. You got exactly the reaction you were looking for, nothing more.

      December 24, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  8. Chick-a-dee

    Initially, it was surprising to find the Belief Blog overpopulated with non-believers. After months of reading, the pattern has become crystal clear. The anti-thiests maintain a steady background of whit noise. Belief systems so far from the mark they bear no likeness to the Truth are embraced with friendly questions or ignored. Muslims attract right-wing idiot post. Jews are attacked for their politics, not their religious beliefs.

    December 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • What?

      Most Jews are atheists. Or, did you not that truth?

      December 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • What?

      ooops ... forgot the KNOW in know that truth.

      December 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      I suppose if you are discussing the group as the biologically linked people instead of those who practice the Jewish faith, you might have a point. I don't know the stats regarding what % are practicing vs non-practicing. I have met a small number of non-practicing individuals who still identify themselves as Jews.

      December 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Kelly

      Funny that religion needs practice. It's not even enjoyable practice, and the positions are really limited.

      December 23, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • sam stone

      beware of those who capitalize "truth"

      December 26, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  9. Chick-a-dee

    Oh look! LL & his buddies Jill & Rainer threw a pharm party but didn't invite everyone.

    December 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  10. Me

    So much for disclosure. I guess this concept didn't make it's way over the pond.

    December 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  11. Mohammad A Dar

    Pontifex: followers, I have decided to grant Pablo a full pardon for not desclosing colors of my underwears

    December 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  12. No Myths Believe in Facts

    Where Earth's life lives: Famous map gets an update .
    The evolution of US.
    No _____ needed.

    December 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • No G Needed

      To evolve we have to stop the wars over religion maybe...

      December 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jim

      Believing the facts that the evolution concept is taking from the reality of child birth. No wonder you people believe this theory to be true. Your mother is proof she gave birth to you.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  13. Bootyfunk

    here's footage of from when the pope used to go door to door converting:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuet7GRv7Bo&w=640&h=390]

    December 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  14. ahappyfarmer

    Now this is what Forgiveness should look like. I am glad this is in the news.

    December 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  15. lionlylamb

    Our embodied designs within megalithic monoliths of cellular decadents are evolved from and of inner mechanisms by said machineries operators of insider ordeals. Our bodies are way more than just buildings as scripture does declare. Our bodies are structured by cellular divisions of sub-microscopic orders in atomized cosmologies much the same ways of outer space structures of celestial cosmologies are ever so formed.

    We are terrestrially bred and celestially fed structures of megalithic aspirations of monolithic proportions. In goliath forms are all things made here upon this world on a dimensional plain of extreme size variability. The inner-residents of our body structures are the operators of our microbial structured machineries and these residents do reside inside us upon a scale of such extreme smallness our abilities and desires to see these residents may not ever be feasible due the extremeness scales of relative smallness.

    As our sciences atomic colliders demolish like atoms of sameness size; it is like two planets of similar sizes colliding at an extreme rate of speed annihilating each other. The results of such collisions be it very small of even very large are just similarities appearances being as one and the sameness of conjecture in varied spatial sizes relevancies.

    December 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • fred

      Are you Jill? See her similar post a few down.

      December 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      fred,

      I'm not Jill fred yet I am a jack of dreaming thoughts in trades of cosmic constraints being made in triune manifestations.

      December 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      oh, you mostly just sound high and brain-damaged.

      December 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Everyone of the Believe Blog.

      lionlylamb, what?

      December 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  16. Docking Bro

    I bet he had to give the pope a handy job first. Let him release his godly seed in his hairy man chest, the rub the popes face in it. That's the catholic way to say sorry. True stuff.

    December 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    From the very beginning of the story it was clear that it would turn out like this. In a world which has forsaken the real God the forerunner of the Antichrist must always be honored. Nobody who holds a higher rank in the Western World dares to disgrace the pope, but that would be what he had deserved.

    The pope is a man who holds an office which is actually reserved for a divine person named Jesus Christ. According to the New Testament only Jesus Christ is able and authorized to be the head of his body, the Christian Church. It is very clear that the pope as a human dwarf is not able to lead the divine body of Jesus Christ, the Church. Consequently the Roman Catholic Church (the part of the Christian Church which has forsaken Jesus Christ, and joined the pope) has become a pi-sspot of heresies. Every Catholic council is predetermined by the pope, and the participants only let through the decisions on the nod. Hence, Catholic Councils can never be let by the Holy Spirit or Christ, and hence, decisions of Catholic Councils have to be wrong. Councils of the true Christian Church would be free (not predetermined by the pope), and let by the Holy Spirit. Hence, the decisions of free Christian Councils would be right or divine. The council of Nicea was such a council.

    The pope is indeed the must cunning master of ceremonies of the world; he du-pes the whole world.

    I am convinced that actually the pope is the successor of Judas Iscariot. Judas was greedy for honor, power and riches, and wanted to seize control over the desciples of Christ even accepting the death of the Son of God. This was the reason why he betrayed Jesus. Certainly, after Jesus death Judas intended to be the first Christian bishop, and to make a profitable enterprise out of the Christian Church.

    My honor for the pope are the following names: Daddy Rat, Papa Ratzi, Holy Rat, Antichrist, Unholy Father, Successor of Judas.

    December 22, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Jill

      Rainer Braendlein, fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate.

      Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties.Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners. It's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64.

      The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job.

      And remember, never ever miss an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      December 22, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • AvdBergism source of filthy RainerBraendleinism©

      Christian Captain Crunch dog spits on other Christian Captain Crunch dog. Goons all. NO DOGS!

      December 22, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • fred

      The ultimate ignominy on cnn belief blog has to be getting "jilled". Rainer must be feeling a bit wet now.

      December 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Great Post

      Traditions of men have always insisted their ways be followed instead of Jesus' truth. Nothing new under the sun.

      December 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Ted

      Actually, new things happen under the sun every day, and even the sun itself changes.

      Get over your silly Jesus delusions. The better-educated and most scientifically advanced parts of the world are leaving your absurd supersti-tions and others behind. Gradually and with a lot of kicking and screaming by the vested interests of the televangies and priest-crooks and mullah-bullies, but it is happening.

      December 24, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  18. frank

    The subst itute butler probably couldn't make a decent call on the sugar/cream ratio for the Pope's coffee.

    December 22, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  19. Evolve 101

    Evolution WORKS OK

    December 22, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Jim

      So does childbirth were the evolution concept came from.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Kelly

      Jim: got a reference for that claim?

      December 23, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  20. Reality

    B16 can pardon all he wants, we will not pardon him for promulgating the infamous resurrection con:

    To wit: (only for the new members of this blog)

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    p.4

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    December 22, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Reality

      For those who are reading-challenged:(with some added comments for fairness)

      .SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
      THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR LIKE 9/11.

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      December 22, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Jim

      Reality, don't you have vacation time you can take? Soon,wouldn't be quick enough.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      Found this while unpacking-

      The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of 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 descent into Hell, 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)

      December 23, 2012 at 6:53 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.