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February 12th, 2013
11:33 AM ET

My Take: Don't bet on a diversity pope

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

The United States just finished a diversity election that saw a president elected not by old, white men but by Latinos, African-Americans and Asian-Americans.

Now that Pope Benedict XVI has announced his retirement, the Roman Catholic Church is preparing for an election of its own. Though in this case, the election will be decided not by rank-and-file Catholics but by the College of Cardinals.

It is well known that the demographics of the Catholic Church are changing quickly. Membership is hemorrhaging in Europe and barely stable in the United States, but it is booming in Asia and Africa and Latin America, which together account for two-thirds of the world’s Catholics.

In recent years, the papacy has seen some demographic milestones, as the College of Cardinals moved beyond Italy to tap popes from Poland (John Paul II) and Germany (Benedict XVI). There is now some speculation that an American might be considered, namely Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York.

But the church could take a much bolder step, tapping a pontiff that represents its future in the "Global South" rather than its past in the "Global North."

If you crunch the numbers, it’s astonishing that we have not yet had a Latin American pope.  Today roughly 41% of all Catholics hail from Latin America. And half of all Catholics under age 40 are from Latin America.

In this key region (which accounts for 16% of cardinal electors), possible papal candidates include Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Buenos Aires), who may have been the runner-up in the last papal conclave. But he is 75, and given Benedict’s abrupt retirement for (among other things) health reasons, the College of Cardinals might well want to find someone younger.

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (age 69), an Italian-Argentinian spearheading the Vatican department for Eastern Churches, is more likely. He has also been the Vatican’s chief of staff.

Another Latin American possibility is Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maridiaga (age 70) of Honduras, a rising star in the region who is known as a powerful speaker with a strong commitment to social justice.

Odilo Pedro Scherer (age 63) may be Latin America's strongest candidate. As the archbishop of Sao Paolo, Brazil, he runs the largest diocese in Latin America. But like every other Latin American candidate, he will be hurt by the fact that Pentecostal and evangelical Protestant churches are booming there.

Africa accounts for more than 16% of Catholics worldwide, but this region is Catholicizing quickly.

In Ghana, Peter Appiah Turkson (age 64) is often mentioned as the African to beat. Like Benedict, he is an academic and a conservative. He is well-known for opposing the use of condoms to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. A TV star in his homeland, Turkson is said to have the people’s touch that made Pope John Paul II so popular.

Another widely discussed African is Francis Arinze (age 72) of Nigeria. While leading the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, he became a point person for Catholic conversations with Islam, but he is widely seen as conservative.

One huge barrier to all of these candidacies is the huge imbalance between the worldwide Catholic population and the members of the College of Cardinals. The “Global South” (Latin America, Africa and Asia) is badly underrepresented, and the “Global North” (Europe and North America) is overrepresented. Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of all Catholics (many of them nominal at best), commands a majority (53%) of electors half of them Italians.

I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I would wager that the “diversity election” comes next time. Given the strong tilt in the College of Cardinals toward Europe and the United States, I think we are in for another old, white man.

So far, the betters agree with me. The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada as the front-runner at 7:2 odds.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Africa • Americas • Asia • Catholic Church • Ghana • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. Honestly

    I bet the next pope will be an atheist...how'd that be for diversity?

    February 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Icon

      I bet the current pope is an atheist (and many past popes).

      February 13, 2013 at 7:43 am |
  2. Just a Tally Wacker Looking for a Tally Ho

    Hi everyone.

    February 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Zingo

      Douglas is over in the closet if you are looking for someone to give you a hand.

      February 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  3. ABORTIONS FVCKING RULE!!!!!

    News like this makes me want to kick the sh!t out of a fetus.

    February 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Your mother

      I really regret not aborting you.

      February 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  4. There really is no religious news

    Seventeen consecutive stories on one minor event, with many more to come as the world watches a weird bunch of men in dresses use a very strangeand dubious political process to selectthe next dictator of Catholicism.

    February 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      I won't say that a Pope retiring is a minor event..but I agree that CNN has took up enough space on the topic.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • New Athiest

      AS I said earlier, they will have to elect someone with a history of alter boy relations, or he could throw the rest of the guilty people to the police.
      Yes, I mean it.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @New Athiest- I have no doubt you mean it. Delusional ppl usally mean what they say.

      February 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • ..

      Uncouth Swain, thy name is denial.

      February 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • ..

      More like I don't know what I'm talking about. Sorry.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  5. ReligionIsBS

    Let me guess, its going to be an old white guy.

    February 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      but that is just showing how diverse the CC really is. They will take ANY old white pedophile.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  6. Gus

    So WHERE is the Tuesday Speed Read? Did our little CNN elves fall asleep under the lash of their corporate masters after printing dozens of ridiculous articles? Poor Dan and Arielle, cut down in their prime due to overwork. Alas.

    February 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      I think the elves needed a day off after pumping out 7 Pope articles in 15 minutes.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @End religion, LOL...it was seriously weird. Putting out a speed read would have shown how the days posts were 100% pope.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  7. Reality

    What Stevie P forgot to mention. It won't matter whether the new pope is from Canada or the far side of the Moon because:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, pope, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    February 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Reality

      Who is "Reality" ? Have you seen me ? Do you know who I am ? Do you know what I've done in my life ? Do you know if I ever actually did anything good ? Do you know if I even exist ? Of course not. But I expect you to believe me. Surely, you should have the faith to believe in what I say even though you have not seen me. You people should not believe in God because you have not seen him. But you should believe in me even though you have not seen me.

      Christians have a comprehensive moral system. It's written in the Bible. I am atheist and believe that I am better than Chris tians even though I cannot point to a comprehensive moral system. Other than a refusal to believe in God, I have to admit that I have not explained anything else that I believe. I am speechless as far as telling you the other things that I believe in. Nevertheless you should believe that I am a better person than chris tians.

      Trust me. Have faith in me. Believe what I say.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Reality

      The latter comment was not from the original Reality.

      With respect to moral systems, those set forth by Hammurabi and the Egyptians (see their Book of the Dead) predate the OT and NT by many centuries.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Reality

      Sorry, I really am unable to provide a pointer to my comprehensive moral system that can be shown to be superior to the ones provided in the Christian Bible. I am unable to provide details on my beliefs. Nevertheless, you should believe me that I am better than Christians.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Reality

      From the original Reality:

      King Hammurabi and the Egyptians who wrote the Book of the Dead and who did NOT need revelations from angels or mountain voices to develop needed rules of conduct for us h-o-minids.

      "Hail to thee, great God, Lord of the Two Truths. I have come unto thee, my Lord, that thou mayest bring me to see thy beauty. I know thee, I know thy name, I know the names of the 42 Gods who are with thee in this broad hall of the Two Truths . . . Behold, I am come unto thee. I have brought thee truth; I have done away with sin for thee. I have not sinned against anyone. I have not mistreated people. I have not done evil instead of righteousness . . .

      I have not reviled the God.
      I have not laid violent hands on an orphan.
      I have not done what the God abominates . . .
      I have not killed; I have not turned anyone over to a killer.
      I have not caused anyone's suffering . . .
      I have not copulated (illicitly); I have not been unchaste.
      I have not increased nor diminished the measure, I have not diminished the palm; I have not encroached upon the fields.
      I have not added to the balance weights; I have not tempered with the plumb bob of the balance.
      I have not taken milk from a child's mouth; I have not driven small cattle from their herbage...
      I have not stopped (the flow of) water in its seasons; I have not built a dam against flowing water.
      I have not quenched a fire in its time . . .
      I have not kept cattle away from the God's property.
      I have not blocked the God at his processions."

      "The Book of the Dead was written circa 1800 BCE. 2 The Schofield Reference Bible estimates that the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt and the provision of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai occurred in 1491 BCE., some three centuries later. Many religious liberals, historians, and secularists have concluded that the Hebrew Scripture's Ten Commandments were based on this earlier docu-ment, rather than vice-versa."

      February 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Many religious liberals, historians, and secularists have concluded that the Hebrew Scripture's Ten Commandments were based on this earlier docu-ment, rather than vice-versa."

      But of course they have no more evidence to back that notion up than those of the counter proposal.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Reality

      From the real Reality

      You can see that i tend to go into spasms recycling old text that I've posted before. Sorry, I really am unable to provide a pointer to my comprehensive moral system that can be shown to be superior to the ones provided in the Christian Bible. I am unable to provide details on my beliefs. Nevertheless, you should believe me that I am better than Christians.

      February 13, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Reality

      From the original Reality:

      For those interested in reading more about the Egyptian Book of the Dead:

      Allen, James P., Middle Egyptian – An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, first edition, Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-521-77483-7
      Allen, Thomas George, The Egyptian Book of the Dead: Doc-uments in the Oriental Insti-tute Museum at the University of Chicago. University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1960.
      Allen, Thomas George, The Book of the Dead or Going Forth by Day. Ideas of the Ancient Egyptians Concerning the Hereafter as Expressed in Their Own Terms, SAOC vol. 37; University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1974.
      Budge, E.A. Wallis, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, (The Papyrus of Ani), Egyptian Text, Transliteration, and Translation.
      D'Auria, S (et al.) Mummies and Magic: the Funerary Arts of Ancient Egypt. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1989. ISBN 0-87846-307-0
      Faulkner, Raymond O; Andrews, Carol (editor), The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. University of Texas Press, Austin, 1972.
      Faulkner, Raymond O (translator); von Dassow, Eva (editor), The Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Book of Going forth by Day. The First Authentic Presentation of the Complete Papyrus of Ani. Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1994.
      Hornung, Erik; Lorton, D (translator), The Ancient Egyptian books of the Afterlife. Cornell University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8014-8515-0
      Lapp, G, The Papyrus of Nu (Catalogue of Books of the Dead in the British Museum). British Museum Press, London, 1997.
      Niwinski, Andrzej, Studies on the Illustrated Theban Funerary Papyri of the 11th and 10th Centuries B.C.. OBO vol. 86; Universitätsverlag, Freiburg, 1989.
      Pinch, Geraldine, Magic in Ancient Egypt. British Museum Press, London, 1994. ISBN 0-7141-0971-1
      Taylor, John H. (Editor), Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: Journey through the afterlife. British Museum Press, London, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7141-1993-9

      February 13, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Reality

      From the original Reality:

      For those interested in Hammurabi's Code (dating back to about 1772 BC. )–

      Bibliography
      Driver, G.R. & J.C. Miles (2007). The Babylonian Laws. Eugene: Wipf and Stock. ISBN 1-55635-229-8.
      Roth, Martha T. (1997). Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. Atlanta: Scholars Press. ISBN 0-7885-0378-2.
      Bryant, Tamera (2005). The Life & Times of Hammurabi. Bear: Mitchell Lane Publishers. ISBN 978-1-58415-338-2.
      Mieroop, Marc (2004). King Hammurabi of Babylon: a Biography. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4051-2660-1.
      Hammurabi, King; C. H. W. Johns (Translator) (2000). The Oldest Code of Laws in the World. City: Lawbook Exchange Ltd. ISBN 978-1-58477-061-9.
      Falkenstein, A. (1956–57). Die neusumerischen Gerichtsurkunden I–III. München.
      Elsen-Novák, G./Novák, M.: Der 'König der Gerechtigkeit'. Zur Ikonologie und Teleologie des 'Codex' Hammurapi. In: Baghdader Mitteilungen 37 (2006), pp. 131–156.
      Julius Oppert and Joachim Menant (1877). Docu-ments juridiques de l'Assyrie et de la Chaldee. París.
      Thomas, D. Winton, ed. (1958). Docu-ments from Old Testament Times. London and New York.
      Beck, Roger B.; Linda Black, Larry S. Krieger, Phillip C. Naylor, Dahia Ibo Shabaka, (1999). World History: Patterns of Interaction. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell. ISBN 0-395-87274-X.

      http://www.commonlaw.com/Hammurabi.html

      February 13, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  8. HeavenSent

    Blame it on the Christians for having the guts to tell idiots God's truth. How long will you keep listening to the lies of your father satan? Gasoline is not as good as flea and tick shampoo but my hair smells better. The end of days taught in Jesus' truth is nothing new to Christians.

    Amen.

    February 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  9. Peter

    This is where the church will gain me back slowly or lose me. My faith will be strong and resilient though. I have had issues with how the church protected the predators also known as pedophile priests. If another old man who leads with an iron fist as if this is the 1600's is selected then I know where the church is headed and for me that will mean I am out.

    February 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • padre

      American men who enter the seminary to become priests are in their 20’s. This means they already been brought up, educated, and exposed to American society which is not exactly a very moral society. It’s a very loose, materialistic, and ob scene society. Then that same society pretends to be surprised that those kids that go on to be priests are damaged goods.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • midwest rail

      One problem for your position, padre. The abuse scandal was hardly confined to America. oooops.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Patreno

      Unfortunately American society is full of pedophiles. Recent news include Football coaches, swim team coaches, ministers of all sorts, boy scout leaders, female middle school teachers, female high school teachers, counselors, police chiefs, mayors, etc. Blaming the church seems awfully one sided. There’s something inherently wrong with Americans. They’re twisted.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Trolling should never be that boring, Patreno.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  10. Uncouth Swain

    It's not having a Pope with a diverse background that is needed but one that has a mind for diversity.

    Which is better...a leader that is from a minority that isn't open to different types of people? Or a leader that may come from the majority but open to the needs and thoughts of all?

    February 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      It's best if you have a leader from a minority group.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Gus

      What sort of idiot thinks the leader of a narrow-minded xenophobic religion should be more flexible?
      Oh, the idiot's name is Uncouth Swain, a resident of stupid-la-la-land.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @uncouth, it's a bit more complex than that. Leadership roles serve other purposes both as role models and as marketing tools. As role models people identify best with people with whom they share characteristics, particularly if it is a matter of groups between which there have been power relations. As a marketing tool people are drawn both to people they feel a familiarity with and those whose characteristics they admire. You can make an idealized statement that people should admire or relate to people with no view to race or ethnicity, but you would be missing reality. Every marketing agency knows this and that's why mailers are targeted demographically with different pictures for each zip code. The church knows this as well as anyone, and will pick with all these issues in mind.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @End Religion- "It's best if you have a leader from a minority group."

      Well...."white" ppl are a minority if one looks at the whole population of the world. So..you happy now?

      @Gus- Oh how terrible of me...I want people in power that are flexible thinkers. Oh..what a horror I have to live with *rolls eyes*

      February 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Saraswati- "Leadership roles serve other purposes both as role models and as marketing tools."

      I would like to think we are beyond worrying about our leaders being more of a figure head than actual leaders.

      "As role models people identify best with people with whom they share characteristics,"

      I understand where you are coming from with this and image is important. One could even argue that symbolism is important and since the Pope has traditionally been from Europe...then that's what the ppl would expect so why change it. But I can hope that they would choose a person for their abiltiies and not what they look like or how the mod responds.
      It's bad enough that we still fool around with affirmative action at the govt level here in our nation.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Gus

      Uncouth, I'm just pointing out how stupid you are. Nothing personal.
      While I agree that leaders should have good qualities, we are talking about a bloated international criminal organization that has been operating out of Italy, of all places, for over a thousand years....and you want the leader of this criminal organization to be more accepting of diversity and all that. Okay. Got it.
      The RCC has no authority whatsoever in this world beyond what they can fool people into believing exists.
      It's the same with Islam, but they will never agree on a Mahdi until it is too late, so the qualities of that religious leader mean even less.
      A fraudulent criminal organization has to avoid good leadership qualities, lest ideals like honor and honesty bring them down.
      They will pick one of their own number, a slimy pos, to act as figurehead or lead them, however they want. Their main criteria will be based upon fear and greed and lust, just as it has been done for centuries.
      The new pope will not be overtly African or South American, but a member of one of the more powerful factions within the Vatican, i.e. German, Spanish, Italian, Polish. He will be racist, homophobic, xenophobic and will be good at hiding it.
      He will continue the horrors of the RCC upon their victims and we will see the RCC remain essentially unchanged to outsiders. There will be a further siphoning of funds from places where victims can sue for damages and a continuation of all machiavellian policies, many of them set down before the year 1066. The fraud will continue.
      Hoping their leader will be more able to handle the diverse problems of a thousand-year-old criminal conspiracy is stupid either way. You really should take some time to think these things through. It would help you to not look so stupid.

      February 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Gus- "I'm just pointing out how stupid you are. Nothing personal."

      Starting out with a ad hominem....great beginning.

      "a bloated international criminal organization"

      Your opinion....facts withstanding.

      "and you want the leader of this criminal organization to be more accepting of diversity and all that."

      I want the leader of 1 billion followers of a faith to be more accepting of diveristy. You fail to explain why this is bad.

      "The RCC has no authority whatsoever in this world beyond what they can fool people into believing exists."

      You are welcome to your opinion but factless tripe doesn't go far. If you want to imply that 1 billion ppl are fools who cannot think for themselves...well, that's on you.

      "It's the same with Islam,"

      Are we working on a strawman fallacy now?

      "but they will never agree on a Mahdi until it is too late, so the qualities of that religious leader mean even less."

      Yep..guess you were.

      "Their main criteria will be based upon fear and greed and lust, just as it has been done for centuries."

      I do believe you are a bit biased on this topic. While there have been bad leaders in the church, not all of them were bad and corrupt. Hey, I'll be the first to agree that the RCC needs to take a good long look at itself and try to fix the problems within. But it does no good at all to @ssume it's 100% corrupt.

      "He will be racist, ho mophobic, xenophobic and will be good at hiding it."

      Wow Prophet Gus...you know soooo much. Of course you are wrong but hey, don't let that stop you.

      "many of them set down before the year 1066."

      A odd date to pick out of the air.

      Oh Gus...gus gus gus.....beyond you accusation of criminal activity and NO evidence...you got nothing. You have failed in your goal. Come back another time.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • merikano

      @Gus

      I agree that an organization led by mostly old white people with a history and reputation for crime should not be allowed to exist. Yes, i agree that they also tend to choose a loser as their leader. I agree that they cover up their crimes. They definitely try to crush people who have different beliefs than they do. They've hurt and killed thousands of people already with their wars. They should not be allowed to continue.

      However, this is where the mystery comes in. The description matches exactly what the US Government is. The “Holy Trinity” of the Executive branch, Congress, and the Judiciary is exactly what is described here. Yet the people of the US still support them. Why is that ? Hopefully you’re not American, because your statements would be heepocreeteecal.

      February 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Gus

      Uncouth, your lame attempt to ignore the facts if they don't suit you sounds very Republican, very stupid (the terms are interchangable).
      A billion people? There are over seven billion people on the planet and most of them are incredibly stupid.
      Your billion Catholics are definitely in the incredibly stupid pile. Stupidity does not impress me nor should it be considered a basis for authority or credibility. Those people don't need a leader, they need a fucking clue.
      You fail the test again, sonny. Sorry, but you're going in the stupidly dishonest pile. You'll recognize the smell, I'm sure...

      February 13, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Gus- "your lame attempt to ignore the facts if they don't suit you sounds very Republican, very stupid (the terms are interchangable)."

      Let's see...you have offered no facts. And thank you for another ad hominem, show your level of debate skills quite well.

      "A billion people? There are over seven billion people on the planet and most of them are incredibly stupid."

      Your faith in humanity is now noted.

      "Your billion Catholics are definitely in the incredibly stupid pile. Stupidity does not impress me nor should it be considered a basis for authority or credibility. Those people don't need a leader, they need a fu cking clue."

      Still waiting on the "facts".

      "You fail the test again, sonny. Sorry, but you're going in the stupidly dishonest pile. You'll recognize the smell, I'm sure..."

      And we end this tirade with more ad hominem fallacies.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Gus

      Who is "Gus" ? Have you seen me ? Do you know who I am ? Do you know what I've done in my life ? Do you know if I ever actually did anything good ? Do you know if I even exist ? Of course not. But I expect you to believe me. Surely, you should have the faith to believe in what I say even though you have not seen me. You people should not believe in God because you have not seen him. But you should believe in me even though you have not seen me.

      Christians have a comprehensive moral system. It's written in the Bible. I am atheist and believe that I am better than Chris tians even though I cannot point to a comprehensive moral system. Other than a refusal to believe in God, I have to admit that I have not explained anything else that I believe. I am speechless as far as telling you the other things that I believe in. Nevertheless you should believe that I am a better person than chris tians.

      Trust me. Have faith in me. Believe what I say.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Gus- "But I expect you to believe me. Surely, you should have the faith to believe in what I say even though you have not seen me. You people should not believe in God because you have not seen him. But you should believe in me even though you have not seen me."

      I think provable existence does not make your opinion fact.

      "Nevertheless you should believe that I am a better person than chris tians."

      As an atheist, you would say provable facts are more important than just words. What provable facts do you bring to this?

      February 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Gus

      I'm an atheist. I can say anything without having to prove anything. I don't even need to declare what I believe in so that you people cannot criticize my beliefs.

      Nevertheless, I am still superior to christians, just because I say so.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      That's pure straw man fallacy, Gus.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Gus (the original)

      I see someone has stolen my name again. To those of you talking to the pos who stole my name, you are too stupid for words if you thought that was me.

      February 13, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Gus (the nice one)

      Sorry about my other personality (I have multiple). He can be so brutish.

      Anyways, if you can get over the in sults, I still cannot describe my beliefs to you. I can criticize christians because their beliefs are known. If you only knew what my beliefs are then you'd criticize me too. So I won't tell you. Nevertheless, you should believe me that I'm better than christians. atheists rule.

      February 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Gus (the original) or Gus (the nice one)..seems like the same crap no matter which name it is.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Gus

      I agree. It's the same exact cra_p.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi prayerbot.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  12. empresstrudy

    Joe Biden the Trans Am Pope.

    February 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Gus

      Biden is certainly someone with something up his ass, so I wouldn't completely rule him out quite yet. He doesn't want other people enjoying themselves unless it's with alcohol, his drug of choice. He would make a fine pope, and the car, too.
      The car could be a pope! Sure! As it crushes rape victims it would bless them with a heavenly horn sound. Yesss.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  13. Doc Vestibule

    We can at least rest assured that there won't be any women considered.
    The Bible is very clear as to the role of women in church, which is to sit down and shut up. (1 Corinthians 14:34, 1 Timothy 2:11)
    Remember, it is because of Eve's trangression that humanity was expelled from paradise and sentenced to die. (Ecclesiasticus, 25:19)
    Sure, God punished women by making childbirth an agonizing process and making her a slave to her husband but is that truly enough? (Genesis 3:16)
    As the esteemed theologan Calvin said, woman is "... more guilty than the man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading all to perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame."
    A good Christian woman should be silent, submissive, subservient and filled with shame for the curse her gender forced on humanity.

    February 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • End Religion

      Just like the U.S. could use a President who admits to atheism in his second term, the Vatican could use a trans-gender who has hidden his operation until after elected Pope.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  14. ED

    I agree with the premise but I still think it will be a Hispanic. That's their biggest. fastest growing and most stable audience.

    February 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Very true. While the Catholic faith is dwindling in some parts of the world (Europe), it is quite strong in South and Central America.
      Look at the Hispanic population in the US as well. It is growing at a very fast rate. Who knows, the US could end up being one of the largest Catholic nations in another 100 years.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  15. Ungodly Discipline

    It seems as if the editor of the Belief Blog is having a very satisfying BM of Pope Articles this morning. Get the Lysol.

    February 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Gus

      LOL XD

      February 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  16. HeavenSent

    If you are not a practicing Christian that shows your love for Jesus, then you automatically belong to satan's team. My 12-year-old daughter drops her kids off here before going to her AA meeting. Carnal being, thinking and doing, never to learn Jesus' spiritual truth.

    Amen.

    February 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Gus

      Satan's team, eh? Do we get to wear our Darth Vader masks? I'm curious.

      February 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Wave to me when I reside with Jesus and you're sitting complaining with you atheist buddies on the wrong side of the divide. My camel-toe is home to two generations of cats now. Stay on the wrong side of the gulf until you are blotted out for eternity.

      Amen.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Gus

      So Satan's team also has all the paper towels? Good. Parties can be messy. Enjoy your eternal submission, ho.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Answer

      HeavenSent has always been stupid. Nothing new.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Akira

      Camel-toe two generations of cats=priceless!!

      February 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  17. toad

    FUCK the Pope!

    ENOUGH ABOUT THE GOD DAMNED POPE!

    February 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      toad. lol, how appropriate.

      February 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  18. Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

    To be Katholic means to be supportive of cover up and corruptions. As for pope, makes no difference....waste of time

    February 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  19. Jim

    Wow, Congratulations CNN on your 17th belief blog article on the Pope within 36 hours! woohooo *flatulent sound*

    February 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • enjoyyyy

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxa1Duhr93Q&w=640&h=390]

      February 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  20. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oh, Lord deliver us from a Quebecois as Pope!

    February 12, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • ..

      Uh huh...why?

      February 12, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Gus

      There's lot's o them pedos in the Quebecois parishes. A lot of bleedin perishers, they are. They love rapin the Abos.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.