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The pope's mixed legacy with Latino Catholics
Pope Benedict alienated Latino Catholics because of his fierce opposition to a popular movement in Latin America, scholars say.
February 15th, 2013
11:13 AM ET

The pope's mixed legacy with Latino Catholics

By John Blake, CNN

They are the largest group in the Roman Catholic Church, and the next pope might even come from their midst. Yet few have heard how Latino Catholics regard the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI.

For many Latino Catholics, Benedict’s legacy is mixed. They will forever tie him to his fierce opposition to liberation theology, a controversial movement that sought to improve the impoverished lives of Latinos living under oppressive governments.

Benedict, who resigned Monday citing his advancing age, was one of the church’s most visible opponents of liberation theology, a movement that began in Latin America in the 1960s. It mingled Marxist critiques of poverty with an insistence that the church display a “preferential option” for the poor.

Benedict’s view created more distance between priests and the poor people they served, says Jennifer Hughes, a Catholic Church scholar at the University of California, Riverside.

"In Latin America, both as Cardinal Ratzinger and as the pope, Benedict devoted himself to the systematic dismantling of the infrastructure of liberation theology," Hughes says. "During this process, many priests and bishops withdrew from their ministry in the poorest communities.”

Benedict’s opposition to liberation theology was ironic because he shared many of its concerns, others say. He was critical of capitalism and thought that Christian leaders should be concerned with the economic and political liberation of their followers.

Pope Benedict addresses priests of Rome

Benedict spoke out against unrestrained capitalism, income inequality and global warming. As recently as December, he said in a speech that Christians should work for a more “equitable sharing of the Earth’s resources.”

“Benedict was a vociferous advocate for the poor and strongly opposed income inequality,” says James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life."  “On that mark, he was as progressive as they come.”

Yet Benedict was suspicious of liberation theologians because some aligned themselves with political movements that sought to overthrow repressive governments in Latin America, other historians say.

The prospect of the church aligning itself with political movements alarmed Benedict because of his own upbringing, says Ramon Luzarraga, a religion professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio.  He saw such an alliance between church and state destroy his native Germany. Catholic and Protestant leaders help put Hitler in power, Luzarraga says.

“Liberation theologians are comfortable working with government and political parties on the left while Benedict is more comfortable remaining neutral,” Luzarraga says.

Benedict’s impact on Latin America is important because the region will shape much of the church’s future. Latino Catholics are the largest group in the Catholic Church. Latin America's Catholics make up 39% of the world’s Catholic population, according to the Pew Research Center.

Video: Pope's resignation is noble, historian says

Latin America is also home to the two most populous Catholic countries: Brazil and Mexico (the U.S. has the fourth-largest Catholic population), the Pew Center found.

Even without Benedict’s opposition to liberation theology, more Latino Catholics are drifting away from the Vatican, another scholar says.

Under Pope Benedict, a growing number of Latino Catholics were no longer regarding the Vatican’s teaching as an important element in their faith, says Michele Dillon, a sociology professor at the University of New Hampshire.

Latino Catholics traditionally believe the church should give more emphasis to social justice rather than issues such as abortion and contraception, Dillon says. A majority of Latino Catholics favor same-sex marriage and women’s ordination, she says.

“As Hispanic Catholics in the U.S achieve upward mobility, they may become a little more conservative on social justice and concern for the poor,” Dillon says, “but currently many of the issues that are especially important to Catholics in Latin America are also very important to Hispanic Catholics in the U.S.”

At the same time, Latino Catholics are also drifting away from liberation theology, says Carl Raschke, a religion professor at the University of Denver.

The theology is now perceived more as a Western intellectual movement that does not understand the revival of spirituality among indigenous people in Latin America, Raschke says.

“Liberation theology is for the most part out of favor in Latin America because it has been largely deemed by indigenous people as increasingly irrelevant,” Raschke says.

Pentecostal-flavored religion, not liberation theology, is now sweeping Latin America, says Daniel Ramirez, a religion professor at the University of Michigan.

“Although they [liberation theologians] talked about the option for the poor, the poor ultimately opted for Pentecostalism,” Ramirez says.

The Vatican can bridge some of the distance with Latino Catholics with one dramatic action, some scholars say.

If the next pope is Latino, the impact will be epic, says Luzarraga.

“It would be the same effect as [Pope] John Paul II had on Polish people,” Luzarraga says. “”It would be an announcement to the world that Latino Catholics have finally come into their own.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Mass • Pope • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Same-sex marriage • South America • Vatican

soundoff (361 Responses)
  1. Rainer Braendlein

    What is more Antichristian: Catholicism or Cheap-Grace-Protestantism? Both leads to eternal damnation, the Lake of Fire.

    The main Catholic heresy is it to claim that you would have to do good deeds in order to get saved, for example saying a rosary.

    The main Protestant heresy (cheap grace) is it to claim you had to do no good deeds at all in order to get saved but simply need to believe in Christ.

    The truth is that Christ's sacrifice was not only an atonement but also a work of redemption. It is not possible to seperate these two characteristics of Christ's sacrifice from each other. This means that Christ's sacrifice will only be an atonement for you when you also accept it as a work of redemption: In Romans 6 St. Pauls says that we have died and resurrected together with Jesus through baptism (this is the sacramental baptism). We can no longer live a sinful life when we have died for the sin, and entered Christ. It is clear that we only will come through at Judgement Day when the unbiased Judge Jesus Christ will assess our lifes as holy (Jesus will consider our real deeds, not our confessions of faith). To become holy we have to refer to our baptism daily or to Christ's sacrifice. When we daily remember that we have died for the sin and entered Christ, and believe that we have these promises through sacramental baptism, we overcome the lust of our body which is sinful in itself. Through Christ's power we can finally love God and our neighbour which is something precious in a world of egoism and hatred. We are natural born egoists but God's new nature is stronger than our sinful nature.

    Many Free Churches baptize again which is a heavy sin. The real baptism shall not be repeated. The rebatizing Free Churches regard baptism as a mere symbolic act, an act of obedience after conversion, and a public confession of the faith. However, the real baptism is sacramental that means we get born out of Water and Spirit through God himself. God acts during the sacramental baptism. Our whole life long we can refer to the sacramental baptism including infant baptism, and overcome the sin through the power of baptism and its object: Jesus sacrifice.

    February 16, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Science

      The bible is a crooked as the pope maybe this is proof.

      Pope will have security, immunity by remaining in the Vatican.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/15/us-pope-resignation-immunity-idUSBRE91E0ZI20130215

      Do not pass go.

      February 16, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • ..

      What is worse? The cheap internet preacher talking shit about other demoninations. You ain't no Christian, bucko.

      February 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Shirlitza

      Unsaved people don't need lengthy discussions about coming to Christ to be saved. Let the holy spirit do the work, don't do and say things in your earthly flesh and work on obedience + daily surrender living a humble gracious life that he wants. Love one another.

      February 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Shirlitza

      This is mundane, try a different approach to draw others.

      February 16, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      All of the world's faiths say you have to work your way to heaven. If that was true, Jesus Christ wouldn't have had to die on the cross! We are saved by FAITH in Christ through God's GRACE. The law was presented by God through His prophet Moses to identify sin. But since no man/woman (except Jesus) could fully obey the law, Christ performed the ultimate act of sacrificial love to declare our sin debt PAID IN FULL, even though we don't deserve it. Please read God's word, and the Holy Spirit will change you. God bless...

      February 16, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  2. THE REALIST

    **************************************************************

    It is all about the LIES and the $$$$$ and the POWER

    ***************************************************************
    ................ GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit) .......
    ******************** and THANK GOODNESS because ..
    .... he emanates from the EVILbible.com (please visit)
    ***************************************************************

    February 16, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • midwest rail

      Dude, we get it, you need web hits. How much free advertising are you planning on stealing ?

      February 16, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • THE REALIST

      I don't own those sites. I am just spreading the TRUTH. My mother died HATING me because she was going to heaven and I am going to hell (in her opinion) and she would never see me again. It is MY MISSION to STOP the MADNESS by posting the links.

      February 16, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • THE REALIST

      ***************************************************************

      STOP THE MADNESS & THE HATRED ... HONOR MY MOTHER by LEARNING THE TRUTH

      ***************************************************************
      ................ GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit) .......
      ******************** and THANK GOODNESS because ..
      .... he emanates from the EVILbible.com (please visit)
      ***************************************************************

      February 16, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • midwest rail

      Obsession is a mental disorder. Seek help.

      February 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • THE REALIST

      ^ yes ... worshiping a god that is imaginary, and emanates from the evil bible is evidence of a mental disorder.

      February 16, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  3. motive

    read the docu-ments here, crimes agaiunst humanity by the catholic church http://ccrjustice. org/iccvaticanprosecution

    February 16, 2013 at 9:58 am |
  4. THE REALIST

    ***************************************************************
    ................ GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit) .......
    ******************** and THANK GOODNESS because ..
    .... he emanates from the EVILbible.com (please visit)
    ***************************************************************

    February 16, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  5. motive

    this is why the pope is retiring, he needs to hide. http://www.snapnetwork. org/snap_legal_action

    February 16, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  6. THE REALIST

    ***************************************************************
    ******************** Many people don't like the Bible ....
    ............ because it is the EVILbible.com (please visit)
    ***************************************************************

    February 16, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • THE REALIST

      ***************************************************************
      ................ GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit) .......
      ******************** and THANK GOODNESS because ..
      .... he emanates from the EVILbible.com (please visit)
      ***************************************************************

      February 16, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  7. Science

    Pope will have security, immunity by remaining in the Vatican.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/15/us-pope-resignation-immunity-idUSBRE91E0ZI20130215

    Do not pass go.

    February 16, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  8. motive

    .catholics will deflect discussion of abuse with small percent?>? Where do they get there data from? The church? I get mine from victims and victim groups directly. We have nearly 20% abused and nearly 50% of those are pedos. In fact no other group has such a high % of pedos as this one.

    Catholics deflect and deceive.

    so catholics, tell us all here. What did the catholic church do to set the good example to help children victims? NOTHING. In fact they covered up the crimes to protect themselves and their reputation, leaving the child to fend for themselves. Many children developed mental illness due to the abuse.

    And the catholic church continues to harm children victims as they lobby to stop laws that would expose the truth. Imagine that!!!

    The worst crimes were the cover ups.

    Stop deflecting by saying others did it too.

    –>> Start acting like an adult and addressing what the catholic church has done to help children victims. <<- answer that question.

    February 16, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  9. Rainer Braendlein

    Many people dont't like the Bible because it is so large. Yet, this is not God's fault. Actually, the Gospel is very simple: God loves us and our neighbour. The issue is that human beings have always questioned this simple Gospel. God created the animals and Eve as friends for the lonely Adam but he did not understand this gospel of God's love, and looked for more.

    The mankind always invents its own faith-tenets instead of simply believing in a Redeemer-God. To a large extent the Bible is only an account of all the struggle between God and the mankind which always invents own religions (in fact heresies). The Bible is a large refutation of many heresies which have befallen the mankind. Do you get it? The Bible became such a large book because God had so much trouble with a stubborn mankind.

    Here is the simple truth again which should not be changed: Jesus Christ died and rose for us. Jesus has borne our sins on the cross, and rose for our justification. A great Protestant heresy is to assume a believer would be allowed to sin without limit because Christ has payed the bill in advance. But this assumption is not even logical because when the Son of God had to die for our sin it is not possible that we are allowed to sin. The heresy of the pre-payed bill is just satanic logic. Of course, if we believe in Christ and his sacrifice we have to improve. This will work if we refer to the sacramental baptism where we got metaphysically connected with Christ' sacrifice, we have died and resurrected together with him. Through faith and baptism we are dead for the sin and in Christ. If we remain in Christ, we will come through at Judgement Day.

    February 16, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "Jesus has borne our sins on the cross, and rose for our justification." The logic of atonement escapes me, Rainer. It suggests that God is subject to a moral law over which he is not sovereign.

      February 16, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • SImran

      "God created the animals and Eve as friends for the lonely Adam"

      Please don't tell me that you create (sorry procreate) your other children only to entertain your first child!

      February 16, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • SImran

      Thank you for the rest of your post. I had a good laugh!

      February 16, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Bahamas

      Good post Rainer B. Sumoran come back when u have proof of evolution

      February 16, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • THE REALIST

      ********** Many people don't like the Bible ... because it is the EVILbible.com (please visit this site for a wonderful education)

      February 16, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • THE REALIST

      ***************************************************************
      ******************** Many people don't like the Bible ....
      ............ because it is the EVILbible.com (please visit)
      ***************************************************************

      February 16, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • Science

      First Artificial Enzyme Created by Evolution in a Test Tube

      Jan. 30, 2013 — There's a wobbly new biochemical structure in Burckhard Seelig's lab at the University of Minnesota that may resemble what enzymes looked like billions of years ago, when life on earth began to evolve –

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130132411.htm

      Peace

      February 16, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • THE REALIST

      ***************************************************************
      ................ GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit) .......
      ******************** and THANK GOODNESS because ..
      .... he emanates from the EVILbible.com (please visit)
      ***************************************************************

      February 16, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The main Catholic heresy is it to claim that you would have to do good deeds in order to get saved, for example saying a rosary.

      The main Protestant heresy (cheap grace) is it to claim you had to do no good deeds at all in order to get saved but simply need to believe in Christ.

      The truth is that Christ's sacrifice was not only an atonement but also a work of redemption. It is not possible to seperate these two characteristics of Christ's sacrifice from each other. This means that Christ's sacrifice will only be an atonement for you when you also accept it as a work of redemption: In Romans 6 St. Pauls says that we have died and resurrected together with Jesus through baptism (this is the sacramental baptism). We can no longer live a sinful life when we have died for the sin, and entered Christ. It is clear that we only will come through at Judgement Day when the unbiased Judge Jesus Christ will assess our lifes as holy (Jesus will consider our real deeds, not our confessions of faith). To become holy we have to refer to our baptism daily or to Christ's sacrifice. When we daily remember that we have died for the sin and entered Christ, and believe that we have these promises through sacramental baptism, we overcome the lust of our body which is sinful in itself. Through Christ's power we can finally love God and our neighbour which is something precious in a world of egoism and hatred. We are natural born egoists but God's new nature is stronger than our sinful nature.

      Many Free Churches baptize again which is a heavy sin. The real baptism shall not be repeated. The rebatizing Free Churches regard baptism as a mere symbolic act, an act of obedience after conversion, and a public confession of the faith. However, the real baptism is sacramental that means we get born out of Water and Spirit through God himself. God acts during the sacramental baptism. Our whole life long we can refer to the sacramental baptism including infant baptism, and overcome the sin through the power of baptism and its object: Jesus sacrifice.

      February 16, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      What is more Antichristian: Catholicism or Cheap-Grace-Protestantism? Both leads to eternal damnation.

      The main Catholic heresy is it to claim that you would have to do good deeds in order to get saved, for example saying a rosary.

      The main Protestant heresy (cheap grace) is it to claim you had to do no good deeds at all in order to get saved but simply need to believe in Christ.

      The truth is that Christ's sacrifice was not only an atonement but also a work of redemption. It is not possible to seperate these two characteristics of Christ's sacrifice from each other. This means that Christ's sacrifice will only be an atonement for you when you also accept it as a work of redemption: In Romans 6 St. Pauls says that we have died and resurrected together with Jesus through baptism (this is the sacramental baptism). We can no longer live a sinful life when we have died for the sin, and entered Christ. It is clear that we only will come through at Judgement Day when the unbiased Judge Jesus Christ will assess our lifes as holy (Jesus will consider our real deeds, not our confessions of faith). To become holy we have to refer to our baptism daily or to Christ's sacrifice. When we daily remember that we have died for the sin and entered Christ, and believe that we have these promises through sacramental baptism, we overcome the lust of our body which is sinful in itself. Through Christ's power we can finally love God and our neighbour which is something precious in a world of egoism and hatred. We are natural born egoists but God's new nature is stronger than our sinful nature.

      Many Free Churches baptize again which is a heavy sin. The real baptism shall not be repeated. The rebatizing Free Churches regard baptism as a mere symbolic act, an act of obedience after conversion, and a public confession of the faith. However, the real baptism is sacramental that means we get born out of Water and Spirit through God himself. God acts during the sacramental baptism. Our whole life long we can refer to the sacramental baptism including infant baptism, and overcome the sin through the power of baptism and its object: Jesus sacrifice.

      February 16, 2013 at 10:16 am |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    It is also very Antichristian that the Western leaders try to establish an somewhat moderate Islam which has nothing to do with the genuine Islam of the Koran and Muhammad.

    Our leaders, Obama, Merkel, Hollande, etc., don't love the Muslim people but only want to abuse them as human robots in their factories (Satanic mills). Merkel, Obame, etc. are not concerned about the happiness or soul's health of the Muslims but they are only interested in their manpower.

    Dear Muslim, I love you in the name of Jesus Christ, and in the name of Jesus Christ I tell you that your religion cannot redeem you. On the contrary, especially the Islam rejects the divine sonship of Jesus Christ, our redeemer. Dear Muslim brother or sister, if you want to be blessed you have to believe in Jesus Christ, your redeemer, and you have to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Don't believe Obama's yak.

    February 16, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Science

      To Rainer Braendlein

      Education works for children

      Earth From Space

      Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

      Program Description

      "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

      Peace

      February 16, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    Aint't I right that the behaviour of Obama, Merkel and all the others is very Antichristian. For example, in nearly every speech they lump together all religions as if it would not matter what exactly you believe. They pretend as if you could become blessed through any religion.

    The truth is that only the Christian faith has the power to set you free. Jesus Christ is the only one who can release you. Why do we need to be released? We all have inherited the nature of the fallen Adam, that means we are condemned to sin even if we actually don't want to sin. The sin dwells in our limbs, in our biological body. Through faith and sacramental baptism we get a new second nature, the Holy Spirit beside our old carnal nature. The object of faith and baptism is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. St. Pauls says in Romans 6 that we have died and resurrected together with Jesus through the holy baptism, and if we believe it. Believing it means to overcome the sinful body through the realising power of Christ's sacrifce day by day. All other religions beside Christianity have invented things to exuse or justify the sin of the believer; only the Christian faith requires the believer to really believe, that means to overcome daily by Jesus' power. Keeping the faith means to apply Jesus power daily, and only if we apply Jesus' power daily, we will come through at Judgement Day, and only on this condition Jesus' sacrifice is also an atonement for our sins.

    February 16, 2013 at 7:49 am |
  12. ronvan

    OOO BOY: HOW do you argue, make a valid point, when it comes to religion? BELEIF & FAITH! And I use it for those that beleive and those that don't! IF you beleive and have faith, that YOUR way of thinking is correct, then NO ONE is going to change you! Can you prove, 100% that MY, yes I beleive, God & savior, really exsisted? Can you disprove that, in the name of religion, millions+, have been tortured, burned, murdered? Can you prove that, ALL these religious teachings and books, are 100% accurate? I ALWAYS have many, unanswered, questions, and that is part of MY "journey"!
    I enjoy listening to other peoples views and opinions, as many, bring up, some interesting points, that I think about!

    February 16, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    By the way, I guess we are about to reach the phase of the reign of the Antichrist whereby I am not sure if this is only a single man or the sum of all current politicians.

    For a very long time the rulers of the world at least agreed not to support gayness, gay marriage, same-se-x releationships, etc.. Maybe for a very long time the previous rulers remembered the fate of the ancient inhabitants of Palestine and Sodom and Gomorra which were wiped out from the earth by God for their outrageous gayness.

    We have really reached an extraordinary phase of history when rulers don't remeber any longer the fate of gay peoples, and even dare to promote that crap-behaviour. Of course, God's reaction will be the same like some thousand yeasr before because He is still the same God with the same atti-tudes.

    The mankind suffered a lot from the reign of the forerunners of the Antichrist: Muhammad and the popes. But what we will suffer from the Antichrist is outrageous. May God in Jesus destroy him yet today.

    February 16, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • Middle Earth Antichrist

      Rainman, you seem to be getting more hateful and insane with every post. You haven't bought up some of the old ovens to take care of all of your enenies, have you?

      February 16, 2013 at 7:40 am |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    It doesn't matter what the pope says because anyway he is a hypocrite, and disqualified. The pope doesn't preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ towards the poor, and he has stolen Christ's office as head of the Christian Church. Usurpation has always been a very heavy, culpable crime. The pope (a human dwarf) even dared to usurpe God's throne. Actually, the head of the Christian Church is a person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus Christ is God, but also man. The pope is merely a man, a descendant from the fallen Adam. In contrast, even Christ's human nature is holy because he is no descendant of Adam but the first born or first one of a new mankind, newly created in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Of course, Christ's divine nature is etrnal, and not created: The eternal Son of God became a man, that is the greatest miracle of all history.

    Christ is a marvellous being, he is the reconciliation of the holy Godhead and fallen mandkind. In contrast to Adam the man Jesus Christ remained in God despite superhuman temptations. Adam forsake God without any reason, he even enjoyed the pleasure of God's paradise. Jesus is really a new man, loving God on every condition, at any rate.

    Jesus is a man who is not greedy for honor, power and riches. Jesus resembles King David who was really a king but was not greedy for royal power. The pope is not a king but a rat but he is greedy for power, honor and riches. Hence, the pope is the exact opposite of Jesus Christ, he is almost an incarnation of the devil.

    It is true what the elders said: "The pope is the Western Antichrist, and Muhammad the Eastern Antichrist.", whereby strictly speaking these fools are only forerunners of the Antichrist.

    February 16, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • THE REALIST

      ***************************************************************
      ................ GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit) .......
      ******************** and THANK GOODNESS because ..
      .... he emanates from the EVILbible.com (please visit)
      ***************************************************************

      February 16, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  15. Sara Howells


    .

    February 16, 2013 at 3:45 am |
  16. Cricket

    Who is the hottest princess/Queen in "Once Upon a Time"?

    February 16, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  17. Bootyfunk

    benedict used to go door to door. here's some footage of the pope trying to 'convert' a family:

    February 15, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • ..

      Cracks my ass UP everytime you post this! :)

      February 15, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I love this guy. Is it just a coincidence or does religion make EVERYONE look like their imaginary souls have been sucked out through their anuses?

      February 16, 2013 at 12:43 am |
  18. Dark Matter

    Do you want to know your fate christian demon? Look at the throbbing cancer that festers from your union with the unholy god jesus. You are that cancer. You are the reeking illness, the smell of sick that plagues as all.

    February 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  19. Mohammad A Dar

    Pope Benedict XVI one month from now: I am their leader, which way they go?

    February 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  20. ET the Extra Testicle

    The rain in span falls mainly in the can.

    February 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • ET the Extra Testicle

      Splend is a multi-lovered thing. Yes, I read that story, thx.

      February 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      When I was younger I had a Mad Magazine subscription. When E.T. was out they covered it. I will never forget one of the panels where Eliot (the kid) was rambling about trying to get E.T. home and all E.T. could say was, "Eliot, you're standing on my testicles." That was probably 20 years ago and I still laugh about that.

      February 16, 2013 at 2:17 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.