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Records detail cardinal's failings in abuse scandal
Cardinal Roger Mahony will be deposed Saturday, then head to Rome to vote on next pope.
February 22nd, 2013
07:15 PM ET

Records detail cardinal's failings in abuse scandal

By Wayne Drash, CNN

(CNN) – Told by two families that a visiting priest was suspected of molesting their children in 1988, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles did not immediately notify police. Instead, Cardinal Roger Mahony’s right-hand man alerted the priest – a heads-up that allowed him to flee the country for Mexico.

He remained in the priesthood there for another 21 years, allegedly continuing to molest. He has denied the accusations and remains a fugitive.

Newly released church documents show the behind-the-scenes machinations of top officials within the Los Angeles archdiocese making decisions on how to deal with pedophile priests, hindering police investigations and saying, in private, something completely different than what they said in public.

Mahony, one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church in America at the time, received constant updates on molesting priests and sometimes gave orders on how to deal with cases, including once telling subordinates to deny a police request for a list of altar boys. In at least one case, minute details like retirement benefits were discussed for an admitted molester.

On Saturday, Mahony faced a deposition, answering questions on his handling of the abuse scandal for the first time since the documents' release.

He will journey next to Rome to join the conclave to decide the next pope - a decision that has stirred controversy among advocates of abuse victims and many Catholics.

Anthony De Marco, an attorney who has spent decades representing abuse victims, said the newly released documents surprised even him, because they show “how frequently there was correspondence back and forth between Cardinal Mahony and his top assistants and others after a priest was accused.”

"We know a lot more about his conduct and his words now than we ever have, and I believe that's going to make for a much more thorough deposition," said De Marco, ahead of the deposition he was scheduled to lead.

The archdiocese had fought for years against the documents' being made public. But a judge ordered the release of the material – more than 12,000 pages that detail the extent of sexual abuse within the archdiocese dating back to the 1930s.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” Archbishop Jose Gomez said in rebuking Mahony, his predecessor.

Still, Gomez supports Mahony on his journey to Rome, where he will join the papal conclave in the Sistine Chapel to choose the next pope. In a letter to priests within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Gomez asked them “to pray for Cardinal Mahony as he fulfills this sacred duty as Cardinal Elector.”

“I am confident that Cardinal Mahony’s accomplishments and experience in the areas of immigration, social justice, sacred liturgy, and the role of the laity in the Church will serve the College of Cardinals well,” Gomez said.

‘The children are not traumatized’

The case of the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera is a microcosm of the larger abuse crisis within the church. It will be at the heart of the deposition.

At a time when the archdiocese was widening its base within the ever-growing Latino community in Southern California, Aguilar-Rivera came to the United States from Mexico, in March 1987. Aguilar-Rivera’s bishop in Mexico had asked the Los Angeles archdiocese to take him in.

The archdiocese welcomed him and found a spot for him in two parishes where parents trusted him with their children, unsupervised.

“He even used his status as a newcomer, his need to learn English, as his ruse for getting children alone," said Terry McKiernan, founder of the church watchdog group BishopAccountability.org. "It’s one of the most extreme combinations of devout Catholic people very open to a priest, very respectful of him, and the callousness and carelessness of hierarchy on both sides of the border about the dangers that this priest posed."

McKiernan added, “This is a man who was a total predator, whose entire life and being seemed to be focused on abusing children.”

Once in the United States, Aguilar-Rivera was first sent to work at Our Lady of Guadalupe, a church with a largely Mexican-American population in East Los Angeles. The bishop for that area, Juan Arzube, Mahony’s vicar general for the San Gabriel Region, had once been accused of molestation and often lobbied on behalf of molesting priests, arguing they deserved to be forgiven, the documents show.

Arzube denied molesting any children himself, but admitted under deposition to being alone with altar boys on many occasions in his rectory apartment. His name was part of a massive civil lawsuit settled with accusers in 2007.

Arzube’s cavalier attitude toward sexual abuse is summed up in a 1980 document in which he lobbied for reinstatement of a priest who had been stripped of his duties, for a second time, because he molested altar boys. “How many priests are there completely guiltless over a period of 10 years?” said Arzube, who died on Christmas Day in 2007 at age 89.

The first inkling of Aguilar-Rivera’s alleged ­actions in America came on Friday January 8, 1988, when two families – “all trustworthy people” – informed their pastor that they believed their children had been molested. The priest, in turn, told Thomas Curry, the vicar of clergy and Mahony’s second in command.

One incident “happened at Christmas when Father visited the other family,” Curry told Mahony in a letter dated January 10, 1988. “There was a good deal of drinking, and the family asked him to stay. He slept in the room with the children and is supposed to have gotten into bed with one of the boys that night.”

The principal of the boys’ school, Curry noted, had been informed of the accusations and “will be obliged to report it to police.”

But the church didn’t respond by first alerting police. Instead, Curry met with Aguilar-Rivera at the church the day after the allegations were made, a Saturday morning, and informed him that a police investigation would be launched.

“I offered to find a place for him to live until he could make other arrangements, but he volunteered that he would stay with his sister here and leave for Mexico on Monday or Tuesday of this week,” Curry wrote Mahony.

“… He asked that his bishop not be told, and I said that would not be possible. I told him the charges as I knew them, although I did not give the names of the families. He denied all, although he admitted that there was a good deal of drinking at Christmas. I told him that it was likely the accusations would be reported to the police and that he was in a good deal of danger.”

The documents show no suggestion on Curry’s or Mahony’s part that Aguilar-Rivera stay in the United States, cooperate with authorities and face the allegations.

Armed with the information, Aguilar-Rivera skipped town before police were notified on Monday, apparently by the school principal. That day, a detective asked an official within the archdiocese if Aguilar-Rivera intended to flee to Mexico.

“I said I was not sure,” said the official, who is not named in the documents. “I also said that Nicolas knew that it would probably be reported to the police, and that I had explained that some people were bound to report.”

Law enforcement took the allegations seriously and launched an investigation, even accusing the church of not fully cooperating with its efforts – an accusation that would eventually go public in a story in the Los Angeles Times.

One document says that a boy’s relative “had heard” that cops had accused church officials of a cover-up. “The family does not want any trouble,” said the memo dated January 21, 1988. “They want [Aguilar-Rivera] to receive help and that he not be able to do this again.”

The memo added, “The children are not traumatized.”

Five days later, police pushed for a list of altar boys at St. Agatha’s, the second parish where Aguilar-Rivera worked. This request sent archdiocese officials into a frenzy.

Curry wrote Mahony that he believed the church should not cooperate. “We have no evidence that Father Aguilar-Rivera was involved with altar boys as such,” Curry wrote on January 26, 1988. “All the boys involved were members of families he was friendly with in Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the alleged abuse took place while he was visiting these families or while they were visiting him.”

The pastor at St. Agatha, Curry continued, had no knowledge of abuse on his premises and “his concern is that if the police come and interview the boys, the matter will spread around the parish. The parish there is a black-Hispanic one, and he finds his situation as an Anglo pastor a very delicate one.”

“The whole issue of our records is a very sensitive one, and I am reluctant to give any list to the police,” Curry concluded. “We are being friendly but firm.”

At the bottom of the typed letter is a handwritten message from Mahony. “We cannot give such a list for no cause whatsoever,” he scrawled on the page, initializing it with “RMM.”

He underlined “cannot” for extra emphasis.

None of the archdiocese officials were ever charged with obstruction of justice.

Police eventually got the altar boy list, with no help from the archdiocese. Investigators learned the extent of Aguilar-Rivera’s alleged crimes by interviewing boys ranging in age from about 9 to 13.

In all, police said, 26 boys were molested in just nine months, many of them repeatedly. Aguilar-Rivera would eventually be charged in a felony complaint relating to 10 boys, with 19 counts of committing a lewd act with a child.

A Los Angeles Times reporter asked the archdiocese for comment at the time; its public statement stands in direct contrast to what the newly released documents reveal. “He was asked to stay in the country to face the accusations against him, but he chose to leave,” said Joseph Battaglia, the spokesman for the archdiocese.

In the article, police said the church was being less than forthcoming with investigators; a father of two of the alleged victims said simply, “The church shouldn’t be telling lies.”

With the allegations now in the open, the tone of archdiocese officials shifted. Three days later, Curry wrote Aguilar-Rivera’s bishop in Mexico and included a copy of the Los Angeles Times’ story.

“May I request that if you know of the whereabouts of Father Aguilar-Rivera,” Curry said, “you urge him most strongly to return here to answer the allegations that have been made against him.”

While on the run, Aguilar-Rivera even called the home of one of the boys he allegedly molested.

“Don’t you know everybody is looking for you?” the mother said, according to a March 11, 1988, memo.

“For what?” Aguilar-Rivera responded.

Aguilar-Rivera would remain in the priesthood in Mexico - for another 21 years. He would be dogged of more molestation allegations while there.

A civil suit filed in the United States in 2010 by a Mexican citizen alleged Aguilar-Rivera raped him when he was a 12-year-old altar boy in Mexico. The suit alleges Mahony and a Mexican cardinal conspired to hide Aguilar-Rivera between the two countries with full knowledge of his alleged pedophilia, putting an untold number of children at risk. Mahony has denied the allegations.

Aguilar-Rivera was convicted in Mexico in 2003 of a misdemeanor sex abuse charge, but was allowed to walk free while the case was under appeal, according to the Dallas Morning News.

He remains on Mexico’s federal prosecutor’s Most Want List wanted on charges of rape and indecent assault.

Aguilar-Rivera was finally stripped of his duties in 2009 by the Vatican, which approved his removal from “clerical state, a priest who has been accused of the sexual abuse of minors in Mexico and the United States,” the Catholic News Agency reported on July 31, 2009.

Attorney De Marco said it’s disgusting church authorities did nothing to stop him.

“He was able to walk around with the authority of the collar in a country where that authority carries more significance than it does here,” De Marco said. “How could anyone ever justify that 21-year delay? This man molested 26 children in nine months in the United States. How many more were there over 21 years?”

Aguilar-Rivera, now 71, is believed to be alive, a free man in Mexico.

Mahony prays for humiliation

Mahony, who turns 77 next week, was appointed archbishop of Los Angeles by Pope John Paul II in 1985, overseeing the archdiocese until 2011 when he retired. In 1991, he became a cardinal, the highest-ranking Catholic clergy below the pope.

McKiernan, who launched BishopAccountability.org in 2003 to keep track of the widespread church abuse, said the recently released documents show the scope and magnitude of Mahony’s and Curry’s efforts in “intentionally evading the authorities.”

“We didn’t have evidence of that before. It’s actually more stark,” he said. “You can tell from these documents Mahony was trying to keep abused priests away from police. ­… The document record is a disgraceful one.”

Curry stepped down earlier this month as the regional bishop of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and “publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as vicar for clergy,” archbishop Gomez said in announcing the resignation.

Mahony has said he has long acknowledged mistakes in the 1980s and that he improved the reporting mechanisms of priestly abuse in the years that followed.

He has recently taken to his personal blog, scribing an array of posts about praying for humiliation.

“… I am for the first time realizing that I should be praying for the very things from which I cringe, the disgrace I abhor, the fool that I seem,” he blogged on February 15.

In a post this week, he asked followers for “your prayers and your encouragements in my own life to handle all of my mistakes, omissions, and commissions as God asks, and as Jesus and Mary lived out: to take in what swirls around me, to hold it, to carry it, to transform it and to give it back as grace, blessing and gift.”

De Marco, the attorney conducting the deposition, said Mahony should feel one emotion far greater than humiliation: shame.

Amid calls for Mahony to not travel to Rome, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles remains steadfast in its support of his trip, saying canon law dictates that he attend.

Catholics United, a liberal-leaning group that pushes for social justice within the church, and SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) said they delivered a petition with close to 10,000 signatures to Saint Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood on Saturday, asking for Mahony not to attend the conclave.

"His participation in the conclave would only bring clouds of shame at a time that should bring springs of hope. Cardinal Mahony, please, stay home," said Chris Pumpelly, Catholics United's communications director.

There is no indication he will.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: California • Catholic Church • Mexico • Pope • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (459 Responses)
  1. Jesus Christ Son of God

    That face at the top of the article...really makes you want to get to church and praise the lord...doesn't it? I'm coming back from the dead, so you better not be naughty, better be nice...

    February 23, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Dan

      Wow. I was going to go kill someone but Jesus might come back so I had better not do that.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • No, no

      You do know being JC and all, that they reguire people to get on their knees in their joints.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Jesus Christ Son of God

      I am the savior, I saved Dan. Praise the lord (he's my dad, I've been told, but I think Joesph actually got Mary first).

      February 23, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  2. Dan

    Do as the church says not as they do.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  3. lojayejay

    forgive the abusive priest...take care of them physically spiritually mentally....give them love...but....keep them away from children....and don't forget to pray for the abused and the abuser... the priest may not know what they do...they may be demon possessed.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Dan

      The priest knew what he is doing and nobody is possessed by demons.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Russells Teapot

      People still believe in demonic possession in this day and age?

      February 23, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Mike

      Are you serious?

      If so, you have many issues.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      ".take care of them physically spiritually mentally....give them love".
      Zero interest in taking care of them physically or loving them.
      Also: And don't tell others what they should be doing, even though that is the religious way.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • realbuckyball

      "demons". hahahaha
      Do they have green foam from their mouths ? Do they make funny noises ?

      February 23, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Doobs

      He knew what he was doing, That's why he ran to Mexico to avoid prosecution.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Talk about passing the buck!! This man is completely to blame for his crimes.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      strap these priests face down nekkid on a greek freighter

      February 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  4. Kevin

    ICatholicism i true allegorically, not literally, which is why I am stll converting to it even I am rationalist. The faith is a religious allegory of secular truths. For exampple, the resurrction is not literal but metaphorical for literal existence after death since when the body is intact and healthy, I don't feel pain. But, when the body breaks down, (I am injured), then I feel pain. Death is the ultimate breaking down of the body and thus, I have to have a soul since there has to be a "me" that feels pain forever since my body is breaking down in death and there is no healing to relieve me from the pain.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • wow

      Wow.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • David Sutton

      Kevin as a catholic I believe in the truth of the Resurrection of body and soul. My pastor Fr, Bill assures me that we are created for eternal life. We shall have a physical, and glorified body. I will (in Heaven) be able to recognize you, and you me. For those
      of us who believe the Kingdom is unfolding now, but less clearly. By sharing in Jesus' resurrection we will be resurrected just as he was. The church on earth, though imperfect, brings the Good News of salvation. Yet the Spirit works through all things, and persons. Love will see us through. Jesus Abides.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:44 am |
  5. Tim

    "After grilling, " I'm glad they love a good bar b q. Those Ittalians love to cook !!

    February 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  6. MaryAngeline

    Catholic Church is the epitome of the Good Ole Boys network.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • sybaris

      "good ole little boys"

      there, I fixed it for ya

      February 23, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  7. EPAB

    My guess is he never returns from the Vatican, just like Bernard Law.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Cloistered

      in the cloister. Benny is going to have lots of company in that old nunnery if all the guilty are brought in for shelter from the law.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  8. Dan

    Mahony looks like a kid toucher.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • marjee123

      I think it is a shame they don't let women in to their club. I mean women are more used to wearing dresses and hats. If they knew how ridculous they look. I am no longer a Catholic, but I used to get shhhh up more often than enough when I used to ask my parents if the priests were men or women because of the dresses.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Dan

      The will never let women into their club. They would not conceal the molestations and the church discriminates against women anyway.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  9. Devonna Nobles

    Matthew ; 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

    6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

    8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

    9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • MaryAngeline

      What the heck are you talking about?

      February 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      "A little more than kin, and less than kind"
      See I can quote things written long ago and not give any insight or discussion as to why as well.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • David Sutton

      Yes Jesus tells us not to be hypocrites. We can be very full of ourselves. I think personal prayer is the answer. It balances us.
      God does not need our prayer, nor does he need us actually. By praying to God we acknowledge that we are not our own God.
      To those of us who love God he is our daily bread. Turn to Him and trust him with your whole being. Sorry if I preach.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:53 am |
  10. paulronco

    And the Catholic Church wonders why it's losing membership, and its moral clout. This guy is deposed for pedophilia and now he gets to elect Christ's supposed intercessor on Earth? It's hard to see Congress treating Wall Street executives any better... I wouldn't want my kids to have any part of this church either.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  11. LCF

    Everything is going as planed. Hope old grey beard honors his bet.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
  12. abmri60

    It has be revealed that there is a gay network inside the Vatican, besides Mahony and Dolan are questioned about child abuse cases under their supervision ? They should withdraw themselves from the conclave....

    February 23, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Zwei Stein

      They should withdraw themselves from the Human race.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Jesus Christ Son of God

      They are all gay. Have you ever seen any babes in the vatican? And if there were, they wouldn't look at these collection of walking dead.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Irrational Exuberance

      If you eliminate all the pedophle enabling cardinals who would be left to vote?
      Are you basing that remaineder on how many have been caught, or how many there actually are?

      To even think that the entire catholic church has not been complicit in this is no longer plausible. Martin Luther drove a nail centuries ago. Why have no cardinals done so?

      It seems not a single one believed strongly enough to actually take a stand.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      They should withdraw themselves from the children.
      Not nice I know, but true.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  13. Name*penguin

    Why anyone would attend Church is a mystery to me. One can believe in God without going to church

    February 23, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • December

      Communtiy.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  14. Bostontola

    Quiz: who was worshipped as the son of god, born to human mother, had followers that were born again through water, was executed, resurrected, and returned to heaven with the father?

    A) Jesus
    B) Dionysus
    C) Osiris
    D) All of the above

    Answer: D
    Osiris was conceived. 2500 years before Jesus, Dionysus centuries before Jesus. An amazing coincidence.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Jesus Christ Son of God

      Damn. I thought I was first.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Tom

      Question: Which one can change your life today?

      Answer: A – Jesus.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Zwei Stein

      That story works every time!

      February 23, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Dan

      They brain-washed religious nuts pass this absurd nonsense on to their children and the names change over time.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • d

      Hi, source please.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Bostontola

      Tom, I would never question whether Jesus changed your life. I'm sure Dionysus and Osiris changed people's lives also. I'm sure they got great comfort from accepting them as god and felt protected and safer.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Alf

      In reality none of those others experienced what you are falsely claiming they did but as many have noted atheism is never hindered by the truth. It would be an amazing coincidence except the only one listed that experienced that life was Jesus of Nazareth.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • rolick

      Bostontola, I guess your right.

      But given the opportunity, a Bacchanalian driniking party could still change my life, riight now, today. So I will have to stick with Dionysus on this one.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Bostontola

      Alf, I didn't say the stories are true, I said that is the mythology. Dionysus story says he was the son of Zeus to a human mother (Semele). He was brutally killed but was resurrected and returned to be by Zeus' side as a god. I didn't write this, the Greeks did.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • sandy

      Osiris was the son of earth god Geb,and the sky goddess Nut, also the brother and husband of Isis. He was the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He inpregnated Isis with a golden penis.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Facts

      Similarities to the resurrection story of Jesus:

      Both died, both were brought back to some kind of existence after life

      Dissimilarities to the resurrection story of Jesus:

      Life: Osiris allegedly ruled on earth as a god-king over all of Egypt, Jesus did not rule as an earthly king, but proclaimed the Kingdom of Heaven as having arrived on earth

      Death: Osiris was duped into his demise, Jesus sacrificially and willingly died for all mankind

      Resurrection: Osiris was pieced back to together by other gods out of Isis’ desire for her dead husband, Jesus was raised to a new life having conquered physical death giving hope to all mankind

      Afterlife: Osiris was raised to the position of Ruler of the Underworld, Jesus was raised to a new body, the firstborn of the resurrected, and rules with God over all creation

      February 23, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Facts

      Most of the alleged parallels between Christianity and mystery religions, upon close scrutiny will show that Christian elements predate mythological elements.

      In cases where they do not, it is often Jewish elements which predate both Christianity and the myth, and which lent themselves to both religions.

      In the case of all three, there is NO EVIDENCE earlier than the SECOND century A.D.(after JESUS) for the supposed "resurrection" of these mystery gods.

      Everything before this is pictures drawn on a wall. It is up to interpretation. And great leaps are taken to assume a virgin birth, for one thing.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Bostontola

      The stories don't have to be identical to make the key point. The story of god having a son on earth with a human mother, the son being killed and resurrected as a god is a theme predating Jesus. That is a fact. It doesn't mean the story of Jesus isn't a beautiful one with deep meaning. The Jesus story did add new ideas like sacrifice for man. All religions and myths have deep human meaning and insight. I would hope that latter stories would add new insights to human feelings, strengths, and foibles. The Christ story doesn't disappoint.

      February 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
  15. Zwei Stein

    He will lie under oath.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      Probably so. He has already not told the truth in the eyes of what he considers to be the most mighty of all law givers.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  16. Jesus Christ Son of God

    s e x u a l l y a b u s i n g a l t e r b o y s

    February 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  17. Topher

    Good morning, everyone! What shall we talk about this morning?

    February 23, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Jesus freak poster

      Topher
      How about the topic of the article, we have had enough of your other BS.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Topher

      So let's talk about it.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Jesus freak poster

      Topher
      Go right ahead, if you have anything relevant to say on the TOPIC that warrants a response you may get one.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • sam stone

      how about we talk about how you are making a positive difference in the world by showing people the absurdity of your views?

      how about we talk about you wish to deny one group of sinners their civil rights when you do not do the same to other sinners?

      how about we talk about how religion is responsible for much self-loathing ("i'm a filthy sinner")?

      February 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      pretty much what you prove all the time, topher....you are a bigot and a coward.

      get back on your knees and beg your pr1ck god for salvation.

      you are a testicularly challenged gash

      February 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      Why do you puport to want to dscuss things when it is obvious to everyone that you just want to preach?

      February 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  18. Jesus Christ Son of God

    sheeple

    February 23, 2013 at 10:13 am |
  19. Chedar

    S H A M E , S H A M E, S H A M E!

    February 23, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  20. Jesus Christ Son of God

    My post are not showing up...what words am I using that filter me out? Let me try a few.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Rick

      Maybe it can tell that you are a son of Satan.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • MaryAngeline

      Wonder why??? Your name alone shows you are more than a little unbalanced!

      February 23, 2013 at 10:31 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.