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Pope Francis on hot-button issues
July 29th, 2013
08:48 AM ET

Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

By John L. Allen Jr. and Hada Messia, CNN

Aboard the Papal Airplane (CNN) - Pope Francis said Monday that he will not "judge" gays and lesbians, including gay priests, signaling a shift from his predecessor and offering another sign that the new pope is committed to changing the church's approach to historically marginalized groups.

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said in a wide-ranging news conference aboard the papal plane.

Though he was answering a question about the so-called "gay lobby" at the Vatican, the pope indicated a change in tone, if not in teaching, in the church's stance towards gays and lesbians more generally.

The pope was flying back to Rome from Brazil, where he spent the past week celebrating World Youth Day, an international Catholic event that drew millions.

Taking questions from reporters aboard the plane, the pope addressed nearly every hot-button issue facing the Roman Catholic Church: its alleged "gay lobby," Vatican bank corruption, the role of women, abortion, homosexuality and his own personal security.

But it was the pope's remarks on homosexuality - the fact that the head of a 1 billion-member church said that it's not his place to judge gays - that caused the widest stir.

"Pope Francis's brief comment on gays reveals great mercy," said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at America, a Catholic magazine based in New York.

"Today Pope Francis has, once again, lived out the Gospel message of compassion for everyone," Martin said.

The pontiff spoke  for an hour and a half in the back of the plane that was carrying him back to Italy after his first international trip as pope to Brazil, where he was greeted by massive, frenzied crowds at every turn.

"I'm happy. It has been a beautiful trip, spiritually speaking; it has been good to me. I'm tired enough but with a heart full of joy," he said.

Here are the highlights from his press conference.

On the 'gay lobby' and homosexuality

The pope addressed the issue of an alleged "gay lobby" within the church. Hints that the Holy See contained a network of gay clergy surfaced last year in reports about a series of embarrassing leaks to Italian journalists.

The "Vatileaks" scandal factored in Benedict's shocking decision to resign this year, according to some church experts, as it impressed upon the 86-year-old pontiff that the modern papacy requires a vigorous and watchful presence.

"There's a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I've never seen it on the Vatican ID card!" Francis said.

"When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency (to homosexuality) is not the problem ... they're our brothers."

The problem, he said was, lobbies that work against the interest of the church.

In 2005, during the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican issued directives barring from the priesthood men "who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called 'gay culture.'"

Francis' brief remarks seem to signal a sharp shift from that policy.

On women

The pope also spoke out about the role of women in the church, saying it needs to be deeper and not end. But he brushed aside the possibility of ordaining women as priests, saying the church had spoken on the matter: "The church says no. That door is closed." He did say that more work needed to be done theologically on the role of women in the church.

On abortion

Pope watchers have noted that Francis said little to nothing about abortion on his trip to Brazil. Abortion is illegal in Brazil, except for cases in which the health of the mother is at risk. Laws were recently changed to allow abortions in cases in which the child would be born with certain life-threatening birth defects.

The pope said he had nothing to say on the trip about abortion because the church teachings against it were clear and this trip was the time for "positive" news.

On divorce

"I believe this is a time of mercy, a change of epoch," the pope said when asked about divorce. He said the group of eight cardinals tasked with reform will explore the issue of whether divorcees can receive Communion, which they are currently barred from doing.

On the Vatican Bank

The pope conceded he was unsure what to do with the Vatican Bank, which is known by its acronym IOR.

"Some say that it would be better if it were a bank, others say that it should be a foundation. Other say to shut it down. These are the suggestions going around. I don't know. I trust the commission's members that are working on the IOR. But I wouldn't be able to tell you how this story is going to end."

And as for what was in the black leather bag he carried onto the plane? A razor, a prayer book, a diary and a book about St. Theresa, but, the pope joked, "Certainly not the keys to the atomic bomb!"

He said he carried his own bags because, "It's normal, we have to be normal. We have to be accustomed to being normal."

CNN's Eric Marrapodi and Daniel Burke contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Brazil • Catholic Church • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,302 Responses)
  1. curiosguy9992

    This guy, just like so many popes before him – is making up edicts to fit the times and meet the pressures of the present day.

    No Meat on Fridays? – made up by the Church.
    Meat on Fridays? – made up by the Church.
    Women can't be priests? – made up by the Church.
    Priests can't marry? – made up by the Church.
    Priests must be celibate? – made up by the Church.

    So much is just so shamelessly made up, I just can't take any of the Vatican's statements seriously, to say nothing of the lack of any logical reasoning for believing in a supreme being.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Laura H.

      I don't understand what you mean by "made up". All religious practices are "made up": all religions decide what teachings to follow. Also, some of those are just policy decisions, not required beliefs (e.g., no female priests/ministers).

      July 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  2. ID

    I do like Pope Francis. He's definitely a good man.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  3. abmri60

    God made us all, straight or gay, what difference does it make, really ??

    July 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Mack

      Don't lie on GOD being gay is a choice. GOD will not make anybody gay. People choose to live that life style and it is an abomination to GOD.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • QS

        LMAO! These nuts are my favorite! So completely deluded that they aren't even aware of how truly insane they sound.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • leah

        If being gay or straight is a choice, then people can theoretically go back & forth (i.e. change their mind or be tempted back & forth). That means you are on the same footing as gays. The potential is always there.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        you are an i diot mack.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Mack: Does it feel good to be an uneducated bigot and portray that to the world?? Your parents must be so proud of you!

        July 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  4. Christian

    Pope is not to judge anyone – THATS what he forgot to mention. Jesus will be judging when He comes back. And as Bible says – there will be no mercy to sinners this time. As God said " Nothing unclean can enter my kingdom".

    July 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Yeah, thats not going to happen. Chill out, gods probably not real.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
      • Mack

        We will all find out one day. Please don't end up in hell for ETERNITY. Ask for forgiveness.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • snowboarder

          hell is an imaginary place with which to frighten the children and weak minded.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • newsrell

          Threatening non-believers ? fascist religion ? Thanks for making it clear to the whole world what your religion really is.

          July 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • BE

      All humans sin (i.e. unclean).

      July 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      If it is as you believe, that god created everything, did he really create anything that is "unclean"? Isn't dirt just a collection of various elements, that when broken down into their elements, they are just individual atoms, and so are not unclean.
      As far as human behavior, nothing again would be unclean to a god that made all actions possible, made all people, created emotions.

      On the other hand, people love to judge what is "unclean" in others. Further evidence that no gods played any part of your bible, since the whole concept of judging others is a trait that many animals have, most notably humans.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Snow

      why is it that you people take such great glee at pointing out how much suffering others await? Just because they are different from your mental description of how others "should be"?

      I think it is just your way of showing the darkness of your heart while trying to snivel your way around the so called "rules of the book"

      July 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Keith Gardner

      Arent we all "unclean"? Isn't that the general message of the Bible? We are ALL unclean and He washed us clean with his blood. And if your argument is something to the effect "but they continue to commit unclean acts", are you suggesting that you haven't sinned since you were saved?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        That is truly disgusting. By the way, if you ever washed in blood, you would be very unclean and looking for the nearest soap and anti-bacterial soap you could find.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Keith Gardner

          So, I see you don't understand being "bathed in the blood of Christ". That's ok.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  5. Amanda O.

    People should lighten up on the Pope. He is just being compassionate. God is the one that judges and decides others' fates, not man.

    July 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      No, judges and jury's judge us, not an invisible man in the sky.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Jeff

      "God is the evil dick. Not the Pope."

      That's a great religion you got there.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Pedophile Hater

      Then tell The Pope to heed your advice.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  6. Billy Shears

    Please Mary, tell us what Jesus said about gays?

    July 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Merrillee

      Mary can't, because Jesus never said a word about gays.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  7. ReligionIsBS

    Pope Francis on gays: "This feels pretty good, dont let me off"

    July 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  8. Jeff

    I 100% believe that Jesus existed and that he was the son of God, but I willfully exclude him from my heart. I cannot in good conscience submit to a egotistical jealous god that has no respect for most of humanity. I would rather burn in hell with my fellow humans for eternity, than spend a second in paradise with the evil monster you refer to as God. I consider myself to be a moral person, and for that reason, I will not violate my principles, even for the creator of all things. God should be ashamed of himself.

    July 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      So... Selfish wisdoms are better then wanton wisdoms grown upon greener lands...?

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ46Ot4_lLo&w=640&h=390]

      July 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • iaucourant

      Why would you describe Jesus as a monster? I'm not trying to argue or anything, really, I'm just curious to know what has made you think of him in that way?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • Jeff

        Jesus is a monster because he has the power to cure the sick, but chooses not to. He could warn us about every earthquake and tsunami and chooses not to. He could make limbs grow back but chooses not to. He could stop children from having birth defects, but he chooses not to. If I had the power to cure even a single child with Down syndrome, but choose not to, I would too be a monster.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • coolbreze61

      Unless God has reveled 100% of his plan for this world personally to you then shut your mouth. We believe because of something called faith. Faith that God knows what he his doing, even if it doesn't make sense to us now. It's your free will not to believe, but you are the one that should be ashamed.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • Jeff

        God should feel ashamed for creating such an evil world and then punishing people for not being better. He could have easily created humans with better genes, made humans be more prone to honesty and compassion. Instead he made humans mostly concerned about survival. He made children have health defects that make them violent or very sick. God created so much evil. He should be ashamed.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Mack

          Don't question GOD

          July 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • QS

          Question everyting.....including and especially any person who demands that you not question anything.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Don't question GOD'

          The god of the OT needs to be called out for the nasty evil psycho SOB that he is.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Chris

          Jeff – The GOD that you are referring to is Satan the Devil. He should be ashamed! The first PERFECT humans never had to grow old and die (children would never get sick) but Satan convinced them to disobey God. They then lost God's protection and we are all suffering because of Satan's lies. Satan continues to lie and make us believe we can live without God. Satan is the evil monster who was a perfect angel and made himself into an opposer and a lier that caused the downfall of mankind. God and his son promises to restore perfect human life to those who are obedient. Genesis 3:15. Rev 21:3-4

          July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Chris....but Satan convinced them to disobey God. They then lost God's protection and we are all suffering because of Satan's lies. Satan continues to lie and make us believe we can live without God. Satan is the evil monster who was a perfect angel and made himself into an opposer and a lier that caused the downfall of mankind.'

          Well now Chris you have a problem. Does god know everything that will happen or not? If so then he knew what satan would do when he first created him and must have therefore created him deliberately for this very purpose and thus created evil and sin, not satan.
          Unless you are saying god made a mistake and created a flawed angel that would rebel against him.

          So which is it? did god make satan specifically to introduce evil into the world or did he make a mistake?

          July 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • QS

        Faith...religious code word for "too scared to face reality".

        July 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Paul

      Jeff – God has nothing to do with religion. God is the first law of thermodynamics in action. The conservation and collection of the conserved intellect of every being that ever lived anywhere in the cosmos. All intellect stratifies by the nature it left the earth with. Some good, some evil. No one gets condemned to anything by God. That was all invented to scare uneducated masses into doing as they were told. What you see here is the confluence of the ascension of mankind and the decline of Religion. Spirituality opens minds and Religion closes them. They will have their Apocalyptic end but it will be more of a whimper than a roar.

      July 29, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  9. Felix Sinclair

    I like this guy. He'd make a great atheist.

    July 29, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  10. dl

    Who IS that guy? Christianity is built on the principles of judging others, condemning & punishing them... all the while being 'holier than thou'...??!

    July 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • fred

      try again

      July 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No, that's the straw man you've been arguing over since you became an atheist in eighth grade. This pope is showing you what Catholic Christianity is.

      July 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • QS

      This must be like how conservative voters must view a moderate conservative politician – Catholics must see this Pope as a threat to their entire ideology and worldview....but I don't understand why they're so upset, it's not like this Pope has actually said anything other than "go ahead and be gay, just remember you'll still have to apologize for it when you die."

      Why people think this is some miraculous evolution of the Catholic church is frankly beyond me.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • margaret mahoney

      I find that the people who put the Bible down is the very people who know they go over the line and want to blame God to make them selves feel better. It's called free will. Each person is to blame for their own actions, not something or anyone else.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • QS

        I find that the people who hold the bible up as the pinnacle of morality are the very people who use their version of "god" to put others down to make themselves feel better.

        The only thing true about any religion, is that they all induce self-righteousness in their followers.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  11. Pedophile Hater

    My poor grandmother finally made it to a wait list for Heaven with the help of several Popes! She went to Hell when she died in the 1950's, but a Vatican II overruling gave her a stay and upgrade to Purgatory after a layover in Limbo. If this one calls Vatican III, she might just get there!

    July 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • dl

      what it'd co$t?

      July 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Perhaps she is stranded in a lounge somewhere. Did she leak any secrets important to the Church? Is she unwilling to take asylum in hell should it be offered (no guarantees, you understand).

      July 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • Pedophile Hater

        Worse. She knowingly ate meat on Friday, missed Mass on countless Holy Days of Obligation, you know, pure John XXIII Evil.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jeff

      I hear it's all about the personal essay you submit, and your holy grades are considered after that. Have your grandmother do some ghost interning for the summer to pad her resume.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • Pedophile Hater

        She's considering Six Sigma Ghost Belt certification.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • sam

          LOL

          July 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  12. Jim Rome

    Begs the question, "Why the change of heart suddenly?" Could it be that NO ONE is going to church any more because of the toxic, fascist message?

    July 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • John

      I think people get a very distorted view of the bible and miss its entire teachings. Jesus said "those without sin can cast the first stone". It is not up to the pope to pass judgement because none of us are without sin. The man's not only talking the talk, he's walking the walk.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • ReligionIsBS

        Thats because most relgious people dont even read the bible, they just reiterate what jesus may have said in it. Read the bible and try not to throw up, i dare you.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • John

          I read a chapter out of the bible every day. So please do not ask me to do so and not throw up. Reiterating what jesus and the lord says is basically the most crucial elements of the bible. Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery. The problem with the "those without sin can cast the first stone" is people read that as a license to sin which it is not. Also dealing with anyone opposed to the bible people will just spout of nonsense just to try and gain disapproval for their own hatred for the teachings.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • QS

        Sin is a manmade concept no different than a parent using a guilt-trip on a kid to make them feel bad about something they did, whether it was actually wrong or not.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  13. rangelw1

    This Pope is really cool!!! I think he is an atheist!! I like him.

    July 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  14. publicdole

    Life, morals, authorities, laws, etc are all a joke. Nothing more than a control mechanism so the people in power get their way.

    July 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • fred

      morals are a joke, laws are a joke? you're a joke with that weaka$$ argument

      July 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  15. mary

    Sorry.. The bible is very clear on certain things.. Marriage, fornication, incest, greed, sealing, killing, lying, adultery, lying with the same gender.. etc.
    What the bible says is not to judge.. to cast stones..
    It also says God is the same today yesterday and forever.. His word does not change..
    So though the church has decided to say something is NOW ok.. They are not speaking for God.. Who says he "has spoken"..
    Its a the sign of the times, that the church is now turning more into the law of man, than of God.
    So how can it be a church of God if they follow mans law???

    July 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Observer

      mary,

      The Bible supports slavery, too. Are you wanting that to be in effect?

      It's all pick-and-choose.

      July 29, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • QS

      Well, at least you got the "sorry" part right.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Zombie God

      mary

      Sorry.. The bible is very clear on certain things
      >
      Translation>>>> I pick and choose

      July 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Since men created the bible, They should be allowed to change it around as they see fit, like they did, many, many times in its history. Why can't men change what men created in the first place?
      If it makes you feel better, they could claim that god wanted it changed, and inspired them to do so.

      And if it really makes you feel better, god inspired me to write this to you.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Stevie49

      If that's the case, find the nearest town that contains at least one atheist and burn all of it and everyone that lives there to the ground. The bible is quite clear about this.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • skarphace

      "The bible is very clear on certain things.. Marriage"

      Ok, you can stop right there. The only thing about marriage that the Bible is clear on is that Marriage should be until death. Therefore, according to you, who wants to take certain parts of the Bible literally, Divorce should be illegal. Why don't you start there and worry about the lifestyles of others later. Good luck!

      July 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • mary

      I would love to feel I can do anything I please and convince God its ok..
      But though many of you think thats how its done..I don't..
      And those that do not believe there is a creator.. OR those that do and feel he has no say in how they conduct their lives.
      Well..Thats your choice.
      And being nasty doesn't change a thing.. What is 'is'..
      And what isn't... 'isn't'..
      I dont care how any of you feel, what you believe or don't believe.. And the last thing I care about his how any of you conduct your lives.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • sam

        Thank goodness there are enough humans on this planet that can actually behave themselves and treat others fairly without requiring an ancient book to 'teach' them how.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • mary

          Well sorry..That wouldn't be YOU..OR any other person on her blasting religion..
          You all judge and judge hatefully...
          So believe you are better off for not having faith.. the comments prove the opposite.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
      • Observer

        mary,

        Do you support slavery like the Bible does or just pick-and-choose not to?

        July 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • skarphace

      "What the bible says is not to judge."

      Not exactly. There are many examples of holy people in the Bible who judged others. However, it was Jesus who said not to judge others. Judgment is the responsibility of God, not man.

      "His word does not change."

      Sure, but the Bible was written over 2,000 years ago and translated many times before it was written in English. In addition, it was written mostly in the form of parables, which are stories which are meant to be interpreted. If the Bible was straight forward, we would not need preachers to interpret the meanings of these parables for us, we could just read it and be done with it. Therefore, even though the words themselves may not change (although with translations even that is suspect), the interpretation of those words do indeed change. This was the intent, which makes the words of the Bible able to be relevant to any time.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  16. stuffregal

    It's disappointing that Pope is admitting that gays should be integrated into society. Being a gay is not Biblical and therefore it shouldn't be allowed in any Christian society.

    July 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Observer

      stuffregal,

      Do you believe EVERYTHING in the Bible or are you just another hypocrite who picks and chooses?

      July 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • mary

        People that think they know everything in the bible and have the nerve to be hateful to those that might actually have studied it.. Are a joke..

        July 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Felix Sinclair

      I hope you don't eat bacon. Or shrimp. And you know you're not allowed to judge others, right? Oh, and have you sold everything you owned and given all of the money to the poor? I didn't think so.

      July 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Armando

      it is also biblical to STONE "unruly" children it is also biblical to "not eat shellfish" it is also biblical to treat women in the same level as cattle and any other animal as well as it is also biblical to mutilate your children at birth. But hey I haven't read all of the bible and I don't know all of that is in it. How about you stop judging others when you don't even know your own holy book from cover to cover.

      July 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • mary

        People that are making your absurd arguments are arguing the old testament.. Its obsolete and for reference only..
        AS that was a time when all men were condemned to death , as Christ had not been born yet.To atone for sin.
        But then.. How could you know that?
        You don't know anything but certain passages , the cliche' ones you all come up with to argue with~!

        July 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          funny because the anti-gay biblical comments usually posted are also OT.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • justwondering

          20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

          That is leviticus... from the OLD testament... the part of the bible you chose to dismiss. "People that are making your absurd arguments are arguing the old testament.. Its obsolete and for reference only.."

          sound familiar?

          Just curious but, if the old testament is obsolete then why not the new? What exactly is the expiration date?

          July 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
      • Paul

        You left out the one where touching Mt.Sinai is punishable by death. You can't forget that one.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Billy Shears

      If the Pope were to say Gays should burn in hell, you'd hate him. If he says god loves them, you Hate Him. This is a mute point. This is a great pope, and those who hate the church always... will unless they have a Paul-like epiphany someday

      July 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • QS

      Thank goodness there is no such thing as a "Christian society" then, huh?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Mike

      The church is not society. You keep your profane out of my sacred and vice versa.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
      • Observer

        Mike,

        What does your church do about all its heteros who engage in sodomy?

        July 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • skarphace

      "gays should be integrated into society"

      Weird, I thought gays were already integrated into society. You are saying that they are actually excluded from society? Are they in concentration camps or on reservations? Are they in some type of government facility? Is this what you believe?

      Regardless of semantics, the US is not a "Christian Society", and hopefully never will be. You may wish we were, but I, for one, am glad that we are not.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • awk

      Being a redneck is also not biblical, yet here you are.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Is a wise man any more wiser than subjective reasoning ways..? For whom do the bells all toll..? By what stick of measurements should the herded masses endure..? Where then are life's liberties to be so founded if not for all of socialisms many adventuresome ways..?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • sam

      'Integrated into society'?? Where the hell do you think they've been all this time? On a wildlife reserve? WTF

      July 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Elsbeth

    I'm shocked. I'm not an RC, but, take umbrage at a church which calls itself Christian while robbing the poor and supporting things the Bible clearly preaches otherwise.

    July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Not surprisingly you're wrong twice in one sentence.

      July 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There are any number of things of which the RCC is guilty – but robbing the poor isn't one of them.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  18. Melissa

    He is supposed to uphold Gods word and he does not do that. As far as atheism is concerned that is being flung in OUR (the Christians) faces. Our rights are being taken away steadily so excuse me for not feeling sorry for the gays and atheists. It is wrong to be gay and the Bible speaks of it in numerous books. However, the Catholics do not preach from the Bible. They preach from their own doctrine. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. It's coming.

    July 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • QS

      So you can dish it out but you can't take it? Got it. You'll have to excuse me if I don't feel sorry, at all, for any ignorantly paranoid religious person who thinks their rights are being taken away simply because others are believing what they believe less and less.

      July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Observer

      Melissa,

      God's words support slavery. So do you believe ALL of God's words or just hypocritically pick and choose?

      July 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • ME II

      @Melissa,
      If you consider the following as a right: "It is wrong to be gay and the Bible speaks of it in numerous books."

      Than no wonder you think your "... rights are being taken away steadily ..."

      Also, atheism and ho.mose.xuality have nothing to do with each other. While anyone can be both, one, or neither there is no link between the two.

      July 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'As far as atheism is concerned that is being flung in OUR (the Christians) faces. Our rights are being taken away steadily so excuse me for not feeling sorry for the gays and atheists'

      In what way is it being flung in your face? now before you answer that, do not make the mistake of confusing you being told you cant push your religion on others as bieng atheism being flung in your face.
      And what rights have you lost?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "As far as atheism is concerned that is being flung in OUR (the Christians) faces. Our rights are being taken away steadily "

      I'm sorry, which right was taken away? Did someone force you to become an atheist? Did someone force you to be gay? Did someone force you to attend a gay wedding? I see this statement often from believers but it is hard for me to believe they are really that stupid that they think giving other people rights is somehow taking away their own.

      Much like the Sneetches on the Beaches from Dr. Seuss, when the "special" double star sneetches saw the single star bellied sneetches getting another star, it was not taking away the Double Star Sneetches rights, it was merely shareing those rights with all. Now if you are the kind of sneetch who must be exclusive, must think of yourself as "special" and it makes you feel superior to look down on the single star bellied sneetch, then I guess I can see why you are all frothing at the mouth with irrational rage.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Hammerdown

      Why did we ever stop feeding you to the lions.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Paul

      Got some bad news for you Melissa – no, it's not coming. If you look into the origins (true origins) of your Bible and stop seeking the advice of the pulpit and look into your own heart, using the mind that God gave you – you'll discover that Religion is the ruse that is used to control you – your very thoughts. Other people getting rights has nothing to do with your rights. Your relationship with God is exactly that – Your relationship. It doesn't translate to others and their actions. Mind your own soul and leave others alone. That's what Jesus taught.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Melissa: Feeling a little persecuted? What rights of yours have been taken away? You need to suck it up little girl, you reside in a secular country and thus your belief is not what rules. If you set down your bible and looked outside of it all, what would be your reason for being a bigot?? I'm guessing you can't answer that because you would have no reason.

      July 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  19. Phil

    Please check facts. Divorced Catholics are not banned from Communion. Catholics who divorce and remarry another partner without a Church annulment are to refrain from Communion.

    July 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Correct Phil. Reason being that the civil divorce does not nullify the sacramental marriage of the Church but the new civil marriage puts the Catholic in a state of unrepentant sin. It has nothing to do with divorce and everything to do with the sacraments

      July 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • ME II

      wow, talk about non-answers:

      “Catholic doctrine reminds its divorced members who have remarried that they are not excommunicated — even though they live in a situation on the margin of what indissolubility of marriage and the sacrament of marriage require of them — and they are asked to integrate into the parish life,"
      – Pope Francis, as quoted by http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-desires-to-draw-remarried-people-to-christ/#ixzz2aSb2fgJ1

      July 29, 2013 at 2:25 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.