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September 19th, 2013
11:01 AM ET

Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

By Eric Marrapodi and Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors

(CNN) - Pope Francis said the church has the right to express its opinions but not to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, expanding on explosive comments he made in July about not judging homosexuals.

In a wide-ranging interview published Thursday, the pope also said that women must play a key role in church decisions and brushed off critics who say he should be more vocal about fighting abortion and gay marriage.

Moreover, if the church fails to find a "new balance" between its spiritual and political missions, the pope warned, its moral foundation will "fall like a house of cards."

The interview, released by Jesuit magazines in several different languages and 16 countries on Thursday, offers perhaps the most expansive and in-depth view of Francis' vision for the Roman Catholic Church.

The pope's comments don't break with Catholic doctrine or policy, but instead show a shift in approach, moving from censure to engagement.

Elected in March with the expectation that he would try to reform the Vatican, an institution that many observers say is riven by corruption and turf wars, Francis said his first mission is to change the church's "attitude."

"The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things," the pope said, "in small-minded rules."

"The people of God want pastors," Francis continued, "not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials."

MORE ON CNN: New interview shows why the pope is so beloved 

The interview was conducted by the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit journal based in Rome, over three meetings this August at Francis' apartment in Rome.

The pope approved the transcript in Italian, according to America magazine, a Jesuit journal based in New York that initiated the interview and supervised its translation into English.

Advance copies of the interview were provided to several news organizations, including CNN.

Jesuits from around the world submitted questions to Spadaro. Francis answered them with the frankness that has become a hallmark of his young papacy.

To begin the interview, Spadoro bluntly asks, "Who is Jorge Mario Bergolio?" - Francis's name before he was elected pope.

"I am a sinner," the pope answers. "This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”

The pope didn't mention any particular sins, and Catholic theology holds that all humans are sinners, a consequence of Adam and Eve's original transgression. Still, a pope describing himself foremost as "sinner" is striking.

MORE ON CNN: The pope said what? Six stunners from Francis

Offering new glimpses of his personal life, Francis said he prays at the dentist's office and felt trapped in the Vatican's traditional papal apartments. (He moved to a smaller one in a nearby building.) He has a taste for tragic artists and Italian films and keeps the will of his beloved grandmother in his prayerbook.

But it was the pope's vision for the church's future  - painted in broad strokes - that's sure to rile or inspire Catholics, depending on which side of the church they sit.

Here are some highlights:

On Women

In July, Francis said, emphatically, that the "door is closed," on women's ordination, a statement that disappointed many Catholic liberals.

But that doesn't mean the church should consider women secondary or inferior, Francis said. "The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions," he told Spadora.

Francis also called on Catholics to think hard about the function of women in the church.

"Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed," the pope said. "The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role."

On Homosexuality 

When Francis was a bishop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he received letters from gays and lesbians who said they were "socially wounded" by the church, he said.

"But the church does not want to do this," Francis said in the interview.

The pope then recalled his comments in July, when he told the media aboard a flight to Rome, "Who am I to judge" gay people?

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

"By saying this, I said what the catechism says," the pope told Spadaro. The catechism, the Catholic Church's book of official doctrine, condemns homosexual acts, but says gays and lesbians "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity."

"Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person."

Francis said that someone once asked him if he "approved" of homosexuality.

"I replied with another question," he said. "`Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being."

Abortion, gay marriage and contraception 

Some American Catholics grumble that Francis has been largely silent on signature Catholic political issues.

"I’m a little bit disappointed in Pope Francis that he hasn’t, at least that I’m aware of, said much about unborn children, about abortion, and many people have noticed that," Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, said earlier this month.

Francis said that he's aware of the criticism, but he is not going to change.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," he told his Jesuit interviewer. "I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that."

But the pope said the church's teachings on those issue are clear, and he clearly believes in those teachings, so what else is there to say?

"It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time," Francis said.

False prophets and quick decisions

Only false prophets claim to have all the answers, Francis said.

"The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt," he said. "You must leave room for the Lord."

But church leaders, including himself, haven't always practiced humility, the pope admitted.

Many of the bad decisions he made while leading Catholics in Argentina came about because of  his "authoritarianism and quick manner of making decisions," the pope said.

That won't happen again, Francis said, as he begins to steer the church in a new direction.

He didn't offer an exact course, but he said change will come. Sooner or later.

"Many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time," he said. "I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Gay rights • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,625 Responses)
  1. Captain Obvious

    The Church doesn't interfere with Cleveland Steamers, the Dirty Sanchez or Reverse Cowgirl. Why should it interfere with Bareback, Clam Dippin' or a Saucy Sausage?

    September 19, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • LockandKey

      OMG hahahha. Best thing I heard all day.

      September 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • JOHN

      I thought it was Clam Bumping but I 'spose dipping will do.

      September 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  2. joney

    They can eliminate gay priests who were responsible for the decades of alter boy abuse.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • greenriverkate

      You can't put gay and pedophile in the same sentence. Learn the difference!!!!

      September 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • JOHN

        There is none.

        September 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • reader

          The world is sorry for your ignorance

          September 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Brent

          Give it a Google, you may learn something.

          September 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
      • rufus

        They are different, of course, but not mutually exclusive. A pervert can be both a pedophile AND gay.

        September 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Dirk Diggler

          a pervert can also be a pedophile and straight.....what's your point.

          September 20, 2013 at 12:23 am |
        • vince

          wow, you're ignorance!! it is a fact (google it) that most pedophiles are straight!!! you're on the net... google it. stupid people!!!

          September 20, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • booggaloo

      Joney, Priest who abuse alter boys are pedophiles, not gay.

      September 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • Elena

        GAY pedophiles. Be accurate.

        September 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • vince

          95% of pedophile cases are straight men. man, you're stupid and ignorance. do you even go to school???

          September 20, 2013 at 1:15 am |
  3. Bob

    The Pope Is going to Hell....

    September 19, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • mike

      So what makes you so high and mighty to say who will go to hell?

      September 19, 2013 at 11:33 am |
      • norman

        especially since there is no hell-it was made up to scare primtives and the weak minded

        September 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Bob

      Pope is going wherever Micheal Jackson is going.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • Dana

        The moon?

        September 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • JOHN

        Will he have to learn to Moonwalk?

        September 19, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • Chaz

          I believe he already knows how to moonwalk.... thats what happens in the Gay Priest lounge. Get your freak on....

          September 19, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Mark

      If you really want to understand the catholic church, and the spirit behind it, visit be4thefire.com. Check out the Vatican exposed link, and all other videos as your heart desires. Remember, the same spirit that built the Vatican is working through this Pope. Watch the videos, and decide for yourself if the Pope is spreading false doctrine that will lead people into Hell.

      September 20, 2013 at 9:13 am |
  4. RS

    Yes, but they certainly seem to want to "mess" with little boys

    September 19, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Brent

      Educate yourself fool.

      September 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  5. Jesse C.

    A Pope I can follow into "war". By "war" I mean war with ourselves to judge everyone, caste the first stone and fight the wrong battles. We are in a war to teach love and respect and reclaim these lost souls that destroy all that is good. I'm tired of seeing hate, racism, discrimination, death, etc.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  6. Luellen

    Pope Francis has not said anythng that is new, inconsistant with Church teaching or "stunning. That the secular press likes his style is great, but quit the hype. That they are getting all excited just show that they are note educated enough about the Catholic Church to understand and properly report. Hopefully the Pope will get their attention long enought to change that! Pope Francis is in complete agreement with his predecessors on all topics.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • APersona

      I was just thinking the same thing!

      September 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  7. Sick Rantorum

    This does not mean that priests who threaten children with eternal damnation for a b j are going to Heaven though.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  8. mko

    I think this is the most liberal pope we've ever had

    September 19, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Squeezebox

      Jesus was a liberal. You see where that got him.

      September 19, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • Greta

        Jesus said: "Go and sin no more" – that is not a liberal by any way shape or form. If anything..liberals say..."don't you dare get in the way of my sin. I will do what I please and no one is going to make me feel bad about it!"

        September 19, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • norman

          he was a pot smoking, gay hippie, dummy-if he existed-he certainly wasnt conservative-some fat, rich white guy!

          September 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          sorry greta but bearing false witness is condemned.

          September 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • Church of Suicidal

          Try reading that "eye of the needle" thing again, Greta.

          September 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • Chaz

          I happen to agree with Greta. You have to TURN fomr the sin, not embrace it and call shenanigans when someone calls you out on it.

          when did people stop reading for comprehension.....sheesh

          September 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  9. Maganiff

    Love this pope!

    September 19, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • vince

      amen. i love the fact that he wants to treat people equally. including women.

      September 20, 2013 at 1:20 am |
  10. Iowagirlatheart

    There is alot of things that i dont agree with about the Catholic Church...but there is something very humbling and refresing about Pope Francis that I dont think we have seen for a very long time in the face of religion period.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:17 am |
  11. Jack

    Wise words. I'm an athiest but really support what Pope Francis is doing.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Greta

      Of course you do. I bet Satan is dancing with glee too.

      September 19, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • doobzz

        " I bet Satan is dancing with glee too."

        Actually, those are child molester priests dancing with glee over a new batch of altar boys.

        September 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • Chaz

        Great again is spot on. The enemy wants you to slowly give in to the sins...one chip a ta a time

        September 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Tee

          The "enemy" also wants you to wear tin-foil hats.

          September 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  12. LB Colorado

    I agree church should not interfere, but they don't have to embrace gays either – it is what it is.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • TELew

      The Pope is not "embracing" gay people. He is treating them humanely, such as Christ advocate for all people.

      September 19, 2013 at 11:21 am |
      • Chaz

        but in NO WAY is he asking them to turn from their sin. There is the difference....he SHOULD!

        September 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • Adam

          There is no such thing as sin. Grow up.

          September 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
        • Stanley Haas

          Why should he? We are all sinners and no one has the right to judge them for their sins, not even the Pope.

          September 20, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • Chris

      I hope part of his vision for the Catholic church includes the removal of corrupt child molesters from within. That's when I'll think this pope is serious about his humane philosophy.

      September 19, 2013 at 11:23 am |
      • Stanley Haas

        The Church has spent millions of dollars purging their priests , bishops, Cardinals, who have been guilty of child pedophilia from the Church and all new priests are psychologically tested thoroughly to prevent their ordination if they are so inclined. All Church employees have been thoroughly background checked. Every Diocese have outside committes who anyone can go to in order to have an investigation made.

        September 20, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Don't let that "Love thy neighbor" NT hippy BS get in the way of gold old fashioned fear/hate born of ignorance.

      September 19, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Creole

      They are embracing "people" and Gays are people the adt time I che

      The Church is embracing love, compassion, and people and Gays are people; so get over your judgmental ways.

      September 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  13. tarura

    If that's his stand, he trully will be The Last Pope
    as predicted by Nostradamus

    September 19, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • DCKeene

      LOL...you do know Nos was a poet and not a foreseer of the future, right?

      September 19, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Squeezebox

      If Nostradamus was legitimate, he would have submitted to the authority of the Church and suffered the consequences. There are several visionaries who didn't shy away from the inquisition.

      September 19, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • MM

      Really? Nostradamus predicted that a somewhat more liberal pope than his predecessor would be the last pope ever?

      September 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • Chaz

        I hope, no I PRAY TO JESUS that it is

        September 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • CGDoc

      It wasn't Nostradamus's prediction, it was Saint Malachy.

      September 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  14. Tim

    Wow! A Pope who puts religion back to the private sphere where it belongs, and who is pro-poor. I really like this Pope.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  15. John

    Alan Watts: What to tell children about God and The Universe

    There was never a time when the world began, because it goes round and round like a circle, and there is no place on a circle where it begins. Look at my watch, which tells the time; it goes round, and so the world repeats itself again and again. But just as the hour-hand of the watch goes up to twelve and down to six, so, too, there is day and night, waking and sleeping, living and dying, summer and winter. You can’t have any one of these without the other, because you wouldn’t be able to know what black is unless you had seen it side by side with white, or white unless side by side with black.
    In the same way, there are times when the world is, and times when it isn’t, for if the world went on and on without rest forever and ever, it would get horribly tired of itself. It comes and it goes. Now you see it; now you don’t. So because it doesn’t get tired of itself, it always comes back again after it disappears. It’s like your breath: it goes in and out, in and out, and if you try to hold it in all the time you feel terrible. It’s also like the game of hide-and-seek, because it’s always fun to find new ways of hiding, and to seek for someone who doesn’t always hide in the same place.
    God also likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside God, He has no one but himself to play with. But He gets over this difficulty by pretending that He is not Himself. This is His way of hiding from Himself. He pretends that He is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, all the plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way He has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when He wakes up they will disappear.
    Now when God plays hide and pretends that He is you and I, He does it so well that it takes Him a long time to remember where and how He hid Himself. But that’s the whole fun of it-just what He wanted to do. He doesn’t want to find Himself out too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be Himself. But when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will wake up, stop pretending, and remember that we are all one single Self-the God who is all that there is and who lives for ever and ever.
    Of course, you must remember that God isn’t shaped like a person. People have skins and there is always something outside our skins. If there weren’t, we wouldn’t know the difference between what is inside and outside our bodies. But God has no skin and no shape because there isn’t any outside to Him. . . . The inside and the outside of God are the same. And though I have been talking about God as ‘He’ and not ’she,’ God isn’t a man or a woman. I didn’t say ‘it’ because we usually say ‘it’ for things that aren’t alive.
    God is the Self of the world, but you can’t see God for the same reason that, without a mirror, you can’t see your own eyes, and you certainly can’t bite your own teeth or look inside your head. Your self is that cleverly hidden because it is God hiding.
    You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that He isn’t really doing this to anyone but Himself. Remember, too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. It’s the same as when we play cards. At the beginning of the game we shuffle them all into a mess, which is like the bad things in the world, but the point of the game is to put the mess into good order, and the one who does it best is the winner. Then we shuffle the cards once more and play again, and so it goes with the world.

    ~Alan Watts

    September 19, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Jim

      "wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world...."

      September 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • joe

      After reading that I need a drink!

      September 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • Creole

        Have one for me too!!! Lmao!

        September 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
  16. Martin Angell

    Jesus response to the woman in adultery: Go and sin no more."

    Pope's response to the woman: "not my problem...Church shouldn't interfere."

    September 19, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • mike

      He is the Pope not Jesus

      September 19, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • questionable

      Where did you read that? I didn't see it at all. You still call a sin a sin. But the person is still a person. Quit putting words in his mouth.

      September 19, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Jim

      he would also wash their feet – a great sign of respect in ancient times.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Marilynn

      So ... what did Jesus say to the man involved with that woman? Oh wait ... she must have been the only one sinning ...

      September 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
      • Rett

        The passage about the woman brought before Jesus and accused of divorce is interesting......jesus wrote something in the dirt....told her accusers that whoever is without sin should cast the first stone....and then one by one the men dropped the stones and left....i agree it was very hypocritical of the jews to bring the woman to Jesus for condemnaton but not the man....but the whole scene was an attempt to trick Jesus into doing or saying something they could use to accuse him....either what he wrote in the sand or his remarks to them silenced the whole lot.

        September 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
        • Rett

          I meant to say adultery not divorce....my bad:)

          September 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • Rett

        The passage about the woman brought before Jesus and accused of adultery is interesting......jesus wrote something in the dirt....told her accusers that whoever is without sin should cast the first stone....and then one by one the men dropped the stones and left....i agree it was very hypocritical of the jews to bring the woman to Jesus for condemnaton but not the man....but the whole scene was an attempt to trick Jesus into doing or saying something they could use to accuse him....either what he wrote in the sand or his remarks to them silenced the whole lot.

        September 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  17. Peach

    Yeah-if your NOT going according to the Bible. Wow-this Pope is following his own rules apparently.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • mike

      Please explain

      September 19, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • Peach

        What's to explain--the bible plainly states that this behavior is an abomination. How simple can you get.......

        September 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
        • MM

          Isn't there something in the Bible about not judging? Or is that a part of the Bible you prefer to forget about when convenient?

          September 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • norman

          the bible was written by primtive men who abused women and ordered them to marry their rapist, moron-why would god be in there?

          September 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • Church of Suicidal

          The bible also plainly states that eating shrimp is an abomination. Why the h3ll aren't you picketing in front of a Red Lobster somewhere?

          September 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Brent

          Do you follow the bible word for word or only when those words suit your agenda?

          September 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Creole

          I think you reading tooooo.... much into the Bible; you are so confuse .

          September 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • Stanley Haas

          I think Pope Francis would also say that the actions gay people sometimes engage in are an abomination and a sin. However, he does not judge them. If the gay person confesses their sins to the Pope, he will forgive their sins just as Jesus forgave the woman at the well's sins, but not judge them.

          September 20, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Mark

      If you really want to understand the catholic church, and the spirit behind it, visit be4thefire.com. Check out the Vatican exposed link, and all other videos as your heart desires. Remember, the same spirit that built the Vatican is working through this Pope. Watch the videos, and decide for yourself if the Pope is spreading false doctrine that will lead people into Hell.

      September 20, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  18. Captain Obvious

    Silly Pope

    The religious peoples of America will hate who they want... in the name of love.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • mike

      This is not about Americans troll

      September 19, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  19. I LIKE THIS GUY

    I'm not Catholic but I respect this Pope, his approach and his views. He's holding true to the scriptures and not bending to people's more liberal demands while returning to the basics of what's written in the Bible. Well done.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Martin Angell

      What part of the Bible is this pope embracing?

      September 19, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        The entire thing

        September 19, 2013 at 11:20 am |
      • Captain Obvious

        The Part about LOVING your Neighbor instead of finding ways to hate people.

        I don't recall Jesus ever encouraging us to hate anything.

        September 19, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • PaulMN

          But Jesus was very clear that you are required to not sin.

          September 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • norman

          Paul, actually, dumdum, Jesus never write anything in the bible...

          September 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • MM

          "But Jesus was very clear that you are required to not sin."

          Seeing as polyester is a sin, good luck with that.

          September 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Mark

      If you really want to understand the catholic church, and the spirit behind it, visit be4thefire.com. Check out the Vatican exposed link, and all other videos as your heart desires. Remember, the same spirit that built the Vatican is working through this Pope. Watch the videos, and decide for yourself if the Pope is spreading false doctrine that will lead people into Hell.

      September 20, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  20. Russian FAIL

    Meantime in Russia, Gay and Les are punished by law.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • DM158

      Yeah the people that hate gays here should go live in Russia. That way they won't to deal with them anymore. Of course, they may have to give up some of their rights as well. I mean if the gay haters don't mind taking away some others rights, then they should not have a problem losing some of theirs.

      September 19, 2013 at 11:19 am |
      • Jan

        .....oh snap!

        September 19, 2013 at 11:37 am |
      • Kevin

        What makes you think Christians hate gays? Many might believe that lifestyle is not good for society and therefore put legal restrictions on it. Don't see how you equate that with hate.

        September 19, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • questionable

          While I agree that disliking the lifestyle does not equate to hating the person, and that some Christians do this, you are fooling yourself if you think the majority of Christians truly "hate the sin, love the sinner" when it comes to gayness. I have never heard and argument where the individual isn't blamed. Those Christians who do love the sinner can voice their views about the lifestyle without condemning the person.

          September 19, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • norman

          what an idiot you are-it's hate, imbecile, because all studies show gays are normal and lead productive lives like anyone else-so to restrict their lives is hatred-and you know, idiot, that far right religious kooks think gays expressing love will make them burn for all time-what is more hateful than that??

          September 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • Kevin

          @ Norman – reading your post I thought hmmm...who's the real hater here. Typically, when you have to resort to name calling, there's not much thought put into what you say. You see hatred in restricting lives when actually everyone's life is restricted by the law to some extent. There are laws to prevent you from doing what society thinks is harmful or encourage you to do what society values. I still don't see hatred in either. I see society and organized religion valuing certain things above others.

          September 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • bczu

          Kevin, there are no laws against being gay so your argument is mute. Religion is not law...religion does not dictate society. You stick with that all knowing being in the sky that will send you to hell if you question anything. Ill follow science that asks questions and tries to solve them.

          September 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Mark

      If you really want to understand the catholic church, and the spirit behind it, visit be4thefire.com. Check out the Vatican exposed link, and all other videos as your heart desires. Remember, the same spirit that built the Vatican is working through this Pope. Watch the videos, and decide for yourself if the Pope is spreading false doctrine that will lead people into Hell.

      September 20, 2013 at 9:17 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.