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November 26th, 2013
10:21 AM ET

Pope Francis: No more business as usual

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - Pope Francis on Tuesday called for big changes in the Roman Catholic Church - including at the very top  saying the church needs to rethink rules and customs that are no longer widely understood or effective for evangelizing.

"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," the Pope said in a major new statement.

"I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures," Francis added.

The Pope's address, called an "apostolic exhortation," is part mission statement, part pep talk for the world's 1.5 billion Catholics. Francis' bold language and sweeping call for change are likely to surprise even those who've grown accustomed to his unconventional papacy.

"Not everyone will like this document," said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author in New York. "For it poses a fierce challenge to the status quo."

And it's not just a verbal challenge, the Pope said on Tuesday.

"I want to emphasize that what I am trying to express here has a programmatic significance and important consequences."

Since his election in March, Pope Francis, the first pontiff to hail from Latin America, has made headlines by decrying the iniquities of modern capitalism, embracing the poor and people with disabilities and reaching out to gays and lesbians.

At the same time, the 77-year-old pontiff has sought to to awaken a spirit of joy and compassion in the church, scolding Catholic "sourpusses" who hunt down rule-breakers and calling out a "tomb psychology" that "slowly transforms Christians into mummies in a museum."

"An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!" the Pope said.

Officially known in Latin as "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel), the 85-page statement released on Tuesday is the first official document written entirely by Pope Francis. (An earlier document was co-written by Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.)

Although Francis sprinkles the statement with citations of previous popes and Catholic luminaries like St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, the new pontiff makes a bold call for the church to rethink even long-held traditions.

"In her ongoing discernment, the Church can also come to see that certain customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel, even some which have deep historical roots, are no longer properly understood and appreciated," the Pope said.

"Some of these customs may be beautiful, but they no longer serve as means of communicating the Gospel. We should not be afraid to re-examine them. At the same time, the Church has rules or precepts which may have been quite effective in their time, but no longer have the same usefulness for directing and shaping people’s lives."

Such statements mark a sharp break from Benedict XVI, a more tradition-bound pope who focused on cleaning up cobwebs of unorthodoxy in the church.

By contrast, in "Evangelii" Francis repeats his calls for Catholics to stop "obsessing" about culture war issues and to focus more on spreading the Gospel, especially to the poor and marginalized.

READ MORE: The Pope’s bold new vision

The outside world, particularly its economic inequalities, didn't escape Francis' notice either.

In a section of "Evangelii" entitled "some challenges to today's world," he sharply criticized what he called an "idolatry of money" and "the inequality that spawns violence."

The Pope also blasted "trickle-down economics," saying the theory "expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power."

“Meanwhile,” Francis said, “the excluded are still waiting.”

But the bulk of Francis' statement addresses the church, which, he said, should not be afraid to "get its shoes soiled by the mud of the street."

The Pope also hinted that he wants to see an end to the so-called "wafer wars," in which Catholic politicians who support abortion rights are denied Holy Communion. His comments could also be taken as another sign that he plans to reform church rules that prevent divorced Catholics from receiving the Eucharist.

"Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community, nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason," Francis said.

"The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak."

Even so, Francis reiterated the church's stand against abortion, defending it against critics who call such arguments "ideological, obscurantist and conservative."

"Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question," Francis said.

The Pope also reiterated previous rejections on ordaining women, saying the topic is "not open for discussion."

But that doesn't mean the church values men more than women, he said.

"We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church," the Pope said.

Francis also said he expects other parts of the church to change, and called on Catholics to be unafraid of trying new things.

"More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving."

Francis didn't mention specific reforms, but he suggested that it could include changes at the very top of the church.

"Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy," he said.

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

The church's centralization, where all roads lead to Rome, and the "we've always done it this way" type of thinking have hindered Catholics' ability to minister to local people in far-flung places, Francis suggested.

"I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities," the Pope said.

Martin, the Jesuit priest and author, said he could not recall ever "reading a papal document that was so thought-provoking, surprising and invigorating."

"The document’s main message is that Catholics should be unafraid of new ways of proclaiming the Gospel and new ways of thinking about the church."

MORE ON CNN:

The disfigured man in popular photos talks about the Pope's embrace 

Opinion – the Pope’s revolutionary message 

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis

soundoff (2,437 Responses)
  1. Brandon

    TRUTH GRENADE ALERT-Wait, you mean after 2000 years they are going to finally follow the early Christians example set at such Scriptures as Acts 5:42 and Acts 20:20 by going house to house and in public squares? Can you really consider it new if it's been written there in the Holy Bible all this time? Not to mention Jehovah's Witnesses have been following those verses for over 100 years along with Matthew 28:19, 20 and Matthew 24:14. Nice try!

    November 27, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • Paul

      Yeah! Too little too late. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I wonder if he will go as far as shedding idol worship and teach the truth from God's Word?
      Mmmmmm I think the writing is on the wall, it wont be long now. So I hope people wake up and listen to true Christians who actually follow God's Word and have done since the time of Christ. Jesus said you will find them preaching "God's Kingdom" as did the apostles, from "house to house" Acts 20:20.

      November 27, 2013 at 3:09 am |
  2. Journey

    Ted Cruz 2016

    November 27, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • Observer

      He would be the best choice to run on the Republican ticket for millions of Democrats.

      November 27, 2013 at 12:23 am |
      • Sara

        I think a lot of Dems would support him in a primary run.

        November 27, 2013 at 12:33 am |
        • Ralphie

          I'm ready for some new political parties, because the ones we have royally suck. Then again, it would probably be "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

          November 27, 2013 at 1:01 am |
        • Sara

          The way the US representative system is organized there will only ever be two parties that are real players, and whatever they are called they will roughly split the population in two. The way the propaganda machine works, the US population will continue to be ignorant of this fact for another hundred or so years.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • Ardeare

      His family deals cocaine. He supplied that moron of a congressman that just got busted. Don't be an ostrich.

      November 27, 2013 at 1:36 am |
  3. Winston5

    How'd you like to be this pope's taster?

    November 27, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Does he really have a taster? Why would he? Even if he has murderous enemies in the Vatican, wouldn't that be his alleged god's will, and hasten his journey to said alleged god's side? Why should Pope-A-Dope be afraid to die?

      November 27, 2013 at 12:08 am |
      • jco2013

        You are truly the ace of hot air.

        November 27, 2013 at 12:20 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Why? Someone else suggested Pope-A-Dope had a taster. I merely asked a few follow on questions, that you apparently cannot answer.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:27 am |
  4. BoFug

    No apologist for the RCC here, lapsed Catholic with 8 years of Jesuit education under my belt.
    Nothing changes overnight.
    What I did learn during my time with the Jesuits was the meaning was not "The Church", but the message.
    Pope Francis is living the message, and will deal with things as they come.
    It's not kowtowing to some Mafioso in purple and gold, not forbidden meat on Fridays.
    It is Peace, love, service, caring for each other.
    No pomp, no gold, no sneering down the nose.
    Keep it up, Francis, so glad the philosophy of Loyola is maintained.
    For the first time in many years, I can happily say
    Ad Majorem Dei Gloria!
    Pax

    November 27, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  5. Reality # 2

    Before Francis, there was this:

    Only for the those interested in a religious update:
    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

    The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

    Current problems:

    The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

    5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

    "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

    Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

    Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

    Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

    November 26, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Just a guy

      Man – you are full of it

      November 26, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Educate us – what did he get wrong?

        November 27, 2013 at 12:09 am |
        • Just a guy

          It would be a waste of time – Your heart is too hardened

          November 27, 2013 at 12:20 am |
        • HotAirAce

          It's not about a hardened heart – it's about a thinking mind able to make rationale arguments based on actual evidence. If you can't counter the above post, maybe it is the truth, or at least closer to the truth than what you believe.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • Just a guy

      If you can't explain something about a person, then you write it off as they were hallucinating – is that what I read? And Abraham PROBABLY never existed??? And the Exodus PROBABLY never occurred??? I bet you could PROBABLY prove the earth is flat!

      November 27, 2013 at 12:52 am |
      • Observer

        Just a guy

        "I bet you could PROBABLY prove the earth is flat!"

        Nope. I'd leave that to the Bible.

        November 27, 2013 at 12:55 am |
      • HotAirAce

        2 out of 3 correct is not bad. . .

        November 27, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  6. Peter

    Spreading the Gospel – the Gospel is the goodnews of JESUS CHRIST dying as the unblemish LAMB of GOD & shedding HIS precious blood on the cross of Calvary so that those who believe in JESUS CHRIST as their SAVIOUR will hve thier sins forgiven & are reconciled to GOD and now theiy are a new creation(children of the Living GOD)
    Other than this it is not the Gospel.

    November 26, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      100% bullsh!t without actual evidence.

      November 26, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
      • Just a guy

        Evidence – it would not happen with those like you – can't see beyond the end of your nose – A Believers relationship with Him would never be understood by those that do not believe – but you will eventually

        November 26, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
        • Observer

          Just a guy

          "Evidence – it would not happen with those like you – can't see beyond the end of your nose"

          Sure. If he could see beyond the end of his nose he'd see unicorns, non-talking humans, dragons, and people turning into salt.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:00 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Ah, the old "you have to believe to believe" ploy. Nice try. If you had actual evidence, you would trot it out.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:02 am |
      • Just a guy

        HotAir Observer – yeah – puff out your "evidence" chest – that is all you have – so sad – REMEMBER – evidence day will come eventually and will you wonder "gosh – I hope they weren't right"!

        November 27, 2013 at 12:11 am |
        • Observer

          Just a guy,

          Yes, you do have NO PROOF. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Nill. Zero. Zip. If you did, you'd be telling everyone.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:13 am |
        • HotAirAce

          I'll take that as "I have no evidence for the crap I believe but will continue to duck, dive and dodge rather than admitting I have no actual evidence and may be mentally ill."

          November 27, 2013 at 12:14 am |
      • Just a guy

        "No proof" and "no evidence" – very sad you two – the proof and evidence IS coming and it will be too late then for you two – you really can't prove it will not occur just as you say I can't prove it will – I am 100% confident as a Believer in my Salvation – you can't honestly look in the mirror and say that!

        November 27, 2013 at 12:33 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Yes I can because don't need to be saved from anything, especially a 2,000+ year old myth without a shred of supporting evidence. You are caught up in the sick dead jew zombie cannibal vampire death cult aka christianity. Seek help from a mental health professional.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:40 am |
        • Sara

          I might find this more convincing if I didn't personally know people who were 100% sure aliens were taking over the world, 100% sure their organs were being harvested in the night, 100% sure that god was speaking through the radio with coded messages... a lot of people are 100% sure of a lot of things. Meds can help.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:40 am |
        • Observer

          Just a guy,

          I am an agnostic. If anyone could EVER prove there actually is a God, I would accept that. So far: ZIP. All I have to base any belief in God is the Bible and that's why I am not a believer.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:42 am |
        • Just a guy

          Sara – poor gal – you need to change who you hang with

          November 27, 2013 at 12:47 am |
        • Sara

          @Just, Perhaps you need to get out in the world and actually do some work to help the less fortunate. You might find a diversity of humanity that would be enlightening.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:50 am |
        • Just a guy

          Sara – nice try – common comeback from those like you who generalize way more than they should about others you know nothing about. Your assumptions tell a lot about you – you are a troll just stirring the pot.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:58 am |
        • Observer

          Just a guy

          "Sara – Your assumptions tell a lot about you"

          And what were they? See what you can come up with. Based on her last 2 comments, you are getting clobbered.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:03 am |
        • Sara

          I know that you have never worked with the homeless and mentally ill or you would not have made the silly statements you made above. It doesn't take a great deal of brilliant deduction to figure that out. Get out and meet the real world.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:05 am |
        • krhodes

          HotAirAce
          "Yes I can because don't need to be saved from anything, especially a 2,000+ year old myth without a shred of supporting evidence. You are caught up in the sick dead jew zombie cannibal vampire death cult aka christianity. Seek help from a mental health professional."

          Isn't it amazing...the atheist folks copy garbage like this off internet infidel sites and post wherever they are challenged. It must be sad to be so unoriginal. What this peson is saying is i have no way to make an argument or defend it so i stoop to insults and attacks...very sad.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:35 am |
        • HotAirAce

          The comments above are my own and not copied from any website. But do continue to believe anything you like.

          November 27, 2013 at 3:31 am |
      • Just a guy

        HotAir Observer & Sara – you cannot dodge death -it comes to all – continue as you are and it will be sad afterwards – you will have your proof – and I won't be there to tell you "I told you so" so I'll say it now – you had your chance but denied Him

        November 27, 2013 at 1:13 am |
        • Sara

          Or maybe our reincarnation in the next life will be dependent on our capacity for rational thought and the ability to do good without the the threat of punishment. And you will spend the next thousand years working your way back up from an earthworm. I guess you are 100% sure that is not the case. Good luck.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:18 am |
        • Observer

          Just a guy,

          Yep. NO PROOF as always. NO FACTS. Just beliefs and wishful thinking.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:19 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Blah, blah, blah. Lots of blather, no facts or evidence, blah, blah, blah. . .

          November 27, 2013 at 1:20 am |
        • Just a guy

          Sara – watch what you say – HotAr Observer will want proof of reincarnation! And BTW – you know nothing about what I do to assist people – your judgements about me are way off lady

          November 27, 2013 at 1:25 am |
        • Sara

          I don't believe particularly in reincarnation so I certainly will not offer "proof", I simply believe that it is at least as likely to be true as Christianity's story. And again, yeas, I believe I can safely assume from your words above that you have little to no contact with the mentally ill.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:31 am |
        • Observer

          Just a guy

          "Sara – watch what you say – HotAr Observer will want proof of reincarnation!"

          Nope. Bad assumption. As you said " Your assumptions tell a lot about you". Ooops.

          God could take LESS THAN 5 SECONDS to orally announce to the world that he exists. Controversy over. Christians win. BILLIONS of people saved.

          But that's asking too much of God. LESS THAN FIVE SECONDS.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:31 am |
        • krhodes

          Observer

          "Just a guy,Yep. NO PROOF as always. NO FACTS. Just beliefs and wishful thinking."

          Oh...so where are your facts...or your proof...or do you just have beliefs?

          November 27, 2013 at 1:39 am |
        • Observer

          krhodes

          Neither atheists nor believers can PROVE that God exists or doesn't exist. That's why I'm an agnostic.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:42 am |
        • HotAirAce

          I needn't ask Sara for proof of reincarnation because I understand that she is not making an absolute claim, that she is merely providing another possibility to show that yours is not the only one. I might say she is providing another ridiculous possibility but unlike you I don't put words in other people's mouths, except when they obviously continue to evade providing real answers to clear questions.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:51 am |
        • krhodes

          Sara
          "I don't believe particularly in reincarnation so I certainly will not offer "proof", I simply believe that it is at least as likely to be true as Christianity's story. And again, yeas, I believe I can safely assume from your words above that you have little to no contact with the mentally ill."

          Why would it be as likely as Christianity?

          November 27, 2013 at 1:55 am |
        • Observer

          It's generally FAR FAR EASIER to prove something exists rather than prove that something doesn't exist.

          This puts a heavier burden on believers and their total failure to prove that God exists gives atheists at least as much chance (or more logically a better chance), to be right when neither side has positive PROOF.

          November 27, 2013 at 2:02 am |
        • Sara

          krhodes, the concepts of eternal reward and punishment require a causal and psychological system that is not in agreement with observable data. Reincarnation does not require this system and as such fits better with observed psychology, bilogy, physics and social theory. Again, I'm not promoting this as reality, just explaining why, if told one system was in fact the truth, I would cast my bets with reincarnation over eternal reward and damnation.

          November 27, 2013 at 2:03 am |
        • krhodes

          Sara

          "krhodes, the concepts of eternal reward and punishment require a causal and psychological system that is not in agreement with observable data. Reincarnation does not require this system and as such fits better with observed psychology, bilogy, physics and social theory. Again, I'm not promoting this as reality, just explaining why, if told one system was in fact the truth, I would cast my bets with reincarnation over eternal reward and damnation."

          Not in agreement with "observable data?" Help me understand what observable data you are talking about? As for reincarnation...it better fits the "data?" How long will this reincarnation go on? Is this going to be infinite or finite?

          November 27, 2013 at 2:28 am |
      • Heavensent

        Y lie? U have no evidence there is no evidence

        November 27, 2013 at 1:27 am |
        • HotAirAce

          I never claimed I have evidence of no evidence. I claimed believers have no evidence. All believers have to do to prove I am wrong is provide actual evidence for their claims. Very simple but never been done.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:54 am |
        • christiansteve

          Prove believers have no evidence or shut your lying trap

          November 27, 2013 at 4:32 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Exactly how would I go about proving believers have no evidence? It's up to believes to provide evidence that proves their beliefs are not just mythology, and therefore I am wrong.

          November 27, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • Winston5

      Lamb. Blood. Flesh. Body. You sound like a creepy butcher.

      November 27, 2013 at 12:12 am |
      • Chef

        Yeah, and the "fishers of men" too. It's all very macabre.

        November 27, 2013 at 2:43 am |
  7. JOSH P.

    Sorry Catholic Church and all other Man made religions,the cat is already out of the Bag,most people by now Have realized that you are nothing but a SCAM,always has been.
    you are all greedy scamers out to make a profit on people,s back.
    If there is a GOD and after life,no one has to follow any religion in order to make it there.

    November 26, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
  8. SameOldSameOld

    The Church and all other religions have always been behind the time. Whom is this pope trying to fool – himself and his Vatican cohorts?

    November 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  9. SameOldSameOld

    The Church and all other religions have always been behind the time. Whom does this pope trying to fool – himself and his Vatican cohorts?

    November 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  10. George Combs II

    Hopefully the holy father's wish comes true.

    November 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  11. me

    Awesome Pope!!

    November 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
  12. Greg

    I don't like to even consider myself christian because i'm not proud of the history of the christian church.
    Catholic/protestant either one. When the christians came to the United States and killed off the native americans
    and then loaded up the blacks from africa to work them to death and have babies with there own slaves. To
    top it off Adolph Hitler was a christian too. To be honest christians love to tell other people the sins they are doing
    but they never notice there own sins.

    November 26, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Just a guy

      Appears you blame everything bad in history on people you think are Christian – just because a person says they are does not mean they are – and your comment about Hitler goes to show how way off you are

      November 26, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  13. chuck wagon

    watch and be sober

    2 Thessalonians 2:3
    3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
    4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    John 17:11-13
    11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

    12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

    13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

    November 26, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
  14. Chuck

    Adam was a prophet first one that we know.
    In a place called Eden, he helped things to grow.
    Adam served the Lord by following his ways.
    We are his descendants in the Latter-Days.

    Now we have a world where people are confused.
    If you don't believe it, go and watch the news.
    We can get direction, all along our way.
    If we heed the prophets, follow what they say.

    Pope isn't a prophet. Who is?

    November 26, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No one....just a lot of people selling snake oil.

      November 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
      • lewtwo

        Amen

        November 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  15. brian

    This pope is good at mouthing words but we don't see any action yet.

    November 26, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
  16. Heavensent

    It is safe to say that athies devote most of their time criticizing that which is not Jesus Christ. Safer to do that. Jesus Christ, just the mention of his name, is powerful.

    November 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Jesus Christ is way over rated, didn't have an original philosophical or maoral thought in his head.

      There...feel better now?

      November 26, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  17. Heavensent

    Although tis u who dwells on a mere man. Jesus Christ was god

    November 26, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  18. Heavensent

    God never says females r inferior

    November 26, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Observer

      Right. He just treats them that way. Just like Paul and Moses.

      November 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      There's no actual evidence that any alleged god has ever actually said anything.

      November 26, 2013 at 10:23 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.