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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. Tim

    I wonder why CNN is failing to post about the Popes 84 page slam of greed, wealth, and unfettered capitalism that is destroying the world. It was almost as if he wrote it in conjunction with Warren and Sanders, except it was his first paper to me solely written by him since he became pope. I saw if on MSN, but not a peep about it on any other "News" network.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  2. NotSoFast

    "Benedict XVI, a more tradition-bound pope who focused on cleaning up cobwebs of unorthodoxy in the church"

    SOAB theirs an oxymoron for the record books ......

    November 27, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • NotSoFast

      Sorry to all grammar critiques - THERE IS

      November 27, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  3. Mr. Duckworth

    To those interested in reality: Much higher rates of child abuse happen from Non Religious occupations – this crime stats fact. Need more? Simply watch CNBC's To Catch a Predator show – where the Sting operation catches all kinds of creeps trying to abuse children, coming from jobs like: Programmers, lawyers, truckers, military guys, Teachers, Coaches, Laborers, and the list goes on. The prevalence of abuse issues is way way higher in secular society vs religious groups – this is Fact. People need to face facts and clean their own houses, religions, communities, before pointer fingers at others. "Clean your own finger before you point out my spots" M Ghandi.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • NotSoFast

      The same line of thinking of those trying to absolve the CC of any pedo crimes committed by priests ...

      November 27, 2013 at 10:28 am |
      • Mr. Duckworth

        Nope – it's just we've had the courage to address ours. The group or community you're in, has not even acknowledged your child abuse problems – and facts show the rates of child abuse is even higher in the world at large. May God help children everywhere including places where people deny it's happening and just want to point the finger as if the problem is somewhere else.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • midwest rail

          " Nope – it's just we've had the courage to address ours. "
          Really, so we can expect full disclosure when ? Those 18,000 missing pages from the L.A. Archdiocese are going to magically appear any day now, right ? Good grief, man, have you ever bothered to read the Cloyne report ?

          November 27, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • NotSoFast

          Yes plenty of courage once you got caught about 20 or 30 times ... sorry we lost count+

          November 27, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • igaftr

      Duck
      That is pure deflection. Yes, abuse happens elsewhere, that is not the only issue. They knew about it and are still covering it up. THAT IS WORSE.
      Stop trying to deflect y trying to say others do it...that is insignificant and irrellevant

      November 27, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • Mr. Duckworth

        Ahhh, "don't deflect" tactic coming from a deflector. The ISSUE is about protecting children and improving the world for Kids. That's the main important objective. Therefore everything I've said is completely on target. No other groups have the courage to come forward with their Child abuse problem and what they're doing about it – they're covering their issues. Notice, several times I've challenged some folks to stand up and say what is their group? Are they New Agers, Protestant, former religious not happy with their careers now, or gay community? No one has had the guts to say who's their community is. WHY? Because their abuse issues are WORSE and they're doing nothing about it but hid from the media about it. THE Point is to protect kids and acknowledge the problem in all areas – most people can see this.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Matt M.

      The problem with your "To Catch A Predator as a representative sample of pedophiles" argument is that those are sickos who are trolling the internet for kids to abuse. Pedophiles in the Priesthood don't go to the internet to find kids.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Jose Barba Martin of Mexico tried for years to have his accusations against the founder of the Legionaries of Christ heard by the congregation. In the end, it took eight years for Rome to discipline the Rev Marcial Maciel, and require him to live a life of reserved prayer. Maciel died in 2008 before the Legionaries admitted he had fathered at least one child and molested young seminarians.
      A letter written by a now-dead Canadian bishop shows church officials knew of se.xual abuse allegations involving a priest before his promotion to a top Vatican post and then discussed with Vatican officials how to keep the scandal from becoming public.
      There is also Catholic priest who was defrocked after a nun accused him of rap.ing three children in Bolivia who has been living with his family in Uruguay for more than a year – with the full knowledge of Uruguayan church officials – despite an Interpol warrant for his arrest.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Susan StoHelit

      You're making excuses – and feeble ones.

      The issue isn't that there are pedophile priests. There are pedophiles anywhere, and they are not that easy to spot. The issue is that when the Vatican KNEW a priest was molesting children, they responded by trying to hush it up, would even threaten the family, and would keep the priest on, even allow them to continue contact with kids, move them to a new parish if the heat started to turn up. They saw a priest hurting a child, and sided with the priest.

      THAT is what is unique. You don't find the Department of Education having policies to retain molester teachers and transfer them around if the parents get too upset.

      November 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      You're making excuses – and feeble ones.

      The issue isn't that there are bad priests. There are pe dop hiles anywhere, and they are not that easy to spot. The issue is that when the Vatican KNEW a priest was hurting children, they responded by trying to hush it up, would even threaten the family, and would keep the priest on, even allow them to continue contact with kids, move them to a new parish if the heat started to turn up. They saw a priest hurting a child, and sided with the priest.

      THAT is what is unique. You don't find the Department of Education having policies to retain mole ster teachers and transfer them around if the parents get too upset.

      November 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  4. danval79

    It's about time people start focusing on Jesus and not on customs and procedures and rules about how to worship- I was so glad to read this article! Worship always, everywhere, and everyday – sitting, standing, whatever! about time all that was peeled away to reveal the true reason for our prayers and worship – Jesus. And when we point to Jesus – we love naturally, the rich, the poor, all inclusive like he said.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • NotSoFast

      And when we point to Jesus – we love naturally, the rich, the poor, all inclusive like he said.

      Said the priest to the little boy....

      November 27, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  5. Henry Thomas

    Perhaps this pope should (or may have )read, Capitalism Hits the Fan by Wolf. Then suggest that Ann Rand's acolytes need to rethink this atheist's philosophy of greed.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:18 am |
  6. Meredith

    I like most of this pope's ideas, but hate that he and the Catholic church still see women and issues pertaining to us as secondary. Ordaining women not being up for discussion and not seeing the good that comes from abortion is still holding them back from joining the real world. Giving birth to an unwanted child or one who will not have good quality of life because of severe disabilities is just cruel. Forcing an individual to receive round the clock medical care is a horrible life sentence to give anyone, let alone an innocent.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • ohhaihowareu

      My wife was an "unwanted child" born premature by her birth mother who went into labor because of a car accident (alcohol was involved). She was adopted. I'm really glad that her birth mother didn't decide that it was too "cruel" to let her live.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • SS

      The Catholic Church doesn't see women and related issues as secondary. It has respect for their primary roles as wife and mother. It befuddles me why women think that acting like men is of utmost importance.

      November 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • Cal

        I think she is talking about women being called to ministry and being denied that opportunity. Many churches will not even elect women deacons. In fact there were women deacons and church leaders during the life of Jesus and thereafter. I truly believe that Jesus would not be offended to see women pastors in churches today- and there are some.

        November 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  7. NotSoFast

    Sheep dont make up their minds to resist so changing a few policies around the good ol CC shouldnt cause any waves....

    November 27, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  8. MaraM

    I am happy that the Pope is coming closer to what Jesus stood for. But while he refers to the church as "her" he still insist that women have no right to be priests. Until that changes human equality is short changed.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      right, deflect from the abused children. This pope is the perfect con man. Ignore those harmed and living difficult lives due to the abuses.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:11 am |
      • NeoKat1

        you will always have difficulties in life.. that much God himself promised you.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Nothing good, Abused

          and the pope does nothing, but deflect. Nothing good about this group. Bunch of liars and deceivers.

          November 27, 2013 at 10:16 am |
      • happyjack

        Wow! Sounds like you are describing Obama. You descriptions fit the liberal party perfectly.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  9. glades2

    Many forget that Jesus said He did not come for those within but those outside the church, and that is the point Pope Francis is making, because as Scripture says God does not want to lose one soul, but many are lost every day because they felt that they never could be a part of God's kingdom and to be lost beyond this life is to be lost forever...

    November 27, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      hogwash

      November 27, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • igaftr

      If god doesn't want to lose any souls, why did he create hell and judgement? Couldn't he just accept them all? He created the rules, right?

      November 27, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • JohnBledsoe

      Very well said!

      November 27, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  10. NotSoFast

    At least he's not an ass kissing parrot.....wait .....at least he's not as ass kisser .... much

    November 27, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  11. Tom

    Religion has always had a need to change and morph to fit the society around it. Without such change, the church become obsolete because of its dogmatic approach to human rights, scientific discovery and development of human thought. The God idea will continue to change, as our knowledge of the world expands and God is no longer needed to fill the gaps of our human ignorance. The church must evolve, like all things, otherwise it dies.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • NotSoFast

      Hopefully it will evolve into non existance

      November 27, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  12. AtlJack

    Someone better check on Sarah Pailn. She might have gone into shock.

    The Pope is promoting true Christian principles – help the poor; don't coddle the rich – which she finds upsetting.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      ,cause the church wants to be the wealthy one.

      All the wealth of the Vatican through tax free donations.. What did they do? Buy stocks in Bank of America and other fortune 100 companies.

      meanwhile small children die of painful starvation.

      The catholic church receives over a billion of your tax dollars to perform their 'good deeds',, yes, you pay for it and they pretend they are doing it with their own money.

      Look at all their prime, tax free, property.

      Everyone is getting sc-r-ewed by the Vatican, not just the catholic customers buying the vapor.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Philip L

      Sarah Palin is not a Catholic so why would she care?

      November 27, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • NotSoFast

      LMFAO – you really didnt need to explain your statement LOL

      November 27, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  13. Nothing good, Abused

    If anyone actually thinks the catholic church did something on their own to stop abuse, this is the reality;

    it was the victims and families who demanded the church clean up its act and put solid procedures in place to train those around children.

    The bishops refused to do so at first,, but in the end, had to or face further consequences.

    The church and bishops had zero to do with making this happen. It was all the victims and family members. So before you run around acting as if the church actually did something responsible on their own, that would be a lie.

    However still today the bishops have been found to continue in the cover ups. This also includes their lobby efforts to stop laws that would expose their crimes.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Mr. Duckworth

      Well what you've said is sort of true: Catholic people are part of the Catholic Church – and yes the Catholic People pressured the Church for justice and safer policies.. And today the Church does full back ground checks on anyone associated with kids in any way – and has changed policies to protect kids. Do you have the courage to say honestly what community or group you are now in? Who are you people? Are you a Teacher, or Protestant, or former whatever religion and now New Age or Gay? What is your group?? Now let's see what policies are in place with your group today to protect kids? Because abuse happens there to, don't deny the Truth. And what changes has your group made? Nothing..

      November 27, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  14. Ex ex catholic

    The church is dying. The older catholic folks are passing away and the new generation does care about the church anymore... I predict a big fall for the church. And if democracy arrives in the Arab world the same thing is gonna happen with Islam... I think they deserve to disappear after all these centuries of blood spilled in the name of God.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Amused

      Hmmmm. Probably a safe prediction you've made there, seeing that the Bible made this prediction long before you were even a twinkle in your momma's eye.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  15. Mr. Duckworth

    This Pope is simply sticking up for the Poor and marginalized people secular society ignores (which includes unprotected babies in the womb). None of the core beliefs of the Church is changing (nor does the Pope have the power to change it – he's just like a referee and spokesman to focus attention in the right areas). Today's media is trying to make it sound like he's changing everything- but this is just hype and exaggeration. This Pope's communication style is different from the last Pope's – that's about all people, nothing more. Both Popes helped and represented the poor forgotten / unprotected humans – both are good.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      while denying the children abused. Another great deflection by an RCC con man, the pope

      November 27, 2013 at 10:06 am |
      • Mr. Duckworth

        And if you're interested in Facts (FBI crime stats): Much higher percentages children are abused from Non Religious occupations vs Priests. At least the Church has acknowledged their issue and is working to address it. All these other occupations abuse kids at way higher rates and have done nothing: Male teachers, coaches, day care workers, child phycologists, bus drivers, truckers.. the list goes on. Watch CNBC's to catch a predator with Chris Hansen- the real life sting operation catches many people from everyday society trying to abuse minors – one after the other. It's sickening and all over society. So face the facts and do something to help.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:16 am |
        • mk

          "At least the Church has acknowledged their issue and is working to address it."

          They didn't do anything until they were caught. That's not acknowledgement.

          "All these other occupations abuse kids at way higher rates and have done nothing"

          What?? Of course they do something! No one gets away with child abuse EXCEPT the catholic church.

          November 27, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You're missing the larger point.
          Other organization haven't engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to protect the abusers.
          1. In 1962, The Vatican relased the 'Crimen Sollicitationis', which outlined how the church is to handle accusations of se.xual impropriety against clergy.
          The stickiest point for most people is that not only was the doc.ument itself Top Secret for decades, it explictly stated that anybody involved in this type of investigation, including the accuser and potential witnesses, are sworn to secrecy regarding any and all details, upon penalty of excommunication (a fate worse than death for the devout).
          This preoccupation with secrecy significantly slowed the investigative process – the backlog of referrals to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for action against se.xually abusive priests is so large that it takes 18 months to get a reply.
          According to the John Jay report, 918 of 1872 (49%) substantiated allegations of abuse against Catholic clergy were addressed by sending the priest off for psychiatric counseling and then moving him to another parish, with nary a whisper to law enforcement. This number does not include priests relocated for reasons other than charges of se.xual impropriety.
          The Irish Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse from 2009 came to the conclusion that ""the Dublin Archdiocese's pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child se.xual abuse, at least until the mid 1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its as.sets. All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities."
          In summation: The Roman Catholic Church is guilty of criminal conspiracy. Until the Pope publically and unequivocally states that all allegations of abuse will immediately be referred to local law enforcement, the RCC will be viewed as an evil, predatory inst.itution by a large portion of the world.

          November 27, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Nothing good, Abused

          Deflecting? Everyone else does it, so it's OK?

          How has your pope and religion set the example to helping those abused?

          Ans. Nothing. In fact the catholic church lobbies to stop laws that would expose pedos,, all victims lose, no matter who abused.

          Next, there is not a single diocese across the USA where there were less than 100 abused. Not many priests to do all that.

          Finally, the cover ups were worse than the abuse,, children denied help and the abusers could attack more children. Yes, cover ups, direct from the Vatican and managed by the cardinals and bishops. This pope one of them.

          No wonder he ignores and deflect with this garbage article

          November 27, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Mr. Duckworth

          Doc Vestibule- get back in your vestibule- you need help. The other religious and non religious groups and communities have not even acknowledged all their Child Abuse facts that have occurred and occur daily – so they've not even got to first base yet. Your rants, unsupported by any facts – is obvious anti catholic bigotry and based in ignorance. Again, clean your house before you point fingers, if you have the courage to look into your own people / group / or community you will find a worse even larger abuse problem that what the Catholics are dealing with. Good people will continue to Pray for kids in all groups where they're not protected. God help them.

          November 27, 2013 at 10:33 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Mr. Duckworth
          Are not the Crimen Solicitacionis, the John Jay Report and The Irish Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse credible references?

          November 27, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • NotSoFast

          This guy is the defense lawyer for the CC Im tellin ya

          November 27, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Why does the abortion issue always get brought up? Nowhere in the bible is there mention of it! It is not the churches business what a woman does with her body, nor is it your business unless of course you're willing to feed and care for the child who might otherwise be brought in to this world only to suffer.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • doobzz

      This pope has a very good PR department. His preaching about the poor and such is just what every single pope says in practically every speech. It's a recruitment speech, nothing more.

      The RCC is hemorrhaging members and they need new ones. So they go to poor, uneducated countries and peddle their god in exchange for food and medicine to desperate people.

      When the pope turns the pedophiles that he's been protecting over to the civil authorities and goes public with it, then we'll talk about the RCC making real changes.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    bronze age voodoo

    November 27, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  17. Victor Manda

    There is need for change in the way the catholic church is governed, many espercially in thired world countries join priesthood not out of love for the gospel but among others luck of jobs, the luxuarious life and influency the catholic preisthood has come to guarantee theses days. In the old days, many of our priests used to libe modest lives not now, they drive expensive cars, live in manshions and dine with the rich and corrupt. In most communities in Zambia, they call upon congegants to give them chickens, liver, and all the good foods that some of the congregants don;t even have in their homes! We were recently mandated to bring money to church so as to buy our priest a Toyoto Prado, thats a luxury in my community where the majority dont own a car. So yes, change must happen and the priests must be ready to get dirty to reach the poor.

    November 27, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  18. Brian

    Gee, what a crazy idea, focusing on helping people and not on all the B.S. "rules"

    November 27, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Heresy! Jesus would never espouse such a view!
      He and the Pharisees were the best of buds.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Mr. Duckworth

      Yes, and the Church has been leading the way in helping the poor for centuries. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Prize by an international objective global committee for her undeniable world changing work with the Poor in India. Many Catholic Sisters continue to do this around the world today and all this tremendous work is largely ignored by the secular media (they're too focused on money issues).

      November 27, 2013 at 10:11 am |
      • Nothing good, Abused

        mother Theresa was the church's marketing ploy. become catholic and I'll feed you.

        BTW: Mother Theresa's mentor was a known pedo,, she feed them and he...

        November 27, 2013 at 10:15 am |
      • mk

        Yes, all the Sisters are helping the poor while the big men in their dresses get to keep their hands clean and live high on the hog.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Many of the people that Mother Theresa "helped" aren't very big fans of her.
        As a catholic nun, she held some opinions that run counter to what one would expect of someone purporting to help the poor and sick.
        She was of the opinion that pain and suffering are virtues that allow one to get closer to Christ.
        She stated that "the most beautiful gift for a person that he can participate in the sufferings of Christ" – so she outlawed painkillers, even for those having maggots tweezered out of open wounds.
        She was captured on camera consoling a man in terrible agony, suffering from terminal cancer. When he cried out for relief, she told him 'You are suffering like Christ on the cross. So Jesus must be kissing you.'
        Also, despite hundreds of millions of dollars worth of donations rolling in, Mother Theresa was obsessed with keeping herself, her nuns and her patients in a state of abject poverty – once again, to suffer and thus be closer to God.
        In Haiti, to keep the spirit of poverty, the sisters reused needles until they became blunt despite having the means to procure safe, new needles.
        Her "Homes for the Dying" got a lot of positive press – but in reality, the places were atrocious with no consideration for hygiene whatsoever. Patients carrying highly infectious diseases like tuberculosis and AIDS shared beds with others in the overcrowded conditions and "treated" with sometimes dangerous, out-dated drugs – but mostly with "kind words".

        When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Price, she used the opportunity of her worldwide telecast speech in Oslo to declare abortion the greatest evil in the world. Her charitable work, she admitted, was only part of her big fight against abortion and population control. This fundamentalist position is a slap in the face of India and other Third World Countries, where population control is one of the main keys for development and progress and social transformation.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  19. Josh

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

    Wow, Roland Regan must be spinning in his grave. I am sure quite a few Republicans in DC, are worried too. What if the masses (voters) heed the Pope's warning?

    November 27, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Who is Roland???

      November 27, 2013 at 10:03 am |
      • Warren Zevon

        Roland was the headless Thompson gunner.

        Roland Regan? How do you get both names wrong?

        November 27, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Nate

      We should heed the Pope's word on this subject, because he's absolutely right about it. It won't end or get better without a revolt, hopefully peaceful, but the wealthy have gotten so far and away, they are basically a ruling class, and the importance of a dollar has placed money worship over religion and faith in most of the western world.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • RC

      David Stockman, Reagan's architect of 'trickle down' theory implementation conceded not too long ago trickle down economics doesn't work. Look it up.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:17 am |
  20. I'm no Catholic

    While I am not Catholic, I do believe the CC can make a big difference in the world and this Pope seems to have the spine and vision to make it happen. I only hope he has the power.

    November 27, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • just wondering

      I'm sure everyone here on these blogs have noticed that any articles to do with religion get the most activity. The pope has the power to make a difference. Thank goodness he is trying.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      and what about the children and family members destroyed due to the abuses?

      This pope should have taken that on as #1. However he deflects with this garbage. He's a puke

      November 27, 2013 at 10:13 am |
      • just wondering

        Give him a chance. If you want the problem addressed keep advocating. Writing the pope would help.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • mk

          Why in the world would the pope need letters from people to do the right thing??

          November 27, 2013 at 10:30 am |
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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.