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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. HolySmokes

    To: tallulah13
    "Wisdom is found in reality: real science, real history, real experiences. The bible is the recording of the myths of a specific Bronze Age tribe combined with the propaganda supporting one of the many messianic cult figures found in Rome. The "wisdom" found in it's pages should always be considered in that context."

    You speak of the human beings of the Bronze Age as if they were not as intelligent as you. They were much more intelligent than you.

    November 27, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      "They were much more intelligent than you."

      Now THAT is proof of how far your delusion will take you.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • HolySmokes

        You seem surprised that man had intelligence in the Bronze Age. You don't read, do you?

        November 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • igaftr

      And there we have it folks...Holy smokes clearly pulling things out of his a$$.

      If you are just going to make stuff up, like the writers of your magic book, you will never win a debate.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • HolySmokes

        I stand by my analysis–atheists are complete morons.

        November 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • jim g

          hmmmm.....an analysis. more like justifying your desperate delusions.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
        • igaftr

          holy smokes
          Exactly....YOUR analysis. Studies have shown atheists tend to be more intelligent, so again you are pulling stuff out of your a$$.
          You believe because you want to believe, not because there is actual reason.
          Thanks for playing.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • Jim R

          you're an atheist. Do you believe in Al l ah or Zues? I assume not. So, you're an atheist – look up the definition and then look up your descriptive – self actualization is in order

          November 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • AE

      Bronze Age man is probably more intelligent than Ipad Couch man.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • Cal

        thanks- I enjoyed that laugh

        November 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • HolySmokes

          Well the one thing this conversation proves is that the prerequisite to be an atheist means you have to choose to be willfully ignorant of history, literature, all of civilization's accomplishments–in other words, only a complete and utter moron qualifies to be an atheist. Lazy, lazy minds and arrogant in their laziness.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • igaftr

          And again...there you have it. Holy smokes getiing his butt kicked with his ridiculous lies, so he goes on the attack. Ad Hominem is that last refuge for one losing a debate.
          You are clearly just trolling...or is it a poe?...either way, pointless.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • oconnell@altstrat.com

          Please take me off this inform line for email.Ed

          November 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Cal

          just expressing my beliefs and faith in my heavenly Father

          November 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Email Blaster

          Hi Ed.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • Jim R

        then why are you using binary code to communicate? – why not use your chisel and stone tablet and deliver your message to CNN (by donkey)

        November 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • AE

          Our tools are better. That doesn't mean we are more intelligent.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I would like to hear a justification for that conclusion AE. I am not saying you are wrong but I have no reason to think you are correct. What basis do you have for that statement?

        November 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • AE

          I really don't know. I've read things that suggest human intelligence peaked thousands of years ago.

          http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/11/12/human-intelligence-slowly-declining-says-leading-geneticist/

          If we took a Bronze Age man and put him in our modern time he probably wouldn't do well. If you took a modern man and put him in the Bronze Age he would probably not do well either.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I had heard of that too AE. And I agree that we would have a hard time living then and vice versa. But I still am not sure what you are trying to get at.

          November 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • HolySmokes

      Truth is the wisdom culled from the intelligent application of knowledge. Truth depends on knowledge.

      Propaganda depends on ignorance and deception and a willful intent not to ask questions.

      November 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • jim g

        pompous and delusional.

        November 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  2. HolySmokes

    To: Cpt. Obvious
    "Science does not prove the existence of any gods. If it did, there'd be as much debate over god's existence as there is over how chemistry or mathematics work."

    Science proves the universe is intelligible.

    November 27, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  3. gary

    It's all myth and folklore.

    November 27, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Cal

      I really feel sorry for you- I am thankful though for the millions of Christians world wide that believe in the gospel and try to live their life as Jesus taught us

      November 27, 2013 at 11:45 am |
      • Madtown

        The Gospel is the christian way, but it's not the "only" way. Not the "correct" way. It's the way you prefer. Many people prefer different ways. Many have no knowledge of the Gospel. They are not wrong, they are no less human than you.

        November 27, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • Cal

          God does not want any of us to perish- He created us all in his own image. We are all equal in his eyes and his desire for each of us is that we would come to know and accept his son Jesus as Lord.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • Madtown

          his desire for each of us is that we would come to know and accept his son Jesus as Lord
          -----
          That's nothing but rhetoric. If the above is true, what's your best guess as to why God didn't create a pathway for so many of his human creations to learn about Jesus? Why send only 1 son, to 1 small area, with so many different inhabited cultures and regions on earth at the time of Christ? Why not send a son/daughter to ALL regions, to reach EVERYONE, if he truly does desire everyone to "know" Jesus? Why....it's almost as if religion is a creation of mankind, and God has no preference which variation we follow.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • HolySmokes

          The Truth is written on the hearts of every man by the hand of God. You have as much access as any one. All men are created equal. A failure to recognize it is your decision and your decision alone. The Gospels merely confirm what you already know to be true in your heart and soul.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • Madtown

          The Truth is written on the hearts of every man by the hand of God
          -----
          Could be true, but these are things like compassion, love, empathy, etc. In turn, if this is true, it means there's no need for religion. The concepts of christianity are most certainly NOT written on the hearts of every man. Are you denying there are humans on earth at this very moment that have no knowledge of christianity, the bible, and Jesus? If you are, you are astoundingly incorrect.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Hear This

          @HolySmokes,

          Your own special book contradicts you:

          Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
          The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

          Matthew 15:19 ESV
          For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, se.xual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • Cal

          Sin is present in all our hearts and lives- even after becoming a Christian. The war continues daily between good and evil in our lives. I will always be a sinner saved by the grace and mercy of our Lord.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Nothing good, Abused

        jesus learned from people, he didn't have any magical knowledge.

        No proof of jesus with knowledge any greater than anyone who had already existed..

        November 27, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Cal

          You obviously do not know Jesus nor anything about him- it's your great loss.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • jim g

        religious garbage.

        November 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • Cal

          Run Jim run- fast as you can. He said I know the plans I have for you- I drew you on the palm of my hand before you were born- run Jim run- He will always be there for you, always

          November 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • jim g

        pompous BS

        November 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Cal

          He is waiting Jim

          November 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • doobzz

        "I really feel sorry for you- I am thankful though for the millions of Christians world wide that believe in the gospel and try to live their life as Jesus taught us"

        Don't bother. I don't need your pity, your arrogance or your imaginary friend.

        November 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • HolySmokes

      So you don't believe that it is possible to tell the difference between the truth and a lie?

      November 27, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • igaftr

        Sometimes one cannot tell the difference, other times you can. Add in the additional complication of people WANTING to accept a truth or a lie, and it can get complicated.
        Religion is a good example. Though there is no eveidence of the claims of the supernatural, many want to believe and do not want to question. Others do not believe because they believe something else, still others such as me, cannot believe without some form of evidence or logical path to the belief. No religion offers this, and that is why the need for faith, and my opinion is that that sort of faith is lazy, since we do not know, we should try to find out, not accept explainations that cannot stand the crucible of inquiry.

        November 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Cal

          When a man looks at his own life and sees how he fails to stack up against the life of Jesus it will sometimes lead to a decision on his part to want to become more like Jesus- to have what He has. Faith is a huge part of that equation no doubt- we make no excuse for that. It is a wonderful transformation that takes place in the heart and life of the believer.

          November 27, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • igaftr

          Cal
          When you realize that the whole jesus character is just the anthropomorphising of all the potential of "good" a person can do, and satan is the potential "evil" then you can realize the internal struggle is ONLY internal to you. It is not external. The jesus character and satan, they do not exist except for as characters in a story book, and represent the battle over doing right and wrong within ourselves. Nothing supernatural at all...characters in a book representing the internal struggle.

          November 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  4. Reality # 2

    Francis needs to put first things first by exposing the erroneous theology and history of the RCC followed by selling off all of the church's unnecessary assets especially the art treasures of the Vatican.

    November 27, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Prime

      You are an ass. You don't believe in ANY theology, so what's it to you? Be quiet.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      first the child abuse cover ups,, next, what you stated.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  5. PDXDave

    Funny how predictable it is.... every person who cries "freedom from religion" is suddenly cheering the Pope straying from religion into politics.

    If it was Southern Baptist University, you would be clutching your heart and calling the IRS to report them for illegal political activity, demanding their tax status be removed for such an outrageous infraction.

    The hypocrisy of the left knows no bounds.

    November 27, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      "every person?"

      Perhaps if you weren't lying we could consider you claims of hypocrisy, but surely, even you recognize that it is the believers who most often demonstrate extreme hypocrisy.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • tallulah13

      Who exactly is cheering?

      November 27, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • doobzz

      Wrong, bucko.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      I find it interesting that a country as the USA, which fought for its freedoms, has catholics who love a dictator.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • Ouch That Hurt

        A dictator who loves all??? Hmm. Me thinks you should try a little soul searching and/or self examination of conscience ... but who am I to judge?

        November 27, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • Nothing good, Abused

          a dictator that denies small children abused,, because they are an inconvenience to him and his empire, the RCC

          November 27, 2013 at 11:57 am |
      • Ouch That Hurt

        And, yes, you are loved.

        November 27, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • HolySmokes

        The Pope is the Guardian of the Truth. He merely shines the light and guides. Your analogy fails.
        The Pope is a man admired, not feared.

        November 27, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • Nothing good, Abused

          he's a con man,, nothing more and nothing less.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • igaftr

          He is a "guardian" of an empire based on a belief in a book that has had many areas proven false.
          He is a guardian of the secrets of that empire, which has been proven corrupt through its entire existance. There have neen many very sick and depraved popes.
          As far as the truth of the abuse scandal, why is he guarding that? Why isn't he giving full disclosure and prosecuting the offenders and the ones who hid the abuses?

          November 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  6. Ears

    If people will stop listening to the press' conclusions, and stop assuming stuff, and just listen to the man, he's not saying anything that Jesus wouldn't say. "Old Schoolers" need to get their heads out of the Old Testament for a second and try reading the "words in red" in the New Testament. Leave the judging to God.

    November 27, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      such voodoo.. In fact it was good people where jesus learned about good. This man has said nothing worth while and the jesus stories,, were just that, made up stories.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      He is just as wishy washy as Jesus....yep I can agree with that.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  7. Nothing good, Abused

    the catholic church is know to money launder and con. Deceiving is their livelihood.

    Expect posters here who will pretend to be woman who stepped away from the church and coming back, atheists and agnostics.

    yes, they are likely clergy, it's their game and have been taught well.

    November 27, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  8. lol??

    This bears repeating for the commie Mama Killers that put cut up pieces of coat hangers in the apple pie.

    mk
    Okay, so you are a misogynistic caveman. Got it!

    November 27, 2013 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    lol??
    mk, your women pals kill BOTH male and female children. What are ya, a mental gymnast??

    November 27, 2013 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |

    November 27, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • mk

      And this bears repeating from someone in a previous post: time to get back on your meds.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  9. Reality Seeker

    Science is the Truth and answer. Faith is the lie proven by non intellectual thoughts.

    November 27, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • lol??

      Nuke yer foot in a shoe store, sir??

      November 27, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • HolySmokes

      Science is a tool used to explain what is already existant in the universe.. Scientists didn't create anything–they merely discovered what was always there. Science is hardly truth. Scientific theories and explanations are man's attempts to figure out existence. The fact that man believes that existence will prove intelligible is more interesting than all his theories put together.
      Every scientist is convinced of two things: that man has the intellectual capacity to eventually figure out different aspects of existence and that existence will make perfect sense.
      Well, how is it possible that the universe has a complex system of mathematical principles that prove intelligible, but only came into existence in your mind magically and not by the hand of God?

      November 27, 2013 at 11:20 am |
      • Nothing good, Abused

        science continues to evolve with new discoveries and theories. Science improves itself and expects error corrections over time.

        Religion creates fantasies and teaches them as truths, while never acknowledging that it has no way to prove a single thing it preaches. Much like a kids tree house and their fabricated stories.

        November 27, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • HolySmokes

          Science is a tool. No more, no less. Man improves his tools as he discovers more and more of the reality of the universe already existant that he is trying to explain.
          Science is not in opposition to religion. Science proves the existence of God.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Science does not prove the existence of any gods. If it did, there'd be as much debate over god's existence as there is over how chemistry or mathematics work.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • AE

          Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • igaftr

        holy what?
        "Every scientist is convinced of two things: that man has the intellectual capacity to eventually figure out different aspects of existence and that existence will make perfect sense."

        False, and clearly shows you are not a scientist. What else are you going to make up?

        November 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • lol??

      Too bad the pharisees at SCOTUS aren't into truth.
      "..........The U.S. Supreme Court has given a major legal victory to manufacturers of childhood vaccines by ruling that they cannot be sued in state court over injuries allegedly caused by a defective vaccine. The decision — applauded by many in the health care field who said it would help safeguard the nation’s immunization system — could block or narrow thousands of claims linking vaccines to autism and other problems in children. – See more at: http://www.fairwarning.org/2011/02/supreme-court-shoots-down-suits-over-defective-vaccines/#sthash.o6VvOnC7.dpuf

      November 27, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • lol??

      Mumps Vaccine Fraud

      google it.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  10. HolySmokes

    To: Nothing good, Abused

    Your point is well taken. Atheists do not see the good in any man. They see man as a dangerous animal in need of restriction and control by those elite among us who know better–like an atheist. Right?

    November 27, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Wrong.

      Are you trolling or are you really that stupid?

      November 27, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • igaftr

      Wow...way to jump into the absurd.
      I see good and bad in everyman...why are you maligning atheists? Doen't your book say something about bearing false witness?

      November 27, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      your delusion is running away with you.

      The point is simple. To judge a person on spoken words does not reveal that persons true intent. Just as an atheist would want proof of a god, so they would want proof from a man by actions.

      The poster is a deceiver,, an atheists would not post as the poster did.

      You failed.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • lol??

        Not so fast,

        Mar 7:20
        And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

        November 27, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • lol??

      They did turn a gubmint that had checks and balances into a BEAST.

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

      Your entire post is one huge fail. You don't know anything about what I think.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  11. Dr Tod Policandriotes

    There will always be people that are nay sayers to anything a GOOD person would say. I realize his intent is to open up the arms of the Catholic church, but he is saying the right things. For a religious leader such as this to condemn capitalism in its current form on this planet is truly a first. I am sorry to all of you far right people that want to race to obtain obscene amounts of money, but you are all wrong in your quest for only money. The race to have the most is not the race we should all be competing in. The race should be to the most knowledgable, the kindest, the wisest, and most of all race to the highest morals and ethics. This is the ONLY way the human race will survive. The human race cannot survive if the only main goal is to have obscene amounts of money. The only thing that has real value on this planet is humans and life because humans create that value, the money does not. Money creates nothing! Humans create the value and it is time that those who have become obscenely wealthy financially WAKE THE HELL UP, because you are nothing, your money really means nothing if it were not for the people to give it value. The value of money can be taken away just as fast as it gained value. Even resources only have the value humans place on them. Realize this FACT and ponder on it for a while. I am not a religious fanatic and in fact I think religion has caused a lot of problems, but this pope is clearly different and is slinging the RIGHT message to humankind so far. Yes, women need to be recognized too.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      Vatican is not only one of the largest capitalistic organizations, but one that thrives on deceit and fraud.

      All those children starving to death,, the pope and the Vatican sit on pure wealth

      November 27, 2013 at 10:59 am |
      • Dr Tod Policandriotes

        This pope is just getting started, let's wait and see what he does before you start condemning him. So far he is saying the right things, we will see if his actions follow his words.

        November 27, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • Nothing good, Abused

          action #1.. care for those abused children, demonstrating a clear example.

          That should have been first,, yet he deflects away from it. many children abused suffer incredibly due to the mental illness caused.

          the pope is full of it!!

          November 27, 2013 at 11:21 am |
      • Cal

        Why don't you spend some time turning your own negatively filled life around instead of running down those like this pope who dare to actually look at the words of Jesus and compare them to the obscene way capitalism has perverted the world's economies, especially here in the USA.

        November 27, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Eranda

      Great post!!

      November 27, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • React

      Good post, but those who decry the extreme inequality of today's capitalism are automatically labeled 'socialists' and 'communists' and quickly dismissed because our society has been taught to despise these concepts. They can be useful in critiquing the negative aspects of capitalism. But alas our society (and man in general) fears what they don't understand we will continue on this sullen path until something so shocking jars our collective minds to change. As an aside, as an atheist, this Pope seems to be making all the right moves to shake some of the hypocrisy associated with the Church.

      November 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
      • Cal

        I enjoyed your comments- we know that we will always be in the minority- all are called but most will not heed the call. There have always been stark differences between the words of Jesus and the effects of capitalism on mankind but it is becoming so much more apparent worldwide. My prayer is that more Christians will finally begin to notice those differences and deal with those differences in their own lives.

        November 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  12. Ken

    Great! Sara Palin has something to read not tainted by the media.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  13. HolySmokes

    To: HotAirAce
    Really? Why doesn't The Babble unequivocally ban slavery or state that women are fully equal?

    Enslaving people is a political tool of man, not God. Women are depicted throughout the Bible as superior to men.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The bible and its god provide rules on how to treat slaves and codes on how to buy humans and who to sell you family members to and that sort of thing. Hundreds and hundreds of rules even into the New Testament. Never does it once indicate that it is in any way wrong to own another human.

      Oops.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:35 am |
      • HolySmokes

        The Bible records man's actions without God and his actions with God. Taking passages out of their contextual meaning to suit your predetermined ideas, is only evidence of your ignorance.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • Nothing good, Abused

          talk about picking an choosing,, your's is what I'm referencing

          November 27, 2013 at 10:54 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          You haven't read you bible very carefully if you believe that ridiculous nonsense. God is very clear on proving rules on when and how to sell your daughter (not your sons) and how to treat slaves and when you can and can't beat them to death. Try reading your own book, fool.

          November 27, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Hear This

          @HolySmokes,

          "The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them:

          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

          You may buy, own, sell, and will slaves to your descendants (only foreigners for slaves, though, no Israelis) –Leviticus 25

          November 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • Truther

        That European Bible is a Lie....All Historical Evidence proves it....That Original Religious Logos were revised maliciously by ruthless greedy men who think they are higher than God himself..to change his words, his image so that they can gain luxuries on earth...How long did you think Ra would allow this....666.The Truth Mark of Man

        November 27, 2013 at 10:57 am |
      • Dr Tod Policandriotes

        The Bible is a book of lessons and history. Humans can choose to change things, that is what is so wonderful about humans. When we grow up we will not desire obscene amounts of money, but instead desire to have the most knowledge and the biggest brain. This goal is by far the wisest goal of humankind and not the quest for the most money or the most material objects. We should be focusing on growing our minds and not our pocketbooks, anyone who disagrees with this is selfish and greedy and you cannot argue against this with me or the Universe. Remember, no matter how financially wealthy you are, you will still DIE, you are still very small in this Universe and you are but a spec of nothingness in the vastness. Humble yourself and realize that knowledge is the most important thing, PERIOD.

        November 27, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • tallulah13

          Wisdom is found in reality: real science, real history, real experiences. The bible is the recording of the myths of a specific Bronze Age tribe combined with the propaganda supporting one of the many messianic cult figures found in Rome. The "wisdom" found in it's pages should always be considered in that context.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @HolySmokes
      "However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way."
      (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      "When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property."
      (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

      "Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them."
      (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

      "Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die"
      (Ecclesiasticus, 25:19)

      "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."
      (I Timothy 2:11-14)

      "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
      (I Corinthians 14: 34)

      ' Nuff said.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • lol??

        What are the Beast's plans for the masters, who are now the servants?? More careless care??

        November 27, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • Truther

        While you at it tell these wonderful people when these passages were put into your bible....and by whom and what were their roles in that time period...I'll wait...oops....

        November 27, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Is the bible not the apparent word of your god?
      So if that is the case, then are the following verses also not the word of your god?

      However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

      When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

      Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

      The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)"

      November 27, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • lol??

        Christians know about the tree of Life because God told em. The A&A socies know about the tree of money from their imaginations.

        November 27, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Have you seen what the Vatican is worth? My bank account certainly doesn't look that good! You have no way of knowing what this apparent god said, you only know what man claims it said.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • HolySmokes

        You are aware that Christ was crucified because he railed against the Pharisees and Sadduccees "man-made" manipulative rules and delivered them in the name of God, aren't you?

        November 27, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • Cal

          Christ was crucified to provide salvation to everyone that believes- it's that simple.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Nope, sorry the crucifixion story is not worthy of consideration. It is a horror story that condones murder and torture.
          Man-made rules are what we abide by and if you're not capable of doing so without the use of a god, then maybe you shouldn't be roaming the streets freely because it becomes apparent that you're not too moral to begin with.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Cal

          The truth is that we are only passing through- these are not our streets. But we do not worship the man made rules that you apparently do- that is what gets us in the shape that we are in-also known as sin. The story of Christ on the cross may be a horror story to you but it is the story of our Lord providing for our salvation. Because one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, you are quite unaware that you one day will worship this same Father. Sadly too late.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          I worshiped your god and then I grew up and left imaginary friends behind with my childhood! Outside of your bible, you have no other way to prove that any of what you have stated is true.

          November 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Cal

          My faith in Jesus Christ is what has set me free from the bondage of sin- not that I will not sin again because I do every day. But I know now who made me and why and I look forward to spending eternity with my heavenly Father. It's your choice- I made mine.

          November 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • jim g

        LOTS OF RELIGIOUS GARBAGE.

        November 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • Cal

          run Jim run

          November 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • doobzz

      "Women are depicted throughout the Bible as superior to men."

      Really? Is that why the godly Abraham whored his wife/sister out twice to save his own skin, and raped his wife's slave?

      Is that why your god told his chosen ones to kill the men, women and children of the conquered lands, but to keep the virgin women for themselves?

      Is that why Jesus called the Canaanite woman a dog?

      November 27, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  14. Science Works

    Follow-up on Bishop Exorcist. BUSINESS as USUAL !

    Bishop Paprocki stages exorcism as gay marriage becomes law: ‘Be gone Satan’

    BY DAVE MCKINNEY Springfield Bureau Chief November 20, 2013 7:22PM

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/23891467-460/springfield-bishop-stages-exorcism-as-gay-marriage-becomes-law-deliver-us-from-evil.html

    November 27, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  15. JC

    People still fail too see that religion, all of them! are the real problem and the main reason why people are so averse and blind to the concept of God and real spirituality. Religion has been our mediocre attempt to humanize God and to confine Him to our limited minds and understanding. In Religion there is no power, no manifestations, no transformation and no spirituality at all because it is man made. God wants us to have real and profound connection from within so that we can be elevated to higher levels of understanding and existence. Everything related to God and the spirit of men cannot, and will never be understood with our physical minds as that higher dimension is not subject to our physical laws. This is why we have a spirit, to be able to access this realm, but of course, when humans cannot see or explain something, we prefer to discard it...we speak of opening our minds, but we completely shut our innermost selves and this the main reason why the world is so corrupted and bizarre, worse than ever. But we prefer to pretend this is not the case and rather think about the new ipad air. It is time for a real change...

    November 27, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • igaftr

      You have nothing to back up your assertions. The biggest problem is people thinking they know what we do not know, such as the existance of a spiritual realm , or any gods.
      Since we do not know, yours is pure speculation, and only one possibility among an infinite number of others.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:32 am |
      • just wondering

        Since we do not know,yours is pure speculation as well! Now what?

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

          not a good response by you,, poster never claimed one.

          November 27, 2013 at 10:51 am |
        • igaftr

          I speculated nothing. Simply said we do not know.

          November 27, 2013 at 10:51 am |
        • HolySmokes

          To: Nothing good, Abused
          ". . .a billion people? doubt that one. And delusion is what they know."

          A billion people today and 20 centuries strong. Doubt is not appropriate where facts are concerned.
          Delusion denotes the acceptance of deception and lies. Delusion plays not role in the light of truth.
          Being blind to the truth is a conscious choice. Open your mind. You have been deceived and you believe the lie.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • igaftr

          holy smokes
          Obviously you do not understand.
          First, the number of people who believe something has no bearing on the validity of the belief. No believers to 10 billion, does not change the validity of the belief.
          Everytime one of you says that it makes me laugh since it is NON logic.

          You still have NOTHING that shows the existance of any gods, a simple reading of the bible and it is clear that it is flawed cover to cover, especially the whole genesis thing.
          Many people are indoctrinated into your belief, doesn't change the fact that it is one possiblity among an infinite number of others, with many possibilities with higher probability.
          If you choose to believe, fine...but it is illogical and unreasonable to believe in the god of the bible...why not any of the other thousands of gods?

          November 27, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Nothing good, Abused

          what truth.. these is NO provable truth. There is NO proof any god has ever existed. And there NEVER were any miracles.

          Given that, it'd be delusional to follow these silly religions, especially this catholic one known to have destroyed children's lives worldwide with their cover ups from the top down.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • HolySmokes

        You may not know and project that doubt onto others. There are billions of people who do know and they have certainty and that certainty is confirmed every moment of every day in existence itself. I do hope that one day you will see. The key is to open your mind and ask any question you have and don't stop until you get answers.

        November 27, 2013 at 10:54 am |
        • Nothing good, Abused

          a billion people? doubt that one. And delusion is what they know.

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

          No...no one knows. There are a huge number of people that leap to an unjustified conclusion, and do a lot of mental gymnastics to continue convincing themselves, but we do not know still holds true.

          When people thank god for this and that, they do not know there are any gods, they do not understand that there are many other probale explainations for things, but they go straight to goddidit, since that makes them feel better, but it does not chnage the fact that NO ONE KNOWS if there are any gods.
          It is part of the self delusion nature of belief.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • Truther

        Speak for yourselves I know because I know THE CREATOR most won't know HER because its a harsh reality to them..some won't know because they are afraid of what other might think...It takes courage to go up against all you have been taught and call them out on you path to the truth.....all of you were moled to be the people you are ...wanting to be the people you were meant to be....KNOWLEDGE IS POWER...

        November 27, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  16. Hilikus

    I'm an atheist, but I really like this man.

    It is rare to see a person in power who you can look at and say "I believe he is truly a good man".

    November 27, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Nothing good, Abused

      OK priest.. Deceiving works well for you.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • Hilikus

        lol, what?

        November 27, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • Jen

          Sounds like you're dealing with a fundamentalist atheist.

          November 27, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Nothing good, Abused

          "I believe he is truly a good man".

          to make that claim, wouldn't be by an atheist. That's for sure. Nice try though.

          November 27, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • Hilikus

          lol, what you believe is of no concern to me, but I assure you I'm an atheist. There is not a thing supernatural I believe in, religious, or not.

          That doesn't mean that I think it's impossible for someone who believes in the supernatural to be a good human being. This pope has done nothing but try to make the world a better place...and having to go against the grain to do it, and for that, I admire him.

          November 27, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Sad person, can't accept that anyone could actually differ from him without religion, so he calls everyone who says anything positive a priest.

          November 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • Cal

          really interesting how many there are on here who seem to have an axe to grind with the pope, RCC, religion in general, and have their drawers laced up too tight with anyone that seems to care about Christianity. Either that or they have made it their life long mission to berate the RCC for the past sins of the church. In which case I would ask and what are you doing about it if is so important to you? I just know that you have all joined in with some activity to correct the problem- am I right? Yep- that's what I thought.

          November 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • One_of_Jennifer

      I'm very pleased at his appeal to people from every walk of life. Although teachings of the Catholic Church cannot change, he is certainly making great strides to update the delivery method. It hasn't been a year into his pontificate and Francis has already greatly lightened the psychological burden on many people who have felt alienated from the Church.

      November 27, 2013 at 11:34 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.