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April 25th, 2014
11:41 AM ET

How the Catholic Church makes saints

By John L. Allen, Jr. and Daniel Burke

(CNN) - On Sunday, for the first time in history, the Catholic Church will canonize two popes on the same day.

Pope Francis will preside over a special ceremony that is expected to draw upwards of a million pilgrims, who will gather in St. Peter's Square to witness Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII enter the celestial community of Catholic saints.

Here's a bit about the Catholic Church's canonization process.

What is a saint, and how many are there?

Catholics believe a saint is someone who lived a holy life and who’s already in heaven. Saints are considered role models for people still on Earth, and are capable of interceding with God on someone’s behalf when a request for help is made in prayer.

The actual number of saints is impossible to calculate. One well-known work called "Lives of the Saints" lists 2,565 Catholic saints, but that doesn’t count thousands of others celebrated in local regions all over the world. The Catholic Church has a feast, All Saints’ Day, on November 1 to honor the countless saints who aren’t formally canonized.

So how does one become a saint?

In one sense it’s a democratic process, beginning with a grassroots conviction that a given person lived a holy life. From there, things unfold in three stages. First, Church officials make a study of the person’s life. In John Paul’s case, a four-volume study stretching over more than 2,000 pages was produced, including testimony from more than 100 witnesses.

Next, one miracle after the candidate’s death is required for beatification - and another for canonization. Usually the miracles are healings, which must be instantaneous, permanent, and complete, in addition to scientifically inexplicable. Catholics see the miracle as God’s seal of approval, a way of verifying that the saint really is in heaven.

As pope, John Paul II made the sainthood process faster and simpler – but it’s still not cheap. The biggest expenses are usually the ceremonies for beatification and canonization. When St. Josemaría Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, was canonized in 2002, Opus Dei estimated that it had spent roughly $1 million on the process from beginning to end, stretching over three decades.

Was that process strictly followed for Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII?

In a word, no.

John Paul’s beatification is the quickest in modern times, made possible because Pope Benedict XVI waived the normal five-year waiting period after death to get someone’s beatification rolling. Benedict was responding to crowds who chanted “Santo Subito!” (Sainthood Now!) at John Paul’s funeral Mass and to a petition signed by the cardinals who elected Benedict.

In one way, the pace of John Paul’s cause is a result of his own policies. He sped up saint-making in 1983, a move meant to lift up contemporary role models of holiness. Since then, at least 20 candidates have been beatified within 30 years of their death. For the record, John Paul’s is not the most “fast-tracked” sainthood of all time. That distinction belongs to St. Anthony of Padua, who died in June 1231 and was canonized less than a year later.

John XXIII, known to many Catholics as "Good Pope John," had a relatively short papacy - from 1958 to 1963 - but his influence on the church was enormous.

He convened the Second Vatican Council during the 1960s, which brought the Roman Catholic Church into the modern world, and the modern world into the Roman Catholic Church.

As a result of the council, modern music and local languages - including English - replaced Gregorian chants and Latin prayers in many churches. Lay Catholics were encouraged to take leadership roles in the church, and the church's relationships with the Jewish community and with Protestants improved dramatically after liturgical and doctrinal changes.

Beyond that, Pope John XXIII was known as a holy - and very funny - man. When a reporter once asked how many people work at the Vatican, he answered, "About half."

John has been credited with one miracle, the healing of an Italian nun in 1966, but Pope Francis waived the requirement for a second miracle - as is the papal prerogative.

Still, some sticklers say Francis should have waited for the second miracle to canonize John XXIII.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Leaders • Miracles • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (342 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    The whole saint topic is silly. Who cares how and why the RCC picks Christians for their Hall of Fame.

    At least the RCC accepts scientific facts like evolution and the Big Bang. They certainly embellish those facts with their own regalia, but at least they don't deny scientific reality.

    Some Christian sects go to absurd extremes and deny that the universe and earth are billions of years old just to retain literal truth of the bible. It's hard to comprehend.

    April 25, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
  2. Harris

    Saints are those that exude godliness in everything they do.

    Saint is someone who is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17:
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

    A Saint displays godly character at all times.

    April 25, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      what, harris, like knocking up a virgin and being a vindictive pr1ck?

      April 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • fintronics

      But Harris, you're quoting from a book of mythology... fiction, you might as well post quotes from comic books..

      April 29, 2014 at 8:12 am |
  3. bostontola

    "Still, some sticklers say Francis should have waited for the second miracle to canonize John XXIII."

    Lol, like any miracles are happening.

    April 25, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
  4. Concert in an Egg

    The fundamental difference between atheists and believers is this;

    Believers believe first and don't ask questions.

    Atheists ask questions first and then remain skeptical.

    April 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      Fallacy

      April 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        In what way?

        April 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          The insinuation each of those are true in every case.

          If you remember, I didn't "believe first." I grew up an atheist.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, that was too weak of an argument to comment back on really but I will try:

          1. I submit that both statements are necessarily 100% true.
          2. You were an atheist until you were indoctrinated otherwise.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          OK, so the fact I didn't "believe first" and was an athest refutes your point. And two, if you knew anything about me, you know I asked TONS of questions. So does anyone who comes to faith.

          A fallacy that atheists like to claim — and I think it's more of a misunderstanding on your side's part — is that just because you grow up in a Christian home that makes you a Christian. Not true. You aren't a Christian unless you are saved (born again) and many who would call themselves a Christian are NOT saved. Just calling yourself one doesn't make you one. Even those who grow up with it must ultimately ask those questions, repent and put their trust in the Savior.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, why do you have to be saved from the god that loves you? That is immoral.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "Topher, why do you have to be saved from the god that loves you? That is immoral."

          Nothing immoral about it. I broke His laws. I denied Him. Rejected Him. I deserve to be punished and God would be just to send me to Hell.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher. What have you done that you have to saved from? Do not go with the original sin BS, that is just part of the scam. Are you going to pass on your low self esteem to your children? If you do that you should be ostracised right here on earth. From all of your posts it is you, not the unbeliever that is going to end up in your mythical hell.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • observer

          The psychological term for someone who is obsessed with/enjoys being punished is masochist.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, have you ever been beaten by your step-father or molested by a man of the church? Have you watched your mother beaten or your sister sexually molested by someone who "loves" you but needs to "punish" you? Can you really not see that this totalitarianism? If your god were real, he would be a true monster.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "Topher, have you ever been beaten by your step-father or molested by a man of the church? Have you watched your mother beaten or your sister se.xually molested by someone who "loves" you but needs to "punish" you?"

          No, I haven't. And dude, those are TERRIBLE things. But you can't blame God for them. Neither does it prove He doesn't exist.

          "Can you really not see that this totalitarianism? If your god were real, he would be a true monster."

          So you don't believe in justice? Criminals shouldn't be punished?

          April 25, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones

          "What have you done that you have to saved from?"

          Well, for starters, I've broken all 10 Commandments.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, I don't believe in god so it is not really an issue, but for you not to see the parallels between the real monsters here on earth on the big monster in the sky you worship is creepy. If god were real, who in their right mind would have anything to do with him? Cruel and horrible.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "I don't believe in god so it is not really an issue, ..."

          That doesn't really matter. No offense.

          " ... but for you not to see the parallels between the real monsters here on earth on the big monster in the sky you worship is creepy."

          The fact you don't see the difference between an mere man ... sinful and evil ... and a holy, perfect God who has shown nothing but love to you is ... well, sad.

          "If god were real, who in their right mind would have anything to do with him?"

          Me.

          "Cruel and horrible."

          Yes, so cruel and horrible that He didn't love you so much that He left Heaven, came to earth and lived the perfect life that you have chosen not to ... voluntarily went to His death taking the punishment you deserve ... and defeating death so that after death, you may live ... He's given you everything you have: children, job, air to breath, food and water and you haven't even thanked Him once. And yet He loves you anyway and His offer is still being made to you. Yeah ... so cruel and horrible.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher. So you have broken all your silly commandments, too bad. You seem to need to tell every one else that they ere also sinners to make yourself live with your ugly past. Pi$$ off freak, there is nothing uglier than a born again passing judgement on others. Deal with your sh!t. Others are not like you.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, I don't believe in blood sacrifice or zombies. Just so you know. No offense.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones

          "You seem to need to tell every one else that they ere also sinners to make yourself live with your ugly past."

          Has nothing to do with living with my "ugly past." It doesn't make up for a thing. In fact, since I CAN'T make up for those things, that's why I need the Savior.

          " ... there is nothing uglier than a born again passing judgement on others."

          Whom did I pass judgment on?

          "Others are not like you."

          You've never told a lie? Stolen something? Took the Lord's name in vain? Looked with lust? Disobeyed your parents?

          April 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher. You can't separate what is the law of the secular land from the ugly beliefs of your religion. What is the matter with you, many others don't agree with your biblical idea of sin. Telling a "lie" may be the moral/right thing to do in order to not hurt someone's feelings. You need the crutch to be able to live with your "sins', so be it, but why spread your delusion to others?

          April 25, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones

          "You need the crutch to be able to live with your "sins', so be it, but why spread your delusion to others?"

          Not a crutch and not a delusion. But I "spread" it, because I know of God's wrath that is to come to lawbreakers ... and I know of the forgiveness that He offers to those willing to repent and trust in Him.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, you describe a celestial dictatorship as the model you would live by. Why?

          April 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher. No you don't now anything of the kind, your head is totally fvcked up with your delusion to let you live with your pathetic past, the rest of us will pass on the BS. You are pathetic.

          April 25, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • sam stone

          gopher: if your god is omniscient, he knew what we were going to do before we did it

          hence, there is no free will

          punishing people who lack free will is a characteristic of a tyrant

          you continue to grovel before this tyrant like a snivelling slave

          get back on your knees, boy

          April 25, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
        • sam stone

          "Not a crutch and not a delusion"

          Sad the deluded person

          Tell us all more about your fairy tale, gopher......

          April 26, 2014 at 7:26 am |
        • sam stone

          Gopher preaches because he cannot reason anything out, and he knows is.

          So, he relies on the tenuous authority of his comic book

          It is the intellectual equivalent of a child covering his ears, kicking his feet and scream "la, la, la, la, I CAN'T HEEEEAR YOU"

          April 26, 2014 at 7:30 am |
      • gulliblenomore

        Topher....that is not a fallacy, that is fact. You should learn to realize what the difference is. Atheists think with their brain, while believers think with their heart. It is not always a bad thing, but what it does do is remove the ability for believers to use what little intelligence they do possess to progress forward. Believers are still living in the past....2000 years in the past, actually. It is too bad, really, because what you might be able to contribute to society would be infinitely better than rolling over and playing dead to religious conviction. I do pity you, really....you have no idea what you are truly missing.

        April 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • Vic

          Last time I checked,

          Christians founded the branches of Modern Science as well as the Modern Scientific Method, and they continue to pioneer in and contribute to it

          The vast majority of Americans have been Christians throughout US history—currently 76%+,
          All US Presidents have been Christians,
          The vast majority of elected officials, especially the US Legislator—US Congress, have been Christians all along,
          The vast majority of SCOTUS Justices have been Christians all along,
          and the list goes on and on.

          Well, I believe that's a tremendous amount of brain usage to ignore.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          What is he and other Christians missing?

          April 25, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • fintronics

          The ability to not confuse imagination with reality.

          April 29, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
    • thefinisher1

      You are too childish and stubborn to do anything for yourself. You want other people to do it for so you don't have to lift a finger. Grow up spoiled brat.

      April 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Sorry troll, I couldn't even follow that one....

        April 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          That's because you have an education of a preschooler.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Egg....that child is an idiot. Just ignore his responses, really. If nobody ever responded to his inane comments, he would eventually go away.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          If everyone ignored atheists and their pathetic excuse known as atheism, atheists would take the hint and leave.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Sounds good, you go first and try it and let's see if it works.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Nah. That would take the fun away! Somebody has to stand up against idiots who think their false logic god made them so "special". Your atheism is pathetic. Grow up.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Egg....Seriously....this idiot deserves no response whatsoever, as he has absolutely nothing intelligent to say. He really is a clown. If we all just completely stopped responding to him, I'm sure he would get bored and go away.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          That is what I thought you would say. I don't want to be mean to you because I fear you may be a very pathetic and fragile person in first life.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          that was meant for finisher of course...

          April 25, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          @gulliblenomore

          He will go away only when he (or she) is bored. In the mean time, the troll serves it's purpose.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Bored? Wrong. I'm here for reasons much like yours. I'm fighting against a system that is murderous and hateful (your atheism). Atheism is pure evil and should be kept away from children.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Uh-huh.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        How now, troll?

        April 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Yep.
      It mostly comes down to our different view regarding faith (in the religious sense of the word).
      The the believer, faith is a virtue, absolutely necessary to their worldview and salvation.
      To the skeptic, the willing suspension of critical thinking required to accept a proposition despite a lack of evidence (or evidence to the contrary) is anathema.

      April 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • Russ

        @ Doc: on the contrary, the skeptic puts all the faith in the world in his skepticism.

        April 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
    • Vic

      As a matter of fact, you are conflating human traits, which vary per individual regardless of personal convictions, with belief systems, and that's a fundamental mistake.

      April 25, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        That is quite impossible since atheism isn't a belief system.

        April 25, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          If atheists make their atheism out to be a belief system, it is one. If it quacks likes a duck and looks like a duck, it's still a duck.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Call it a worldview if you want, but it absolutely is a belief system.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Topher...it is absolutely not a belief system! It is the dis-belief of any gods (there have been so many). You prove your god exists....actual, verifiable proof, and we will believe. Because that is all we believe in....proof!

          April 25, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          It is a "belief system" of ONE thought that God and gods don't exist.

          Quite a SYSTEM, right?

          April 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher you are wrong. I don't have a belief system. I am aware of what others believe and what science has discovered thus far.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • Vic

          Positive......Negative
          Active........Passive
          Belief.........Non-belief
          Theism......Atheism

          The logical negative —which is a passive state— of Theism is Atheism. One can only be an atheist if he/she is passive. The moment you actively pursue the Atheism stance, it is automatically a belief system.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          And you atheism is still a pathetic and weak belief system. Time to act like adults now.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • observer

          Vic,

          Yep, just like being left-handed is a belief system when they ask for left-handed products.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          It's a worldview/belief system because it goes much further than your thoughts on God. Since you disbelieve in God, it informs your thinking on many other aspects of life.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Like what?

          April 25, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          It will inform your thinking on many things ... abortion, death, the afterlife, how you vote, stance on gay marriage, euthenasia, ... social issues, etc.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          So are you saying that as a believer, I would now support slavery and the various discriminations (women, gays, handicapped, etc.) advocated by the Bible and that I would hypocritically claim it actually mentioned abortion?

          April 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, are describing the difference between:

          1. Critical thinking.

          and

          2. NOT thinking (religion)

          April 25, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "So are you saying that as a believer, I would now support slavery"

          Depends on the kind of slavery. The kind in the Bible is NOT the race-based kind we know of in this country.

          "and the various discriminations (women, gays, handicapped, etc.) advocated by the Bible and that I would hypocritically claim it actually mentioned abortion?"

          Fallacies.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Please spend time away from blogs and actually read a Bible.

          It tells you how badly you can BEAT YOUR SLAVE without punishment (sure sounds like American slavery). It tells you that God doesn't want ANY HANDICAPPED priests which would defile his precious church.

          Get back to reality about what the Bible says. Wishful thinking doesn't work. Read one.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          Still taking verses out of context, I see.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Does the Bible say that you can BEAT YOUR SLAVE with a rod and there is NO PUNISHMENT if they don't die? YES or NO?

          Does the Bible say that God forbid priests with handicaps? YES or NO?

          Get out of fantasyland and actually READ a Bible.

          Still PRETENDING that the Bible doesn't say WHAT IT DOES?

          April 25, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Stop PRETENDING to know and understand the bible atheists. Nobody cares that your childish ego isn't fed.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • iowasundevil

          How ironic that someone who believes in childish fairy tales is telling people to grow up.

          April 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • sam stone

          it's a single answer to a single, question, gopher

          calling it a belief system just fits in with the remainder of your delusion

          April 26, 2014 at 7:36 am |
        • fintronics

          Ahhh yes! the Christian word twisters!.. twisting word definitions to suit their deluded belief in fairytales.....

          ......... understandable when you consider that their bible is the great book of "this means that"... anything goes!...

          April 29, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NO..its the ignorant atheists who twist and pretend the Bible was written originally in English language by AMerican people!

          April 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and its "anything goes"by the atheists who have no clue what a context is

          April 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • fintronics

          GE 6:11-17, 7:11-24 God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to do something about it. He kills every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah's family and thereby makes himself the greatest mass murderer in history.

          April 29, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          to prove God is a murderer,..yuo have to first show that he had no right to take the life of humans.

          April 29, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • fintronics

          EX 9:22-25 A plague of hail from the Lord strikes down everything in the fields of Egypt both man and beast except in Goshen where the Israelites reside."

          A loving god indeed!..... fortunately, just an imaginary one..

          April 29, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          sadly you leave out that God is ALSO a JUST and HOLY God...and it goes hand in hand with love....out of love God allowed man decision to accept or reject Him....if they rejected God..they reject life..since only He gives it..thus they get what they asked for (even if they didn't say "I want death") still that's the consequences...God showed that he is one who gives life....

          April 29, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Out of gods love he killed every living thing on the planet except one family. Some love there. We are not impressed.

          April 29, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you are willfully ignoreing other aspects of God..thus being dishonest...thinking that God is only love and nothing else

          April 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....nope....just a whole lot smarter than you. I know, that a loving parent, would NEVER, EVER destroy his entire family (unless he was fvcking nuts!). So sorry...I'll stick with the love thing is garbage from your evil, nasty, vengeful creator. Thank god I am an atheist!

          April 29, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          terrible anaology..human parents don't send their children to hell or heaven....you arte not smarter than me...you just willfully ginroe facts that God is a Jusdt God and you don't like consequences..even a LOVING parent gives consequences..sure..they don't ddestroy their children...but they aint god..so terrible anaology...besides..God didn't destroy them..there is an aftelife

          April 30, 2014 at 1:54 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....Facts? How dare you insult the word fact by comparing it with conjecture. You have no provable facts at all. If you do, then produce them. But you are right about one thing. Human parents are much more humane than you supposed all-loving deity. And if you really believe the c-rap you are spewing, then you must know that those horrible people he destroyed in Noah's time are spending eternity in hell. Proves my point....not yours.

          April 30, 2014 at 8:14 am |
        • kermit4jc

          it does not prove your point...you just don't like consequences....that's pretty much the implied..and again...God isJudge...you wont even address that..youre dishonest

          April 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...I can't believe what a fvcking idiot you are! You never address the question and spout off these really inane off-the-wall comments. Your god is your judge only....not mine. It is literally impossible to have as a god something that you don't believe in. Sorry....you and your god can just take a hike.

          April 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          whos the idiot here...the topic between me and the other perosnisbaout a loving God....HE brought it up...so maybe you should stop spouting and start reading the context of my posts..thanks

          May 1, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....I'm still going with you. I've seen a lot of your posts.

          May 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • fintronics

          "context".. oh please, ...lets get ready for the "this means that" dance!

          April 29, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so are you admitting context iscarp..it means nothing..it is not needed?? HOW do you ever communicate then?

          April 29, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • fintronics

          At the end of the day, you have ZERO evidence for the existence of any god. These are all quotes from mythology....fiction.
          I understand that you believe but that does not equate to evidence and mythology does not equate to reality.
          Unless you want to change word definitions which believers have been know to do when it suits their delusion.

          April 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          YOU claim that we change word definitions and that we do it to suit our needs...back it up....

          April 29, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc

          "YOU claim that we change word definitions and that we do it to suit our needs...back it up...."

          Fred could write his own dictionary. He has claimed that "vengeance" does NOT mean "punishment" and that "reality" is not the life we have, but the afterlife. Another gem was that "tempt" does not mean "tempt" in another place in the Bible.

          Read his comments so you will know better.

          April 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I read his comments..and it is true....there IS another kind of reality in the after life..as for tempt....it does nOT have one definition...and same goes for vengeance...I suggest you also get in the mindset the Bible was written by JEWS over 2000 years ago..a different culture, time, and language...use the context accordingly in THEIR useage of the words (remember..Bible was not originally written by modern day Americans using modern day English)

          April 29, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • fintronics

          "I read his comments..and it is true....there IS another kind of reality in the after life.."

          You have no evidence to claim "truth" regarding this supposed afterlife. It is purely your imagination.

          Definition of the word truth, =

          "conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement."
          "a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths."

          So here you are twisting the definition of the word "truth" unless of course you can provide evidence for the "afterlife"

          April 29, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        Vic....the common trait of believers is the ability to abandon reason and logic for fantasy, in the hope that an eternal, better life awaits them, regardless of what can be proven. I'm sure you don't believe in the scientologists belief in Xenu...,because it makes no sense to you. That is how us atheists believe about all religions. We are one god smarter than you.

        April 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
  5. thefinisher1

    If atheists don't like religion, why are they so obsessed with it? Atheism is only in their minds thus proving atheism=fiction.

    April 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
  6. Salero21

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9APpn_MIp0c&w=640&h=360]

    April 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    The way modern Republicans venerate him, you'd think they want to beatify Ronald Reagan.
    Saint Ronnie of Gipper – patron of afternoon naps and plausible deniability.

    April 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • Akira

      It's funny how they were totally against St. Ronny when he was a Democrat. Ah, partisanship. Membership has it's priviledges.

      April 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      They were against him before they were for him.

      April 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      For our Latino friends:

      St. Ronaldo of Ranchero del Cielo.

      Patron saint of chopping wood.

      April 25, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
  8. Bootyfunk

    the two new saints will be St. Touchy-Feely and St. Money Grubber.

    April 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
  9. Reality

    Good men but saints working miracles?? Give us a break !! Time the RCC wakes up to the reality of "cures". But then again the money train of declaring saints (tourism, "holy" T-shirts, rosaries, and other useless trinkets made in China) would come to a halt.

    April 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
  10. Salero21

    Totally Diabolical!! Against Scripture, against the Gospel of Christ, contrary to the teachings of Christ and the apostles, therefore against Christ, an Antichrist

    April 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A Short List of Alleged Anti-Christs

      All Popes, Most Presidents (except Carter!? but especially Reagan), Emperor Nero, Arius of Alexandria, Czar Peter the Great, Caligula, Midrash Vayosha, Armilus, Adolf Hitler, Henry Kissinger, Mikhael Gorbachev, Napoleon Bonaparte, Antiochus IV, Ti.tus, Charlemagne, Benito Mussolini, Javier Solana, Rahmat Ahmad Maitreya, Saint Germaine, Prince Charles of Britain, Prince Felipe of Spain, Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, Miguel Angel Sosa Vasquez,King George, Elvis Presley, Sun Myung Moon, Saddam Hussein, King Frederick the Great, Aleister Crowley, Joseph Stalin, Francisco Franco, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Louis Farrakhan, Karl Hapsburg, Bill Gates, Jacques Chirac, Oprah Winfrey etc. ad nauseum

      April 25, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • Salero21

        Forgot yourself?
        Mat. 12:30 "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Phony how atheists flock like goats to the RCC defense and "worship" of the dead.

        April 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • Reality

          So another "thu-mptation" and this case historical by rigorous testing by many NT scholars. Keep in mind this passage involves JC casting out devils, those ugly, wingie, thingies invented by the ancients either to scare us around the winter fires or to give us a reason for immoral activy which again brings us to the mental condition of one Jesus of Nazareth.

          Only for the new members:

          Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to/exorcised Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

          Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

          Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

          So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

          April 25, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
      • Akira

        Well, to be honest, Caligula was pretty heinous.

        April 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And Oprah's power of America's housewives is obviously supernatural...

          April 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • Akira

          Lol. "Oprah, begone! You have no power over me!" -said by no housewife, ever.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • fintronics

          "My kung fu is stronger that your's!!!"

          April 29, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
      • Akira

        And Rainier would be pretty upset to see his hero Frederick on there.

        April 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
  11. Vic

    Originally, a saint is basically a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, hence a Christian.

    April 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      it's amusing that people desire ETERNITY with a being from whom they have to be "saved"

      April 25, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      I think Vic's GED certificate was printed on the back of a Costco cereal box.

      April 25, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Makes sense.
        After all, breakfast cereal was invented by a Christian as a means to keep people from masturbating.

        April 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          Doc, you are quick!

          April 25, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Kellogg taught us that all a mental patient really needs are Jesus Christ, bland foods and frequent enemas (though maybe not in that order).

          April 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
    • Vic

      Yeah, it says "A Saint: A believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, hence a Christian"

      April 25, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Becoming a saint is as easy as... being schizophrenic, hearing voices and having visions that tell you to fight the English army... and then being called a witch and burned at the stake at age 19, when you do too good of a job kicking their butts...

    April 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      They also charged her with (gasp), wearing men's clothes. Umm, what else would you wear into battle, a formal gown?

      April 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
  13. Concert in an Egg

    It is difficult to imagine the level of shame that accompanies being Pope. I suppose it would affect each one in his own way. Some probably embrace, or even believe they are something unique and special, while others must shrink in embarrassment.

    April 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
  14. noahsdadtopher

    All wrong. Biblically, a saint is ANYONE who is saved. Living or dead.

    April 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      ooooh, gopher, "saved".....pretty damn impressive, i tell you

      April 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
  15. Dalahäst

    "A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints."
    – Pauline Phillips

    April 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      When a church has become abandoned and stands in disrepair, men come to urinate with a fair amount of privacy. It is in this way that churches are beneficial to us all.

      April 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
      • snuffleupagus

        Ummm Egg, that sure gives new meaning to the term 'holy water", eh?

        April 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          They keep out the undesirables.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • Akira

      Dear Abby?

      April 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Heck yea!

        April 25, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • fintronics

          "My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can."
          - Frank Zappa

          April 29, 2014 at 9:04 am |
  16. MadeFromDirt

    Why do Catholics need more role models and people to intercede with God for them? Is Christ's life and work and resurrection and place at the right hand of God not enough for them?

    April 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
  17. Doris

    A vision I have! I see at least six, then six, then six more articles about popes and saints before the moon sets this Sunday...

    April 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      You do indeed have the third eye Doris...

      April 25, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      Very likely.

      April 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Hey T, good morning. Ready to save some souls today?

        April 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I can't save anyone's soul. But I'd be happy to discuss with them how God can.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Excellent. First, can you define what a persons "soul" is? I need to understand the meaning of the terms.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I can try, though I might not give you a definition that will satisfy you. I'd say it's our "life force." The part of you that continues on after death.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          After death, will the "life force" have thoughts without the human brain? Is the brain necessary in life?

          April 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • sam stone

          you don't discuss, topher, you preach

          you are yet another example of why preachers should be publicly ridiculed

          April 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          Yes. Though it is important to note, eventually we will all get physical bodies again.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          "eventually we will all get physical bodies again."

          So does a person get the body of them as a child so that their grandparents will recognize the person they knew or will they get the body of them as grandparents so their grandchildren will recognize the person they knew?

          April 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          No idea what physical age we will appear to be. A lot of people think it's around 30, but I honestly don't know where they get that from.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I am questioning the need for a body. What if you died as a baby or something? How old and healthy is the body? Anyway, where would anybody stand? Is heaven a planet?

          April 25, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @topher
          It is common for those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries to experience drastic alterations in personality and cognition.
          A significant proportion of patients suffer from restricted emotions with occasional inappropriate or uncontrolled emotional outbursts, impaired judgment and decision–making, impaired initiation, planning, and organization of behavior; and defective social comportment.
          This indicates that our meat machines – and specifically our brains – make us who we are.
          Upon death, the brain ceases to function - and therefore, cognition ceases.
          Whatever energy remains of our physical being, it is not going to be consciousness.

          What do you remember of existence before you were born?
          That is what you'll be going back to.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "I am questioning the need for a body."

          Eventually, there will be a new heavens and a new earth. God will restore everything to the way it was created to be.

          "What if you died as a baby or something? How old and healthy is the body?"

          True, babies go to Heaven. And it will be perfectly healthy in Heaven. No idea how old they will appear to be, though.

          "Anyway, where would anybody stand? Is heaven a planet?"

          Only if you're a Mormon.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          "True, babies go to Heaven"

          Great! Now we don't need to hear anymore about abortion being terrible. It's a great short-cut into heaven and getting there is every Christians GREATEST WISH.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Whatever.

          April 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Topher, why should we trust god with a new heaven and earth when he completely screwed up this one? I would not hire him to mow my lawn.

        April 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          God didn't mess this one up. We did.

          April 25, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          What did I do?

          Which begs the question, where is my soul before I am born?

          April 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Topher....then, I think it would be accurate to say that gods creation totally screwed things up....many, many, many times over. Pretty lousy design for a 'perfect creator'. I really can't believe if he had been so all powerful, he couldn't have made better humanity. Also...why didn't he make men smarter right off the bat. Why would he have waited so long to bring technology up to the speed of what it is now in 2014? We have learned so much over time, you would have thought he would have instilled that knowledge in us right off the bat. Really, really bad job of being a god, I would quite accurately say. By the way....anytime anyone uses the word 'whatever' it implies that they have nothing of any intelligence to say.

          April 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          Sorry, dude. I forgot about this conversation.

          "What did I do?"

          Sinned.

          "Which begs the question, where is my soul before I am born?"

          It was created at conception.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          If you were "It was created at conception." why would you not then be "de-created" at death? How would you know something like that anyway? You are pushing the borders of being honest...

          April 25, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I don't see what's dishonest about it. We see from Scripture that the soul, once created, lives forever. The only question is WHERE it will live after your physical death.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Can't the soul be destroyed in hell?

          April 25, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "Can't the soul be destroyed in hell?"

          To the point of non-existence? No.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Matthew 10:28

          And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

          ~~~~

          I guess I am just not smart enough to understand the bible.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Ezekiel 18:20

          The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          You're imputing your own definition. Read it plainly (and never read a single verse.)

          April 25, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I read it and showed it to you. You are wrong and I am right, just admit the truth.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I would if I thought it was true. (smiley)

          Also note these passages ...

          "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Daniel 12:2

          "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Matthew 25:46

          "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28-29

          "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:48

          April 25, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher

          So:

          1. You agree that the bible is contradictory.
          2. You therefore can't know if souls live forever.
          3. You agree with HeavenSent that your own personal worm will feed off your fat drippings forever in hell.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Concert in an Egg

          "1. You agree that the bible is contradictory."

          Not at all. You just have to know how to read the Bible Hermeneutically.

          "2. You therefore can't know if souls live forever."

          Sure I can.

          "3. You agree with HeavenSent that your own personal worm will feed off your fat drippings forever in hell."

          It will be for forever, yes.

          April 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Topher, ok...

          Now where did the worms come from and do they work for god or the devil?

          April 25, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Remember – if your prophecy doesn't come true, all you have to do is say that 6 doesn't actually mean '6', "Sunday" actually means any day at all and not necessarily 24 hours.

      April 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • fintronics

        Exactly.... the bible is the great book of "this means that"

        April 29, 2014 at 9:06 am |
  18. G to the T

    Amazing that they should find evidence of miracles for these men when none were presented during their lifetimes...

    April 25, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
    • otoh2

      John Paul II is reported to have practiced self-flagellation. –http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/01/27/pope.flagellate/

      Miracle Whip?

      April 25, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    what a crock.

    April 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
  20. tallulah131

    Sainthood explained in one word: Propaganda.

    April 25, 2014 at 11:57 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.