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April 25th, 2014
07:57 AM ET

Three popes, one brilliant move

Opinion by John Carr, special to CNN

(CNN) - This Sunday, Pope Francis will canonize “Good” Pope John and Pope John Paul “the Great.”

These popular references to Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II recall the ancient practice of choosing saints by public acclaim.

Sunday's ceremony, on the other hand, is the result of a more elaborate process and a brilliant decision by their successor, Pope Francis.

Though they will be canonized together, in some ways these two popes were very different people.

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was one of 14 children from an Italian peasant family who became a historian, diplomat, bishop and then Pope John XXIII.

Long before Pope Francis' off-script, populist touches led some to dub him the "people's pope," John broke precedent by escaping the Vatican to visit hospitals and prisons.

He left as a legacy his encyclical “Pacem in Terris,” which was addressed for the first time not just to Catholics, but to all those of “good will.” It reshaped Catholic teaching on human rights and made an impassioned call for peace amid the Cold War.

Though John XXIII served for only five years (1958-1963), he forever changed the church by convening the Second Vatican Council, which reformed Catholic liturgy, interfaith relations and the church's approach to the modern world.

Karol Józef Wojtyła was the third child of a captain in the Polish Army. He was an actor, athlete, philosopher and theologian who became a bishop, cardinal and then the first non-Italian Pope in centuries, Pope John Paul II.

As Pope, he did not just write to “people of good will,” he traveled to 129 countries to meet and speak to millions of them. His encyclicals reaffirmed and enriched Catholic teaching on work and labor, solidarity and the market, human life and the search for truth.

He served five times longer than Pope John, for more than a quarter century. He changed the world with his courage in standing with the workers of Solidarity and the Polish people against Soviet domination and Communist repression. That nonviolent resistance was the beginning of the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

John Paul II, from the first moment of his papacy, said "do not be afraid." Likewise, John XXIII was unafraid of opening the windows of the church to the modern world.

Both men called for the church to engage modern times and not to turn inward to simply preserve and protect its ideas and traditions.

The world took notice.

Pope Francis was not the first Pope to be Time magazine’s “person of the year.” Both John XXIII and John Paul II were recognized on the cover of Time’s year end issues.

But, even in the midst of this celebration of the holiness and leadership of these two popes, it would be a mistake to ignore the challenges and shortcomings of the church and its leaders.

Catholics sharply disagree on the how the Second Vatican Council's reforms have been implemented, on the way authority is exercised, on the role of women in the church and on matters of human sexuality.

Clearly, John Paul II’s legacy is scarred by his inattention and inaction on the clerical sexual abuse crisis, and the whole church is haunted by this terrible failure.

Pope Francis is trying to address these challenges and is calling on Catholics to refocus on fundamentals: On God’s love and mercy, on our duty to love and defend the poor, the vulnerable, the very young and very old and those left behind by an economy of exclusion and injustice.

The genius of the twin canonizations is that they bridge generations, church divisions and different visions of holiness and greatness.

A progressive urban pastor can smile at the memory and hopes that came with John XXIII.

At the same time, the “JPII generation” of younger, more conservative priests can celebrate the strong leadership that called them to serve the church.

Lay men and women can recall that John XXIII and John Paul II called them to greater responsibility in the church and in sharing the Gospel and Catholic teaching in the world.

For Catholics, this is a time to honor John XXIII’s humanity, holiness and call for renewal and John Paul’s strength and courage in facing prolonged illness and in standing with workers and for freedom in Poland.

By canonizing them together, Pope Francis avoids the danger of lifting up one way of leading the church as the only way to guide the Catholic family of faith.

Their differing histories, personalities, strengths, weaknesses and legacies can help Catholics appreciate legitimate differences within the one body of Christ.

If both Pope John and Pope John Paul can be made saints on the same day, maybe Catholics can be more respectful of differing perspectives and priorities in today’s church.

On Sunday, there may be cheers from very different parts of the crowd in Saint Peter’s Square at very different moments.

However, we are one family of faith, united by a common Gospel, consistent teaching and the complementary legacies of these two “fathers” we call “holy” in a new way.

John Carr is director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. He previously served for more than two decades as the director of justice and peace efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The views expressed in this column belong to Carr.

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Italy • Leaders • Opinion • Poland • Pope Francis • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. lookatuniverse

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “Does the human being not see that we created him from a tiny drop, then he turns into an ardent enemy?” [36:77]

    “He raises a question to us – while forgetting his initial creation – "Who can resurrect the bones after they had rotted?" [36:78]

    “Say, "The One who initiated them in the first place will resurrect them. He is fully aware of every creation." [36:79]

    “Is not the One who created the heavens and the earth able to recreate the same? Yes indeed; He is the Creator, the Omniscient.” [36:81]

    “All He needs to do to carry out any command is to say to it, "Be," and it is.” [36:82]

    “O people, here is a parable that you must ponder carefully: the idols you set up beside God can never create a fly, even if they banded together to do so. Furthermore, if the fly steals anything from them, they cannot recover it; weak is the pursuer and the pursued.” [22:73]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” [19:35]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    May 4, 2014 at 11:50 am |
  2. Reality

    Good men but saints working miracles or simply being liked ?? Give us a break !! Time the RCC wakes up to the reality of "cures" and being nice GUYS ". 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 6:05 pm |
  3. Salero21

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9APpn_MIp0c&w=640&h=390]

    April 25, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
    • Akira

      Ok.

      April 25, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
  4. 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 2:44 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Is that you, "finisher"? Sure sounds like you.

      April 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        LOL. Your stupidity is showing and it's at maximin level!

        April 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Salero21

          Yeah!!

          April 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • Akira

        You know it, tallulah.

        April 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Salero21

          That's Totally stu...!

          April 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Akira

          Nope.

          April 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Salero21

          Yup it is!! Totally.

          April 26, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • bostontola

      Don't be so hard on yourself Salty.

      April 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
    • evolveddna

      Sounds like you a rather strong coffee today..relax its all mythology anyway..nothing to fear at all.

      May 4, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
  5. bostontola

    I can see people looking to the bible for guidance. I can't see people regarding it a perfect book to follow literally. People who use the bible that way are similar to Muslim extremists that impose Sharia law.

    The bible is flawed. It has factual errors and inconsistencies that can only be resolved by tortured interpretations. This should be a signal that you need to use your own good judgement to interpret it. Sure, there are lots of people who study the bible and have interesting takes on it. Research many and decide for yourselves. The only certainly wrong answer is a literal interpretation.

    April 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
    • thefinisher1

      Taking atheism literally is stupid and illogical. Try again.

      April 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        there once was a finisher1
        who's nickname his wife had begun
        'cos when his wife he did mount
        she'd start then to count
        but she only ever got to 1

        April 25, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          There once was a dog who thought he was smarter than everyone else until one day, he got so butthurt, he died from the amount of stupidity he had.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          That doesn't rhyme dear.

          April 25, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
      • bostontola

        What is illogical is thinking that the only alternative to taking the bible literally is atheism. I don't think you can be that simple, so are you just trolling?

        April 25, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Well, your atheism is man made and all in your head. Thus your atheism is a childish and illogical excuse. "Why aren't the answers there for only ME to discover?!". That's atheism. Atheism breeds selfish and childish immaturity.

          April 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • Akira

          Do you take the Bible literally, finisher? This is a direct question that has nothing to do with atheism. It is a yes or no question.
          Yes or no?

          April 25, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    if I can't get enough of alcohol I am an alcoholic
    if I can't get enough of cats am I a catholic?

    April 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • thefinisher1

      you need help.

      April 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        you need ziprasidone.

        April 25, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Is that like saying "I know you are but what am I"?

          April 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          except he's a Doc and you're just a finisher.

          I'll award this battle to the Doc based on credibility and intelligibility.

          Well done Doc.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Awww. Doggie is trying to sound smart! Fail dumb troll, fail.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          now don't be a poor loser. tsk, tsk. You were playing out of your league. No disgrace in losing to someone so vastly superior to you.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Stupid dog is still a stupid dog. Oh well. You can still teach an old dog new tricks.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
  7. thefinisher1

    LOL. Atheists sit behind a computer screen claiming to be "smart", but that's a lie. Their atheism has become a religion that they will use to convert and hate in the name of. Atheists are deluded people.

    April 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you need help.

      April 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      April 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Oblivious retard is oblivious.

        April 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • Akira

          You finally had a moment of self-awareness! Good.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Awww! Thank you for admitting you have a reading problem!

          April 25, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Akira

          I'm sorry you don't comprehend the written word. Perhaps you should have completed your subpar education.
          You do believers a disservice, and this particular persona is laughable. I thank you for the comic relief.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          "Comic relief"? So you admit you're a child and don't follow logic or reason?!

          April 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Akira

          No, I'm saying that you provide comic relief. Sorry I used big words you don't understand.

          April 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Y'all gots more gooder brain thinkies then dum atheists, I reckon.

      April 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
      • bostontola

        He shur is won smaht feller.

        April 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Dawng rite

        April 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      So, since not one atheist here has ever claimed to be "smart", your assumption proves one thing.
      YOU are intimidated by intelligent people.
      That must be a scary place to be.

      April 25, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
  8. Doris

    Letting go of superstition

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yceHh5khkXo&w=640&h=390]

    Speakers in order of appearance:

    1. Lawrence Krauss, World-Renowned Physicist
    2. Robert Coleman Richardson, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    3. Richard Feynman, World-Renowned Physicist, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    4. Simon Blackburn, Cambridge Professor of Philosophy
    5. Colin Blakemore, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Neuroscience
    6. Steven Pinker, World-Renowned Harvard Professor of Psychology
    7. Alan Guth, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Physics
    8. Noam Chomsky, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Linguistics
    9. Nicolaas Bloembergen, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    10. Peter Atkins, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Chemistry
    11. Oliver Sacks, World-Renowned Neurologist, Columbia University
    12. Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
    13. Sir John Gurdon, Pioneering Developmental Biologist, Cambridge
    14. Sir Bertrand Russell, World-Renowned Philosopher, Nobel Laureate
    15. Stephen Hawking, World-Renowned Cambridge Theoretical Physicist
    16. Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    17. Ned Block, NYU Professor of Philosophy
    18. Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    19. Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford Professor of Mathematics
    20. James Watson, Co-discoverer of DNA, Nobel Laureate
    21. Colin McGinn, Professor of Philosophy, Miami University
    22. Sir Patrick Bateson, Cambridge Professor of Ethology
    23. Sir David Attenborough, World-Renowned Broadcaster and Naturalist
    24. Martinus Veltman, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    25. Pascal Boyer, Professor of Anthropology
    26. Partha Dasgupta, Cambridge Professor of Economics
    27. AC Grayling, Birkbeck Professor of Philosophy
    28. Ivar Giaever, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    29. John Searle, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
    30. Brian Cox, Particle Physicist (Large Hadron Collider, CERN)
    31. Herbert Kroemer, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    32. Rebecca Goldstein, Professor of Philosophy
    33. Michael Tooley, Professor of Philosophy, Colorado
    34. Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    35. Leonard Susskind, Stanford Professor of Theoretical Physics
    36. Quentin Skinner, Professor of History (Cambridge)
    37. Theodor W. Hänsch, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    38. Mark Balaguer, CSU Professor of Philosophy
    39. Richard Ernst, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    40. Alan Macfarlane, Cambridge Professor of Anthropology
    41. Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, Princeton Research Scientist
    42. Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    43. Hubert Dreyfus, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
    44. Lord Colin Renfrew, World-Renowned Archaeologist, Cambridge
    45. Carl Sagan, World-Renowned Astronomer
    46. Peter Singer, World-Renowned Bioethicist, Princeton
    47. Rudolph Marcus, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    48. Robert Foley, Cambridge Professor of Human Evolution
    49. Daniel Dennett, Tufts Professor of Philosophy
    50. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics

    FEATURED MUSIC:

    Mozart – Requiem Mass In D Minor K 626 – 1. Introitus 00:03
    Massive Attack – Two Rocks And A Cup Of Water 02:28, 19:14
    Max Richter – Embers 05:13
    Ludovico Einaudi – Andare 09:27, 24:30, 26:31
    Ludovico Einaudi – Nuvole Bianche 13:13
    Max Richter – Vladimir's Blues 29:21
    Ludovico Einaudi – Eni 30 Percento (The Earth Prelude) 33:16
    ...

    April 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
  9. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Today there is only one slogan concerning belief mattering: "Don't take it too seriously!"

    Today nearly no denomination really takes care of their members (no care for the soul's health). They know that that could affect the motto "don't take it too seriously!". Only one thing is important for modern religious leaders: That their "stupid" sheep work round the clock, and can donate enough money. The leaders themselves lead a life of ease. Of course, they cannot have a steady job in the secular world, because they need the whole week to prepare their one-hour-sermon of Sunday. And, of course, it is hard to produce an elaborate sermon which sounds devoutly, but doesn't affect the motto "don't take it too seriously!" When the church goers would take it too seriously, that could affect their job and consequently the amount of money they donate.

    The RCC has invented the "good deeds". This is a brilliant mean to spare people from taking it too seriously. You simply keep some ridiculous rituals, and after that you are allowed to behave like a beast in daily life (the good deeds justify you despite your misbehaviour in daily life). Pray the rosary, fast some days, keep certain feastdays, etc., and then you are allowed to participate in the current godless contest of all people. Why godless?
    Weak people have no chance to survive in this godless contest. Only the fittest will survive (our power elite promotes that demonic system). This is against the principle of unbiased love, and therefore means godlessness. How do you perceive your Catholic workmate (our workmate of any other false belief)? Does he behave like a red bull, or does he give you tips, and helps you to become a good professional too. I am quiete sure that most Catholics today behave more or less like beasts, and try to outdo their workmates instead of promoting them in making progress in capabilities.

    (don't get me wrong: I am no opponent of reasonable work, but the competi-tion of today is really ill; who cares for the people daily dropping out of the system, because they had been so neglected?)

    It appears to me that our current secular leaders have inherited only the following from the earthly rule of the popes during the dark age: To milk the people up to the maximum, and to satisfy the personal greed for honor, power and riches at cost of the ordinary people, even on the cost of their soul's health.

    The Global Players are the new popes. As the former popes used sermons to keep their people stupid, today Global Players use the mass media to keep us stupid. They always focus us on any idiotic (civil) war somewhere (Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, etc.). Some could get the impression that these wars are staged for the sake of the medias engagement (maybe I exaggerate).

    For centuries the pope is model of such a behaviour (misbehaviour?).

    Don't get fooled by the glamour of the RCC or any other false denomination. They all have conformed to the current godless system.

    Trolls undesireable!

    April 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • Alias

      You see the world outside of your own little cult mostly correctly.
      Now, if only you could step back and take a fresh look at your own beliefs maybe there could be hope for you.

      April 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        How can you prove that you are not the one seeing things wrong?

        April 25, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Alias

          The only 'proof' I can offer is that billions of people agree with me, and dozens agree with you.
          That is not necessarily conclusive, but it strongly suggests you are mistaken.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          The same argument could have been used by Adolf Hitler.

          Very poor!

          It suggests nothing at all – that is the truth!

          April 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Alias

          Hitler used your religion to get people with prejudices like you to do his dirty work.
          It is hysterical you should put him on your side of the discussion!

          April 25, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          "My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice."

          -Adolph Hitler Munich April 12, 1922

          April 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Obviously, Adolf Hitler was ill, or he was aware of the idiocy of his text, but kept it for the sake of seducing the naive Germans.

          Maybe it was a mixture.

          Strangly enough there are still doubts if Muhammad was convinced to be a prophet, or if he deceived conciously.

          Maybe it was a mixture of both.

          The kindom of the devil is so confused that it is hard to realize certain structures.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • Akira

          Oh, sure. When confronted with one of his own doing heinous things, take the deflection route...and bring up another religion's prophet to bash. Can you be any more disingenuous, Rainier?

          April 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      Rainman said:"Trolls undesireable!" So why do you keep trolling with your long-winded BS. You can self-baptize yourself by sticking your head in a bucket of water three times, and pulling it out twice.

      April 25, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        All you trolls only criticize the reasonable comments.

        How easy to criticize!

        I require you to write a long-winded post about a certain subject including some real interesting information.

        Are you able to write an intelligible text?

        April 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Akira

          Don't criticized when your behavior here is the very definition of being a troll, Rainier. Contrary to your belief, it does NOT mean anyone who disagrees with your bigoted posts.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • bostontola

          Delusions of Godhood.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
    • bostontola

      Rainer,
      You are hands down the top Scotsman on the planet.

      April 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Do you actually have some own thoughts about a certain subject?

        What is your opinion about the current condition of the world?

        April 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • bostontola

          Rainer,
          I find the state of mankind better than most periods in history. Is the pain and suffering? Yes, but less than at most times in history.

          My comment is about you always thinking you interpret the bible better than your fellow Christians. This could all be resolved if your Jesus just showed up and clarified the highly corrupted bible.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Material conditions may have improved. But what about our souls?

          I am on the side of the Early Church, the Church in which the Bible came into being.

          I don't interprete the Bible according to my sinful heart, but I always correlate with all recognized teachers of the Church until now (Augustine, Luther, Bonhoeffer, etc.)

          Yet Luther did not interprete the Bible without reference to the fathers of the church, but borrowed their tenets.

          "We" simply keep and continue the good old doctrine which is teached for 2000 years. That is the whole mystery.

          I am no special interpreter of the Bible, but join the good old interpretations of the Church. The Bible has the highest authority.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • bostontola

          Material life is overall improved (the life we're sure of), our soul? There is no evidence accessible to any living human regarding the state of our soles in any sense (absolute or relative to some previous era).

          April 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          souls, not soles.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Don't worry about it!

          April 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • bostontola

          Rainer,
          Every Christian thinks their interpretation is the right one. If they didn't, they'd change it to the "right" one, and then we're back to every Christian thinks they have the right interpretation.

          Do you actually think you have a special connection to Truth that other Christians don't have?

          April 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Don't be naive! There are many religious leaders telling any nonsense for the sake of profit (high donations). They are certainly aware of teaching falsly, but continue for the sake of making money.

          If you tell the true gospel of Jesus Chirst, you will make nearly no profit, because it means suffering and rejection of the people who start to believe by the secular world. Nobody has a great longing for suffering and rejection. The flock will always be small and very poor.

          Still when Jesus was alive (!) every Jew who joined him (became a Christian) was put under banishment by the traditional Jewish leaders. That certainly meant some loss of income for them, because who wants to employ a banished man? – not good for the business.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          "I don't interprete the Bible according to my sinful heart"

          Nope, you just interpret it according to your HYPOCRISY and bigotry. That's how you can IGNORE much of what Jesus said about the HUGE problem of hetero ADULTERERS and instead pick on gays who he NEVER MENTIONED.

          Well done.

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

          Rainer,
          There are charlatans and sincere leaders. Do you think that all leaders that have interpretations different than yours are charlatans? If so, most Christian leaders are. Then we're back to you thinking you have special knowledge of Truth.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Akira

          Rainier, how do you reconcile that Augustine was a Catholic bishop?

          You will, of course, deny it.

          April 25, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Augustine was bishop before papacy was established, and the Church of Italy still belonged to the Christian Church. He was a Christian bishop.

          Papacy was established long after Augustine in the 7th century when the Church of Italy broke away from the general Christian Church, and became the RCC.

          Before the 7th century "Catholic" meant "Christian".

          Today "Catholic" means mostly "Roman Catholic".

          April 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • Akira

          Called it.
          Augustine was born during Sylvester I papacy.
          Knew you'd deny it.

          April 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          The real (wicked) papacy emerged in the 7th century.

          Until the beginning of the 7th century the bishop of Rome was yet called pope, but that was a nickname which was given to him by the people of Italy, because the Church did really very much good. They considered the bishop of Rome as a kind of Daddy.

          During the 7th century wicked men seized the see of Rome, and started to abuse the name "pope". Then it meant: "Bishop of all bishops".

          No human being is allowed to be the bishop of all bishops. That is Jesus' office, the task of the invisible God.

          April 26, 2014 at 7:03 am |
    • Akira

      Seriously, Braendlein, you've got to get off this kick of trying to shore up your own religion by trashing and tearing down all others.

      The actual false denomination is the one that's constantly evolving in your head.

      How do you perceive your Catholic workmate (our workmate of any other false belief)?
      What you should actually be doing is focusing on your own work and not obsessing over what denomination Christian everyone else is. If you're not getting ahead at your job, it's probably because your frothing at the mouth is interfering.

      I am quiete sure that most Catholics today behave more or less like beasts, and try to outdo their workmates instead of promoting them in making progress in capabilities.
      Ah! There's the patented Helmut Hate!
      I'm quite sure that you were either chastised for poor performance, or were passed up for promotion by someone eminently more qualified, who gapped to be Catholic.
      In a word, you're envious.

      I'm going to c/p this, because I am sure you will, in your vanity, post this repeatedly.

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

        Happened to be Catholic. Apologies.

        April 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
  10. bostontola

    In Genesis 1, God created plants on day 3 and man on day 6.

    In Genesis 2, it specifically says there were no plants yet when God made man.

    That's hard to do, no wonder he's a God.

    April 25, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • kevinite

      4 ¶These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

      5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
      (Genesis 2:4-5 KJV)

      April 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
      • bostontola

        5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

        April 25, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • kevinite

          The King James Version here definitely seems to make more sense.

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

          This also seems to make better sense due to why there were details given as to how the ground received moisture if there was no why for the ground moisture if there were not already plants there.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          Yes it does, but that doesn't mean it takes priority. Modern translation get rid of Unicorns in some versions.

          Bottom line is, bibles can't be trusted.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
  11. tallulah131

    Sainthood appears to be nothing more than the Catholic Hall of Fame. You just have to have the right batting average or ERA to get in. The hall then gets to use the ceremonies to distract from scandals going on in the league. And they can sell souvenirs with pictures and names of the new members. It's all very cynical.

    April 25, 2014 at 11:54 am |
    • bostontola

      I'm not opposed to them having their own HoF. But claiming that these people were part of miracles is too much for me.

      April 25, 2014 at 11:58 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Well you've got to keep the franchise fresh.

      I wonder what the right baseball metaphor is for martydom. A sacrifice fly RBI doesn't seem significant enough. Pitching a perfect game isn't ironic enough.

      April 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
      • bostontola

        Leaning in to a pitch to get on base?

        April 25, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
      • bostontola

        Crashing into the outfield wall to make a catch?

        April 25, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
      • snuffleupagus

        Catching a line drive where it hurts.

        April 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • Alias

        Rushing the mound to try to get rid of a good pitcher knowing you will be ejected fron the game?
        ( you didn't say anything about playing fair)

        April 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Maybe playing with a possible career ending injury:

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U157X0jy5iw&w=640&h=390]

        April 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
  12. bostontola

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

    Some 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. That is scary.

    April 25, 2014 at 11:53 am |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    it's like an old boys club.

    Join and rack up the membership points and they'll make you a saint.

    So what is a saint anyway?

    April 25, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Aside from the whole issue of canonizing popes, I thought this article was pretty well balanced.

      April 25, 2014 at 11:38 am |
    • bostontola

      It's one thing to believe in 1 God, but then there's a whole pantheon of other supernatural beings thrown in. You've got angels, Satan, Witch of Endor, Nephilim, etc.

      Are saints above other humans in heaven?

      April 25, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Not to mention archangels and cherubim and seraphim.

        There's quite a hierarchy going on.

        Don't forget Mary the Mother of God (at least the Jesus part) who was assumed body and soul (unlike the others who are just the soul part). And Jesus apparently beamed up with his resurrected body intact in the ascension.

        The whole thing is a vast Byzantine court of who gets to stand at the right hand and with which order of precedence. The convoluted notions of heaven are the products of fevered imagination.

        April 25, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • bostontola

          To me, it has no more credibility than the Greek or Norse pantheons. Monotheism is drap.ed in these other supernatural beings. It defeats monotheism to me.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The trinitarian concept is pantheism in denial anyway.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
  14. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “The problem with religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.” – Sam Harris

    April 25, 2014 at 10:56 am |
  15. observer

    "Their hypocrisy is a crime."
    – Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    One of the ALL-TIME CLASSIC lines from ANY BLOG. Priceless!

    April 25, 2014 at 10:49 am |
  16. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Today there is only one slogan concerning belief mattering: "Don't take it too seriously!"

    Today nearly no denomination really takes care of their members (no care for the soul's health). They know that that could affect the motto "don't take it too seriously!". Only one thing is important for modern religious leaders: That their "stupid" sheep work round the clock, and can donate enough money. The leaders themselves lead a life of ease. Of course, they cannot have a steady job in the secular world, because they need the whole week to prepare their one-hour-sermon of Sunday. And, of course, it is hard to produce an elaborate sermon which sounds devoutly, but doesn't affect the motto "don't take it too seriously!" When the church goers would take it too seriously, that could affect their job and consequently the amount of money they donate.

    The RCC has invented the "good deeds". This is a brilliant mean to spare people from taking it too seriously. You simply keep some ridiculous rituals, and after that you are allowed to behave like a beast in daily life (the good deeds justify you despite your misbehaviour in daily life). Pray the rosary, fast some days, keep certain feastdays, etc., and then you are allowed to participate in the current godless contest of all people. Why godless?
    Weak people have no chance to survive in this godless contest. Only the fittest will survive (our power elite promotes that demonic system). This is against the principle of unbiased love, and therefore means godlessness. How do you perceive your Catholic workmate (our workmate of any other false belief)? Does he behave like a red bull, or does he give you tips, and helps you to become a good professional too. I am quiete sure that most Catholics today behave more or less like beasts, and try to outdo their workmates instead of promoting them in making progress in capabilities.

    (don't get me wrong: I am no opponent of reasonable work, but the competi-tion of today is really ill; who cares for the people daily dropping out of the system, because they had been so neglected?)

    It appears to me that our current secular leaders have inherited only the following from the earthly rule of the popes during the dark age: To milk the people up to the maximum, and to satisfy the personal greed for honor, power and riches at cost of the ordinary people, even on the cost of their soul's health.

    The Global Players are the new popes. As the former popes used sermons to keep their people stupid, today Global Players use the mass media to keep us stupid. They always focus us on any idiotic (civil) war somewhere (Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, etc.). Some could get the impression that these wars are staged for the sake of the medias engagement (maybe I exaggerate).

    For centuries the pope is model of such a behaviour (misbehaviour?).

    Don't get fooled by the glamour of the RCC or any other false denomination. They all have conformed to the current godless system.

    April 25, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Hey three-name preachy Rainy ...
      Just ONCE, could you keep your mental diarrhea to one or two paragraphs.
      We do realize you have no friends, no life, so how no other outlets, and no one to rant to, but seriously.
      You're such a friggin' bore. You're also a bigot. Your hatred of Catholics is disturbing, (and very un-Christian, self-righteous, and judgemental). Didn't Jebus tell you not to judge ?

      April 25, 2014 at 10:28 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        I don't judge Catholics, but wish that they become faithful Christians.

        I am only an enemy of the Catholic clergy and the pope. Their hypocrisy is a crime. I am also an enemy of all other heretics and false prophets, because they are "soul killers", they are criminals.

        I only use my complete name because there is another Rainer Braendlein (Rainer Leonhardt Braendlein). I don't want to be confused with him.

        We? You!

        The comments of "Buckyball" were better. I cannot believe that you should be "Buckyball".

        April 25, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • Akira

          Your hypocrisy is a crime. You are the worst example of a Christian I've ever seen.

          Hey, Helmut, there is a story on Hindus here...are we going to see your well known rabidness denouncing them?

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

      BTW, of course YOUR denomination "just happens" to be the "true" one. No true Scotsman much ? What makes YOU so special ?

      April 25, 2014 at 10:29 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        I am actually an ecclesiastical Christian, but reject gay lifestyle and materialism within the church (I appreciate the holy gift, sacramental baptism).

        The today ecclesiastical Christians regretably don't appreciate the holy gift, sacramental baptism, but live accoring to their flesh.

        Some Free Churches reject gay lifestyle, but practice rebaptism. Rebaptism is a spiritual crime. They don't have the real Jesus, but only an powerless image of him.

        April 25, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein,

          Tell us EVERYTHING that Jesus said about gays.

          We are STILL WAITING.

          April 25, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Matthew 15: 19

          Jesus says: "For out of the heart proceed EVIL thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:"

          Gayness is a kind of fornication. In the OT gayness gets listed together with all other kinds of fornication in one breath.

          April 25, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein,

          Yes. Jesus NEVER mentioned gays in particular.

          So why are YOU singling out gays instead of the MILLIONS of CHRISTIAN ADULTERERS?

          Any answer other than BLATANT HYPOCRISY?

          April 25, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Notorious adultery is also a sin which cannot be accepted within the Church.

          April 25, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein,

          Sorry you missed my question. Here it is AGAIN.

          Why are YOU singling out gays instead of the MILLIONS of CHRISTIAN ADULTERERS?

          Any answer other than BLATANT HYPOCRISY?

          April 25, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Why do you focus so strongly on this subject?

          April 25, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein,

          Reading problem?

          Sorry you keep missing my question. Here it is AGAIN.

          Why are YOU singling out gays instead of the MILLIONS of CHRISTIAN ADULTERERS?

          Any answer other than IGNORANCE AND HYPOCRISY?

          April 25, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Notorious gays AND adulterers have no place in the Church.

          Both sins are very bad.

          I don't single out gays.

          April 25, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          "I don't single out gays."

          Have you gone on worldwide blogs like this and advocated changing laws to FORCE CHRISTIAN ADULTERERS to the fringes of society like you do for gays?

          April 25, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          I am chiefly concerned about the acceptance of gayness and adultery within the churches. That is a calamity, because the Church should be the place of redeemed people.

          I am less concerned about the acceptance of gayness and adultery by the secular society (yet, one should not exaggerate).

          April 25, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Do you have problems understanding simple English? Please use a dictionary for any words you don't know.

          Have you gone on worldwide blogs like this and advocated changing laws to FORCE CHRISTIAN ADULTERERS to the fringes of society like you do for gays?

          April 25, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Sorry, you don't understand me.

          My purpose is not the changing of laws of the state, but a new reformation of the church.

          As a side effect I sometimes utter some warnings that God could become angry when the secular society legalizes se-xual sins too much. But that is secondary compared with the disastrous condition of the churches.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          You HAVE advocated laws to discriminate against gays. Don't lie about it.

          Have you gone on worldwide blogs like this and advocated changing laws to FORCE CHRISTIAN ADULTERERS to the fringes of society like you do for gays? Any answer other than IGNORANCE and HYPOCRISY?

          April 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Of course. I frankly admit that gay lifestyle should always be connected with obscurity. It should never become usual.

          If the general society legalizes it too much, God will become angry.

          I hope you will get me!

          April 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein,

          This is such a simple question. Do you have a mental condition that prevents you from remembering anything in you past? What is your problem? Why are you STUMPED?

          Easy question: Have you gone on worldwide blogs like this and advocated changing laws to FORCE CHRISTIAN ADULTERERS to the fringes of society like you do for gays? Any answer other than IGNORANCE and HYPOCRISY?

          April 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Hard-core answer:

          I advocate changing laws to forse Christian (notorious) adulterers to the fringes of society.

          The same do I for gays.

          You have not yet understood?

          When I was child adultery was still infamous.

          Somebody who has just stumbled and repents should be forgiven, and his misstep forgotten.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          "I advocate changing laws to forse Christian (notorious) adulterers to the fringes of society."

          Since this would force most divorced and remarried Christians including ALL women in that category to the fringe of society, how many family and friends would be involved for you?

          April 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          You must distinguish between stubborn sinners, and people having just stumbled.

          I am only an opponent of the extreme (stubborn) sinners who seduce the ordinary sinners through legalization of sin.

          There are people spreading the evil, and there are people who are victims of the people spreading the evil.

          The mongers of evil must face some harsh sanctions yet here, because otherwise they would destroy all human life.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein,

          "I am only an opponent of the extreme (stubborn) sinners"

          Let's take an INTELLIGENT look at things.

          Gays engage in their s3xual activities in the PRIVACY of their own bedrooms.

          CHRISTIAN ADULTERERS openly flaunt their ADULTERY by being divorced and remarried. Yet you will not pick on them.

          As always, your HYPOCRISY is amazing.

          April 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          That is enough!

          Don't you condemn all adulterers, even the ones having just stumbled?

          Poor!

          April 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein,

          HYPOCRISY TEST:

          You've made many statements on blogs putting gays down.

          How many of your FELLOW CHRISTIANS who are ADULTERERS because of divorce and remarriage have you told to DIVORCE again and repent being ADULTERERS?

          Number please.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Akira

          Helmut,
          Some Churches realize that gay folks are born that way, and it naturally follows that is God created everything, He also created the gay behavior that is not only exhibited in man, but also in nature.
          Your hatred is eating you up. Let it go.

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

          All Christians are "ecclesiastical" Christians. It's a meaningless attempt to make a distinction without a difference.
          Everything you say is your OPINION. Nothing more. Yes you judge. You were told NOT to . You think you are better than everyone. YOU are a self-righteous jerk. You give your cult a bad name. You embody EVERYTHING people hate about religionists. So....thanks for all you do. You do the work of atheists for them. You have not one convert ever. You drive people from religion. Please keep it up.

          April 25, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      jeebus is waiting on you, rainy fuhrersucker. time to climb into that bunker and dispatch thyself to heaven, where you can have your head bobbing up and down in the savior's lap in no time

      April 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Are you a Muslim?

        April 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • Akira

          Psst...your ignorance and bigotry is showing.

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

      Twice on one page? The Ego has landed, and thy name is Rainier.

      Seriously, Braendlein, you’ve got to get off this kick of trying to shore up your own religion by trashing and tearing down all others.

      The actual false denomination is the one that’s constantly evolving in your head.

      How do you perceive your Catholic workmate (our workmate of any other false belief)?
      What you should actually be doing is focusing on your own work and not obsessing over what denomination Christian everyone else is. If you’re not getting ahead at your job, it’s probably because your frothing at the mouth is interfering.

      I am quiete sure that most Catholics today behave more or less like beasts, and try to outdo their workmates instead of promoting them in making progress in capabilities.
      Ah! There’s the patented Helmut Hate!
      I’m quite sure that you were either chastised for poor performance, or were passed up for promotion by someone eminently more qualified, who gapped to be Catholic.
      In a word, you’re envious.

      April 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
  17. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    You don't even need to perform a miracle anymore...now your picture can do them and you will get credit...

    April 25, 2014 at 10:11 am |
  18. Harris

    It's nice to be recognized for earthly deeds by men but the the ultimate recognition comes from God.

    April 25, 2014 at 10:10 am |
    • Harris

      Matthew 25:21

      April 25, 2014 at 10:13 am |
      • Harris

        To whom much is given, much is expected. That expectation comes from God – is set for human beings by God.

        April 25, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • sam stone

          human beings created god, harris

          April 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Outside of the bible what evidence can you provide that shows your imaginary friend god even exists or cares?

        April 25, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • Harris

      Colossians 3:23

      April 25, 2014 at 10:14 am |
      • Harris

        Also of note, 2 Corinthians 9:7. Plenty of verses exhorting mortals, one can make a sermon out of this topic.

        April 25, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • Harris

          Ephesians 6:7

          April 25, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Talking to yourself is a sign of mental health issues...check yourself in to get some help or perhaps stop trolling-posting scripture proves nothing more than laziness.

          April 25, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • Harris

          Another important verse in this series is, Colossians 3:17.

          April 25, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • Harris

          And, Hebrews 13:16

          April 25, 2014 at 10:33 am |
      • Harris

        The popes of the past and present only need to look to the scriptures to know who it is they are to please.

        There is only one Master to please and that is Almighty God.

        April 25, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Which god?

          April 25, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • evolveddna

          Harris,,why would this god chappie need to be pleased,,are you saying he is somewhat insecure?...

          May 4, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
      • observer

        Harris,

        (Eze. 4:12) “You shall eat it as a barley cake, having baked it in their sight over human dung."

        April 25, 2014 at 10:30 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      The only recognition that matters is from those who exist.

      April 25, 2014 at 10:14 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Harris=TROLL.

      April 25, 2014 at 10:34 am |
    • Harris

      Having said that, there are many saints in the church who have in the past and continue to sacrifice of themselves to show their love of God by serving the less fortunate in society as "social elevators".

      April 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
  19. realbuckyball

    Editors on vacation again ?
    "an" historian

    April 25, 2014 at 9:04 am |
    • Sungrazer

      I usuallly see "an". I have been unable to discover what is proper. There are pages that discuss whether it's generational, or whether there's a difference between British English and American English, or where the stress falls. There's something about "an" that bugs me so I don't use it. It's one of my few rebellions. I also like to split infinitives.

      April 25, 2014 at 9:58 am |
      • realbuckyball

        I like to never split infinitives.
        Oh wait.

        April 25, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • Alias

          Wasn't the last split infinitive a theory of what caused the big bang?

          April 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I have always used the rule of thumb that if the following word starts with a vowel then you use "an".

        As in "an error".

        If the following word starts with a consonant you use "a".

        As in "a cat"......unless the consonant is silent the it would be "an". My only proof of this is my mother the english teacher does not correct me...I suck at english.

        April 25, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • Sungrazer

          That's right, I thought this was not just a rule of thumb but the actual rule.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        Oh, when I said "an" bugged me, I meant in front of "historical" or "historian".

        April 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
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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.