July 14th, 2010
04:14 PM ET

Vatican set to publish new rules on abuse

The Catholic Church on Thursday is expected to release its new rules to try to prevent clergy from abusing children, a source close to the Vatican told CNN.

The rules will be aimed more at firming up existing practices, said the source, who asked not to be named because the source was talking about the regulations before they are made public.

The Vatican will add the possession of child pornography to the list of most serious crimes, declare the abuse of any mentally retarded person to be as bad as the abuse of children, and double the statute of limitations on the Vatican's prosecution of suspected abuse.

The Vatican also plans to make it a major crime against the church to ordain a woman as a priest, the source said.

Some critics of the Catholic Church have said that having women in the hierarchy could have helped prevent clerical child abuse. It is not clear if the hardening of the Vatican's longstanding line against women priests is related to the accusation.

The new rules on child abuse are a response to accusations against priests across Europe and the United States in the past several years, and come not long, in Vatican terms, after the last set of such rules was issued in 2001.

Pope Benedict XVI was a key in drafting the 2001 rules, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

The source said the new rules were designed primarily to set down in canon law what the church already practices.

They deal only with how the church handles allegations of misbehavior by clergy, the source said, explaining that it did not change existing Vatican policy of also reporting suspected child abuse to civil authorities.

Abuse victims are already saying the changes don't go far enough.

"There needs to be massive overhaul, not mere tweaking,of how the church
deals with abuse and cover-up," said Barbara Dorris, of the Survivors Network
of those Abused by Priests.

"As long as bishops can ignore and conceal child sex crimes without punishment, they'll keep ignoring and concealing child sex crimes," she said last week, responding to media reports about what the new guidelines would say.

"The focus needs to be on catching predators more quickly, involving secular law enforcement, and preventing recklessness and deceit by bishops, who can and should take many steps to protect the vulnerable long before the defrocking process begins," she said.

Thousands of people have come forward in the United States, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria and the pope's native Germany to say they were abused as children by Catholic clergy.

The crisis has particularly shocked deeply Catholic Ireland, where three government-backed investigations have uncovered physical and sexual abuse stretching back decades.

Police in Belgium recenty raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church there, and later spent 10 hours questioning the cardinal who used to head the Belgian Catholic Church.

The pope has repeatedly said the Vatican will seek justice for victims.

Last month he said the church must promise "to do everything possible" to ensure that the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests "will never occur again."

Benedict said the church must "insistently beg forgiveness from God" and from victims for the sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests. He also said priests must be more thoroughly vetted before joining the ministry.

CNN's Hada Messia, Richard Allen Greene and the CNN Wire Staff contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (421 Responses)
  1. Terry

    This is a horribly written article, which somehow tries to make the two millenial tradition of the Church to ordain only men to the priesthood a reaction to some recent accusations that female "priests" would have helped cut down on pedophiles being ordained. I'm sorry, but that just doesn't make any sense to me, and i think it is exceptionally horrible journalism. It is disheartening to see that this comment section is dominated by those with grievances against the Church, those desiring to see it torn down. Pope Benedict has been so committed to reducing these horrible crimes within the presbyterate, and the thanks he gets is all this talk of his being evil. Lord, have mercy...

    July 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • Tom

      Actually, it says exactly the opposite: "It is not clear if the hardening of the Vatican's longstanding line against women priests is related to the accusation."

      July 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  2. having a blast-phemy

    I hate it too when I try to take a picture and some jerk in the background waves likes he's with me. So rude.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • Dan


      July 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • JDizzle

      That is gold, absolute gold.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  3. Mala

    @ Bonnie – It is interesting that you state that all organized religion is manmade and then quote the bible which was a compilation of prechings formulated by bunch of supposedly holy men in the tribal era of the middle-east. The catholic church justified slavery based on passages from this very Bible, it justified inquisition and witch-hunting using the very passages from our holy book Bible. No one knows what Jesus Christ actually preached and whether he is the only faithful son of God. All we have a reference of is a man made scripture called the Bible. It is great that you believe in one supreme soul who is all powerfull and wants us to live our lives in dignity and on the basis of mutual respect for other lives; however limiting love of God only to those who worship Jesus Christ again brings us back to MAN MADE religion.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
    • Bonnie

      Thank you for your comment, Mala. I still find it amazing that people miss the whole point. You don't need to depend on any human being to teach you the truth. Our Almighty God is real, He is alive, and so is His Son, Jesus Christ. All that anyone has to do is to mentally contact God and ask HIM to tell you the truth. The truth WILL be revealed, and He will open up the "eyes" of your heart. Please see James 1:5 in the Holy Bible. People who are not interested in the truth will never even try to call upon Almighty God. And, as always, I find that the only people that don't believe what Jesus tells us in the Bible, are the ones who have NEVER studied Jesus' teachings for themselves. They can be found in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • Mark

      The catholic Church has NEVER condoned slavery. Dont state what you dont know.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • ajk68

      In fact, slavery disappeared for a while in Europe under the influence of the Catholic Church.
      It was brought back to Europe during the "Renaissance" – which was pretty much a religion of secular humanism. During the medieval period slavery had pretty much disappeared from Europe. (You can check this fact on Wikipedia).

      July 14, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • Dan

      I think Bonnie is too far gone. There is little hope.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  4. Saint Ringo

    from the guy who helped cover it up......stand clear of him folks.....could be struck down at any given moment

    July 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  5. Karen

    Hmmm... I wonder...

    What if Mother Theresa had wanted to become a priest? She was holy enough to become a saint, but still not good enough to be a priest???

    July 14, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • Jenny

      Very good point Karen. I was thinking the exact same thing!

      July 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
    • Milton

      Mother Theresa did not ask for Priestwood. She know the rules and regulations of Catholic Church . All that she was doing her duties and serving poor and abandoned children in India. Who knows, tomorrow you guys will talk bad about this lady too.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Mark

      Heres some news for you Ladies.. You dont have to be a priest to be a saint. There are Priest that end up in Hell. But you wont find a saint in Hell. There you go, trying to make things the same.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
    • Mark

      @peacetoall. Faith, study, prayer and the knowledge of 2000 years of men and women who have devoted their life to Christ and his message. Read St Agustine, written back in what most people like to call tribal community mentality. I assure you he was more intelligent then that we are now. Also read alittle from big time main line protestant converts like Scott Hahn. Good Luck and God Bless us and have mercy on us all.

      July 14, 2010 at 8:02 pm |
  6. Maryanne

    Why is it that the point about women being aware of child abuse in the church is only today mentioned? Duh!
    The women, whatever role they played, are as guilty as the direct abusers for simply staying quiet–enablers.
    With respect to today's announcement, pft! A spit in the ocean and an insult to the abused. The Pope needs to grow some.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  7. TheChurchIsGoingDown

    Women in the hierarchy on the Catholic Church COULD have prevented someof the extreme excesses of clerical child abuse.

    Nuns originally exposed some of these crimes, at the risk of excommunication and other pinheaded threats.

    Laws against women as priests? The Catholic Church is almost completely out of touch now, this is another nail in the coffin.

    The Church will continue to diminish in power and to lose faithful parishioners for many years. It will become a shadow of what it once was.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • Bonnie

      Yes, the saying seems to fit: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  8. Matt

    The problem here is not the statue of limitations or considering disabled people as children. The problem is that there is no punishment for the crime, which is a crime. So basically what they are saying is if a priest molests a child then they can wait even longer before they do nothing about it? Or wait even longer before they cover it up? The statue of limitations does not even apply as they do not consider molesting children a crime. If I were one of the abused I would be livid over this and if I were a woman I would never want any part of the Catholic Church as they obviously think that they are inferior to men.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • Mark

      Priest or any religious are not exempt of the law, and never have been. If the police have a reasonable idea that a crime has been committed there is nothing stopping them from prosecuting.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  9. Burbank

    Even looking at a picture of that arrogantly chauvinistic, evil, evil man gives me shuddering creeps! Rat-zinger is a very appropriate name, he's a zinger of a rat for sure! Any priests found guilty of molesting children should be willingly, eagerly turned in to the police by the Catholic authorities, not protected and enabled. I was a victim myself at age 15. I was attacked by a visiting priest in my own home when my folks were at work. Hadn't even had my first kiss yet at that age. Evil, evil men! Evil religion!!!

    July 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  10. Wondering

    So WHAT would make you happy? And will your solutions be applicable to other faiths, schools, police, boy/girl scouts, after school programs, neighbors and strangers? You know, all the others who abuse but we don't hear about in the media...

    July 14, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
    • Burbank

      I would be very, very happy to see Catholicism wiped from the face of the earth! Evil religion based on lies! Mary was not even a virgin, that was a political decision at the Council of Nicea around 300-400 A.D. It was done to control and oppress women.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
    • Eric G

      I always love this response. The appologists bring up that other organizations have pedophiles in their ranks too. Does that make it ok for the RCC to have them? Same argument used when asking them to prove the existence of their diety. 'Well, you can't prove he doesn't exist!' Ok, so in the mind of the believer, we are both morons?

      July 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
    • Doug

      There is a huge difference between an abuse case happening within an organization and an organization having a policy of covering up such abuse. Of course abuse happens outside of the Catholic church also, but none of the groups that you listed had long-standing policies of covering up abuse and shielding abusers from the authorities. It is because of this history that the Catholic church has lost all credibility. A strict directive that all abuse cases be immediately turned over to the authorities, combined with clear punishments for those that shield abusers would be a good start.

      On the other hand, making ordaining women a crime on the same level as abuse speaks volumes about how not seriously the church views the abuse problem.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
    • Mark

      @burbank. You must not be a christian or at least a badly catechised. Read the bible. If Mary wasnt a virgin that Christ was not the messiah. Read the old testiment and look for the prophesies of the coming of the messiah. Christ fulfilled all of those THR the virgin birth of our Lord and redeemer.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • Crysee

      Ya Burbank! Because the Bible tells the absolute truth............oh wait...

      July 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • Frogstomp

      What would you think of the Boy Scouts if, instead of firing a pedophile scout leader, just reassigned them to another troop each time they got caught molesting children?

      July 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  11. John

    The Church does not allow women...but Jesus did!

    July 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • Mark

      Jesus did not ordain any wemen preists he only ordained one Peter!

      July 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
    • elizac

      @Mark: Jesus didn't "ordain" anyone. He told ALL his followers to go carry on his work – that included women. He also deeply criticized the Pharisees for dressing up in fancy clothes, using money for ornaments and rich living rather than providing for those who need it, and getting caught up in the hidebound interpretations of Hebrew law rather than focusing on taking care of each other and of those in need. Hmmm... sounds rather familiar. How many gold ornaments is the Pope wearing? Is that a Rolex on his wrist? What was that about supporting destructive rules and turning a blind eye to the needs of the poor and the suffering...?

      July 14, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    • Mark

      What do you call it when he tells Peter "you have the keys to heavan and earth upon you I shall build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" I would call that a commission. Yes he told his disiples to pick up thier cross and follow him. He told the apostles to go to the 4 corners of the world and spread the good news. Your getting me wrong here becouse you think that every one must do the same thing to be equal and thats simply not true. We have our nature that was givin to us by God and there is a hierarchy to everything in this world and the next. Thaty doesnt mean that one Has power over another as it means on has resposibility.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
    • Crysee

      @Mark....you can just quote these things? You need a new hobby. Try Islam.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • Future Priest

      For your information the church does allow women. You may of heard of these women who are called nuns. They play a crucial role in the church and all of its projects like schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, and other things. Many parishes are now run by nuns because of the priest shortage. They are very busy and do lots of work and in my opinion are greatly under appreciated.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  12. Robin

    I was baptized and raised a Catholic. Over the years I became more and more disapproving of the Catholic Church. I feel the Catholics and the Vatican are not in the 21st Century and there is no reason why Priest (men or women) should not be married. It's proven that men who are priest are not committed to the church. Wake up Catholics!

    July 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Knowing that Truth was Truth when Jesus walked the earth and founded His Church before ascending to Heaven around 2000 years ago, how is it that you expect Truth to change to fit man in the 21st century when you should know that Truth cannot change with time? If it changed then it would not be Truth. Truth is not flexible; that is what makes it so wonderful! You can always count on it not being wishy-washy! If there should be any change, it should be in people-conforming to the Truth, not Truth conforming to sinful man.
      Priests are married to the Catholic Church and most do not want another spouse. Priests stand in for Jesus Christ, called Personna Christi. The Church is the Bride of Christ and is without stain or wrinkle or any such thing. Jesus Christ has only ONE Bride, ONE Church, and so it is with Priests who stand in for Him. Jesus was a man. He chose men to be His Priests not women. The Church is a Bride, not a Groom. Women do not marry women and men do not marry men--it is not in God’s plan for His children.

      Jesus gave women the ability to bring life into this world, more souls for His Kingdom. Men cannot do that. His Mother was the most honored person ever and she was a woman. Men are not jealous of this fact. We all are part of Jesus Christ’s mystical Body. Each have gifts in which to use to honor and give glory to God. In the Body, are all eyes?, are all ears?, is an arm more important than a foot?, no. Some are Apostles, some Farmers, some Artists, some Bakers…and so on….no one should feel less than the other. Each has their gifts to share with one another in hopes that all will be brought to their innermost desire-to be happy in Heaven with the God who created us.

      July 16, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  13. Ddubbya

    With all due respect to the Vatican and the Church, but considering how many priests have abused children, should we even trust in their policies? Should not the policies with regards to crimes against children and illegal activity come under the jurisdiction of the local or federal or state (etc... ) law enforcement?
    Seeing how so many trusted these religious leaders and have since been betrayed, I see no reason to again give trust where it has been systematically proven that said trust will be violated? I just don't give any credit to an organization that lies to the public, denies it's own wrong doing, and then attempts (however pathetically) to cover it up.

    Something just doesn't sit right with this whole thing. I understand the Pope's position and I respect the fact that he is acting as the spiritual leader to make such policies, but....I don't know...It just seems like a criminal getting the chance the make the rules. Not fair. Not to those that will be abused in the future, and certainly not to those that have been abused in the past.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • Bonnie

      Yes, RCC: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  14. relians

    threatening a kid with a non-existent hell is child abuse. when are they going to stop that?

    July 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  15. Rosslaw

    The one recommendation missing which shows this to be a non-event is a church directive to turn child molesting priests over to civil authorities for criminal prosecution. Lengthening the statute of limitations for Vatican prosecution does not rise to the level of a joke. All of which is underlined by the designation of ordaining a woman priest as a crime apparently on the level of or worst than child molesting. I won't be calling Benedict to baby-sit any time in the near future.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • Mark

      The problem is that the bishops do not follow the directives of the magastirum. For the last 40 years they have fought it and acted on their own accord these statement are made to the bishops to reinstate the authority of Rome.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  16. Bonnie

    All orgainized religion is man made. The only thing God requires is respect for Him and sincerity of heart toward Him. If we give Him what He deserves, He will reward us immediately with His wisdom. Respect for Almighty God, the Creator, will be well rewarded. I, for one, can vouch for that. There is no hocus pocus or sorcery; just genuine love; and this is offered to anyone willing to put their self-serving haughty and stubborn ego down for five minutes and ask God to allow them to know Him. His faithful Son, Jesus Christ will respond to all those who are sincere; for he is the one who has the authority to allow us to know His God and Father. Please see John 1:12 in the Holy Bible.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • wakeup

      unfortunately these man made religions TAUGHT u that.... so why is it that u can no use your own logic and realize this god does not exist due to being man made.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • Recovering Catholic

      Thanks but please keep your zombie god away from me.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • Bonnie

      To wake up and Recovering Catholic: I never "knew" anything until I contacted Almighty God directly and was answered. Then I followed it up with God's own written word in the Bible. Some people don't care to know the truth. So be it.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • Tom

      There is no God's own written words in the Bible. Only the words of men. Crazy men. No truth. Only nonsense. Think for yourself.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • blind country

      if these new rules made a single catholic into an atheist, then i consider them .... A SUCCESS!!

      July 14, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • David

      Of all the "truths", it must be swell to know the right one. If only everyone else could see it. Of course, we know that they are all wrong. Fortunately, God has a lovely place called Hell for them to contemplate the price of ignorance. What a relief that God has his little helpers to protect us from the evil of women. I long for the good old days when they had to spend a week out of every month in a tent. Can you imagine how our souls are tarnished by their association?

      July 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
    • Dan

      blind country, good point.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Not all religion was started by man. Are you forgetting about the one Jesus Christ founded?

      July 16, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  17. PJ

    Benedict has an evil smile. This man has been complicit in the coverup for decades and anything he says or does has no credibility. He should retire with his Pedophile protector buddy Bernard Cardinal Law. They can both live in luxury at the people's expense.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • Frogstomp

      He certainly isn't as likeable as the last guy.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  18. John

    Why is the church so hell bent on making women second rate? Why does the church think that women are less than men? Why is the church not equal opportunity? So now the universities and companies that have a rule that organizations that do practice equal opportunities will not be allowed right?

    July 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • Tom

      Because the Bible teaches that women are second rate and that women are less than men. There you go.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
    • Mark

      The church has never degraded wemen. On the contrary, they have been the promoters of respect and dignity for wemen thru the ages. Our society degrades wemen under the guise of feminisam, and people lap it up. Now they are free to be just as big a pig as many men are.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Mark..... I think there would be many who would argue against your statement.... However, i think the distinction being has the 'church' assuming you meant the catholic church....or, well any church for that matte been 'degrading'...? Certainly, treating of women as 'lesser than' in terms of equal opportunities is undeniable.

      Also, well.....the catholics and the bible seem to think that women just don't get god.... and so they according to the bible are to be 'submissive' to men..

      July 14, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
    • Matt

      Because Genesis paints woman as responsible for 'original sin', when the talking snake convinced Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge. Pretty silly...

      July 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • Mark

      @peacetoall Let me refine that for you. Wemen are to be subject to their husband as the husband is subject to God. Don't you have a hierarchy in your work, in your school and in your government? It is the level of responsibility.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
    • Donna

      The church simply does not practice what it preaches unless it is to the benefit of the hierarchy. I challenge anyone to show
      women being treated as second class in scripture.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • David

      @Mark: What a shame. Rather than honor a woman as a gentleman, you would rather dominate her as a bully. I can't blame you for worshiping a God who so conveniently made you superior to half the world's population.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
    • ajk68

      The idea that someone is "second class" because she is not in a position of service is ridiculous. In reality, it is just an undervaluing of the contributions she is currently making. Unfortunately, our society views things in a completely reversed manner from what it should be. We view hierarchy in a way that those on top should dominate those below. Politicians, clergy, corporate executives, and civil leaders all fall prey to society's twisted view. Instead of serving, people look to be served. I think executives who seek out that position for the power and the perks make for awful managers. Similarly, I would seriously question the suitability of anyone who sought out the priesthood instead of being called. Most vocations, including marriage, involve a certain aspect of negation of one's desires – a negation that affirms the value of some other good. Having read what women who want to be priests have to say, it is clear that their goal is not to serve the Church as it wants and needs to be served, but to impose what they think is correct – doctrinally, spiritually, morally. These women talk about how it will fulfill them to be a priest. They don't talk about how part of them will have to die. This is where we can see they are just phonies and are not in the mold of the Priest who died for others.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Mark......Oh, well....I think you started a s**t storm with your response to mine.... and.....several others beat me to it already..i.e...taking down your statement. I was off posting in the other articles, to equally non-sensical posts as yours.

      Hierarchy...? Responsibility....? Oh,my..... Let me just add..... actually there is a greater movement to equality and 'flat' structures of decision making as a more equitable and healthier way of production, etc...

      You are seemingly still making it sound....from the bible, no less that women are 'submissive'...'and should be' to men..

      As, well, we all know that we dudes are the better more responsible, stronger of the species....

      Good luck with that one Mark...


      July 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
    • Mark

      Honor Woman as a gentleman? Thats exactly my point SHES NOT A GENTELMAN. She is a woman and deserves to be protected and taken care of like a precious jewel. Not pulled down into the mud of boyhood. Grow up and learn that our differences should be celibrated not equalized.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Mark......No one is saying anything about treating them as gentlemen......I, and I think most of the posters here are taking issue with your assurtion, and underlying presuppostion that women shouldn't be priests... Period. Your use of hierachy, and submission.....is really not a good way to go......

      But, it is free speach here......You can keep making your arguement, but I think, you will continue to make yourself look like men first....women second....based on bible dribble....

      I love and do celebrate the differences......doesn't speak to the fact that a woman could be just as good or even in some cases better than a man at being a 'voice of god' i.e...a priest....

      I mean why should men be the only ones to continually spout off religious malarkey......equal opportunity for women...!

      July 14, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • shrimpdip

      @Mark – Wow. You're one seriously deluded chauvinist misogynist. I suppose that as long as we women (not to be confused with "we men") stay in our place, you're a very happy dude & all is right with the world.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
    • Dan

      Because the bible was written by men to keep women and the lower classes in line.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Well, I think we'd all have to admit that women are really sort of yucky. I mean, we have to have them to keep propagating and all that. And nobody begrudges them the right to work or eat or whatever. But they do have kooties. I think everyone has to admit that. That's why they can't be priests. Would you want someone with kooties turning water and wine into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ?

      July 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • Mark

      @peacetoall That previous post was to David above. Im glad that you resond without venom. I must say that a flat system, as you call it never works. Someone must be in charge, or there is no accountablity case in point the Arlington Cemetary was just busted for miss management becouse of your idea. No one was in charge and everyone did as they wished and didnt do their job. Men are more agressive and ladies are more compassionate. They are not the same but together they are equal. Egalitarianizam doesnt work. The whole problem exists when mankind throws off natural law and makes his own. Here is a list of Woman Doctors of the Church. St Terese, St Agitha, St Cathrine of Sienna actually instructed the Pope and he followed her wishes. St Joan of Arc, Saint Benadette, and the list goes on. Even John Pauls main confidant was Sister Lucia.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
    • David

      @Mark :Let me clarify. Sorry for any linguistic ambiguity. As a gentleman, YOU (the man) should honor women and stop trying to control them. You certainly have no right to impose upon women the so-called privileges you would afford them, and call that equality.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Mark...... Again, the point of debate here is....."Why shouldn't a woman be allowed to be a priest...?"

      July 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • Amen (the Egyptian God)

      it's because this woman named Eve got fooled by this talking snake in a magical garden to eat this magical fruit. god punished her even though she didn't know right from wrong yet. yes, people believe this.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Amen......No....people don't actually believe that..... 🙂

      July 14, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
    • Acheron

      Men are more aggressive and women are more compassionate? Well then, why on earth would anyone want compassion oin the priesthood? After all, that regrettable female emotion might interfere with some good ol' alter boy action.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • Mark

      @ david, What gives you the idea that I bully my wife or any woman? I also believe that the reason for war is to protect our women and children and that it is awfull to put a girl in a battlefield. I am a chilvalrist not a chovanist. Im sure you would not treat your daughter the same as your son regarding going out late alone, Jogging by herself, Or fixing her car. We are different and thats that. At certain times in history Wemen have had to take on the leadership role becouse all of the men arround were to effeminate to take on their responsibilities i.e. St Joan of Arc. Yes Sainted by the same church you call antiwoman.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
    • Mark

      Just so you know. Women are pastors in most PROTASTANT churches arround the world In most catholic parrishes as well women do the readings, distribute communion and a whole host of other duties. The Preist and Jesus have been feminized, and it makes for a weak, touchy feely watered down pablum.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • David

      @Mark: Because a woman isn't as strong as a man or as able to defend herself from an assailant, she shouldn't be allowed to be priest? And my problem with your viewpoint is that you seem to be saying that men are somehow granted the right by God to have authority over women, that this is some kind of "natural law." I can remember discrimination against African-Americans as a kid (Real, honest-to-god discrimination), and the perpetrators honestly felt morally justified in committing their actions. I guess that's the real rub. It's very easy to justify injustice when you are on the winning team.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • Mark

      @david, If you want a woman preist go to an episcipalian church, or a presbeterian church, you have your choises. You want everyone to act like you want them too. It doesnt work that way. I AM Catholic and I believe in the word handed down thru the apostles from Christ and guided by the holy spirit. Thats just the way it is and there is nothing you can say to change that.

      July 14, 2010 at 8:09 pm |
    • DoubleD

      The Bible has always made women second. God says so. Just obey your husband O.K.

      July 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • marge

      then why are women members of the catholic church?

      July 14, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Ruth

      "The Vatican will add the possession of child pornography to the list of most serious crimes"
      Uhmmm, why wasn't it on the list of 'most serious crimes' already? It's ILLEGAL to have child pornography, they should be stripped of priesthood and sent to jail.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  19. peace2all

    Yeah....'firming up existing practices'....??? Yep....way too littile too late....and

    the whole thing about it being a 'major crime' to make women priests......Why shouldn't women be allowed to spout religious dribble just as much as men...?

    July 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Samantha

      Because the Vatican is still in the stage of old-world idiocy where women are supposed to be barefoot and pregnant and not equal to men.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
    • Mark

      By your logic samantha, men can never be equal to wemen becouse they cannnot have children. Your idea of equallity is diluted. Doing the same thing does not mean equality.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • @mark

      Actually I agree. Men and woman can't be equal, there is just physical differences that are responsible for the semantics themselves that ensure that the equality cannot exist. But hey that's not what you meant is it? The logic however is sound. What you want to dispute is context, but once you look at context her reply or more or less saying the Vatican treats men as superior, which is more or less a fairly sound point. You could pull straws on the technicalities of the context, but her general point is reasonable.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • Kathleen Fox

      What????? Women as priests are a major crime against the church!!! What???? I wonder what Jesus would think of that little pronouncement. I used to be Catholic and haven't stepped inside a church for so long – ever since they fired our Choir director. The nicest fellow you could imagine and a fabulous director but they suspected him of being gay. They need to get back to Love, Compasion and Respect for every human.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • Shannon Underwood

      Who does he think he is, at the very least he's delusional. The Catholic church has participated in the cover up of abuse for years, and this ex-nazi, neo-facist thinks he can set the rules. If our politicians had any balls they would put him and his Cardinals, Bishops on a no fly list and remove the tax exemptions from all church property and organizations.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • Mark

      Here is a list for you to look up.
      Saint Teresa of Avilla, Saint Joan of Arc, Saint Anne, Saint Rita, Saint Agatha, Saint. Terese. & a few Saint Cathrines and lets not forget St Catherine of Sienna actually instructed the Pope. Did you know that Pope John Pauls II's main confidant was Sister Lucia. Yea the Church has definatly degraded and subjected wemen. Talk about brain washed.

      July 14, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • David

      @Mark: Thanks for reminding us of how the most dutiful and obedient of women can sometimes aspire to positions of such great empowerment, such as being the "confidant" to a great man. Surely they should be content to make suggestions to his eminence while basking in his great glory.

      July 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
    • Samantha

      Mark, please give me a good reason why a woman cannot be a priest or have a high position in the church. I would LOVE to hear your reasoning.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
    • Mark

      If you are not a Catholic or at least Cristian my answer would mean nothing to you or a secularist. So let me ask you Samantha, what are you?

      July 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • Steve

      I think Catholic priests should teach English to their congregations because none of you guys can spell.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • FreeThinkingHuman

      You assume that if a person is Christian that they understand the Vatican's position. You assume way too much, and could not be further from the truth. Being Christian is not the same as being Catholic. It's people like yourself which empower the Vatican to commit these crimes. Join the 21st century and leave the Middle Ages in the Past.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    • gerald

      Equal isn't same Samantha. YOu degrade what is woman by making whiat is unique to man superior, putting down what is unique to women. God gave women the power to give LIFE! God's world is abundant in life therefore this is greater than anything a man does. But you cheapen and look down your nose at it.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
  20. Reality

    Too little, too late for this human organization with significant flaws in its history and theology analogous to all religions.

    July 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • Amen

      -Ra that is

      July 14, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
    • peace2all

      @AMEN...... Your reference to the Egyptian god RA...... Did the rest of your post get lost....? Just thought there might be something of value coming after...?

      July 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • P Winslow

      Women should not be able to say Mass in the Catholic Church. However, nowhere does it say in the Bible or in literature, that priests should not marry. That is a man-made rule, just like eating fish on Friday was! They're all ridiculous rules made up by some Pope in the fifth century. Even Popes were once allowed to marry! Who took away that Canon Law???

      July 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • Amen

      nah, just adding finality to it, like the christians do with the heathen god Amen.

      July 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
    • jesus

      The fox is making rules on the penalties for accessing the hen house. I wonder if his background as a loyal former Hitler Youth is serving him well in this endeavor?

      July 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
    • marge

      How refreshing, the church is going to 'try' to better to protect their innocent....

      July 14, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
    • jtw

      Faith by Fear and Guilt – that's what the Catholic Church represents...

      July 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
    • Tridentine

      I hate to inform all of you people that are filled with venom and hate but,more children have been abused by teachers in our public school system in the past 5 years than have been abused by Priests in the last 100. School districts all over the US should quit settling,quit hiding and take a que from the Catholic Church and deal with it.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
    • Reality

      Tridente, References that support your claims are??

      July 14, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • TheRationale

      @ peace
      He means ramen. Ever hear of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Or his followers, the Pastafarians?

      July 14, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • Mark

      @Pwinslow Fish fridays is a disipline, and a tradition that some still follow. it is based on rememberance of Christ sacrifice on our behalf on Good friday. Preist agree to the tradition and disipline to not be married so that they have a singular focus on thier parrish. Man uses these vehicles to remember and keep in mind the primary directive of life. and that is for lay people to make it to heavan, Preist to save souls.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
    • atheist

      What a joke he and the church are! I am speechless at this artticle

      July 14, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • james

      Calling all Catholics. Stop going to Mass. Write your local priests and tell them that more has to be done. This Pope must step down. The Catholic church is going down.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
    • Nathan

      Regardless if there is a God or not.. let's just say these people are in a "club". I think the rules should be, if members of the club touch children they will be immeditatly put to death whereby they can bring up any issues with the club owner. Simple

      July 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
    • Reality Check

      Yes, let's do away with all humans and human organizations with "significant flaws". But wait, that would do away with every person and human organization that ever existed. Please Mr. / Mrs. Reality - start your own flawless human organization, keep it going for 2000 years, and let us know how it all works out for you.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • Gerald

      Wolves among the sheep. Tares among the wheat. Look in Corinthinas and Revelatoins. Scandal has always been with the Church. Jews sacrificed children to pagan gods yet Judaism was the religion of the one true God. David and Bethsheba? Anybody heard of them? David was a man after God's heart despite his failings. O. h what a merciful God. Much more merciful than we who cry "CRUCIFY THEM". Many of these priests will not be resurected unto glory. But many have repented. He is the judge Scandal proves nothing. There are child molesters and wife cheaters in your protestant sects. THe Catholic Church will recover from this because the promise is that "THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL". That is true whether it is from without or withing. THe Catholic Church is the only one that can trace back to Christ and the Apostles. It is Christ's Church!

      July 14, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
    • todd

      Hey Trident line, quick question: if a teacher in a school system molested children, do you think the district would simply move the offender to another district and cover it up?

      Do you think that if a policeman raped a young girl, they would give him a slap on the wrist and send him back to work?

      In the church, they do exactly that. WHen you include both the offenders and the ones who cover for them, you have a huge chunk of the church who are corrupt.

      The pope himself was guilty of covering up for a molester.

      The Catholic Church is completely desecrated.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:03 am |
    • Tim

      Where, specifically, does it say in the Bible that women should not be able to say Mass in the Catholic Church?

      July 15, 2010 at 2:45 am |
    • Jonathan

      Tridentine, you can spew out "facts" all you like but you miss the point. The Church and its priests are people who are supposed to work for and devote their lives to God. They are people who in that sense then should be held to a higher standard even than say, teachers. If there are a 100 times more children abused by teachers then priests, then I would argue that when a priest does it; somebody who is supposed to work for God, then it's probably 100 times worse than when a teacher does it. Yes, priests are human but that doesn't take away from the fact that they should be held to a higher standard.

      July 15, 2010 at 7:33 am |
    • peace2all

      @TheRationale........ Yep, sure have ..i.e.... ramen...Flying Spaghetti Monster....:-)

      July 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.