Sainthood explained: Understanding John Paul II's beatification
Pope John Paul II in Berlin, Germany, in 1996. He will be beatified in Rome on Sunday.
April 26th, 2011
10:41 AM ET

Sainthood explained: Understanding John Paul II's beatification

By John L. Allen, Jr., CNN Senior Vatican Analyst

Rome (CNN) - The beatification of Pope John Paul II this Sunday will probably be the biggest event in Rome since his death in April 2005, with at least 300,000 people expected to turn out for the ceremony and more than 2 million to take part in beatification-related activities in Rome, including a vigil service on Saturday in Rome’s Circus Maximus and visits to John Paul’s tomb.

Beatification is the next-to-last step in the sainthood process. It means the candidate can be referred to as “blessed,” and that one miracle has been confirmed in his or her name. Another miracle is required for canonization, the formal act of declaring someone a saint.

Here are more questions and answers about the process – and about John Paul II:

What is a saint, and how many are there?

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

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

So how does one become a saint?

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

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

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

Why the rush to beatify John Paul II?

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

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

What was John Paul’s miracle?

It concerns a 49-year-old French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001 and whose religious community prayed to John Paul II after his death. After writing the late pope’s name on a piece of paper one night, Sister Marie-Simone reportedly awoke the next morning cured and was able to resume her work as a maternity nurse. The miracle has a poetic arc, since John Paul also suffered from Parkinson’s.

Last year, media reports implied that the sister had fallen ill again and that a physician had questioned the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The Vatican resolved those doubts to its satisfaction, as the miracle was approved by its panels of medical and theological consultants. Sister Marie-Simone will attend the beatification ceremony in Rome this weekend.

Why was John Paul II such a significant pope?

Tradition recognizes 264 popes since St. Peter, described in the Bible as the leader of the disciples of Jesus and regarded by Catholics as the first pope. Only a handful of popes, however, have left a deep mark on history, and John Paul II belongs on that list.

He played a key role in bringing down Communism, made 104 foreign trips and is commonly regarded as having been seen in the flesh by more people than any other figure in history, and improved ties with Judaism and Islam. Internally, John Paul II reenergized Catholicism, inspiring a “John Paul generation” of young lay people, priests and bishops. Some commentators have suggested that he will be remembered as John Paul the Great.

That said, there is debate over some aspects of John Paul’s record, including his handling of the Catholic sexual abuse crisis. Officially, the Vatican insists that beatifying and canonizing a pope is not the same thing as endorsing every decision of his papacy. Instead, it means that despite whatever failures occurred, the pope was nevertheless a holy man.

What’s the next step in making John Paul a saint?

Officials will begin looking for that aforementioned second miracle. If one is approved by the Vatican and by the pope, John Paul II could then be canonized. It’s not clear how long that might take, but there doesn’t seem much suspense about the eventual result: Sooner or later, the Church will add “St. John Paul II” to its list.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Italy • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (469 Responses)
  1. bobincr

    http://www.gotquestions.org/saints-Christian.html. Check it out for yourself. The Catholic church is NOT a Christian organization. They only share terms.

    Scripturally speaking, the “saints” are the body of Christ, Christians, the church. All Christians are considered saints. All Christian are saints…and at the same time are called to be saints. 1 Corinthians 1:2 states it clearly, “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” Christians are saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ. This is the Biblical description and calling of the saints.

    How does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the Biblical teaching? Not very well. In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in Heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop. In the Bible, everyone who has received Jesus Christ by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone.


    April 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Sam

      You are not a part of the body of Christ if you are not going to heaven....And you are NOT a Christian if you are NOT going to heaven. So technically you cant be a saint unless you have lived your life on earth and are then SAVED. All Christians are saints if you assume that all the people who claim to be Christians are going to heaven...Otherwise you are at fault.

      If there is any church that is truly the body of Christ, it is the Catholic church....All the churches that have resulted from the Protestant reformation are a result os a heretical teaching that was presented by Luther and his followers.....SOLA SCRIPTURA and SOLA FIDE are heretical teachings, the foundation on which ALL the Protestant churches stand.....Its a shaky ground my friend...Open you eyes and recognize the church that Christ himself founded, the church that was and always will be guided by the Holy Spirit, the church that gave you your bible as you know it today.

      God Bless

      April 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Where do you get your info on Catholicism? It is not giving you the Truth. Oh, I see, S. Michael Houdmann is the man who you believe has the Truth about Catholicism. If you are truly interested in knowing what the the Catholic Church teaches study Catholic material….start with the Catechism of the Catholic Church…it is free on line.
      The Catholic Church does not teach that a person does not become a saint unless he/she is beatified or canonized as you stated. Beatifying and canonizing saints is the Church’s way of recognizing them as saints. Saints are not worshipped in the Catholic Church.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • gerald

      Bobincr, better get your Catholic teaching from Catholics. In Catholicism there is not one single definition of saint. We have what is called the Communion of Saints. In that communion we on earth are included and can rightly be called saints. So you are quite wrong in your claims about Catholics only believing saints are in heaven. They are a special category of saints to be sure, for they have won the race and are perfected in Christ. We are still on the journey.

      April 27, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • gerald

      By the way bobincr, do you claim that those in heaven aren't saints or are you just raising a false dichotomy, a straw man, to knock down?

      April 27, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  2. Dave

    So then, how does one become a pedophile? Oh, I know. Become a priest...duh!

    April 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Dave, those priests are just as guilty as others that are blinded by the carnal sins of the flesh, pride and lust.


      April 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      that makes your creator of everything, who would have had to have created all that wonderful lust, quite the partner in crime.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  3. edvhou812

    I thought that three good card tricks was good enough to become a saint. :\

    April 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • nwi

      All you need is two-according to Guido Sarducci.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      That's Father Guido Sarducci you're paraphrasing! Fair attribution, please. 🙂

      April 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  4. John

    What does it take to be a Saint? According to the bible all men who have accepted Christ as their Savior. Can Saints be prayed to? No. According to 1 Timothy 2:1-5 it says that we are to pray for all man kind while we are alive. Not dead and we are to pray that God will interceed so that all men live peaceable. However it is very clear that we are to pray to God through his son Jesus Christ. It says: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time". You can also look at Romans 8:26 and 27 where it talks about the same thing. Apostles, Mary or anyone else who dies before us cannot make intercession with God on our behalfs. It is Jesus alnose who has that authority and power. Not man.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • jrddk7

      This whole praying to saints business has always made me a little uneasy, but I think I understand the idea now. People aren't praying to dead saints to intercede as Jesus does with God. They are praying to ask the dead saint to pray to God through Jesus themselves.
      Catholic -pray-> Jesus -intercede->God
      Catholic -pray-> Saint -pray-> Jesus -intercede-> God
      ...as I understand it.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  5. Blake

    Where is the biblical scripture backing 'sainthood' and 'prayer to saints'?

    April 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • bobincr


      Check it out for yourself.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Sam


      April 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • gerald

      Gee I guess then you don't believe people in heaven are saints? We can know who they were. "By their fruits you shall know them". It's in da bible.

      April 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  6. george in texas

    the article says that selecting a saint is a democratic process. lol. the fact is the records indicate that a saint can only be a catholic and must be a white person. most catholics today are non-white but they can't be saints even if they convert more people than the white missionaries in their midst. btw, healing is not the criteion for sainthood; it is how many converts you bring in that enriches vatican's coffers. it is amazing to me that musolini has not been made a saint because he was the one who made the vatican rich beyond imagination in exchange for vatican's immoral political support for his regime. pls read a newly publsihed book by paul williams : The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia

    April 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • juststoppingby

      Hi, george in texas. I have no idea where u get your information about catholicism, but I can assure you that you've been seriously mislead...a saint must be catholic?...The church actually respects many eastern orthodox saints as saints. And they have to be WHITE???? Really!! My dear, as a black African Catholic from Kenya, let me assure you that the catholic church has a number of black saints.

      Please google these names just for your information- st Josephine Bakhita (A saint who used to be a slave in Sudan) St Charles Luanga, St Kizito and the martyrs of Uganda. A beloved Cardinal of the Abaluhya tribe in our country (Cardinal Maurice Otunga) is in the process of canonization. In this age of information, there's really no reason for intelligent people to swallow lies and prejudices wholesale without checking facts for themselves.

      Just as you suggested that book, let me suggest a visit to http://www.newadvent.com, or get a book called 'the faith explained' and a copy of the catechism of the Catholic Chuch or its compendium in order to learn for yourself what the catholic church really teaches.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      yeah, what the catholic church teaches... Just don't bend over if you are going to ask their certified pro instructors for private lessons on the subject.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  7. nwi

    Guido Sarducci said it best: Four miracles, and-a to prove it. Well, this-a Mother Seton-now they could only prove-a three miracles. But the Pope-he just waved the fourth one. He just waved it! And do you know why? It's-a because she was American. It's all-a politics. We got-a some Italian-a people, they got-a forty, fifty, sixty miracles to their name. They can't-a get in just cause they say there's already too many Italian saints, and this woman comes along with-a three lousy miracles. I understand that-a two of them was-a card tricks.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      I digg you up for the Father Guido ref. You can have all my mod points.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  8. Carl LaFong

    Apparently it doesn't take much. You can become Pope after hiding child-abuse cases in your former See.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  9. sylvan finkelstein


    April 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  10. Johnie B Goode

    Step 1: Believe in imaginary beings, usually reserved for children as friends then permanently scared in to them by their parents, whose parents scared it in to them, etc...

    April 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  11. sufi

    We need to let Sufi know so they can become Christian Saints.
    They do these sorts of things all the time.
    btw i am not Christian however I believe it is true that Miracles exist in and are performed in all religions.
    But is is a mistake to base a religion solely on miracles.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  12. mary


    another link http://listverse.com/2007/08/21/top-10-incorrupt-corpses/

    Science can not explain this... Many doctors and scientists have studied the incorruptibles. These are devout Catholics who gave their lives to God and many were named saints.

    April 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Science can't really explain how gravity works. Does that mean that god is holding everything together? Does god push the apple out of the tree and onto the ground?

      April 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Ed

      @Stevie7 Gravity does exist so it pulls the apple to the ground. Science as not figured out how it works yet but probably will one day. In either case God could have created it.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      All things are possible with God.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  13. gerald

    Your quote is not by JP II or Aquinas. They said heaven is more than a place. You limit God to not being able to provide for physical prescence in heaven. Of course we all know you have not God yourself and are only trying to confuse and tear down the faith of others.

    April 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  14. Reality

    "Heaven is a Spirit state" as per JPII and Aquinas i.e. there can be no bodies. i.e. there was and never will be any physical resurrection/ascension of human bodies."

    And is it not ironical that JPII along with Aquinas are the ones who put meaning to the words "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless."

    April 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      True on both quotes. What's your point Reality?


      April 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Buckminster Fullerene

      @ Reality,
      Hi Mr. R. You usually know everything, (seriously, not disrespectfully).
      I think the quote "If Christ is not raised , our faith is in vain" is from St. Paul. .....little did he know......
      Hope you're havin' a pleasant vernal equinox.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Reality


      Tis a well-known passage from Paul's letter to the Corinthians so I did not reference it. Will do in the "reit" 🙂

      April 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  15. Jason the Pendleton Rat

    This is so preposterous, and frankly disgusting. I heard this morning on the BBC, that Vatican officials drew some blood from this gentleman before he died to use as a "relic" after he was beatified. I suppose ancestor worship is a consistent human theme, but this is IDOLATRY, plain and simple.
    It the RCs actually serious;y believed what they say they do about what they say is in their tabernacles, they would be face down in front of them, 24/7 and stop worrying about dead people, however much they admire them.
    If there were a supreme being, why would it chose to cure one French nun of Parkinson's Disease, and leave the millions of others to suffer. It is simply totally ridiculous.

    April 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Stevie7

      god clearly plays favorites. It's a consistent theme throughout the entire bible, and is a theme in pretty much every single religion. Obviously it continues to this day.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • mb2010a

      During the embalming process ALL blood is removed from the deceased, so they probably did save some of it. I'll bet they are going to clone him...

      April 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  16. HeavenSent

    That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

    Philippians 2:15


    April 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      because we know how blameless catholic priests are.

      April 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Admiral, I'm not a Catholic.


      April 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  17. SadieSadie

    This whole process makes me leery. The fact the this supposed saint intercedes for you with God is on direct opposition with Jesus teaching that He is the only way to God.
    We are all equal in the eyes of God so we should never place a fellow human between us and God because it quickly becomes a slippery slope into idolatry which is a sin.
    All miracles should be attributed to God and not man so really John Paul, while he may have been a good man, was not responsible for that healing, God was.
    Think about it this way: the angels said not to bow to them for they were not God, a 'saint' is not God so we should not pray to them but instead pray directly to the source.

    April 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • gerald

      To pray means to ask. Tell me, do you pray for other people? Better stop. It's putting you between Jesus and God isn't it? That's what you said. Don't ask others to pray for you. Again you said it, not I. To ask the intercession of another is not making them out to be gods. That is your misconception. You say that one cannot be bowed down to yet David bowed before bethsheeba, the 11 sons bowed down before Joseph, it was said in a prophecy by Abraham that the Jewish nation would bow down before Issac. Bowing down in itself is not worship. We don't claim that JP II was responsible for any healing, except that he interceeded for the one healed before the Mighty Throne in heaven. Your post is full of misconceptions and false understandings. The bible says that in heaven we are not separated from the body of Christ. (Rom 8 – nothing can separate us from the love of God). We are told that as members of the body we are to interceed for one another (1 Tim 2:1-4). There is no reason to believe those in heaven do not interceed for us.

      April 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • SadieSadie

      I actually don't pray 'for' someone, I pray with them. They are not asking me to pray because God hears my prayers more but because where two of more people worship there God will be.
      The words I hear most from Catholics are 'pray to so and so for healing.' My reply is no pray to God for healing.
      If I ever found out that after I died people were praying to me I would be really upset.

      April 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Ed

      @ Sadie your point is fair however I have heard amy people ask friebns to pray for them when we pray to a saint we are asking theym to pray to God for us. Its the same as you asking a friend to pray with you they are just not physically in the room with us. Also Pray is a latin word it literlally translates to speak. We speak to God and ask frieds and relatives to speak to God on out behave and catholics ask saints to speak to god on our behalf as well. It is true only God preforms miracles but some times he lets people be his tool.

      April 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • gerald

      So we are not supposed to pray for someone? Very odd then that Paul says...


      [25] Brethren, pray for us.


      [11] To this end we always pray for you,

      when you say he meant pray with us.

      April 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • gerald

      So tell me were the people practicing idolatry when they touched Paul's handkerchief or had Peter's shadow cast upon them that they be healed. Yes we all know God is the source of healing but he works his healings through men. Through our prayers and actions. Your seeing idolatry where there is non. You do not understand how God works through those who love him and parrot the same old protestant misconceptions that don't hold water when put to the Biblical test. Sorry.

      April 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      We always make our prayers through Jesus Christ and I believe the author of the article meant just that.
      Saints could pray for us while living on this earth and we are all still part of the body of Christ and can continue to pray and ask for intercessory prayers from them. Death had no power over Jesus Christ as we just celebrated Easter in remembrance of that first Easter Resurrection. We die in the hope of rising with Him. All Saints, our brothers and sisters in Christ, can pray for us that we persevere and endure through to the end so we, too, can join them in Heaven. Love of neighbor does not die in Heaven, Love is all that remains…and it is for all who remain in the Body of Christ. This is why Baptism is so important…it makes us members of Christ’s body; it is how we are born again.
      Pope John Paul II prayed for this healing for the nun and God answered his prayer and granted a miracle. We believe that those closest to Jesus Christ are not obstructed by earthly things and thus their prayers ring loud and clear! I need all the prayers I can get!

      April 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • SadieSadie

      Yeah Gerald because you know God so much more than I do right? Give me a break.
      Jesus is just as much my savior as yours and God is just as much my heavenly Father.
      Just because I don't prescribe to your brand of Christianity does not mean my beliefs don't hold water
      BTW please note that my original statement is my opinion and I an not forcing you to agree.
      Thank you everyone else for you civil comments.

      April 26, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      SadieSadie, see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring. The big steel one that I padlocked the chain on with when we were practicing for the uplifting.

      April 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Ed

      @Gerald, Sadie's right we have to try to be respectful of each other even if we disagree. This is a christian imperative. we need to try with athiest too most of them deserve as much as we do. As for towards each other the atiest like Admiral will insult us enough lets not do it for them.

      April 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • gerald

      Everybody likes to attack the CC for what they think it teaches. You post misconceptions about Catholicism as if you know what we do and why and then you get offended when I explain it differently than you and provide biblical support for what I say. Sorry for the offense but you might want to not attack others religion if you don't want to hear the response.

      April 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • gerald

      By the way I never claimed that Jesus was not your savior Saddie. Not my call. And it can't be right to pray to saints and wrong to pray to saints at the same time. So one of our opinions does not hold water.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • juststoppingby

      Hi, Sadiesadie. It's like Catholicmom said. See, we catholics don't believe that a member of the body of Christ is cut off from that holy body at death! No, we believe that we are united to the holy apostles, the martyrs and all those who have left this Earth being joined to Christ by something so much stronger than both death and Time...Jesus the Christ! U See, the saints in heaven are even more deeply members of that holy body than we on Earth as they are totally absorbed into him who is so holy unlike we on Earth who are always straying from him. Doesn't Paul in Hebrews remind us of that sacred crowd of 'witnesses' that surrounds us in our holy race? Just us our holy saviour is intimately concerned with the smallest details of our lives here on Earth, so all those completely and eternally joined to his will, care for those whom their lord loves and who are their brothers and sisters through the sacred body of our saviour. And remember, the biblical teaching that all the body is affected by the tiniest members. Imagine now, the effect of the greatest members, those forever joined to Christ and wholly transformed into his image!

      I don't appreciate the comments of this 'Admiral' person. While I may not share the belief in the rapture, I can tell this is a nasty comment from a person without faith and whose emptiness leads him to attack those who have found the joy of Christ. Mocking people of faith doesn't make you smarter, just a small nasty person filled with bitterness and hate and missing the joy that comes to those who find truth.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Acts of the Apostles 11-12

      So that even there were brought from his body to the sick, handkerchiefs and aprons, and the diseases departed from them, And God wrought by the hand of Paul more than common miracles. So that even there were brought from his body to the sick, handkerchiefs and aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the wicked spirits went out of them. and the wicked spirits went out from them".

      This is why we venerate the saints and even clothing and such that may have touched the body of a Saint. God performs miracles with them and through them to strengthen our faith.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      juststoppingby, luv your sense of humour. You go, grrrl!

      April 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Mateezy

      exactly, thats why us Muslims pray directly to the "source" God, alone no partners, no intermediaries, nothing. We worship the creator alone, not the creation. Jesus=creation. There is only 1 truth, and that is there is no deity worthy of worship save Allah, and Muhammad is his last messenger. And to add, Jesus was one the greatest messengers of God, he was the messiah, the anointed one who is in Heaven with God as his servant (NOT AS HIS EQUAL or SON, or 1 of 3, etc) It boggles my mind how this pure logic sense doesn't get thru to Christians.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • stacey

      Dead people can not hear our prayers. Only God can. End of story.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Muneezy great idea, source-direct. Must be a lot cheaper too, not having to teeth every week like the Christians do.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Mateezy

      Admiral, yup, you should try it, source-direct. God created you as he did me and everything else. Even if you don't believe in him, the fact remains. You are a creation. You've been given free choice to believe whatever you wish. It would make God unjust if he created you without purpose or without some type of guidance. Your purpose- to worship your creator, your guidance, the Koran. We don't follow blindly. The Koran has a verse in it, it says (translation) if this book was from anything other than God then in it you would find many contradictions. I challenge you to find one. Impossible. And im not talking about personal opinion, a real contradiction like what you'll find 1000 times in the Bible. Just some food for thought, my best...

      April 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Muneezy, yeah, no contradictions in the quran. Except for these dozens
      but maybe not so many as the bible, so good in you. And at least you only have maybe one famous pedophile to have to spend the PR budget on.

      BTW, my knee hurts. How come that darn perfect creator made so many design fsckups?

      April 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      Our God is God of the living not the dead. Those that live in Him and through Him are alive because He lives!

      I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Matthew 22:32
      For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him. Luke 20:38
      He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You therefore do greatly err. Mark 12:27

      April 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • gerald


      If only God hears what is going on then how can the Apostles sit on thrones and judge nations as Jesus promised them. They can't rightfully judge if they can't hear and know what is going on. And how is it that there is great rejoicing in heaven over 1 repentant sinner if only God hears and knows what is going one? Heb 12 says we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. No, I don't think the story is quite over.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  18. Rogue

    Fakery and Fraud. Hoaxes and hallucinations. Bullshlt and bombasticism.
    Religion is BS all the way down the line.
    Those child-molesters deserve death and imprisonment, not "beatification" (or beat-off vacations, either!)!
    tè_ét to all religious nuts.

    April 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • gerald

      And what do those who broad brush all in a religion out of prejudice and bigotry as deserve?

      April 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      You are trying to live up to your name but it is not working…no, …you are not a worthless tramp, a dishonest scoundrel, are you? How did you get so down on yourself and the world and the Church? How does one get so filled with hate? Really, your soul is just as important as the next person’s soul…how do I know? I picture you as you were when you were a child…no little child is filled full of hate like this that you display. Somewhere along the way something happened to make you bitter. I hope you find your way back…

      April 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Rogue: it depends on which religion you're talking about. 🙂 Even the Neanderthals had religion. As far as we know, there has never been a tribe/nation that was primarily atheist. Even in Communist countries, religions never really vanish. Religion is apparently deeply ingrained in human societies and has been for hundreds of thousands of years. The capacity for religious belief may be one of the things that define our species. I'd hate to think it's just a collective delusion. And I can say, without irony, I thank God that free thinkers like you exist, Rogue!

      April 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Stevie7

      There's actually a perfectly good evolutionary explanation for religion. As you note, even our early ancestors had it. It has been experimentally shown that people behave better and act better when they think someone is watching. Thus, a culture which believes someone or something is watching them will behave more ethically and rationally and thus have a strong chance of survival. In our modern world, our system of justice fulfills this role.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • gerald


      Did you every think that someone who is watching might have put that quality in people? Maybe that is why EVERYONE has it. Do you think?

      April 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Um, no. I certainly don't believe that any higher power is sitting around and cherry picking and meddling in an evolutionary process. Wouldn't that also violate the concept of free will? I mean if some god is telling me at some level to be fearful of him/her/it, then that certainly seems to be bending the concept of free will pretty heavily.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Do you believe that god intervened and gave everyone the quality to be thirsty? Because EVERYONE gets thirsty. It's ingrained in us because we evolved that way. The same reason we all have ten fingers and toes. That's how evolution works

      April 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Rogue

      @Alex – Why are you thankful I exist? Do you feel I somehow "validate" your faith or some such nonsense?
      @gerald – Going by what you say, your "god" has deliberately put that "child-molestation" and "gay" gene into those that have it.
      You really should stop defending Catholicism. There is nothing to support your delusions and your posts show this.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • gerald

      False dichotomy alert.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • gerald


      No the sins of man allowed for the corruption of genes. Don't blame God.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Genes are corruptible?!?!? I didn't know DNA had morals. Who knew that chemical compounds could sin?

      So, if genes are corrupted and not made by god, are good genes than made by god? Are genetic diseases caused by sin? What sin causes autism? How did the Parkinson's gene get corrupted?

      April 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • gerald

      No reason to cast any more pearls toward such foolishness.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @gerald, which one are you, the pot or the kettle?

      April 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  19. Nonimus

    "So how does one become a saint?
    In one sense it’s a democratic process, beginning with a grassroots conviction that a given person lived a holy life. "

    My understanding was that canonization was just the official recognition of someone's sainthood; it doesn't actually make them a saint.

    April 26, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • CatholicMom

      You are right, the Church doesn’t MAKE someone a saint…the Church only recognizes the person as a Saint. There are, no doubt, many saints who we have not recognized, but they are included when we celebrate All Saints Day. All Saints are members of Jesus Christ’s body and dying our earthly death does not severe one from His body unless we chose to willfully take a path that leads away from sainthood while living our lives.

      April 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Davey Jones

      I agree with CatholicMom, and I winced when I read CNN's wording. A saint is just someone who is in heaven. To answer CNN's question "So how does one become a saint?": after you die, go to heaven.

      Otherwise, I thought this article was pretty good compared to CNN's usual religious confusion. It should be informative to those who don't understand Catholicism's recognition of saints.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • ProtestantPop

      Hey CaMom,
      Was that a severe severance ? Why does "spelling challenged" pop into one's head ?

      April 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      I guess it all depends on the purpose of your posting as to what will 'pop into your head'.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  20. MysticWine

    A saint has the same consciousness as God. Nothing less. He may or may not indulge in miracles.

    April 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Funny that not one of them has ever demonstrated the ability to exercise your first option.

      Such self-restraint, never indulging. That must be it...

      April 26, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Ed

      @ Admiral actually most of them have a small precentage as failed at that. The ones that failed were wrong te way the church dealt with it was equally wrong. Throwing it out on every article is a waste of time. Try to come up with soemthing new and constructive

      April 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Ed, nice try at being dismissive. Present solid evidence that any saint has done a miracle. Or that any miracle has ever happened with divine cause. Ever.

      Good luck. There ain't any.

      April 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Ed

      @Admiral, My comment was in response to your obvious attempt to say all priest are pediphiles. far to many are but still a very small precentage as a whole. Not that that makes it ok. Please stop saying that on every article frankly it makes you look like a small minded fool. I don't think you are but you can do better than desparaging remarks for no reason.

      As for proveing miracles. I can give few examples if you like however in my exprience atiest dismiss them as chance or something else and since I can't prove they were miracles we are at an impass. I will tell you one story make of it what you will.

      My friends mother is a nurse. While working on a dilvery one night the baby was still born. The doctor examined it they could nt say the child. In a case like this at the time the remove the dead child as soon as possible to concentrate on the mother who is in need of attention especailly since her child just came out dead. The doctor handed my freinds mom the baby as she left the room she stopped at a sink took some water and baptized the dead baby due to her own belief. As soon as she did the dead baby began to cry. That was several years ago the baby is now grown with babies of his own. I would say this is a miracle. Whta would you say? Enstien once said "you can lok at everything in life as it is a miracle or nothing is" the choice is yours. BTW I'm not syaing Einstien was a believer only that he said that.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      Only God has the same consciousness as God. There is no tenet of Catholicism that claims a saint is essentially equal to God. I had the honor of once meeting Pope John-Paul II, and I can tell you that by no means did he believe himself equal to God. I have no doubt that JP II will be recognized as a saint. Saints try to do good works as an expression of the power of their love of God. They never claim to be equal to God.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      You failed, Ed. "As yet unexplained" does not equal "proven to be a miracle caused by god". And you'll have to do better than a weak personal anecdote.

      As for Einstein, yeah, you really wanna look at what he said:
      "From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist."
      — Albert Einstein, letter to Guy Raner Jr, 1945

      "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one."
      — Albert Einstein, letter to Guy Raner Jr, 1949

      "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."
      — Albert Einstein, letter to Eric Gutkind, 1/3/1954

      "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954.

      Come again? Act fast. You KNOW that the capsule is waiting...

      April 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Ed, I would say that the doctor was likely guilty of malpractice. Modern medicine isn't perfect and doesn't have all of the answers. That does not mean that when modern medicine doesn't have an answer, it must be a miracle. There have always been plenty of "miracles" – like the sun rising and setting, that couldn't be explain in their time. A lack of explanation does not imply divine intervention. And why would an all-powerful and all-loving god choose to save a baby simply because it was baptized? What about all of the other still born children that the supposed unconditionally loving god chose not to save? Ah, this is where the 'god is mysterious' argument gets interjected. So basically, anything that cannot be explained can easily be attributed to god. Convenient

      April 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Buckminster Fullerene

      @Up Your Rear Admiral,
      Please keep trying to engage Ed. I am fascinated reading his posts. I am trying to decide if he is either just dyslexic, or simply unable to construct a sentence with correct English grammar. I feel I need more evidence, to make that decision. Thanks.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Ed

      You proved my point prefectly and also proved your did not read it carefully. I clearly stated I was not saying einstien was religious only that he made the comment. yet you felt the need to give 4 quotes saying he wasn't religious. I never said he was why are you so dogmatic he was not.

      As too the miracle you simply dimissed as I said you would. You ask for proff yet dismiss with out any consideration anything that could show a miracle as false. You didn't even say they the doctor was wrong the baby wasn't dead it was a medical mistake. Even I pointed that possiblity out when it was told to me. Your right I can't prove it was a miracle. But if you are too slosed minded to consider any example of a possible miracle worth consideration then no one will every be able to prove it. I Listened to your point of view I responded with respect. You just said I was wrong and you did in a disrespectful way. Its not a contest try being the opened minded person athiest claim to be. Consider it may have been a miracle or may be the miracle was the nurse action simply caught the mistake. But don't ask for proof you will simply dismiss any way. Thanks for proving me right when I said you would dismiss it before I told the story at all.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Ed

      that's a fair point, I don't know why God choose to save this child and not another one. I don't know if God was involved at all. Prehaps the miracle was simply that the nurse actions caught the mistake, or prehaps it was all just luck. Admiral did prove one point though he was unwilling to even consider that it may have been more than that. It is possible the child was saved or it was just a mistake. Just consider it. Like admiral the choice is yours. I can not even prove it happened I was not there I was a child myself and had not meet my friend yet. All I can tell you is its a story of a possible miracle amke of it what you will.

      @Buckminste, Its some of all of it I'm afarid I am slightly dyslexic also a lousy typist and speller although that may be linked. I also have a brace on my wrist that keeps hitting buttons I don't me too. I'll try to proof read better sorry

      April 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Ed, stop beating around the dead cat. Present your "proof", or just p_ss off already.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Ed – I can totally respect that response. That you do not know, but you believe seems to me to be the essence of faith. While I do not share your faith, it is one that I can respect.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Ed

      @stevie7 Thank you and I respect your choice to noy agree.

      @Admiral As I said and you have proven nothing that can be placed on a blog can give you proof. Even if I could you're too closed minded to consider it. I come on these blogs to have a convesation and learn from other intelligent people whether the agree with me or not. You come on to berate and insult the faithful. You add nothing of use and seem to lack the intelligence to do so. You are to small minded to consider any other point of view then your own. So to quote the person you see as the greatest mind you know yourself p-ss-off your self

      April 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • InFormed99

      Ed: perhaps the doctor was just incompetent.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Ed

      @informed99 Fiar point infact that what I said when i was first told the story. I did adress it in one of my responses.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Ed, finally you make the admit. Thanks. Musta hurt.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Ed

      @actually Admiral I address that question in more then one previous commnet thanks for proven you didn't read them carefully again. By the way unless your willing to have a decent conversation without being a small minded git leave me be, your not worth my time

      April 26, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Yeah, thanks Ed. Thanks "for proven" and for bein so polite-like. Now p_ss off, you puny-minded sub-git.
      BTW I'm not the Admiral. You are. Got it yet, sailor, or did that go over your head too?

      April 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Ed

      @admiral, so you want to be up my rear then? No thanks don't swing that way have some friends that do I'll let them know your interested.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Oh, Ed, we know you always wanted to be a swinger. You just didn't have the size.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:29 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.