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. John in AZ

    How to become a saint? EASY! Be a Catholic who was born in a country that the Church has an interest in keeping in fervent belief. Well, at least this is the political answer.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Or be a popular, well-loved Catholic recently deceased while the church is undergoing a major scandal. Great PR department.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Ed

      or perhaps be a devout catholic who actaully tries to make things better for the world, reaches out to multiple coutrys and religions top build better realtions. Peske good guy stuff like that

      April 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  2. 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". Paul in Corinthians.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  3. Brad


    April 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • jujug28

      what are you talking about? a saint is someone who is in heaven. there are many more saints than we can know of. you do not know about someone's last second conversion or God's mercy. plus the thousands of innocent unborn children murdered in the us alone.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  4. Professor P

    This article is incorrect on the requirements for becoming a saint. Everyone who receives Jesus Christ as his/her savior and has the Holy Spirit within his/her body is a saint. The procedure in the Roman Catholic church is one of RECOGNIZING saints, not making people saints. That is why All Saints Day is in honor of the millions of people who are or were saints but have not been reconginzed as such.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • BobR

      You are very correct, and this is consistent with Catholic catechism. We are all called to be part of the "communiion of Saints", as the Apostles' (Catholic) Creed says. Anyone in heaven is a saint.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  5. JC

    I wonder to what extent the Catholic Church persists mainly because weak people have a strange need to believe themselves to be the "underdogs." I recently saw a Catholic Church newspaper indicated that large numbers of the faithful were returning to the church. I have to ask, if they were the faithful, why did they leave? Furthermore, the publication was followed by a television add campaign (that was eerily and creepily reminiscent of the Mormon television adds) inviting people to return to the church. This was particularly amusing, since it was the exact same ploy employed by the folks at Toyota when they realized they were losing market share. The Catholic Church desperately needs miracles to justify its continued existence, and have had virtually no luck in that pursuit; something which casts doubts on everything the church has termed a 'miracle' for the last 2000 years. Whatever the truth of the incidents at the beginning of the Christian era, the Catholic church has long since buried, burned, excommunicated, tortured, and 'inquisitioned' right out of existence. Make no mistake: the Catholic Church became, within a half century of its inception, the largest, most enduring, most insidious of evils ever known on the face of the earth. That this evil is ongoing is manifest by the number of pedophiles known to the church, which has helped shelter them to prevent loss of faith. There is solid evidence that the current Pope, a fascist, was involved in the cover-up. And now the church struggles against the long decline. Gone are the days when Papal armies controlled large land holdings and a meal with the Pope might mean poison. Let this abomination die; the sooner the better.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • LeeCMH

      Thank you Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  6. gman21

    The only religion that has stood up for values is Catholic church. Because of it, the cries of the unborns are still echoed. Only pope and the catholic priests have the lineage to the first Pope appointed by Christ. It is a fact. Please do not hold the entire church responsible for the mistakes committed by a few individuals.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Suzie

      Few? It means not many but more than one but when it comes to the Catholic church it's more than a few, it's thousands!

      April 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Stevie7

      The church leadership's continued actions make them, and by extension the church, complicit in the unspeakable actions. The the people of the church are not up in arms and (figuratively) calling for the heads of the church leadership is an embarrassment. These bishops and cardinals, appointed by the supposedly infallible and Holy-Spirit-guided pope who shuttled these monsters from parish to parish so that they could continue in their unspeakable crimes are just as guilty as the preists themselves. It appears the hold spirit was asleep at the wheel.

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

      No one can argue that the chruch handle the evil behavior by some of its priest badly. I took criminal and abnormal pshyc in college and back then they firgured the were 8 times as many pediphiles active in general populations as were being caught and double that have the desire but never act. Aproximatley 5-8% of the population in must coutrys in the world are pedos. In the chursh its less then .1% even if you figure its 10 times that not getting caught and double not active but with the desire its far less than the general population. I want to be clear IAM NOT EXCUSING THE ACTION. If even one priest does this in the entire 2000 year history of the church that is imeasurable more then should have. The church should have defroced them and turned them over to the law to be tried and if found guilt ex ecuted. I can not excuse the churches bad decision on this matter. The church is run by men who ay have been trying to avoid every time the catholic church is mentioned any where somebody syas look at the pedophiles. Kind of like what happens every time the mention the catholic church of these blogs. Thats the only excuse I can think of for them and it was wrong. With all of that said please stop saying every time you see a mention of the catholic shurch all the preist are pedophiles when is reality fewer of them are then in the general population of most countys in the world. its simply not fair.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Suzie

      "its simply not fair."

      Try telling that to the children who were/are abused by priests in your church!

      April 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Ed

      That would be my point compared to the general population very few priest have commited pedophilia however you are condemning all priest. More fathers do it but most don't more teachers do it but most don't. I can not excuse the ones that do. They should be defrocked and executed but in the same way its not fair to blame all fathers for what some fathers do to their children or all teachers for what some do its simply not fair to blame all priest for what some do.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  7. Nigel Goddard

    Perhaps I'm uninformed but shouldn't God himself choose who becomes a saint as opposed to "sinful man?" One million dollars for Opus Dei to founder to become a Saint? I guess for some christians, faith is all about money. Would the Opus Dei leader become saint without the cash? Can anyone answer this?

    April 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  8. whateverb1tch

    People have been lying forever. Believe what you want but you your fate will be the same as mine. 6 feet under.

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

      Not me I planning to be cremeted

      April 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Buckminster Fullerene

      And me, I'm planning on being cremAted.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  9. LeeCMH

    To become a saint, that's easy. Get you face on a grilled cheese sandwich.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  10. LouAz

    This is all a setup so the Chief Pedophiloe Protector can get yet another new wardrobe. This guy has more dresses and hats than the MGM Wardrobe Dept. He never seems to wear anything twice. I guess that is some kind of Catholic thing.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  11. chefdugan

    The Cathilic Church is a farce,always has been, always will be. Now we are learning just how corrupt and evil it is

    April 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Stevie7

      I think anyone who just opens their eyes and educates themselves a bit will realize the corruption, greed, politics, and the quest for power and money has permeated the church nearly since its inception.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • mb2010a

      Same can be said about the Baptist Church...

      April 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • jujug28

      seriously stevie7? tell me how other relegions havent had many corruptions and those leaders actually tried harder to fix it.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  12. John

    That's the point. Jesus did not come to start a church. He came to save souls. He came to start his ministry of saving souls. Ephesians 2:8-9 spells out how to be saved. Grace through Faith. It's gift from God and not anything else. God never put conditions on salvation. Paul himself said "For I know whom I have believe and am pursuaded that He is able to keep that which I've comitted unto him against that day". Paul knew that he could not keep his comittment to God but that God could keep it for him through his son Jesus Christ. To many people try to hold tight to that salvation but the bible sayd we cannot keep it through ourselves. Only Christ can keep it safe for us. Jesus said he came that you might know you have eternal life. Not guess or wonder which sin is it that makes me lose it. He also said that off all the sheep the father gives him he has not lost one, save for the son of perdition. If you look up the greek word being used for perdition it means the son of death or those who refuse to accept Christ. Thus once saved you are a saint as God said he adds or takes away from the body.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  13. bes

    I for one loved this man, he is worthy of whatever crumbs that church can throw at him, however I can't imagine his ascention into Heaven is more assured than the Homless people I work with. I believe he would want to be remembered as a kind and humble man. I have only one holy relic in my home and that's a candle with lovely man's face on it. Period.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Artist

      I wonder if he will taste batter to the worms?

      April 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  14. Not All Docs Play Golf

    As an ex-Catholic, I can no longer buy into a guy in a pointed hat riding around in a bulletproof rickshaw telling starving people in disease-ridden impoverished former European colonies that they cannot use condoms for birth control and disease prevention. The whole concept of "sainthood" with it's requirement of "miracles" is nuts. One would think that with all the "saints", the church is almost practicing polytheism.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • jujug28

      noooooooo on so many levels. worship one God. saints are just people enjoying the splendor of his presence in heaven. we see their success as an example and our motivation towards our ultimate goal.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  15. Artist

    This is far to entertaining. Carry on. lol

    April 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  16. bailoutsos

    Does seexxlly abusing boys count against them?

    April 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  17. bobincr

    This link will answer many of your questions re Catholicism. Please, take a moment to be informed about this hellish belief system;


    April 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  18. Nat

    How about everyone mind their own business.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  19. lolrelgion

    Start with many small boys, I mean vessels and show them the "light" of "god" to transform their body, mind, soul and body.

    April 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  20. MOJO

    Follow what you will. As for me and my house I will serve the Lord and do so by the teachings of the bible as taught by the Catholic Church. It is the Catholic church that gave us the Bible. It is the Church Jesus spoke of when he said "Simon, you are Rock (Peter) and on this Rock I will build my Church" not the other 42,000 secs of Christian churches that came about after someone decides he doesn't like something in the church he attending and goes and starts another. I am a Catholic and proud of it, despite the mistakes of men within the Church. It ia the mistakes of men and not the dogma of the church that is wrong. Over the years the issues surface, The Church corrects itself and still lives. The Catholic Church has been around for over 2000 years and as Jesus said "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it".

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

      El Oh El

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

      how can any person think that the catholic church gave us the bible? they did all they could to keep it from the people while they persecuted true believers of jesus. they are the main part of the harlot spoken of in Revelation. you may want to read it for yourself and get out before it is too late.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Sam

      jg is saying that the all the disciples of the apostles(Early Church fathers) have lied in their testimonies. Is that what you are charging them with JG?? You are the one who needs to go and read how your church was founded and how the bible was put together

      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 of 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.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Check

      What about the orthodox churches? They were around since the beginning. A strong arguement could be made that they are the true original church and that the roman church left them during the great schism of 1066 (long before the protestant reformation).

      April 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Sam

      Also JG, If that is the case, I wonder why Luther wanted to remove Revelations and 4 other books from the new testament? If there is any book that is Catholic in every way, that is the book of Revelations. From how the church in heaven is, from the altar and the lamb of good, from the description of the angels and saints, every bit of the book is Catholic.....No doubt why Luther didnt want it in his Protestant bible.....He was out to prove his heretical teachings of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide.

      April 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Check

      Correction – it was actually 1054.

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

      Um, Jesus never mentioned the Catholic church, he just mentioned His Church. Catholics really believe they have the corner on Christianity. Amazing. As for me and my house I will serve the Lord, NOT the catholic church.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Luigi

      How to become a saint? Imitate Jesus
      The catholic church has corrupted faith by creating all kind of saints and having people worship them: 1 and 2 commandments broken!

      April 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • gerald


      Matt 16:18 tells us who left who. Your bishops do trace back so you do have some claim to originality.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • jg

      sam, you do not have a clue and really i feel sad for all you catholics out there that have been so misled for so long. i really don't like getting involved in these discussions since i only like talking with people who are sincere in their desire to learn the truth that leads to eternal life so if you really want to learn what the bible teaches let me know and i'll check back later.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • jg

      oh and sam, i'm not a follower of luther or any other protestant church.

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

      Finally, and intelligent soul! I could not have said it better myself! God bless and disregard the ignorant and angry responses this article will certainly generate!! As far as I'm concerned – Catholicism is the only true Christian church!!

      April 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • He has Truly Risen

      The Catholic Church is the one true church founded by Christ (not man). Despite failures in certain individuals over the years, their have always been sincere Catholics around (look at all the lists of saints). The Catholic Church has the Eucharist, so we get to receive Jesus Christ himself into our lives at every mass. John Paul Ii helped the world see how Jesus is in the Eucharist and he deserves to be canonized one day. God Bless!

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

      I don't know how you can give such credit to the Catholic church for creating the Bible? All scripture is inspired by God is what the Bible says. Secondly, for someone else to intercede for you would mean that Jesus does not hold the position as the Mediator between God and man! By taking such a position away from Jesus, you lable Him as ineffective, because you'd need a human to do it for you. I see that you are a staunch advocate for Catholicism, but you may want to read the Bible a little more. Saints are not men who lived holy lives! That is impossible! By the Bible's account our righteousness is as filthy rags. We cannot live a holy life, if we could there would be no need for the cross. Lastly, was the miracle done by the man or by God? Let's give the glory to whom it belongs....God!

      April 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • John

      MOJO you are so wrong. Look at the original text. Peter was called a small stone (Petros). When Jesus said "Upon this Rock (Petra)" he was talking about himself not Peter. God never put ahead over his body except his son. Jesus is the head and chief cornerstone. Not any man or Church. God used the Catholic church to presearve his word, not dictate it. Even then they have strayed so far from the bible. Look at Matthew 23 as an example. We are told to call no man "Father" on earth for we have one father in heaven. Look at the context of what he was talking about. But yet you call your priest Father against God. He also says to call no man master. You need to compare what they teach against what the word of God says. Believe no man. Believe God and let his spirit guide you in his truth.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Sam


      The please state what your belief is. If you are not a christian, then the bible for you is false.....if you are then I sure can tell without a doubt that you are not a Catholic. So that leaves us with either the Orthodox church or the 40000 protestant churches. Please tell me where 'your truth' comes from and then we can talk....And if you are going to talk about the validity of the books in the bible, please provide resources and credible historical evidences....But lets start with where you come from first

      April 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • juan

      100% with Mojo amen.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Sam

      John....As Greek scholars—even non-Catholic ones—admit, the words petros and petra were synonyms in first century Greek. They meant "small stone" and "large rock" in some ancient Greek poetry, centuries before the time of Christ, but that distinction had disappeared from the language by the time Matthew’s Gospel was rendered in Greek. The difference in meaning can only be found in Attic Greek, but the New Testament was written in Koine Greek—an entirely different dialect. In Koine Greek, both petros and petra simply meant "rock." If Jesus had wanted to call Simon a small stone, the Greek lithos would have been used.

      Also Jesus in this verse is drawing us to Isaiah 22:20 where the prophet is talking about replacing a prime minister who would be given the keys to the kingdom of David and God also promises him a 'Fatherly' role....But should that fatherly role just belong to the king? But NO, God is talking about a fatherly priestly role..He says he will give him authority over every vessel from bowls to the jars which were the vessels used for offering sacrifices by the high priest.

      20 “In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21 I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. 22 I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 23 I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a seat[a] of honor for the house of his father. 24 All the glory of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots—all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars.
      Here is Isaiah 22:20
      25 “In that day,” declares the LORD Almighty, “the peg driven into the firm place will give way; it will be sheared off and will fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut down.” The LORD has spoken.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Buckminster Fullerene

      FYI, the Ca Church used to excommunicate people, just for translating the bible. Don't kid yourself.
      Did you mean 42,000 SECTS ? What is a "sec" ?
      The Chineese Empire was also around for more than 2000 years. What's the point ?

      Jesus never said the word "church". There is no evidence he every thought about "founding a church".Those words were "placed in his mouth, as a literary device", (as say almost all biblical scholars). His followers were radically divided, mainly into three groups. There was a Jerusalem group, headed by his brother James, convinced that the Jewish traditions were important, there was a Pauline camp evolving from the Jewish mindset, and there was a Roman camp. Eventally the Roman camp came to be the most powerful because the Emperor Constantine decided to use it to unify his empire politically.
      None of them talked abouit "church".

      Agree. But the process by which the RC church came to collect the many diverse texts into what they came to calll "The Bible", was VOTED on by men, in a "Council". What about the guys who voted against the final version ? Were they stupid ? Agree that the book of Revelation is the most Catholic. It is truely fantastical !

      No, it's not ALMOST polytheism. It IS. (It's called idolatry.)

      You got it.
      Whatever else they say here, THAT is the one indisputable fact. In the meantime, be happy.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • John

      Sam, what your refering to is prophesy of Mesiah. God never intended for man to be his go between. Considering teh Apostles walked with Jesus I lean more towards their teaching as they received it straight from him. In all of the new testimate you will not find reference to God giving power to man. If you look at Matthew 28:18-19 Jesus said "All power is given unto me both in Heaven and in Earthy. Go ye into all the world and teach all nations. Baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". Matter of fact Paul hiself addressed this issue with the church in Corinth when they were saying they were of Paul or others. Paul said I commend you not. He said he didn't save them or baptise them. That we are of Christ and him alone. When Chrsit dies on the cross the the curtain that seperated the holy of holys from the area where the table of show bread was rent in half. Showing that fromt hat moment on there was no barrier betwen us and God and that we could approach the throne of God directly without having to go through a priest.

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

      Here is Matthew 16
      17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.”

      Do you still say Jesus never used the word "Church"...He is talking about the earthly church and relating it to HIS Kingdom in heaven. Note that Peter holds the KEYS to the kingdom in Heaven.

      Note that there were disagreements in councils in what books belonged to bible and what didnt and when there was a difference in opinion, the councils looked to Rome for answers(Read what the early church fathers have testified...eg: See what St.Jerome had to say....he disagreed with certain books but then accepted it because Rome said the books were a part of the bible) .....Just like in the bible when there is an argument about whether or not gentiles must be baptized, Peter speaks up and everybody agrees whether they like it or not. the bible didnt even exist up until 390AD and various different books were read as being a part of the new testament and various new teachings came about as well which the church had to clean up. The Catholic church(Note that the Roman rite is just one of the many rites) guided by the holy spirit, put the bible together as we know it today.

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

      Peter does not hold the keys. The Church holds the keys. Jesus was telling Peter that upon his ministry of reconciling men to Christ his church would be built. Not on Peter himself. Bring more that just that verse.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Sam


      Thanks for the response but I have to disagree with you. Here is what John 20 says
      21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

      Now why is Jesus giving the authority to forgive sins to the apostles? Note that he didnt tell that to all his disciples but just to HIS apostles. This is similar to what Jesus told Peter except that he gave Peter HIS keys to the kingdom in heaven...Note that He also asked Peter specifically to guide his sheep. Now all of that is what Jesus himself said in the bible.

      Also in Isiah 22:20, the reference is made to Elliakim who is being made the Prime minister in the Kingdom(Not King)....So there is a problem here is you say that the reference here is made to Jesus who is in David's lineage(King)...The King has the supreme authority in the kingdom but the Prime Minister holds the keys to the Kingdom.....and the keys is given to the prime minister by the King himself.....So he is NOT acting by his own authority but merely using the King's authority that the King has entrusted in him and in Peter's case he has said that He has prayed for him and his faith will not fail him....And the holy spirit continuously guides him and has done so to all the people who have occupied Peter's seat for the 2000 years.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Sam

      I dont know what version of the bible you read but mine reads

      19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.”

      What part of 'I will give YOU the keys of the kingdom of heaven' dont you understand? You seem to have turned a blind eye to the obvious. Even Luther agreed that Peter holds the keys.....go back and check all your resources before you post something in a public forum.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • kirk

      when he was talking about peter he had just asked him who he thought he was(JESUS that is) peter said the son of God, so then Jesus said, blessed are you son of jonah for this was not revealed to you by man, but by the father in heaven. and i tell you that you are peter (rock) and on this rock i will build my church, and the gates of hades will not overcome it. Jesus Christ is the son of God and thats the church he was speaking of.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Sam

      This is a quote by Martin Luther from 1530, years after he had left the Church, "Why are you searching heavenward in search of my keys? Do you not understand, Jesus said, 'I gave them to Peter. They are indeed the keys of heaven, but they are not found in heaven for I left them on earth.' "'Peter's mouth is my mouth, his tongue is my key case, his keys are my keys. They are an office.'"

      Luther recognized that Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven to Peter too

      April 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • gerald


      So what do you call your father? Daddy? Does the bible err when it says honor your father and mother? Does Paul err when he says he is the father of the corinthians? Is abraham not really the father in faith. No I think you take Matt 23 out of context. As for petros, the words were actually spoken in Aramaic and in Aramaic we know that he would have been Kepha/Rock. There was only one word. So it was "thou art kepha and on this kepha I will build my Church". Just to add to the evidence posted above about Konine vs. Attic Greek. Another worthy point. The writers in greek had no choice but to call Kepha Petros since Greek is gendered. (Aramaic is not). Petros can mean and usually means in Konine Greek, the language of the Bible, ROCK.

      April 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      The Anglicans are coming home to the Catholic Church….eventually all will be One in Jesus Christ just as Jesus Christ prayed.

      The Holy Spirit was promised to the Church in which Peter was the first Pope. The history is there. The Anglicans held to much of the Truth but they lacked the Authority which they left behind when they left the Church. Just like Protestants…they left the Church that gave them the Bible and went off to interpret it themselves…if Luther could reject parts of the Bible and leave the Church, why shouldn’t anyone who decides they want to be their own Pope be able to do the same?

      So many claim that the Bible is their authority…even though the Bible tells them that the Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth.

      April 26, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      This is how the Catholic Church got her name: http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb3.htm

      April 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      If you are not Catholic but you call yourself a Christian…you either have your roots in Protestantism [of which there are now 38,000 differing Christian ecclesial communities] or Catholicism…which is it? I understand that many Christians quit calling themselves Baptist, Lutheran, Evangelical, Methodist, or any of the other 38,000 because they found flaws in them which didn’t match up with what the Bible said…so now they don’t attend a Church or ecclesial community and say their Bible is their authority…is that the kind of Christian you are?

      How do you get around the verse that the Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth? Don’t suggest to me that you are the Church that the Bible is talking about because it is talking about the House of God. If we were to pretend for a minute that you were the Church…and each Christian says that he is the Church…and each proclaims a differing Truth…who is the true pillar and foundation? Who can I turn to for the Truth out of all those thousands and thousands of people if they all claim to be the pillar and foundation? Did the Holy Spirit promise He would guide and guard all those various truths or did He make that promise to the Apostles and His newly founded Church, the Catholic Church?

      April 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      If all scripture is inspired by God how do you know you have the right scripture? There were many scriptures that the Catholic Church had to choose from but they did not choose ALL of the scripture available for the Bible. Of course, the Holy Spirit was promised to the Church to guide and guard her so we know the Church chose the correct ones. If you don’t think the Catholic Church was capable of choosing the correct ones …what do you have for scripture then?

      All prayers are made through Jesus Christ…whether it be a Saint in heaven who is doing the praying or one of us here on earth….there is no other mediator but Jesus Christ. An intercessor is not a mediator.

      We can live a holy life…if we are Baptized and have the Holy Spirit residing in our soul…and strive to do the Father’s will. Yes, Jesus Christ died on the cross so that we might have life everlasting and the cross was necessary for Jesus Christ to accomplish this for us and it is by His resurrection that we have the hope of rising with Him to attain this life everlasting. No unclean thing will enter Heaven so no unholy thing will enter Heaven so when do you lose your ‘filthy rags’? The Bible tells us to be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

      Yes, give all glory to God when He gives us a miracle whether it be through man or any way He chooses.

      April 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Here is where Jesus Christ gave His power to the Apostles: John 20:21 ‘He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.’ Jesus was SENT by the Father with Authority which is how He sent His Apostles.
      Jesus Christ is our High Priest…once a Priest always a Priest. How do you think Jesus Christ is to continue His Priesthood but by using ordained men as in Persona Christi.

      April 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Buckminster Fullerene

      The Anglicans are NOT "coming home". THAT is the propaganda they want you to believe. In fact, apart from a few Anglicans who are changing to the Roman version, the demographic facts prove you wrong. In both the US and England, 60-80% of active Episcopalian/Anglican congregations have been proven to be ex-Catholics, and ex-Lutherans. You need to get your facts straight before you make irresponsible statements like that. The general movements have been for many years AWAY from the fundamentalist theological traditions towards the Anglican Church. Don't believe everything Raymond Arroyo says. He is VERY biased, (as well as being very p-is-sed he's not the major Hollywood actor he thinks he should be recognized as).
      If you want accurate demographics, I suggest "The Future Church", by John Allen, the author of this article. He is a Catholic, and seems to think for himself, objectively.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |

      April 27, 2011 at 4:46 am |
    • Maybe

      "The Anglicans are coming home to the Catholic Church..."

      Perhaps there are some delusional Brits who think that the United States will come to its senses one day and reunite with the Kingdom of England, whose royal governmental legacy reaches back over a thousand years. They still think of the U.S. as rebellious upstarts.

      April 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.