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May 16th, 2011
05:43 AM ET

Vatican's new sex abuse guidelines don't require reporting

By Richard Allen Greene and Hada Messia

New Vatican guidelines aimed at fighting child abuse by priests tell Catholic bishops they should cooperate with police, but do not order them to report allegations to the authorities.

"Sexual abuse of minors is not just a canonical delict but also a crime prosecuted by civil law," says the letter to bishops around the world, using the Vatican term for a violation of church law.

Abuse crisis fuels debate over John Paul II’s legacy

Local laws on reporting suspected crimes to the authorities "should always be followed," the guidelines say.

The new Vatican advice gives national conferences of bishops until May next year to come up with their own guidelines on how to handle allegations of abuse.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi conceded that there was little new in Monday's letter, but said breaking new ground was not the point - standardizing the church's response to abuse allegations was.

Read more coverage of the Roman Catholic Church

"Novelty is not the aim of the document," he said. "The aim of the letter is to have a common denominator of principles."

Many countries' bishops' conferences already have plans in place, but some - such as Italy - do not, Lombardi said.

"For some that have already started dealing with the problem, this letter is an encouragement, and some who have never worked on it will now start dealing with it," Lombardi said.

Bishops in Belgium and the Netherlands - both facing sex abuse scandals - are working on their own sets of guidelines. Other nations, such as Brazil, Germany, and many English-speaking countries already have them, Lombardi said.

Advocates for victims said even before they were released that they would not solve the problem.

"Bishops ignore and conceal child sex crimes because they can," said David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "So any 'reform' that doesn't diminish bishops' power and discretion is virtually meaningless."

And the new Vatican statement will not require bishops to report suspected abusers to the police, he anticipated.

"They aren't binding or mandatory, just suggestions," he said. "Such voluntary 'guidelines' have been widely ignored for years in the past. Top church staff have known of clergy sex crimes and cover ups for decades, if not centuries."

Clohessy spoke to CNN before seeing the Vatican's statement.

Follow CNN’s Belief Blog on Twitter.

The Catholic Church has been reeling in the face of accusations of child abuse from across the United States and Europe, and stretching back decades.

In the United States, eight Catholic dioceses and one Jesuit order have filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of lawsuits by victims, according to BishopAccountability, which tracks reports of abuse by priests.

The scandal has now spread to Philadelphia, where  four priests and a parochial school teacher pleaded not guilty last month to sexual abuse and conspiracy charges.

A Philadelphia grand jury report released in February led to criminal charges against them by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. All five have also been charged with conspiracy.

A total of 23 priests in the Philadelphia area have been placed on administrative leave.

And a series of government-backed reports in deeply Catholic Ireland found a pattern of abuse and systematic cover-ups by church officials stretching back to the 1930s.

The Vatican says only a tiny percentage of priests abuse children, and that it is taking steps to fight the problem, including defrocking priests or forcing them into positions where they do not have contact with the public.

Pope Benedict XVI issued new rules last year aimed at stopping abuse.

They included doubling the statute of limitations on the church's own prosecution of suspected molesters from 10 to 20 years, making it a church crime for a priest to download child pornography, and allowing the pope to defrock a priest without a formal Vatican trial.

Monday's guidelines, known officially as a Circular Letter from the Vatican to Catholic bishops' conferences around the world, are a follow-up to last year's statement from the pope, "motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (424 Responses)
  1. jason

    Never mind charging the priest they should charge the church and treat it like the legal ententy that is. I' f we had some in our house who did this and we knew chould we just well we can't tell what to do and plus we don't have say anything. We would have cops all over us with the what's whens where's why's and if laws were broken pokey here we come. That is what should happen to the church it should go to jail or what ever the corprate equal is

    May 16, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  2. JOHN

    This is why religion now days gets a bad name ..too political and corrupt.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:22 am |
  3. brad

    What is the difference between a cult and a religion. -Marketing

    May 16, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  4. Jason

    They should have done this 20 years ago. Of course the Pope at that time and his assistant the current one were both leaders of the cover up. All the Bishops should go to jail.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  5. msclair

    Let them get married.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Jennifer

      Pedophiles are pedophiles, even if they're married.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  6. Brian

    This is the most biased piece of j"journalism" I have read in some time.

    Good work Mr Greene.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  7. Canuk_eh

    Prosecute the pedophiles and if found guilty jail them in general population.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:39 am |
  8. nojusticeserved

    Castration for pedophiles is the only way!!

    May 16, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  9. AtheismisKing

    As long as you lost and desperate people continue to place your respect and admiration in a criminal organization, you get what you deserve.
    Learn to think and live for yourself and all of the answers you need will become loud and clear in your own ears and mind.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • nojusticeserved

      I completely agree. There is no need in our modern world for cults such as these. If u want to give your money away donate to a charity to support people who need it!!

      May 16, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • CatholicMom

      AtheismisKing,

      Your comment, ‘Learn to think and live for yourself and all of the answers you need will become loud and clear in your own ears and mind.

      Which voice are you listening to? The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, which comes from God? Or your own voice through your imagination? Or the voice of satan, the evil spirit?

      May 16, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Which voice are you listening to? The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, which comes from God? Or your own voice through your imagination? Or the voice of satan, the evil spirit?

      Or he could be listening to his own mind using his personal experience and facts about reality.

      May 16, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • fimeilleur

      @ CatholicMom
      Why would an Atheist, who doesn't believe in the God of your Bible, believe in the Devil of the SAME Bible? Your claim is completely ludicris. You can't temp an Atheist with eternal Paradise, why try to scare him with eternal damnation? Don't you realize that the only way to "convince" an Atheist to accept God, is to provide PROOF!!!! You know, the thing that was covered in science class... something verifyable, demonstratable and replicatable? If you can't, then there is no reason for anyone to accept your claim that YOUR God exists.

      May 18, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • CatholicMom

      fimeilleur,
      Why should I think that an atheist can have faith in God? Because he can have faith that there is no God. Both need faith.

      I have faith there is God and he has faith that there is no God. The more science proves reality, the more it proves God!

      But we are to have faith [in God], hope [in God’s promises] and charity [love for mankind], ...that is our belief and that is what I claim to have.

      What does an atheist claim to have….faith [in no God]. Some claim to have charity, too. I have never heard an atheist say he has hope though.

      May 18, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  10. Rolph

    There is no god !
    Only stupid people doing stupid things

    May 16, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • redragon

      Thank you. Someone earlier commented that CNN was hiding the truth. The truth is there is no Santa.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Truth

      It is a religion that is based on human traditions and Babylonish teachings, thus it will never succeed.

      If they bring the truth of the of bible back in all matters then they will succeed because they will have God's backing.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  11. thessalonian

    Nothing the Vatican had said would have been good enough. In this issue you can't win. The Church has already done much to reform on this issue that people don't hear about because CNN doesn't report it. Much stronger screening of seminarians is the most important step. Extensive education in parishes of both children, laity, and clergy. Many other reforms. There have been few new cases of s e x abuse over the last 3-4 years

    May 16, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • JenBE

      You are right when you say that no matter what the Catholic church says or does right now there are people who simply will not be satisfied. Frankly though, I think that's entirely appropriate in this case. After so many years of widespread abuse (we're talking thousands of cases in many different countries) and an equally widespread cover-up of what was happening, the Catholic Church has put itself in this position, and the burden of proof is on them to show that they've changed. Indeed, if they have made fundamental changes in their policies and practices then those deserve to be mentioned, but by no means should that excuse them from having to answer to the people about how they could let such a horrible thing go on for so long in the first place.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Frogist

      @thessalonian: I disagree. There are things the Vatican can do to make this less of an issue. Practical guidelines explicitly saying that any priest found to have performed se-xual acts upon children or those protecting him will be defrocked immediately and turned into the police. Furthermore any assertion that pedophilia may have been committed MUST be reported at once to the police as well as church leaders who in turn must immediately bring light to the case to the Vatican OR they will be punished appropriately. Would anyone disagree with that? The problem with these letters is that they provide no consequences for priests and bishops etc who hide or ignore what they know. That is what is lacking. These "suggestions" seem to have no teeth.

      May 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  12. Baltic

    so is he saying not to rat out other priests you think are abusing children. basically turn a blind eye.,

    May 16, 2011 at 8:18 am |
  13. Madame Rue

    You liars, CNN! It is MANDATORY that the bishops follow these RULES. Any cases must be reported to the civil authorities immediately. Where the hell do you get your screwed up info? From idiots like that guy at SNAP, whose goal in life is to see how much money he can bilk out of the Church, after "suddenly remembering" something that happened forty years ago without any evidence?
    What is wrong with you people in the media? Why do you keep trying to hide the truth?????

    May 16, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Madame Rue,

      You are right…it is disgusting when one sees the discrepancies in articles that CNN puts out.

      It also appears that people don’t read the articles when it comes to the Catholic Church. They just repeat their comments of old.

      This article’s t!tle, ‘Vatican's new s3x abuse guidelines don't require reporting’. Yet the article states, ‘
      Local laws on reporting suspected crimes to the authorities "should always be followed," the guidelines say.’ Evidently CNN doesn’t read submitted articles….as long as they know it is bashing the Catholic Church; evidently bashing the Catholic Church is criterion for an article.

      We see that Clohessy spoke to CNN BEFORE seeing the Vatican’s statement….why? Perhaps Truth isn’t what he is after....but what could he be after….money, which is drying up? Pope Benedict XVI did issue new rules last year aimed at stopping abuse…. Good! New cases are hard to come by thus ‘new money’ hard to come by. Clohessy may need to find a job at the unemployment office.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Frogist

      @Madame Rue: It seems like you have your mind made up already that anyone alledging abuse just made it up. You show a bias that you are unwilling to take the situation seriously even though hundreds of cases of children being se-xually assaulted have come to light. Your denial is ugly.

      @Catholic Mom: I too find it odd that Clohessy's statements were before he saw the Vatican's statement. It means what he had to say may have been misinformed. His statements should not have been included. However, Father Lombardi basically confirmed Clohessy's ideas that there's nothing new in the letter which lends some relevance that Clohessy's statements have some worth. As for the statement "should always be followed", the important word there is "should". IMO "must" would be a better word that would convey absolute need. "Should" makes it sound very much like a suggestion of etiquette rather than legal necessity. And that I think is what has been missing from letters from church authorities on this issue. A lack of urgency, consequences for church officials who engage in se-xual antics with children and for those who cover them up seem sadly lost in statements coming out of the Vatican. Not to mention the all important absolute involvement of outside forces makes it hard for anyone to believe that enough is being done within the church to make the pedophilia and cover-up cease. The Catholic church has shown itself to be untrustworthy in handling these cases for at least a hundred years, why would they think anyone be willing to leave this in their hands alone?

      May 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  14. Dan613

    Isn't amazing how fast the church is to tackle its own problems...?? <<>>>

    May 16, 2011 at 8:14 am |
  15. deepwater805

    How this for a guideline: Keep your frigg'n pedophile hands to yourself you low brow no good hypocrite!

    May 16, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  16. careworn

    New Vatican guidelines aimed at fighting child abuse by priests have been released.
    Such urgency. Is this another miracle associated with the beatification of John Paul II – which evidently had priority over the suffering of little children who came unto the Church.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  17. Luke

    This report is inaccurate and slanted. It is incorrect to assert that bishops are not required to report allegations to civil authorities. Where there exists a duty of care in civil law, Catholics (and bishops) are obliged to abide by it. What Canon Law cannot do it force bishops to abide by civil laws that don't exist. In the UK, for example, there is, broadly speaking, no duty of care. What the press repeatedly fail to understand about this is that Canon Law and Civil law are two totally autonomous and distinct systems.

    May 16, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • Frogist

      @Luke: Certainly I understand the point you're making, but what about moral law? If we agree that pedophilia is immoral, and it would seem the Catholic church agrees with that, why can't this moral authority act upon stopping it by the best means possible ie by involving the police? Certainly their hands are not tied, are they? If so, why not amend laws to make them more effective against pedophilia within the church? Is it really that complicated?

      May 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Brian

      Good point.

      Richard Allen Greene is a very biased reporter and the Catholic church should sue him for defamation.

      May 16, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  18. Reality

    Why did today's pope, prelates, preachers and rabbis, so focused on society's se-xual sins, lose sight of clerical se-xual sins?
    "
    FEAR, SHAME and GUILT and COVER IT ALL UP!!!

    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

    Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

    Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

    Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have se-x with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy".

    Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods.

    Neither is being an atheist or pagan since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.

    If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of "neithers" they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women), divorce for adultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice (Clinton, Cardinal Law, B16?) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder ("Kings David and Henry VIII).

    May 16, 2011 at 7:10 am |
    • Lando

      @Reality, you couldn't be more right. The catholic church is and has been under attack. I do indeed agree that these so-called priests should be punished to the extend of the law and God will do the rest. We (humans) only talk about what's convenient for us, but there are many other religions that have same problem or worse and no one says anything.

      May 16, 2011 at 7:23 am |
    • Eric G

      @Lando: Do you have any evidence to support your claim? Are you suggesting that because there are child molesters in other organizations, the Catholic Church does not need to do anything about theirs?

      They knowingly protected child rapists. Their position is indefensible and morally corrupt. We are not talking about other organizations, we are talking about the Catholic Church and the crimes that were systematically covered up.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • Reality

      "Rabbi Brad Hirschfield: When Priests And Rabbis Commit Se-xual Abuse

      Mar 29, 2010 ......
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi.../when-priests-and-rabbis-c_b_516386.html
      “The words used by Pope Benedict and others in responding to the Church's ever-deepening se-xual abuse crises reflect a sickness that is not unique to the Catholic community. In fact, that sickness creeps into all religious communities of which I know, and leaves a trail of victims in its wake every time. I refer to the way in which religious leaders and the communities which they lead wear the mantle of victimhood to cover their naked moral failings."

      http://www.ocregister.com/news/ordered-245722-abuse-oregon.html

      "A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered s-exual abuse as a child at the hands of his troop leader — the largest such award levied against the organization, reports The Oregonian.

      Attorneys for 38-year-old Kerry Lewis said the verdict exposed the organization’s “dark history with pedophiles and its unwillingness to come to terms with the problem.” They waved “perversion files“ around the courtroom – secret files kept by the Scouts doc-umenting claims of se-xual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers over a 70 year-period."

      From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_and_child_s-ex_abuse
      “As with other religious organizations, Jehovah's Witnesses have been obliged in recent years to develop child protection policies to deal with cases of child abuse in their congregations. Details of the policy have been published in Jehovah's Witnesses' publications and press releases issued by their Office of Public Information.[1][2] Some details are found only in letters to elders which, while solely for internal use, have been made available on the Internet.”

      From: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1855948_1861760_1862212,00.html#ixzz0jg0lEyZj

      “Facing calls to curb child se-x abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of molesting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and pedophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse. "

      http://www.eutimes.net/category/criticism/pedophilia/

      "Yet another prominent Orthodox rabbi has been charged with se-xual abuse. This time it is Rabbi Mordechai Elon, one of the foremost rabbinic leaders of the Israeli Orthodox movement and former rosh yeshiva at the flagship Yeshivat HaRav, where last year a Palestinian mounted an assault which left several students dead. The result was that students of the yeshiva and other far right Jews went on a rampage and tried to burn down the home of the family of the perpetrator of the attack. Elon’s brother is Benny, a former MK for a far-right pro-settler party.

      At one time the rabbi was so renowned he’d hoped to be named chief rabbi. Alas, that hope is all but dashed as he was charged several years ago with abusing boys at his yeshiva:

      Takana, a rabbinic forum established in 2003 to clamp down on s-exual misconduct by Orthodox educators, went public February 15 with allegations that Mordechai “Moti” Elon had taken advantage of his influence over male students and performed “acts at odds with sacred and moral values.”

      The panel later said that two people, whose complaints alleged acts from about 25 years ago, had been under 18 at the time. More recent alleged acts involved students of Elon who were 18 or older. Since its initial disclosure, the panel reports having received one more complaint of an alleged underage encounter…

      What is unusual about this case is that a splinter group of the Orthodox community is taking the position that the entire prosecution is an attempt to destroy rabbinic authority and the Orthodox movement. It calls for refusal to cooperate with state authorities (or to deal with the charge through a beyt din)."

      Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

      May 16, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  19. greg

    Guideline no 1 – Catholic priests must stop raping children.
    Guideline no 2 – The pope must stop hiding rapists from the police.

    Done.

    May 16, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Clinton

      It's obvious you don't understand Catholicism or Christianity. The church is not a country and the pope is not it's president. The pope is a moral father. Have you heard of the Dalai Lama? The pope can only make suggestions but he cannot interfere in a bishops diocese or force a bishop to take action in disciplinary matters. It's obvious the reporter is as ignorant as you unless he's also devious and picked this opportunity to bash the catholic church because of ignorant people like you.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • i cant belive is not butter

      Agree greg....such simple guidelines ....

      May 16, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Anon

      Actually, the Vatican is a country.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Brian

      You did not get very far in school did you?

      May 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • George

      Those are the best guidelines I've heard. Add one more: get rid of statutes of limitations so the surviving victims can get some justice. It also would be good to make the church pay taxes instead of taking all the donaton money out of the country.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  20. Reality

    Just how many of these guidelines are going to be published? They will do no good because it is the flawed history and theology of Christianity that are the root causes of the problems.

    For example:

    The Resurrection Con/Disease/Flaw:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    o p.4
    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    o p.168. by Ted Peters:
    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    o So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    May 16, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • Madame Rue

      You are pathetic. Keep wondering.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • MyTrueView

      Hey "Reality" The reality of yr answer is that u have NOT kept to the Topic...
      Sad to know that yr knowledge that u think u have only shows that u know Nothing.
      Jesus’ resurrection & ascension, and Mary’s assumption are pure facts and if u do not believe them, just shut up and face the consequences what is due for people like u through Cause and Effect, the common law of our God for people who do not believe in him.
      Also.... there are lot of Christian communities who are absolutely jealous of the unbroken continuation of the Catholics church and of course they are the ones who actually try to make a big noise even without any truth in most of the abuse accusations coz they are guilty of how the main split from the Catholic Church happened just because of a Top English catholic wanted to divorce and re-marry which the church did not allow as per the sacrament of holy matrimony, where Jesus has been very clear of not allowing divorce. The same people create big stories about Mother Mary too and it is just sad to see how people play with words in their selfish motives using the resources from the creator of the universe. The Holy Bible very clearly tell us about these people and that they are Doomed!!!

      May 16, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • i cant belive is not butter

      Your probably one of dose perv priests.....hope you burnnnn in helll!!

      May 16, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • Justin

      The resurrection and Mary's assumption are facts? Because the bible says so? Well I guess the "fact" the universe is only 5000 years old must be true as well. I feel bad for those civilizations that are older than 5000 years. Even though we have proof, (facts!) they must have never existed. What a sham. Keep praying for the end times ans jesus second coming. It's been 2000 years since these oral fables have been passed. Has your god ever spoken since? If you say, " but he has spoken to me", then why are accounts of god's word so different for everyone? Jesus isn't coming back Elvis is dead. Time to face reality.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • i cant belive is not butter

      Hey my true viewww""...I belive in god and faithful to his words ,but also belive there's a lot of child molesters and evil people runing this churches.....and we need to open our eyes and face the facts....there's people out there trying to cover up child molestaition and such...why? Why? How can you call your self a man of god when you try to hide these acts of evil to try to save your religons name........a man of god dusss the rite thing and these priest hideing these pervs are just as guilty in my book....may they burnnnn in hellll

      May 16, 2011 at 9:23 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.