Report on Catholic priests' sex abuse of minors finds no single cause
Karen Terry, the lead investigator from John Jay College, addresses the media regarding a new report on sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.
May 18th, 2011
02:44 PM ET

Report on Catholic priests' sex abuse of minors finds no single cause

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - "No single 'cause' of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests" was identified in a wide-ranging report released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday.

The report was presented by a group of researchers from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and was commissioned by the bishops group after determining the need for an outside group to review not only the scope of the Catholic sexual abuse crisis in the United States but to try to determine the cause.

The researchers found:

- Less than 5% of the priests who faced allegations were clinically diagnosed as pedophiles.

- Most priests who received treatment following allegations of abuse of a minor also reported sexual behavior with an adult.

- Researchers found no specific markers that would have been apparent across the board to disqualify candidates for the priesthood.

- Sexual orientation, specifically gayness, was not the cause of child sexual abuse by priests.

- The majority of abuse cases happened in the 1960s and 1970s and there was a sharp decline in the number of cases that began in the 1980s and continues today.

- Guidelines set up by the church to deal with the crisis when it came to light, including calling in civil authorities, were not adequately followed by most dioceses.

"The bad news is there is no test to give to seminarians to screen out abusers," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University who read the report. "We're going to have to be vigilant. We're going to have to continue to have programs to educate both priests and clergy, but also for kids and parents so that the opportunities for abuse are severely restricted."

As the researchers prepared to speak to the press at U.S. Conference of Bishops headquarters in Washington, Becky Ianni stood outside, holding a picture of herself as a young girl. A victim herself, and Virginia and Washington director of the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), she criticized the report and said she felt it minimized her suffering.

Ianni had not yet read the full report but closely followed early press reports about its contents. "It concentrated on the priests but didn't cover the bishops who were the enablers, those who allowed those priests to move from parish to parish, those that covered up the abuse," she said.

This was the second of two reports by John Jay College on the sexual abuse epidemic that has plagued the church. The first report, "Nature and Scope," was released in 2004 and examined the breadth of the problem. This report, "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010," examined why it happened.

While the researchers acknowledged "the 'crisis' of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests is a historical problem," they said the scope of their investigation began in 1950 because of better access to people and documents. Information pertaining to prior incidents was nearly impossible to gather, they said.

The researchers compiled data from a broad range of sources including their first report; analysis of social behavior societywide (such as crime, divorce and premarital sex); seminary attendance and curriculum; surveys of a broad range of people, including bishops, accused priests, victims' advocates and laypeople; interviews with "inactive priests with allegations of abuse," and analysis of clinical files from three residential facilities that treated priests who abused minors.

The report, in part, pointed to social upheaval in the 1960s and 1970s as one of the reasons for the uptick in abuse cases.

"The abuse is a result of a complex interaction of factors, and there are number of social forces that were taking place in the 1960s and the 1970s that had an effect on a certain number of priests who had vulnerabilities that might have led to that abusive behavior," said Karen Terry, the lead investigator from John Jay College, at a press conference about the study.

"They also were trained in seminary at a time when there was no adequate preparation to live a life of chaste celibacy and they were not sufficiently able to handle those complex social forces that were taking place," she said. The report found that celibacy was not the cause of the crisis, she added.

In regard to social upheaval, Diane Knight, the chair of the report's National Review Board, a group of lay Catholics who helped oversee the study, said, "I want to emphasize that none of the information included in this report should be interpreted as making excuses for the terrible acts of abuse that occurred. There are no excuses."

Since the crisis broke publicly in the late 1980s, there were many inside and outside the church who had suggested the abusing priests were gay or pedophiles or both. The report spends significant time on both issues.

Terry said the data showed overwhelmingly that both of those assertions proved to be untrue.

The investigators labeled the majority of abusing priests " 'generalists,' or indiscriminate offenders," as opposed to offenders with exclusive sexual preferences.

"Very few of them were driven by a pathological attraction to a type of child and instead what we see is priest abusers are very much like sex offenders in the general population and many of them regress to the abuse of minors in certain time periods," Terry said. "What we also see is opportunities for them to abuse really played a critical role in who they chose to abuse."

The figure cited in the report - that 5% of abusing priests were pedophiles - came from analysis of files from three treatment facilities that had treated abuser priests. There the mental health providers determined how many of the priests had met the guidelines for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' (DSM) definition of pedophilia. The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders.

Another issue the report pointed to was seminary education for priests. Terry said where a priest went to seminary had no direct correlation to whether or not they became an abuser. When a priest went to seminary played a much larger role.

The human formation curriculum, added in 1992, is correlated with a low incidence of reported sexual abuse, the report said. The church added the new component to help better equip priests to live a chaste, celibate life.

The church response deemed inadequate

The report took a hard look at the church's response to allegations during the time period of the study.

The focus by the church, investigators said, was often on the priest rather than the accuser.

"Common diocesan response to allegations of abuse included administrative leave and assessment and psychological treatment for priests who had been accused of abuse," Terry said.

Their investigation showed many of the accused priests were treated by mental health professionals, who deemed the priests "rehabilitated," and they were returned to ministry. She pointed out this was commonplace. "The claims of the efficacy of psychological treatment for sex offenders were not unusual at the time."

Many priests were not removed from the ministry, or laicized, because the process was viewed as too complex and required consent from the Vatican. In many cases, not all the victims of a particular abuser may have been known when any administrative punishment was meted out, Terry said.

Bishop Blase Cupich, the chair of the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People for the bishops' conference, said, "Bishops reassigned priests on the basis of receiving reports those priests were rehabilitated. That was the science of the day. ... That was a mistake. It was a bad mistake shared by a group of professionals, shared across the board in mental health care as well as bishops. We know better now and that sort of thing should not continue today."

While the church established guidelines in response to the crisis in the mid-1990s, which included complying with "the obligations of civil law regarding reporting of the incident and cooperating with the investigation," the investigators found that often did not happen. "Diocesan leaders were more likely to respond to the sexual abuse allegations within the institution, using investigation, evaluation, and administrative leave rather than external mechanisms of the criminal law. Many diocesan leaders' actions were not transparent to those outside the church," the report states.

The investigators said despite the decline in abuse instances and church leaders' vigor in tackling abuse cases, "the church must increase the level of transparency with respect to their response to this problem."

Response from victims

Victims' advocate groups like SNAP and groups aiming for greater accountability like BishopAccountability.org both said the report did not go far enough.

"From the beginning the study was designed to let the bishops off the hook and the child molesters off the hook," said Anne Barrett Doyle, the co-director of Bishop Accountability.org.

Doyle said the church is still too insular institutionally when it comes to dealing with sex abuse allegations and she did not think the report went far enough to challenge that. The church has not done enough since the crisis came to light, she said.

"If they were real shepherds, if our bishops really cared about our church and children, they would post the names of abusers and would aggressively seek out victims and they would encourage whistle-blowers to blow the whistle and encourage victims to go to the police. Those would be the actions of leadership really intent on routing out this corruption in their church."

Cupich and Terry both noted that abuse instances had continued their downward trajectory since 1985 and there were far fewer instances of abuse in recent years, although reports from prior years still continue to emerge. But with dioceses still struggling with the fallout and new cases emerging, like the massive case in the Archdiocese in Philadelphia, Cupich said he recognized more needed to be done.

"Even one number is too many as far as I'm concerned," Cupich said. "But when you think of a church of 60-some million Catholics and you think of the children we serve in our schools and various programs we are doing our best to make sure this does not happen and we have procedures in place."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • DC • Sex abuse • United States

soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. bruce

    the bible is the greatest novel ever written...it's a best seller and has created trillions in merchandise sales and the vatican gets all the royalties, except when they have to pay off the victims of their abuse..

    May 19, 2011 at 6:55 am |
  2. Reality

    Christianity/Catholicism should not even exist since it is based on flawed history and theology. Without these flaws, there would be no RCC and therefore no priests and therefore no cases of priestly pedophilia. Ditto for all the other Christian sects like the Southern Baptist Convention and Seven Day Adventists where pedophilia and coverups have been a major issue. Judaism with its flawed history and theology is in the same situation. Correct the flaws and there would be no Judaism and therefore no rabbis and therefore no cases of rabbinic pedophilia.---------------

    May 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Adelina

      Reality, you are always in errors and your point is groundless. Christianity made it crime any abuse against women and children. Christians rescued everyone from harms. Abuse was norm in the pagan world and perversion is norm especially in the present hedonistic West.

      May 18, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Reality

      "Christianity for the non-Christian – one example

      "Archbishop Robert Runcie asserts that: "Without centuries of Christian antisemitism, Hitler's passionate hatred would never have been so fervently echoed...because for centuries Christians have held Jews collectively responsible for the death of Jesus. On Good Friday Jews, have in times past, cowered behind locked doors with fear of a Christian mob seeking 'revenge' for deicide. Without the poisoning of Christian minds through the centuries, the Holocaust is unthinkable.[20] The dissident Catholic priest Hans Küng has written that "Nazi anti-Judaism was the work of godless, anti-Christian criminals. But it would not have been possible without the almost two thousand years' pre-history of 'Christian' anti-Judaism..."[21]

      According to American historian Lucy Dawidowicz, antisemitism has a long history within Christianity. The line of "antisemitic descent" from Luther, the author of On the Jews and Their Lies, to Hitler is "easy to draw." In her The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945, she contends that Luther and Hitler were obsessed by the "demonologized universe" inhabited by Jews. Dawidowicz writes that the similarities between Luther's anti-Jewish writings and modern antisemitism are no coincidence, because they derived from a common history of Judenhass, which can be traced to Haman's advice to Ahasuerus. Although modern German antisemitism also has its roots in German nationalism and the liberal revolution of 1848, Christian antisemitism she writes is a foundation that was laid by the Roman Catholic Church and "upon which Luther built."[22] Dawidowicz' allegations and positions are criticized and not accepted by most historians however. For example, in "Studying the Jew" Alan Steinweis notes that, "Old-fashioned antisemitism, Hitler argued, was insufficient, and would lead only to pogroms, which contribute little to a permanent solution. This is why, Hitler maintained, it was important to promote 'an antisemitism of reason,' one that acknowledged the racial basis of Jewry."[23] Interviews with Nazis by other historians show that the Nazis thought that their views were rooted in biology, not historical prejudices. For example, "S. became a missionary for this biomedical vision... As for anti-Semitic att-itudes and actions, he insisted that 'the racial question... [and] resentment of the Jewish race... had nothing to do with medieval anti-Semitism...' That is, it was all a matter of scientific biology and of community."

      May 19, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • Adelina

      Reality, you entire West was brainless barbarians before Christianity made and educated you to be human. You had nothing valuable if you didn't have the Bible first. You are regressing fast now because you are scorning Christianity.

      May 19, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Adelina

      PS: Conventional wisdom was everywhere in all self-preservable civilizations. Only the Christian West had the Bible, the most complex item on earth – the source of all true intelligence and noble purpose and real character.

      May 19, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Adelina

      Westerners are taking granted everything they learned by having the Bible first and falsely imagine they were born smart. May all the once-before-pagans make Westerners realize this most stupid follies. Nations are polluting the Earth knowingly and it's unstoppable now. The world needs Christians.

      May 19, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • Adelina

      I'm totally crazy. Bent-brained. Bonkers. Bananas. Batty. Crazy. Cracked. Certifiable. Cuckoo. Demented. Deranged. Disturbed. Flipped. Goofy. Gone. Ga-ga. Hysterical. Haywire. Insane. Looney. Loco. Mad. Mental. Maniacal. Nuts. Off. Psychotic. Peculiar. Quack. Sanity-challenged. Screwy. Schizoid. Tilted. Troubled. Unbalanced. Unhinged. Unintelligible. Wacko. Ya-ya.

      May 19, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Adelina(real one)

      The 5th Adelina, the comment right above, is not the real, original Christian Adelina. It may be my time to change the handling name again. Sigh. Can't atheists do more intelligible things that this?

      May 19, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • doctore0

      Close it all down; This church is cancer on humanity, parasites

      May 19, 2011 at 4:45 am |
    • Adelina

      The Church was the sole insti-tution that rescued mankind from barbarism and established everything good and noble. The Church is forever.

      May 19, 2011 at 6:21 am |
    • petel2

      It is good people, not a bible or religion, that ultimately caused good things to happen. Religion and the bible have tainted this world with regression and disasters. Good people, atheist included, have come to humanity's rescue.

      May 19, 2011 at 7:23 am |
    • Stevie7

      "The Church was the sole insti-tution that rescued mankind from barbarism and established everything good and noble. The Church is forever."

      Holy blinders Batman! (pun intended). History is clearly not your strong suit. Both history of anything that occurred before the Church (seems to me the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans did a lot of good) and the history of the Church itself (how many corrupt popes were there? And Schisms?). Rome converted more from 'barbarism' that the Church ever did. And if you think that the Americas were full of barbarians before the Europeans arrived (and deliberately exterminated most of them in the process – talk about barbarianism) you history there is sorely lacking as well.

      May 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  3. Sofia Auctor

    Religious persons are deliberately deluding themselves by reading only their holy book and purposely ignorant of real truth staring them in the face. This report just continues the trend. Our children need rational guidance, not delusions.

    May 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Adelina(real one)

      In order to interpret the Holy Book(the Bible) correctly, the religious had to gather all other knowledges as much as possible. Reading the Bible disclosured to mankind the depth of the world, significance of history and the realistic understanding of human nature.

      May 19, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • Adelina (the real real one, not the phomy real one)

      In order to interpret the Holy Book (Bible) correctly, you must first drive seven large nails into an oak tree using your forehead as a hammer, then take a lot of LSD and converse with a sea gull for insight, and only then are you properly qualified to interpret the Holy Book.

      May 19, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  4. Dorianmode

    Curious that so many bloggers on these boards, and not one actual comment from someone who seems to really be involved in any of the many denomination's programs or with their insurance companies and risk managers to actually prevent this sort of crime. There ARE very successful programs in place, in some places, (and obviously NOT in many other places) which seem to be almost fool-proof. Neither the CNN writers, nor the bloggers seem to be really involved in day to day church matters, nor has anyone done any real investigation of the practical ways these organizations think they are using to prevent these crimes. In my state there are as many pedophiles in the Boy Scouts as there are in the churches, according to our insurance company.

    May 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      Before anyone can participate in any educational program for children in our parish, whether it be as a teacher in direct contact with the children or whether a cook preparing meals for them, all go through background checks. It does not matter if you have been a life-long member of the parish or a new member. These are some of the rules set by the Bishop of the diocese and have been in place for years.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:18 am |
    • Dorianmode

      Thank you ! Finally ! I almost cannot believe what I'm reading. We don't agree always, but you are THE only one who has ever begun an actual discussion of a real, actual example of a "life in the real world" attempt to keep kids safe.
      I did not know the background check thing went to that degree. In my Cathedral Parish, (Episcopalian), we do checks also, but we also maintain the principle that "No child is ever alone with any adult", and simply put, it works. It's a royal pain sometimes, and seems ridiculous sometimes, but there are no examples of it having failed, yet anyway. Peace.

      May 20, 2011 at 2:55 am |
  5. rosemarie robson

    the bichops have to work their way up the ladder also, they also had to attend seminary school before they became bichops, does that make them holier than the pedophile priests? could they possibly be pedophiles also? why do they have the authority to move the priests around and cover it up ? could it be that they are also involved in this sick ritual on preying on little children? i would spend the rest of my life going after these inhuman beings the rest of my life if they would touch my child, i would hunt them down even before they would make it to the authorities.

    May 18, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Faux Paws

      In our diocese the archbishop was not a pedophile, but a well known actively gay man. He was so notorious that he had a nick name, ("Tilly").

      May 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  6. darte

    U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops? So they investigated themselves? LOL.

    May 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  7. Mike

    "The report found that celibacy was not the cause of the crisis, she added." So, because most of the pedophile priests were also having relations with adults, this means that celibacy didn't play a part in their actions.

    Doubtful. Just like every thing else that comes out of the church.

    May 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  8. grumpy

    Or maybe some men just gravitate towards becoming priests so it will relieve the pressure on them to "get a good woman".

    Now they can avoid all that and have a smorgasbord of young boys at the same time.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  9. poli tics

    Self serving, PC crap

    May 18, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  10. MSfromCA

    To me, the real story her is not that some priests abuse minors, the story is the cover up and reassigning to other parishes. Basically, I am disappointed priests would do this kind of thing, but they are people – people who should be in prison. However, the covering up and reassigning I find that very hard to forgive. There are some people who should be in prison for that as well.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  11. Lee Oates

    The church has burdened itself with an a non-religious rule banning marriage, which applies to only one rite (the Roman Rite) of the 14 catholic rites under the Pope. It would be interesting to see if the other 13 rites have the same problem to the same degree. A priest is denied a lifetime devoid of the personal love and attention the normal married person receives, plus the joy of raising children. The biggest mistake the Church makes is not allowing married men and women become priests. It is not a matter of faith, it is an administrative decision to save money.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Lee Oates,

      …. ‘A priest is denied a lifetime devoid of the personal love and attention the normal married person receives….’ You said.

      I think you mean they do not receive what normal married persons receive… it appears that normal married persons do not receive it either what with the 50% divorce rate of marriages. So if 50% of all married priests divorced, how would they be able to shepherd their flock with that kind of turmoil in their personal lives? No, these priests would be so distraught all the time that they might not even feel the love or notice the attention they receive from their parishioners.

      Priests stand in for Jesus Christ [persona Christi]; they love the Church just as Jesus Christ did, who gave Himself up for Her salvation; Christ's Bride. A priest is ‘married’ to the Church; members of the Church are their ‘children’.

      You say it is a mistake that the Church makes when not allowing married men and women to become priests. A point or two on this: the Church is the Bride of Christ not the Bridegroom….

      Jesus is a divine man; He is God. We are to pray the perfect prayer…'Our Father', not our Mother. [persona Christi, remember.]

      Married persons have all they can do to hold their families together [remember the 50% failure rate]….what about time for their Church family should the priests be married?

      Saint Paul was right, let those who can give up the Sacrament of Marriage for the Sacrament of Holy Orders do so.

      Becoming a priest is not a right….it is a vocation.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  12. Sam

    here should be the new rule, any priest becomes a instant eunich that way they will have no desires of any kind, problem solved,


    May 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  13. GG

    Hook up electrodes to their heart and brain and flash kiddy images in from of them. If they have an increase in heart rate or blood flow then ban them from the church.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      Well Dr. Josef Mengele , I had heard you had died. I guess I heard wrong since you sound like you're still advocating some of your old Nazi death camp tricks.

      May 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  14. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    No single cause-how about "because we can get away with it"? I suppose there isn't a single cause for so many wanting to do this, but I do believe that this is the single cause of why they actually did do it.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  15. All Religion Is Evil

    Here's the obvious single cause: religion creates perverts.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
  16. LBCSongbird

    How about celibacy for the clergy? That's a single cause... and just stupid and not biblical.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Michael

      ...and reeks of mysogyny.......

      May 18, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  17. Emmanuel Goldman

    Gee, maybe not letting them procreate, coupled with overbearing shame being poured on devout catholics who are born gay makes for a situation where gay catholics end up joining the church, figuring it is a good way to avoid the shame of being gay, which then gets bottled up over years and years and ends in THIS.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • Casey

      Emmanuel Goldman – Being gay and being a pedophile are two separate things.

      May 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  18. Matt

    How can you even debate with a priest or religious person? Their mental capacity is governed by fantasy. Heck, there is a large group of christians who think the world is going to end this Saturday. And we expect these people to have intelligent scientific theories on why an abnormally large number of priests get involved with molestation?

    And fools, quit blaming celibacy.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Ryan

      Yay another smug, condescending, proselytizing Atheist making the whole bunch of us look bad. I've noticed a trend of generally increased obnoxiousness among fellow Atheists that isn't a good sign...you're just as dogmatic as bible thumpers.

      May 18, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Beam

      Actually all of mainstream Christian churches do not believe the world is going to end Saturday...they recognized this as false teaching as the leader of that cult has made predictions like this many times before and it hasn't happened. Which is how he got the label of being a false prophet. The bible does have its guidelines to follow on these and many other things.

      As far as the Catholic church demanding celibacy from their priest .this isn't in the bible and its actually a new thing in the history of the church. They used to allow them to marry and I really think they need to allow it again as obviously not everyone is given the gift of celibacy (as said on Wikipedia).

      May 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Becoming a priest is not a right; it is a Sacrament, a gift. If a person knows he wants to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony he should realize he should not seek the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  19. ELH

    A whitewash job of the first order.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  20. William

    Ban anyone volunteering for celibacy;

    May 18, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • rrb333

      Did you read the article? "The report found that celibacy was not the cause of the crisis"

      May 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Lee Oates

      It may not be the only cause, but it certainly contributes to it.

      May 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • 456

      Did you know on the highest divorce rates are among church Pastors? There is a reason Priest don’t have biological children, because their job is 24/7 taking care a spiritual children of God. Arguing celibacy is not rational, because non-celibate people still abuse. The church did do wrong by covering it up, but many things have changed in the Catholic Church and seminarian selection process.

      May 18, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Adelina

      @William: Never! Celibacy is the core aspect of Catholic dedication and spritual discipline – the most beautiful gift and calling. Celibacy can be made as option by the highest authority of the Church, but if not, priests and nuns who want to marry should leave Catholicism and join godly kind of Protestant churches.

      May 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Adelina

      @456: That's a lie. People, don't believe statistics given by liberals. Do honest independent researches. Liberals are almost always wrong. Divorce rate is the lowest among regular church attenders.

      May 18, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • 456

      It is not a lie, and it was done without bias. What it said was that divorce rates in the U.S. were highest among Church Pastors and firemen. I was arguing its job related, because of the enormous job commitments, and the time it causes them to be away from family. Catholic Priests don’t have to worry about that because they don’t have families. You are right the lowest rates of divorce are among regular practicing Catholics…also noted in the study.

      May 19, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Adelina

      @456: It must be an American problem, then. Regular weekly church attendance includes ministers, of course. 456, this is a good occasion for Catholics to rethink of the Church life and start reading the Bible, all of you.

      May 19, 2011 at 12:37 am |
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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.