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June 9th, 2011
07:30 PM ET

Liberal Catholics to discuss future of church

By Chris Boyette, CNN

(CNN) - Left-leaning Catholics from around the globe will convene in Detroit this weekend for a meeting to discuss what they believe to be the need for reform, openness and greater democracy within the church, according to the American Catholic Council, the organization hosting the convention.

The council is a coalition of more than 30 Catholic reform groups dedicated to opening discussion about the current state and future of the church.

Calling the conference "a weekend of worship, education and dialogue," convention organizers intend to call for financial transparency and democratic decision-making within the church, a recommitment to social justice, marriage options for priests and greater roles for women, possibly including the priesthood.

To arrive at these discussion points, conference organizers held forums with Catholics across the country.

"We've held 'listening sessions' all over, asking Catholics, 'what does being Catholic mean to you?' 'What issues within the church are important in your geographical area?' and 'How do we resolve current conditions causing problems within the church?' " said Janet Hauter, co-chairwoman of the council.

According to Hauter, the conference expects 1,500 to 1,800 people Friday through Sunday.

Some Catholics do not agree with the American Catholic Council's views. Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron sent a letter to local priests and deacons Friday, warning Catholics to stay away from the conference, especially the Mass scheduled for Sunday.

"To confirm the legitimacy of what they had planned, the ACC had been asked to provide details regarding this liturgy," the letter read. "The response received was ambiguous, and there are good reasons for believing forbidden concelebration will take place by the laity and with those not in full communion with the Church."

Vigneron cited a lack of communication on the part of conference organizers for failing to gain the blessing of the church.

"The idea that we are a schism is a farce," Hauter said. "Our liturgy will fall within the norms and rules of the church."

She continued, "A year ago, we sent a copy of everything we had to the diocese and heard nothing back.

"Every time the diocese released another statement against the conference, our registration went up, so that must tell you something," she said.

According to the Archdiocese of Detroit, it will support a more conservative conference the same weekend in Livonia, Michigan, promoting church doctrine and traditional views.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Mass • Michigan • United States

soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. chief

    for all you far right extremist catholics who support ped priests over kids, i have an apology.... based on the US DNR attempts to put out the fire in arizona, they did appear ok with 6% containment of it yesterday..... it sounds just like the catholic church putting on a bs face about containing ped priests....

    June 14, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  2. chief

    if Jesus made an appearance.... would he take communionat a catholic church excluding non cathoics? would he kiss the popes ring? would he kneel at statues in reverence? would he ask for penance for the dead? would he ask for money to have marriages annulled? would he dress up like a cross between lady ga ga and charlton heston in the 10 commandments? AND WOULD HE PROTECT PED PRIESTS? you guys can keep catholocism and your elitest atti-tudes about non catholics

    June 14, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  3. Jay

    Satan's house is divided against itself. As Jesus said "...how can it stand?"

    It WONT. Babylon the great, your days are numbered. Your 'waters' are drying up...

    June 14, 2011 at 7:01 am |
  4. seth

    Reading these posts I see a world full of rebels just like their father the original rebel, satan. You do him proud. You rebel against the one who loves you and glorify the one who hates and dispises you.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Holy Joe

      You mean rebel the same way Jesus did against the pharisees of his day? I'll wear that as a badge of honor. The RCC church is nothing more than modern day pharisees that honor the traditions of men rather than the word of God. Look it up for yourselves, even the Catholic bible will agree to this.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Raymond

      Indeed Seth. The criticisms mounted against the Catholic Church show glibness and superficiality, hackneyed cliches uttered by centuries of anti-Catholics. These critics focus on this and that without any real knowledge or understanding of the Christian Gospel or of history. It wasn't the Church that plunged the world into the so-called Dark Ages. It was the hordes of tribes that descended upon the Roman Empire. It was the Catholic Church that civilized the West and preserved learning. The sins of Catholics are used to batter the Church; history is ignored. Father, forgive them for they know not what they say.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Raymond

      Holy Joe doesn't know what he is saying. People run the tapes they were inculcated with. It is all knee jerk, without any in depth knowledge of history, of scripture, of the fathers of the Church. It is all black and white; all very simplified in their minds:the Catholic Church is this, that and the next thing for this, that and that event: the Crusades, the Inquisition, GALILEO, and pedophilia. This forum and most of the comments made herein might be expected of some 9th graders. Sad really.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Holy Joe

      Raymond, I know exactly what I am saying as well as what I'm talking about. I was raised Catholic in New England. Had all of the so-called sacrements up to confirmation, and only ran into trouble when I becan to ask questions of any real value. These questions came from my own reading of God's word without an interpreter. "Why do we have idols if we aren't supposed to?", "why are priests forbidden from marrying?", "the bible says we are all kings and priests – an inclusive statement so why does the church divide clergy and laity?", and on and on. The answer is that the pope declared that anything the pope says is devine and on equal footing with the bible. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to find the verse that essentially damns to hell anyone making that claim. So you sir, are incorrect. I know exactly what I am doing, you do not. Jesus fought against the traditions of men, the RCC fights to continue them.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • chief

      as dog turns to its own vomit, so does a fool to his folly

      June 14, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • chief

      seth and ramona ..... “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean."

      its blasphemy to attribute something to God that isnt of God? like some miricles, winning a game, or the catholic church....

      June 14, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  5. gerald

    These liberal "catholics" also known as CNO (Catholics in Name Only) should take their ideas and form their own protestant denomination.

    June 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Holy Joe

      You're right. They would never tow the party line. Unless you either support or hide pedophile priests, you can never be a true Catholic.

      June 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • chief

      i agree with gerald...... if all the people who say their catholic but fake it, would leave the rc with their kids .... it would help with the ped problem as well as other things.... priests liek gerald would have more time to post his nonsense....

      June 13, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • chief

      the problem with this article and meetings is that people and other priests like gerald dont like for people to meet and use terms like EDUCATION and DIALOGUE..... if isnt the catholic way.... i somewhat agree... never trust a man wearing a dress with a pointy hat....

      June 13, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • gerald

      God bless you chief.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • gerald

      God bless you Holy Joe.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • chief

      thanks gerald.... you being a priest and all ... dont i need to say some prayer to mary or chant something about 20 times, or do you just want some confessional time for me

      June 14, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  6. Holy Joe

    If you want to fix the RCC, fix the pagan theology thats worked it's way in over the past 1500 or so years. The rest is window dressing. Otherwise, why not just become an Episcopalian? They have all the "I wants" and the pagan theology. Just a thought.

    June 12, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • John Richardson

      The pagan theology is the only thing that makes Catholicism even a little attractive!

      June 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Holy Joe

      Hahaha, John Richardson. That's funny.

      June 12, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  7. Sean

    @John
    Speak for yourself. I don't need your book for moral guidance.

    June 12, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  8. Aezel

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqfE2rZVmXE&w=640&h=390]

    June 12, 2011 at 1:31 am |
  9. RightturnClyde

    Suffice to say that the RC church self destructed and it is an irrelevancy (at least in the US) - and liberal church members will not put Humpty Dumpty together again. [liberals helped to bring it down .. and liberalism] I sailed the Atlantic in '99 with Europeans (A 50' J-boat) and they felt as thought the RC was irrelevant in Europe as well. There are a few Christian churches still viable (kind of like US airline industry) but not the big ones (RC, Episcopal, Presbyterian, several fundamentalist churches .. and a couple teetering .. hoisting on their own petard).

    June 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Jason the Pendleton Rat

      Suspect you may be living in a fool's paradise. "but not the big ones (RC, Episcopal,......".
      I went to an Episcopal parish in La Jolla last weekend with some friends. It was packed to the gills, and was adding services to accommodate the worshipers. It has a nationally recognized music program, runs a school which has a decades long waiting list for every grade, supports itself with a well known business enterprise, feeds the hungry in their city, works on the homeless problem on SoCal, has large groups for singles, gays, young parents, Latino heritage folks, bible study groups, etc., etc. Where exactly did you get your demographic stats to back up your denominational claims ? Or are you just a disaffected RC with a chip on your shoulder ? Projecting ? "Not viable ?" Ya. You betcha.

      June 11, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  10. Reality

    What should be presented :

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    "New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment."

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    June 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  11. ad14jc

    Unknown message

    June 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  12. LinCA

    @Doc. Whoopsy..

    http://www.goohf.com/card.gif

    June 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @LinCA
      I'll have to keep that in my wallet since if the Xtians are right, I'll sure need it!
      Maybe I should hedge my bets a bit more and give The Church of The Subgenius $30.... they offer eternal salvation or triple your money back!
      Pascal's wager sure can get expensive

      June 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  13. Artist

    "Every time the diocese released another statement against the conference, our registration went up, so that must tell you something," she said.
    ------
    What was I saying the catholic church is on the downturn, expiring and outdated? lol The death of the church will be from within.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Matt Abid

      1500 people at represent over a 100 million population of the Catholic church? Get real.

      June 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  14. Artist

    Isn't the catholic church on the downturn towards its expiraton date? Seems thge catholic church is simply outdated and irrelevent these days.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Regretably, they feel their expiration date should be ALL of ours.

      We need to put these sick puppies in a kennel, and let them fester in their own feces for their waining years

      June 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Artist

      Eventually, they will only be relevent to the ignorant masses in 3rd world countries...the last stand. Seems the catholic church is like a slow dying infected animal.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  15. Rev. Rick

    Quoting from the article: "The idea that we are a schism is a farce," Hauter said. "Our liturgy will fall within the norms and rules of the church." - Well, it might fall within church norms for the time being, but we all know where this is headed. It's either headed nowhere if the reform organization doesn't have the stomach for challenging the church heirachy, or it will end up a schism. Otherwise why bother. The church in Rome is certainly not going to support you on "reform". The church Rome is caught in a 2000 year-old rut.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      The Church of Rome still hasn't caught on that it has not been a Temporal power since the 1870s, and that the Protestant Reformation was a success in breaking it's spiritual authority in the early 16th century. After the attempts by John XXIII and Paul VI to bring the Church kicking and screaming into the 20th Century, John-Paul II and Benedict XVI have done everything they could to settle it firmly back in its 1881 mindset.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    @Gerald
    In 1616, Pope Paul denounced Copernican theory after Galileo published "Letters on Sunspots", which the Pope believed to be a threat to the church's position as the arbitors of Truth.
    In 1620, Cardinal of St. Cecilia and Bishop Albano, the Secretary of the Congregation, placed Copernicus' book, De Revolutionibus, on the Index of Prohibited Books, which resulted in Orthodox Catholics not being allowed to read it for two centuries.
    In 1626, The Vatican demanded that Galileo renounce heliocentrism despite the vast amounts of evidence he had collected, because the Bible spoke nothing of his discoveries therefore they thought them false. In response, Galileo published "Dialogue on the Two Great Systems of the World" – all about how the Church viewed science.
    It was then that the Catholic Church brought him before The Holy Office of the Inquisition and officially branded him a heretic. They only allowed the old man to live out his remaining years under strict house arrest because he publicly recanted in order to save his life.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • gerald

      Doc, I asked for dogmatic statements. Decrees of condemnation are not dogamatic statements for the whole world. Sorry.

      I suggest you read this for a little clearer understanding of the events.
      http://www.catholic.com/library/Galileo_Controversy.asp

      June 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Gerald IF the Catholic church never changed, as some seem to be suggesting should be the case, then the Catholic church would be committed to the heliocentrism it was committed to when it denounced Galileo. It's really very simple. Don't make it hard. And no, you can't spin the Galileo story to make it seem benign. It was repugnant.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • gerald

      JohnR – Heliocentrism was never dogma. It wasn't even doctrine. Scientific theories are not dogma or doctrine. It is when one uses them to deny doctrine, which Galileo did, that the Church steps in. The Church never condemned the scientific theory of heliocentrism. NEVER. You simply don't have all the facts. Again an article condemned or a book condemned does not mean the Church thinks everything in the book or article was wrong.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Gerald – Here. this is from the idiotic article you cited: "Galileo could have safely proposed heliocentricity as a theory or a method to more simply account for the planets’ motions. His problem arose when he stopped proposing it as a scientific theory and began proclaiming it as truth," And this is all you need to know that the Church severely overreached all reasonable bounds. The presumed the right to condemn a person for daring to claim that something was true without prior approval from the church. A disgraceful chapter indeed. And this article and your whining proves that some Catholics still don't get it. So this is yet another disgraceful chapter.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Colin

      Gerald – "It is when one uses them to deny doctrine, which Galileo did, that the Church steps in." You are buying into the preposterous notion that the church has the right to threaten, imprison, torture and kill becuase somebody denies Catholic doctrine. Gerald, its the 21st Century. Í would have thought that the RC would regard any threat against any scientist as appalling. Seems I was wrong.

      I am so pleased you people no longer have real power. I would be in one of your prisons for the views I have expressed here in the last few hours. Frightening.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Jo

      Also, to go along with JohnR posted..

      A BIG LOL at them for saying a scientific theory has no truth to it. Retards.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Artist

      Colin

      Gerald – "It is when one uses them to deny doctrine, which Galileo did, that the Church steps in." You are buying into the preposterous notion that the church has the right to threaten, imprison, torture and kill becuase somebody denies Catholic doctrine. Gerald, its the 21st Century. Í would have thought that the RC would regard any threat against any scientist as appalling. Seems I was wrong.

      I am so pleased you people no longer have real power. I would be in one of your prisons for the views I have expressed here in the last few hours. Frightening.
      -----–
      So Gerald, do you think the church acted wrongly? Do you stand by their actions? Simple questions.

      June 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Jo Yeah, sounds real familiar, no? Then it was heliocentrism that was "just a theory". Now it's the big bang and evolution for the "just a theory" crowd. And what's sad is that the Catholic Church HAS been more progressive re science in many regards compared to evangelicals and other conservative Protestants. But here's old Gerald and this lame article claiming that there was nothing wrong embarrassing about their treatment of Galileo. Not much, eh????

      June 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I don't really expect any answers, but...

      If no one listens to the rcc about something so practical and obvious as "wrapping your willy" before s3x, why do they pay attention to the crap about imaginary god(s)? Why is the rcc powerless to stop fornication amongst its members? Why do so many believers break so many club rules (such as fornication and followed by abortions...)? Why are so many believers such hypocrites? I can hardly wait for the "free will" response....

      June 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Ooops! The above was meant as a response to a conversation below. And I should have if "If no one listens to the rcc about promiscuity...", but same difference.

      June 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • gozer

      Gerald is unable to comprehend basic logic. Not worthwhile to attempt discussion with him. Better to spend time educating the young about critical thinking and science, so they don't become indoctrinated with the Christian supersti-tions, or other religious delusions.

      June 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  17. jimtanker

    Isn't it nice that you can pick and choose what part of your reilgion that you want to believe? So much for the infalliable word of god huh? Suckers.

    June 10, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  18. Doc Vestibule

    @Brad
    Are you saying that teh Church's policies should remain forever unchanged?
    So long heliocentrism! Time to brand Galileo a heretic again after taking 300 years to admit he might've had a point.
    Time to toss Einstein and Hubble out the window and go back to believing the Universe is 6000 years old – never mind what Pius XII said.
    Evolution? Nyet. Pope Jean Paul II was full of it, stinking liberal that he was. Humanity comes from clay and ribs.
    I guess this means the Vatican never stopped selling their "get out of hell free" cards, so I can buy an indulgence or two...

    June 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Sign me up for a Plenary one. Do you take Visa ?

      June 10, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • gerald

      Doc, you back again with your nonsense. Show me a council or papal statement officially given to the whole church saying that one must believe in heliocentrism? Galileo's problem was not his views on the universe but when he crossed the line in to theology. you don't even have a clue how Catholicism works and prove yourself ignorant.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • chief

      re doc... you know gerald has to support the catholic church for numerous reason... like he is a priest... and more

      June 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Artist

      Rev. Rick

      @ Gerald – Can you provide scripture that indicates Jesus didn't give women a role in the Church? The church heirarchy (all men by the way) made that decision. In fact some sects of early Christianity believed that there was a "divine feminine" aspect to God Himself, but scripture written by these early Christian sects were supressed by the patriarchal members of the church, and labeled as heresy. Only a few copies managed to survive. Do a little research on the Gnostic Gospels and see what you find!
      -----–
      Well she was his girlfriend and most likely had something going on the side. Maybe he wanted one last nooner before leaving for heaven?

      June 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • gerald

      You know chief has to harrass Catholics because he has no real beliefs of his own and spreads hatred.

      June 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • chief

      re gerald.... i actually know what i believe ... i believe your a priest and one who cares more about priest than the kids they abuse. i heard the arizona wildfires are 6% contained.... many lives ruined ..... at least in nature the truth is know other than your apologetics of the 6% of ped priests that arent arent a problem to you....

      June 13, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  19. Terry

    I think some of you didnt actually read the article. I think that when some of you, who have already responded to this article, read Liberal and catholic, your ideas of who and what they are, based on previously learned knowledge, come up with a picture that obscures the actual information in the article. It may be too much to ask some one to look beyound "I feel this way when I hear (blank)" but at least being aware of it could lead to recovery and even a greater knowledge than simply going along with what one already "feels" to be right.

    June 10, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • gerald

      If the local Archbishop is against it that is good enough for me. He is the authority in his diocese. They should not even be holding such a conference under his jurisdiction without his approval. Women will never be priests because that is not the role Jesus gave them in the Church. The fact that they are supporting this alone makes the conference heretical.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • chief

      re gerald.... your local archbishop good enough for you..... i guess thats how they were able to slaughter american indian and blacks because local peoples views them being souless.... your and idiot

      June 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Gerald – Can you provide scripture that indicates Jesus didn't give women a role in the Church? The church heirarchy (all men by the way) made that decision. In fact some sects of early Christianity believed that there was a "divine feminine" aspect to God Himself, but scripture written by these early Christian sects were supressed by the patriarchal members of the church, and labeled as heresy. Only a few copies managed to survive. Do a little research on the Gnostic Gospels and see what you find!

      June 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • gerald

      I didn't say that women don't have a role in the Church did I. I said the priesthood wasn't there role. The greatest of women is Mary, Jesus mother. God gave her the greatest role of all.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • gerald

      Chief, Catholicism never taught that indians were soulless. If they were soulless, then why did the Church send missionaries all over to convert them? Your thinking protestant which you are.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Gerald said, "I said the priesthood wasn't there role." – Okay, so I'm still waiting on the scripture from Jesus that said women can't be priests. Who was the first person Jeus revealed himself to after his resurrection? Mary Magelene – do you think that was chance? Mary is suspected as being Jesus' most devoted disciple, and perhaps even more, by the gospels that were declared as heretical by the church. He who has the gold (the Church) makes the rules, and guess who had the most gold (and political power)?

      June 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Matt Abid

      The Church came before the bible was put together.

      June 10, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Rev. Rick,

      There seems to be a number of people who think that ‘everything can be found in the Bible’ such that if they cannot find a scripture stating something, well, then it must not be true. Just this following scripture will tell you that the Holy Spirit will provide fullness of truth as we can bear it…which means we can learn fullness of truth as time goes on which will not be found in the Bible. [That is, the fullness will not be found in the Bible.]

      Here is the scripture…Jesus Christ is speaking to His Apostles….

      John 14:26
      But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.

      June 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • gerald

      Rev, funny you don't even believe in the priesthood and yet you are saying that God gave women roles as priests. Something you have no passage to prove. It is clear in that Jesus did not call women as apostles, the apostles did not select any women as preists and the successors of the apostles were all male! There are Catholic theological reasons as well based on scripture and the Church being the bride of Christ, the priest being "in persona Christi" as well.

      June 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ CatholicMom and Gerald –

      "John 14:26
      But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you."

      This is a vaccuous statement and could be interpreted any number of ways. For certain it says nothing about females not being ordained. As a former Catholic I finally realized how the early church was hijacked by Paul and how the Church's political power grabs to kept it patriarchal. Jesus' brother James was written out of the church's history and his teachings were supressed by the early Church. We will never really know Christ's pure and original teachings as long as either the Roman Church and/or Christian conservatives maintain their power and influence.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  20. Colin

    I don't so much mind that the Catholic Church believes in what most thinking people might call a lot of superst.itious nonsense, and I don't mind that many of its social policies have remained unchanged since the Dark Ages and are in stark contrast to my own. What I really object to is when they (i) impose their views on people rather than simply try to influence; and (ii) deny obvious updates in scientific knowledge because they are inconsistent with their pre-existing dogma.

    To take one of the more insidious recent examples – the church ardently opposes the use of condoms. Condoms are effective in retarding the spread of AIDS. Rather than accepting this and allowing their use in such circ.umstances, the church has actively tried to impose restrictions on their use.

    Secondly, rather than being honest about it and saying, “look, we know they help to prevent AIDS, but we nevertheless wish to subordinate that benefit to our religious view that they are wrong and therefore we oppose them nevertheless” the church was active and complicit in spreading the hideous rumor in the developing World that condoms cause AIDS. Many believed this and many died.

    June 10, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • brad

      As a "thinking person" you haven't yet deduced that copulation, not church teaching, spreads AIDS. Anyone who can think can also think nonsense.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Colin

      Brad – Yes, and those terrible people who "copulate" should die, right? I am so pleased the developed World is showing you guys the exit door. I just wish the developing World was more educated and able to do the same.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • gerald

      Colin, people are not listening to the Church about promiscuity so there is no reason to think what the Church says prevents them from using condoms. Therefore your blaming AIDS on the Church is wrong and comes from deeply rooted prejudice in your brain.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Colin

      Gerlad – it would take an impressive act of denial to think that the RC's opposition to condoms did not facilitate the spread of AIDS, espe.cially in Sub-Saharan Africa. I suggest you google some World Health Organization pronuouncements on the issue.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • chief

      re gerald and the other catholic apologist.... he said... condoms re-tard the spread.... and the church was against it.... you guys are morons

      June 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • gerald

      Catholicism vs. HIV infection rate
      Catholicism vs. HIV PrevalenceCatholicism vs. HIV Prevalence

      If Roman Catholicism is responsible for the AIDS epidemic in Africa, it would be a fairly trivial matter to test the hypothesis.
      You are wrong Colin. Plain and simple. From the article:

      http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/catholic_church_aids_africa.html

      The percentage of Roman Catholics in various countries of Africa are quite diverse, as are the HIV infection rates. One need only plot the percent Catholics vs. the HIV infection rate. The figure to the right shows the results of such a plot.6 If the hypothesis that Catholic doctrine spreads HIV and AIDS, we would expect to see increased infection rates in countries that contain more Roman Catholics. Instead, we find decreased HIV rates in Catholic-dominated countries (although the trend is not statistically significant). The idea that Roman Catholic teaching encourages the spread of HIV is not confirmed by the demographics.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • gerald

      Chief, it is debatable that the use of condoms retards the spread. Let's say that in a population of 10,000 there are 100 cases of extramarital relations in a week. All have Aids for the purpose of the discussion. All would pass on the virus. Now lets say that condoms are introduced, providing a feeling of safety. The rate goes to 1000/10,000. Now do the math Chief. 15% of those condoms fail. 150 would pass along the virus. I do not have numbers to show this amount of increase but clearly the retarding affect that you talk about is not as strong as you and Colin would like to think. Oh wait "think". Shouldn't use that in the same sentence with a ref to you. Sorry.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • gerald

      Take particular note of the chart toward the end of this article plotting roman catholicism vs. percent of the population that has aids.

      http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/catholic_church_aids_africa.html

      It is proven by this chart that Roman Catholicism is the cause of Aids. Quite the contrary, it prevents Aids.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Colin

      Gerald, if the rate of increased $exual activity coupled with the condom failure rate REALLY more than offset the damage done by people believing the church and not using them, why doew no health organization oppose their use?

      June 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • LinCA

      @gerald

      On what do you base the following assumptions:
      Let's say that in a population of 10,000 there are 100 cases of extramarital relations in a week. All have Aids for the purpose of the discussion. All would pass on the virus. Now lets say that condoms are introduced, providing a feeling of safety. The rate goes to 1000/10,000. A ten-fold increase entirely attributed to condom use is preposterous. Please cite your source.
      15% of those condoms fail. Again, please cite your source.

      Without these 2 outlandish assumptions, your calculations don't support your argument. Your argument is bogus.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • gerald

      There is no question that the "gain" by condoms would be decreased by increase promiscuity. The WHO only looks at the "logical" side of condoms as a barrier. It does not take in to account promisuity. If it did there would be some study on it. There is no question that condoms and birth control increase promiscuity if one looks at the boom in extramarital relations and even the increase in STDs since these forms of contraception became popular.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • gerald

      Colin, I would love to see you address the article and in particular the plot of Catholicism vs. AIDS toward the bottom of the article and see if you can continue to maintain your claim that Catholicism causes aids. It seems clear from the plot that Catholic beliefs reduce AIDS.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • gerald

      Seems colin will not address the article. The numbers don't lie.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Colin

      Gerald, sorry for disappearing, work comitmnets.

      I looked at the numbers and the site from which they came. In short, I do not believe them. I obviously have no way of knowing whther the raw data on which they are based are true, but when I look at the site as a whole, it is clearly biased beyond all credibility toward the Christian view of the Universe. For the love of god man, it still questions evolution!

      To be honest, I was a little disappointed. You are one of the few firm believers I have encountered on here who at least has a point to make. Then you present this nonsense.

      In short, I cannot say I know the graph is wrong, but I can say I am very skeptical of it, given its source.

      More to the point however, even if true, it does not show that the RC's oppostiion to condom use cause the different rates. One could argue (and I believe it is true) that the rates would be lower if the RC did not conspire in spreading the lie that condoms cause AIDS. All credible health organizations agree.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Artist

      Gerald, did any pope or leader of the church come out prior to the scandal or was it only after?

      June 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • chief

      re gerald.... you assumption is that more people will have relations if they have condoms..... my assumption is that they already are due to the spread of aids.... in our lifetime there will be a pope that uses his brain and says he supports the use of condoms but detests relations outside of marriage....

      June 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I don't really expect any answers, but...

      If no one listens to the rcc about promiscuity why do they pay attention to the crap about imaginary god(s)? Why is the rcc powerless to stop fornication amongst its members? Why do so many believers break so many club rules (such as fornication and followed by abortions...)? Why are so many believers such hypocrites? I can hardly wait for the "free will" response....

      June 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • John Richardson

      There is actually some interesting research on how safety devices can backfire if the perceived gain in safety exceeds the actual gain in safety. But that's an argument for not overselling the effectiveness of con-doms, not for opposing their use altogether. There are a variety of ways for limiting both unwanted pre-gnancies and the spread of STDs that include everything from, yes, abstinence to the practice of s-e-xual acts that don't involve pe-netration. But one last stop in the cline of techniques is indeed physical barrier protection. It's absurd to say otherwise. But yes, condoms can fail as the last line of defense and admitting that will do a lot of good. Opposing con-doms altogether will do a lot more harm than good.
      Meanwhile, if we are going to talk about condom failure rates, let's also acknowledge that not everyone who has made a pledge of abstinence has lived up to that pledge. In other words, abstinence is indeed a form of birth and STD control and, like all such techniques, it too has a failure rate. So then the question simply is; IF an abstainer falls of the abstinence wagon, would it be better if s/he did so while using a con-dom or not using a con-dom? The question answers itself.

      June 10, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • gozer

      Gerald is unable to comprehend basic logic. Not worthwhile to attempt discussion with him. Better to spend time educating the young about critical thinking and science, so they don't become indoctrinated with the Christian supersti-tions, or other religious delusions.

      June 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      The assumption that just because one is a self-identified Roman Catholic, they also follow and accept the church's policy and moral teaching on birth control is false. The majority of American RC women DO use birth control, (and I would submit by that fact that the "real church", (as opposed to the old guys in red dresses), DOES approve birth control.
      Quite apart from that fact, is the moral inconsistency in the teaching which permits "natural family planning", (where the INTENTION is clearly to "PLAN" a family, ie prevent some pregnancies), and the moral theological system which states that the keystone of a moral choice is the intention of the person(s) involved.

      June 11, 2011 at 11:14 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.