Onetime priest crusades for abuse victims suing Catholic Church
Patrick Wall as a seminarian and junior monk at Saint John’s Abbey and University in Minnesota in the late 1980s.
June 19th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Onetime priest crusades for abuse victims suing Catholic Church

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - As a young man studying for the priesthood, Patrick Wall imagined life as a professor and football coach at a Catholic university.

It didn't work out that way. Two decades later, Wall has not only left the Catholic Church, he has become one of its most tireless opponents.

He's an ex-priest, driven from ministry by the feeling that his superiors used him to help cover up sex abuse by other clergymen.

And he's using the training he gained as a priest to work with victims of abuse who want to take the church to court.

Since 1991, Wall says he has consulted on more than 1,000 abuse cases, helping lawyers pick apart defenses mounted by dioceses from Alaska to Australia.

Now a senior consultant at the law firm of Manly and Stewart in Southern California, Wall spoke to CNN on the sidelines of a recent conference for legal and religion scholars at Cardiff Law School in Wales.

In Philadelphia, where four priests and a Catholic school teacher were indicted on sex abuse charges earlier this year, Wall says he is helping the district attorney build an unprecedented criminal case not only against the clergy, but against an archdiocesan official who supervised them. The priests – one of whom is the church official – and the teacher have denied the allegations.

The case is potentially historic. Wall doesn't know of another case where a U.S. prosecutor has gone after an official at the top of the church hierarchy as well as the suspected abusers themselves.

Prosecutors are trying to convict a vicar – the man who supervised the priests in the archdiocese – with child endangerment because they say he allowed suspected abusers to have contact with young people.

The case raises the possibility that a high-ranking church official will end up behind bars.

Wall hopes the threat of prison time will change the way American bishops respond to abuse allegations in a way that civil lawsuits have not.

"In the civil cases, we have taken over $3 billion, but you're not getting a lot of change in the system," he says.

Patrick Wall outside a recent conference in Wales.

There has been more than a decade of intense focus on abuse by priests across the United States and Western Europe, plus lawsuits, investigations, and Vatican statements, including instructions to bishops around the world just last month to come up with an abuse policy.

And even so, Wall says, priests are still abusing children.

"I'm working on stuff that happened in the summer of 2010," he says. "It's the same old sodomy."

A life-changing assignment

Wall was studying to be a priest at Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, when there was a life-changing knock on his door one morning after breakfast.

At his door that day in 1990 was the head of the abbey, Abbot Jerome Theisen, with an assignment, Wall says.

Wall, then 25, was to move into one of the freshman dormitories at the university associated with the abbey. The abbot wanted him to become a faculty resident, a staff position that involved keeping an eye on first-year university students in college housing. He was to make the move immediately, that very morning.

Wall knew why.

"Starting in 1989, we started getting hit with lawsuit after lawsuit" from people alleging that priests had abused them, Wall says. He says the abbot told him that credible abuse accusations had been made against the man Wall was to replace.

Brother Paul Richards, a spokesman for Saint John's Abbey, said that the monastery and university had no record of why Wall was asked to work in the dorm. Abbot Theisen has died, Richards added.

Saint John's Abbey adopted a policy on sexual abuse and exploitation in 1989, it says on its website, saying that made it “among the first institutions to adopt” such a policy.

Wall, for his part, says the abbot's request put him on the road to becoming what the church unofficially calls a "fixer," a person who parachutes in to replace clergy who have to disappear quickly and quietly.

Wall as the temporary administrator at a Maplewood, Minnesota church in 1995.

One of Theisen's successors, Abbot John Klassen, issued an open letter of apology in 2002, saying that "some members" of the monastic community had engaged in "abusive sexual behavior with people in our schools and parishes."

A lawsuit was filed earlier this month against Saint John's by a man who says he was abused in the 1960s by a priest who later served as abbot between Theisen and Klassen. The abbey says it was “shocked” by the charges against the late Abbot Timothy Kelly, who died of cancer last year.

It says it is investigating the claims against Kelly, calling them “the first allegations that Abbot Kelly violated his vows or was an abuser.”

Wall plans to testify in that case, he told CNN.

"In the fall of '92 we had another 13 [abuse] cases come through," Wall says. "They pushed up my ordination" by a few months, Wall says, so he could step into the shoes of another priest who had to vanish.

Understanding the damage

It was after his ordination, Wall says, that he began to understand the trauma that abusive priests were inflicting, not only on their victims but on victims' families and communities.

As a new priest, Wall started hearing confessions of victims' relatives who blamed themselves for the abuse, telling Wall "I should have known, I should have seen the signs."

A heavy-set man who laughs easily, Wall still looks like the linebacker he was in high school and college. He peppers his speech with words like "dude" and casually refers to people who he thinks have done something stupid as "morons."

But relating the confessions of victims' relatives, Wall's cheerful demeanor hardens.

"I'm telling them, 'You haven't committed a sin,'" he says.

Wall, right, with his mom, dad and a diocesan priest in 1989.

Wall says that child abuse isn't like other injury cases, such as car crashes, in which a victim might be 10% at fault. Instead, he says, "100% of the blame is on the perpetrator."

Over the next four years, Wall says that the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis sent him to four more places in Minnesota where priests needed to move out fast.

He learned a lot. Wall says he saw that there was a budget for handling cases of priestly sexual abuse as far back as 1994, eight years before the scandal blew up nationally with revelations about abuse in Boston, Massachusetts. The archdiocese could not immediately confirm that, but spokesman Dennis McGrath said he would not be surprised if it was true, saying the archdiocese had been a leader in helping victims of abuse.

Wall did what the church told him to do for as long as he could, he says, but his doubts continued to grow.

"I followed the party line," he says. "But it's pretty hard to follow the party line when you don't think the party line is moral any more."

The breaking point came in 1997. Wall was in Rome, studying for a master's of divinity degree. His abbot called from Minnesota to tell him he was being posted to the Bahamas.

It was not the dream job it might sound like.

Wall says that the Bahamas was where Saint John's was sending priests it had to keep away from people because of abuse allegations. Richards, the abbey's spokesman, flatly denies the charge.

"I basically was going to be a prison warden," Wall says.

"Without much planning, I said, 'Basta cosi,'" he says, lapsing into Minnesota-accented Italian meaning, "Enough of this." Wall had decided to leave the priesthood.

Patrick Wall at his first mass as a priest in December 1992.

The abbot did not take that well, Wall says, warning that he would never make it in "the real world," that he would not be released from his priestly vows and that the order would bill him for the master's degree it had sponsored for him. The tab for the degree was about $48,000, he says.

Richards denies those allegations. "It has never been the abbey's practice to require payback for education from members of our community who have left," he says, "and it was not the case with Pat Wall."

Wall says the abbot's threats did not change his mind.

"All it did is piss me off even more," he says. "I left without a plan in December 1997."

Insider knowledge

Wall says he went home to Lake City, Minnesota to live with his parents, then bounced from job to job for nearly five years. He got married and had a daughter. He made good money as a salesman in Southern California but says he found the work as intellectually stimulating as "shovelling dirt."

And then, in 2002, the California state legislature did something that would change Wall's life. The state opened a one-year window to allow victims of clergy abuse to sue the church, even if the if the statute of limitations on the case had already expired.

Wall's eyes light up as he discusses the moment.

The law did not specifically target the Catholic Church, Wall says, noting that some rabbis were sued as well. But Catholic organizations were by far the largest group of defendants.

Still, suing a Catholic diocese was no easy task. "The litigation demanded a level of expertise that had never been needed before," Wall says.

Because of his religious training in canon law, as the Catholic Church's rules are known, Wall had that expertise. He knew how and where the church kept records. He knew where money came from and where it went. He spoke Italian and Latin.

In his first case, he testified against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, California, challenging its claim that it did not know the Franciscan friar at the center of abuse allegations.

Wall insisted that the archdiocese and any priest in it would have easy access to church records saying who the Franciscan was and who had jurisdiction over him.

The case settled out of court, Wall says.

The Diocese of Orange declined to comment for this article, as did the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which is the defendant in several cases currently involving Wall’s firm, Manly and Stewart.

Jeffrey Lena, a lawyer who represents the Vatican in the United States, also declined to comment.

But Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota-based lawyer who specializes in suing the Catholic Church on behalf of abuse victims and filed the suit against Saint John's Abbey, is full of praise for Wall.

Anderson calls Wall “an extraordinary researcher, academic and hands-on voice of experience from the inside.”

He praises the former priest's “courage,” and says he is a “powerful, insightful source of information based on his own personal experience and his study of the phenomenon” of abuse.

An old problem

Wall argues that the problem of abuse by priests is far older than anyone in the church admits publicly.

The earliest church records concerning sexual misconduct by priests come from the Council of Elvira, he says. That synod took place in what is now Spain in the year 309.

There was a treatment center for abusive priests in Hartford, Connecticut, as far back as 1822, Wall says, and the Vatican issued instructions to American bishops on how to judge and punish accusations of criminal acts by priests as far back as 1883.

Wall provided his translation of the 1883 instructions to CNN. They do not refer to any specific crimes, but refer to “abuses” and “evils.” They set out how to investigate, judge and punish crimes by priests, laying out rules such as the examination of witnesses in private, and the opportunity for the accused to know the charges and to respond and appeal.

The Philadelphia district attorney's office declined to comment on assistance it is receiving from Wall, saying it was prevented by court order from discussing the case with the media.

But Wall says that years of seeing how the Catholic Church handles abuse cases have convinced him that the church will not solve the problem itself.

He says he's not impressed by new instructions from Rome last month giving bishops around the world a year to come up with procedures for handling allegations of abuse.

"It's a Circular Letter," he says, using the official church term for the document. "That means it's for the circular file. Bishops are going to throw it away."

Last week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops revised its 2002 charter around dealing with sex abuse allegations to reflect the Vatican's new standards.

Wall believes the Catholic Church will survive this scandal.

"It's going to fix itself," he says.

"The institution is going to become radically smaller" as people abandon the church, he predicts. "The loss of membership, the problems in the criminal courts, the statements from the pope - these are all good."

Perpetrators need "access, power and money" in order to commit crimes and get away with them, Wall argues. A smaller, weaker Catholic Church won't be able to provide those things, making it less of a haven for abusers, he says, which will lead to a cleansed institution.

In the meantime, Wall says, the church should give up trying to handle abusers internally and let the law step in.

He recommends that the church "completely get out" of child protection, hand over all its files to civil law enforcement, and make bishops sign a legal oath every year that there are no perpetrators in the ministry - which would open them to criminal prosecution if they are found to have lied.

"Otherwise," he says, "I'll be prosecuting priest sex abuse cases for the rest of my life."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Sex abuse

soundoff (745 Responses)
  1. max

    For non-believers looking to jump on this as foundation to rail against Jesus Christ, & those on the fence concerning the church, understand this. The Bible says the church would eventually be compromised. Please look on the internet for what Fr. Malachi Martin had to say specifically on what has happened to the church from the inside. The abuse scandals are part of the decline foretold. The church of Christ has been compromised since the Protestant reformation splintered the one church, & it has continued in the Catholic church since just before Vatican 2.
    For believers know Jesus Christ yourself. Whatever denomination you belong to, Protestant or Catholic, does not matter. ALL churchs' have been compromised by men who over history & time have been deceived.
    Please pray for all atheists & non-believers, as well as yourselves, for forgiveness & mercy.
    "And entering into the temple, He began to cast out them that sold therein,& the that bought. Saying to them It is written My house is the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves" Luke 19:45-46

    June 19, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • 4mercy

      Amen, Max! God Bless you!

      June 19, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Jesus

      You can read anything you want into Emperor Constantine's novel of contradictions....and apparently you do.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Follower

      Well since it was foretold (pre-emptive prophecy) then I guess it's OK ?! Nothing you can say will make priest abuse acceptable, sorry. All you're doing is attempting to justify why you continue to follow something so obviously flawed. This just shows that even priests do not believe ... anyone who KNOWS God IS watching would never abuse a child.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Cher

      Follower, that is not what Max is saying...Nobody is saying that we should just accept the corruption because it's ordained. Rather, we should always fight injustice and abuse wherever and whenever it is found. Thought: the decline of the church over hundreds of years started not at the reformation, but when man made a house of God with his own falliable hands. We are with fault and as humans are capable of destruction,however, we are also also capable of such grace and beauty. How we choose to handle this is the test.

      June 19, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • fimeilleur

      You pray for us, we'll THINK for you.

      June 19, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Follower

      Cher ... I know exactly what Max, and you, are implying. Every church is run, built & sold by humans thereby being fallable. Question is, do you (can you) understand what I am saying?

      June 19, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    "And even so, Wall says, priests are still abusing children."

    So merely the priests are guilty?

    I will tell you, who is the most guilty man, regarding the issue of child abuse: The pope!!!

    The pope had the power to abolish forced celebacy. He refuses to abolish forced celibacy. Why? Maybe the pope knows that it is easy to control guilty people like marionettes (do, what I command or I will scandalize your name; everybody shall know that you have touched a child!).

    It is not possible at all to reason forced celibacy by the Holy Scripture. In his first Epistle to the Corinthians St. Paul tells us that most Christians (clergy or not) should marry. Only a few will have the gift of abstinence. All apostles were married, excepted St. Paul, who had the special gift of abstinence.

    Pope, don't increase your damnation by not abolishing mandatory celibacy!

    June 19, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • Monte

      http://wedontplaythat.blogspot.com/ They are very tough here!!

      June 19, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • 4mercy

      The pope will not do this. Ever. They will never be allowed to marry. It is not the reason that all of this has happened. It is my understanding that most of these encounters are of a same s e x nature – so your solution would only be MORE i m m o ral...to encourage same s e x relations – which is i m m o ral itself. What happens then if same s e x marriages are broadly legalized...g a y p riests allowed to marry?? Please. You have no understanding of the role of celibacy in the c h u r ch. Maybe you should find out why they take a vow to be celibate.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Jesus

      The best I've ever been with was a novice French Nun. WOW!! A weekend of pure pleasure and passion. To deny people their natural tendencies and confine them to a life of denial is simply cruel and punitive.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Hi "Jesus",

      the great German reformer Dr. Martin Luther did nearly (!) the same like you, he stole (or friends did it for him) his future wife out of a monastery. She was a Roman Catholic nun, but obviously had to convert to Protestantism. Of course first real pleasure Luther and his wife had after wedding.

      Before Luther became a Protestant reformer, he was a Roman Catholic monk (even something like an abbot).

      June 19, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Jesus

      @ Ranier, Marty Luther was not quite like me or my situation. I am not a rabid anti-semite or an alcoholic...two of Luther's proclivities. Also I never married that novice Nun. Contrary to that silly and foolish ditty, love and marriage do NOT go together like a horse and carriage.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  3. Zelda

    The Catholic priest-hood is the most beautiful and honorable calling a man can have on earth. Too bad Satan is using some cri-mi-nals to paint bad the whole group of the most valuable people. The calling is a thor-ny path but eternally the most rewarding. Catholics can have re-vival by reading and going back to the Bible. The Christ's Church will be victorious until the last day of Earth

    June 19, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • JAberg123

      If the catholic priesthood is the most "beautiful and honorable calling" why did Mr. Wall have to leave the church in order to really improve people's well being? If he had stayed in the church he probably would've counselled a few people during confession and inspired some others from the pulpit. He might've also fed some poor people. But now, he defends the defenseless. He helps those who have been victimized bye the international child-ra pe syndicate known as the catholic church. He stands for justice while his ex colleagues dress up in silly robes and chant in latin. If there is a heaven, Mr. Wall will go there and the pope will not.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Brian

      Amen but don't tell that to folks like Wall who is out of a job and need a way to make a living against the church he used to work for.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • JohnnyKay

      "Satan"? You're not even kidding.

      The abuses stretch back millennia, not decades while the church was writing canon laws in the seventeenth century to silence the Victims and protect the church at all costs; ruining lives before, after and during the abuse and subsequent 'investigations'.

      The devil made me do it? Shai' tan is alive and well? Typical mentality that looks outside the perpetrator for excuses, rather than ever hold a Human accouintable for their behavior.

      Sounds just like the church of Rome.

      Thanks for nothing.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Dallas

      Once again, how do we know this is media bias? The John Jay report, for one. It covers a span of 52 years (1950-2002). 4,392 priests were accused, that's 4% of the priests that served in that time frame. It was thought they could be substantiated for 1,872 of those priests (about 1.7%). For protestants, the most cited surveys state they have a problem around 10%. And to top it off, don't just focus on Catholics. Dr. Gene Abel estimates that between 1% and 5% of our population molest children. Now, compare the stats for catholics (1.7%) to ANY OTHER GROUP NEAR CHILDREN. Then get back to me.

      June 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "The Christ's Church will be victorious until the last day of Earth"

      doubtful considering it wasnt even around for the first day of Earth.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Catholics are CRAZY

      Your crazy.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  4. MN-SNAP

    More Patrick Wall is presented in part 1 "The Truth"

    June 19, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  5. John

    It is interesting that Wall says perpetrators need "access, power and money" in order to commit crimes and get away with them. I Agree. BUT they also need privacy. It is that unguarded moment when the crime is done. Parents can no longer trust (never SHOULD have trusted, actually) clergy to be protectors. Parents are the ultimate guarantors of their children’s safety. These cases prove this. JC

    June 19, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • John Richardson

      Unfortunately, abuse by parents is hardly unheard of, either.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  6. MN-SNAP

    More Patrick Wall is presented in part 2 of "The Truth"

    June 19, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  7. Skip Guinness



    June 19, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    The headline contains the expression "Catholic Church". Probably the Roman Catholic Church is meant.

    Strictly speaking, the term Catholic Church and the term Roman Catholic Church don't mean the same. Up to Gregory the Great (Roman bishop) there was only one worldwide, Catholic Church (ruled by many local bishops, but not by any pope, claiming he would be the head of the Church and all bishops). Up to Gregory the Great the terms Christian Church and Catholic Church meant exactly the same. After Gregory the Great papacy was established. Since this event you have to distinguish between Christian Church (former Catholic Church) and Roman Catholic Church (today usually called Catholic Church).

    It would be appropriate to say always Roman Catholic Church, because strictly speaking, the Catholic Church was a Church, which existed before the Roman Catholic Church came into being.

    The Church, not accepting the popes rule, should be called Christian Church.

    June 19, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Rainer Braendlein, here is some docu-mented history for you..............
      1. St. Peter (32-67)
      2. St. Linus (67-76)
      3. St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
      4. St. Clement I (88-97)
      5. St. Evaristus (97-105)
      6. St. Alexander I (105-115)
      7. St. Sixtus I (115-125) Also called Xystus I
      8. St. Telesphorus (125-136)
      9. St. Hyginus (136-140)
      10. St. Pius I (140-155)
      11. St. Anicetus (155-166)
      12. St. Soter (166-175)
      13. St. Eleutherius (175-189)
      14. St. Victor I (189-199)
      15. St. Zephyrinus (199-217)
      16. St. Callistus I (217-22) Callistus and the following three popes were opposed by St. Hippolytus, antipope (217-236)
      17. St. Urban I (222-30)
      18. St. Pontain (230-35)
      19. St. Anterus (235-36)
      20. St. Fabian (236-50)
      21. St. Cornelius (251-53) Opposed by Novatian, antipope (251)
      22. St. Lucius I (253-54)
      23. St. Stephen I (254-257)
      24. St. Sixtus II (257-258)
      25. St. Dionysius (260-268)
      26. St. Felix I (269-274)
      27. St. Eutychian (275-283)
      28. St. Caius (283-296) Also called Gaius
      29. St. Marcellinus (296-304)
      30. St. Marcellus I (308-309)
      31. St. Eusebius (309 or 310)
      32. St. Miltiades (311-14)
      33. St. Sylvester I (314-35)
      34. St. Marcus (336)
      35. St. Julius I (337-52)
      36. Liberius (352-66) Opposed by Felix II, antipope (355-365)
      37. St. Damasus I (366-83) Opposed by Ursicinus, antipope (366-367)
      38. St. Siricius (384-99)
      39. St. Anastasius I (399-401)
      40. St. Innocent I (401-17)
      41. St. Zosimus (417-18)
      42. St. Boniface I (418-22) Opposed by Eulalius, antipope (418-419)
      43. St. Celestine I (422-32)
      44. St. Sixtus III (432-40)
      45. St. Leo I (the Great) (440-61)
      46. St. Hilarius (461-68)
      47. St. Simplicius (468-83)
      48. St. Felix III (II) (483-92)
      49. St. Gelasius I (492-96)
      50. Anastasius II (496-98)
      51. St. Symmachus (498-514) Opposed by Laurentius, antipope (498-501)
      52. St. Hormisdas (514-23)
      53. St. John I (523-26)
      54. St. Felix IV (III) (526-30)
      55. Boniface II (530-32) Opposed by Dioscorus, antipope (530)
      56. John II (533-35)
      57. St. Agapetus I (535-36) Also called Agapitus I
      58. St. Silverius (536-37)
      59. Vigilius (537-55)
      60. Pelagius I (556-61)
      61. John III (561-74)
      62. Benedict I (575-79)
      63. Pelagius II (579-90)
      64. St. Gregory I (the Great) (590-604)
      65. Sabinian (604-606)
      66. Boniface III (607)
      67. St. Boniface IV (608-15)
      68. St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (615-18)
      69. Boniface V (619-25)
      70. Honorius I (625-38)
      71. Severinus (640)
      72. John IV (640-42)
      73. Theodore I (642-49)
      74. St. Martin I (649-55)
      75. St. Eugene I (655-57)
      76. St. Vitalian (657-72)
      77. Adeodatus (II) (672-76)
      78. Donus (676-78)
      79. St. Agatho (678-81)
      80. St. Leo II (682-83)
      81. St. Benedict II (684-85)
      82. John V (685-86)
      83. Conon (686-87)
      84. St. Sergius I (687-701) Opposed by Theodore and Paschal, antipopes (687)
      85. John VI (701-05)
      86. John VII (705-07)
      87. Sisinnius (708)
      88. Constantine (708-15)
      89. St. Gregory II (715-31)
      90. St. Gregory III (731-41)
      91. St. Zachary (741-52)
      92. Stephen II (752) Because he died before being consecrated, many authoritative lists omit him
      93. Stephen III (752-57)
      94. St. Paul I (757-67)
      95. Stephen IV (767-72) Opposed by Constantine II (767) and Philip (768), antipopes (767)
      96. Adrian I (772-95)
      97. St. Leo III (795-816)
      98. Stephen V (816-17)
      99. St. Paschal I (817-24)
      100. Eugene II (824-27)
      101. Valentine (827)
      102. Gregory IV (827-44)
      103. Sergius II (844-47) Opposed by John, antipope (855)
      104. St. Leo IV (847-55)
      105. Benedict III (855-58) Opposed by Anastasius, antipope (855)
      106. St. Nicholas I (the Great) (858-67)
      107. Adrian II (867-72)
      108. John VIII (872-82)
      109. Marinus I (882-84)
      110. St. Adrian III (884-85)
      111. Stephen VI (885-91)
      112. Formosus (891-96)
      113. Boniface VI (896)
      114. Stephen VII (896-97)
      115. Romanus (897)
      116. Theodore II (897)
      117. John IX (898-900)
      118. Benedict IV (900-03)
      119. Leo V (903) Opposed by Christopher, antipope (903-904)
      120. Sergius III (904-11)
      121. Anastasius III (911-13)
      122. Lando (913-14)
      123. John X (914-28)
      124. Leo VI (928)
      125. Stephen VIII (929-31)
      126. John XI (931-35)
      127. Leo VII (936-39)
      128. Stephen IX (939-42)
      129. Marinus II (942-46)
      130. Agapetus II (946-55)
      131. John XII (955-63)
      132. Leo VIII (963-64)
      133. Benedict V (964)
      134. John XIII (965-72)
      135. Benedict VI (973-74)
      136. Benedict VII (974-83) Benedict and John XIV were opposed by Boniface VII, antipope (974; 984-985)
      137. John XIV (983-84)
      138. John XV (985-96)
      139. Gregory V (996-99) Opposed by John XVI, antipope (997-998)
      140. Sylvester II (999-1003)
      141. John XVII (1003)
      142. John XVIII (1003-09)
      143. Sergius IV (1009-12)
      144. Benedict VIII (1012-24) Opposed by Gregory, antipope (1012)
      145. John XIX (1024-32)
      146. Benedict IX (1032-45) He appears on this list three separate times, because he was twice deposed and restored
      147. Sylvester III (1045) Considered by some to be an antipope
      148. Benedict IX (1045)
      149. Gregory VI (1045-46)
      150. Clement II (1046-47)
      151. Benedict IX (1047-48)
      152. Damasus II (1048)
      153. St. Leo IX (1049-54)
      154. Victor II (1055-57)
      155. Stephen X (1057-58)
      156. Nicholas II (1058-61) Opposed by Benedict X, antipope (1058)
      157. Alexander II (1061-73) Opposed by Honorius II, antipope (1061-1072)
      158. St. Gregory VII (1073-85) Gregory and the following three popes were opposed by Guibert ("Clement III"), antipope (1080-1100)
      159. Blessed Victor III (1086-87)
      160. Blessed Urban II (1088-99)
      161. Paschal II (1099-1118) Opposed by Theodoric (1100), Aleric (1102) and Maginulf ("Sylvester IV", 1105-1111), antipopes (1100)
      162. Gelasius II (1118-19) Opposed by Burdin ("Gregory VIII"), antipope (1118)
      163. Callistus II (1119-24)
      164. Honorius II (1124-30) Opposed by Celestine II, antipope (1124)
      165. Innocent II (1130-43) Opposed by Anacletus II (1130-1138) and Gregory Conti ("Victor IV") (1138), antipopes (1138)
      166. Celestine II (1143-44)
      167. Lucius II (1144-45)
      168. Blessed Eugene III (1145-53)
      169. Anastasius IV (1153-54)
      170. Adrian IV (1154-59)
      171. Alexander III (1159-81) Opposed by Octavius ("Victor IV") (1159-1164), Pascal III (1165-1168), Callistus III (1168-1177) and Innocent III (1178-1180), antipopes
      172. Lucius III (1181-85)
      173. Urban III (1185-87)
      174. Gregory VIII (1187)
      175. Clement III (1187-91)
      176. Celestine III (1191-98)
      177. Innocent III (1198-1216)
      178. Honorius III (1216-27)
      179. Gregory IX (1227-41)
      180. Celestine IV (1241)
      181. Innocent IV (1243-54)
      182. Alexander IV (1254-61)
      183. Urban IV (1261-64)
      184. Clement IV (1265-68)
      185. Blessed Gregory X (1271-76)
      186. Blessed Innocent V (1276)
      187. Adrian V (1276)
      188. John XXI (1276-77)
      189. Nicholas III (1277-80)
      190. Martin IV (1281-85)
      191. Honorius IV (1285-87)
      192. Nicholas IV (1288-92)
      193. St. Celestine V (1294)
      194. Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
      195. Blessed Benedict XI (1303-04)
      196. Clement V (1305-14)
      197. John XXII (1316-34) Opposed by Nicholas V, antipope (1328-1330)
      198. Benedict XII (1334-42)
      199. Clement VI (1342-52)
      200. Innocent VI (1352-62)
      201. Blessed Urban V (1362-70)
      202. Gregory XI (1370-78)
      203. Urban VI (1378-89) Opposed by Robert of Geneva ("Clement VII"), antipope (1378-1394)
      204. Boniface IX (1389-1404) Opposed by Robert of Geneva ("Clement VII") (1378-1394), Pedro de Luna ("Benedict XIII") (1394-1417) and Baldassare Cossa ("John XXIII") (1400-1415), antipopes
      205. Innocent VII (1404-06) Opposed by Pedro de Luna ("Benedict XIII") (1394-1417) and Baldassare Cossa ("John XXIII") (1400-1415), antipopes
      206. Gregory XII (1406-15) Opposed by Pedro de Luna ("Benedict XIII") (1394-1417), Baldassare Cossa ("John XXIII") (1400-1415), and Pietro Philarghi ("Alexander V") (1409-1410), antipopes
      207. Martin V (1417-31)
      208. Eugene IV (1431-47) Opposed by Amadeus of Savoy ("Felix V"), antipope (1439-1449)
      209. Nicholas V (1447-55)
      210. Callistus III (1455-58)
      211. Pius II (1458-64)
      212. Paul II (1464-71)
      213. Sixtus IV (1471-84)
      214. Innocent VIII (1484-92)
      215. Alexander VI (1492-1503)
      216. Pius III (1503)
      217. Julius II (1503-13)
      218. Leo X (1513-21)
      219. Adrian VI (1522-23)
      220. Clement VII (1523-34)
      221. Paul III (1534-49)
      222. Julius III (1550-55)
      223. Marcellus II (1555)
      224. Paul IV (1555-59)
      225. Pius IV (1559-65)
      226. St. Pius V (1566-72)
      227. Gregory XIII (1572-85)
      228. Sixtus V (1585-90)
      229. Urban VII (1590)
      230. Gregory XIV (1590-91)
      231. Innocent IX (1591)
      232. Clement VIII (1592-1605)
      233. Leo XI (1605)
      234. Paul V (1605-21)
      235. Gregory XV (1621-23)
      236. Urban VIII (1623-44)
      237. Innocent X (1644-55)
      238. Alexander VII (1655-67)
      239. Clement IX (1667-69)
      240. Clement X (1670-76)
      241. Blessed Innocent XI (1676-89)
      242. Alexander VIII (1689-91)
      243. Innocent XII (1691-1700)
      244. Clement XI (1700-21)
      245. Innocent XIII (1721-24)
      246. Benedict XIII (1724-30)
      247. Clement XII (1730-40)
      248. Benedict XIV (1740-58)
      249. Clement XIII (1758-69)
      250. Clement XIV (1769-74)
      251. Pius VI (1775-99)
      252. Pius VII (1800-23)
      253. Leo XII (1823-29)
      254. Pius VIII (1829-30)
      255. Gregory XVI (1831-46)
      256. Blessed Pius IX (1846-78)
      257. Leo XIII (1878-1903)
      258. St. Pius X (1903-14)
      259. Benedict XV (1914-22) Biographies of Benedict XV and his successors will be added at a later date
      260. Pius XI (1922-39)
      261. Pius XII (1939-58)
      262. Blessed John XXIII (1958-63)
      263. Paul VI (1963-78)
      264. John Paul I (1978)
      265. John Paul II (1978-2005)
      266. Benedict XVI (2005—)

      June 19, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Thank you very much!

      Please take in account that at I did not say, there were no Roman bishops up to "64. St. Gregory I (the Great) (590-604)",
      but I said there was no papacy up to him. Still Gregory the Great rejected papacy and was fully contented to be merely bishop of the city of Rome. He did not want to be bishop of all bishops or head of the Church.

      The head of the Christian Church and the bishop of all bishops is Jesus Christ.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Faux Paws

      Any way of using a "starring" system, *, **, ***, **** for those in your list who purchased their office, had wives, mistresses, and/or children ?

      June 19, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Jesus

      Ironically the guy who really put Christianity on the map-Emperor Constantine, get too little credit. He headed up the First Council of Nicea and made it a capital crime to vary from his version of the Bible established at the First Council (which edited out over 14,000 parts of the various biblical books and scripture presented to the Council, including the Infancy Gospels and the Book of Giants).

      June 19, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • John Richardson

      Looks like it was pretty easy to get sainthood early on. Those guys who didn't make it must be majorly PO'd!!!

      June 19, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Rainer Braendlein,

      How Did the Catholic Church Get Her Name? by Kenneth Whitehead

      June 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  9. John

    The catholic church is the only church. The atheist cling to crumbs of misunderstood information and try to use it against Catholics. Protestant can make the bible say whatever they want it to say. Priest are flawed people like all of you, and the church didn't cover it up... the church did horrible job trying to deal with it internally. This ex-priest is confused and in it for the money.

    June 19, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • John Richardson

      You says these things and then wonder why non-believers consider much of Christianity not just mistaken, but evil? And to think that some still try to make the painfully hilarious case that all morality comes from god. What comes from this invocation of god are power structures that do as they please for as long as they can get away with it.

      June 19, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • 4mercy

      John – I agree, things have been handled badly in some cases, but the Church has taken many many steps to correct this situation. Perhaps some of these "very old" allegations had more to do with money on the part of those involved than was truly necessary. The church has the support of its members and these people know it. Do not cast your pearls before swine.
      "He did not say 'You will not be troubled, you will not be tempted, you will not be distressed.' But he said, 'You will not be overcome.' " Julian of Norwich. The Roman Catholic Church will persevere, as did Jesus and his disciples, to spread God's Word. May those who have been victims be healed and blessed. May God have mercy on those who have hurt his children and those who do not believe in Him.

      June 19, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • JAberg123

      @john. The catholic church is not anywhere near the only church. There are 30,000 types of christianity. They are all equally incorrect. You talk about how protestants" can make the bible say whatever they want it to say". May I remind you that christians just took the jewish bible and "made it say whatever they wanted it to say". How do you know judaism isn't correct? Or islam? Or ancient Greek religion? or Norse religion? or ancient Egyptian religion? The answer is " you don't". You just adopted catholicism on your mother's knee and now are unable to think past this prison of ignorance.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • DC from NJ


      People like you make me proud to be an atheist. You need to take your head of the sand and look around.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • CatholicMom


      People like you are a blessing to those who are floundering in life…

      If people would like to know the Truth it is available for them with a little research.

      There are priests who have fallen…along with lay people who have done the same thing. But what is startling to me is how can a priest leave the priesthood if he knew what Christ could work through his hands. Likewise, how can anyone leave the Church when they know they are leaving the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist which can only be worked through the Catholic priest’s hands by the workings of Christ.

      Yes, people are flawed but Jesus Christ’s Church, the House of God that He founded is not flawed.

      June 19, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • JAberg123

      @catholic mom. Allow me to repost what you wrote with some edits

      People like you are a blessing to those who are floundering in life…

      If people would like to know the Truth it is available for them with a little research.

      There are priests of Zeus who have fallen…along with lay people who have done the same thing. But what is startling to me is how can a priest of Zeus leave the priesthood if he knew what Zeus could work through his hands. Likewise, how can anyone leave the temple of zeus when they know they are leaving the real presence of Zeus in the lightning bolt which can only be worked through Zeus's priest’s hands by the workings of Zeus.

      Yes, people are flawed but Zeus's Temple, the House of God that He founded is not flawed."

      Alternatively, replace Zeus with Allah, Osiris, Yahweh, Thor or any of these other gods http://nowscape.com/atheism/dead_gods.htm

      June 19, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Brian

      Very true.

      June 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      JAberg123 Will you get your facts right before venturing into the world of adult discussion! Actually the Jewish Bible is the same, untouched version of the Old Testament that we use today. We Use it because Jesus was a Jew and He used it. We didn't "take" it or change it. Judaism and Christianity have the O.T in common. With Jesus the New Testament came into being. [as did Christianity].
      The Gospels of the 4 Evangelists were written by people who had been with Jesus as were the Epistles of St Paul. The Apochryphal gospels were written several years later. OK?

      June 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @ DG NJ – Some well-known Atheists:
      St-alin, Ma-rx, Le-nin, Trot-sky, Mus-sol-lini, Po-l-pot, Xua-n-Th-uy, Krus-ch-ev, Ti-to, Ma-otse-tu-ng, Ro-mme etc etc
      Hardly the front row of the Vienna boys' choir !!!!!! But if that's what floats your boat...........................

      June 22, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  10. Whack The Wax

    They should have the Navy Seals feed Catholic priest pedophiles to the sharks!

    June 19, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  11. MN-SNAP

    Thank You for this great article about Patrick Wall. Personally, I have the utmost respect for this champion.

    Last week Patrick held a press conference with Richard Sipe and Jeff Anderson to expose more abuse and cover-up at St. John's Abbey, the press conference video "The Truth" is available here: http://www.youtube.com/mnsnap . Witness the wisdom of Patrick.

    Bob Schwiderski,
    MN SNAP Director
    [Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests]
    952-471-3422 or skibrs@q.com

    June 19, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • Brian

      What everyone should know about the professional victims at SNAP http://www.themediareport.com/topic-SNAP/index.htm

      June 19, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      [1] Wall was sent in to parishes to replace umpteen pedophiles HE DID AND SAID NOTHING
      [2] He was told in confession by relatives of the abused who felt was their fault that it happened to their children. He told them "it's not your fault" Why didn't he terll them to go straight to the police and nail the perpetrators to the wall? HE DID NOTHING
      [3] Without breaking the seal of confession he could have gone to the authorities and instigated an investigation. He knew enough without the confessions anyway. HE DID NOTHING
      [4] By keeping quiet for those years he ADDED who knows how many other poor children to the tally but HE DID NOTHING
      [5] That rubbish about him being forced to cover up is a cop out. HE DID NOTHING not his superiors, HIM
      [6] By his own admission it would seem that he is an accessory after the fact -for the points [1][2][3] and before the fact for point [4]
      Again culpable negligence is no excuse. He's no better than his superiors.
      His "genuine concern" for the poor innocents whose lives were ruined is just a tad too late. This man is no hero in my book.

      June 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Makarov

      "Voice of Reason" – what a joke.

      I think it is clear that YOU have also DONE NOTHING to help, and now you are even attacking this man who finally listened to his conscience and decided to help do the right thing.
      How about YOU?
      All you seem to care about is how to discredit any attack on the Catholic Church and all the evil it does.
      That makes YOU an accessory in a much bigger and disgusting way.
      Why don't you just STFU and go die in a filthy hole somewhere and leave the living to us? We know how to protect each other, as you clearly seem unable to do.
      You have no conscience. I'll bet you're a Catholic lawyer who terrorizes children victims every chance he gets.
      Because that's just the sort of person you are. Pure FILTH.

      June 19, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Makarov – I worked with social services protecting abused children for years, you silly little man.

      June 20, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Charles

      As Jesus said : " Render unto God what belongs to God and unto Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser ". In other words, spiritual Forgivness is not incompatible with social Justice. Was John Paul II's assassin ( or should I say attempted assassin ) set free after he received forgivness from the Pope ? No, of course not ! " Justice,... And Justice for all " ( Al Pacino ).

      August 26, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  12. unowhoitsme

    Child molestation is irreversible...that child is scarred for life. Anyone from any sec of life that commits such a hideous crime needs to be prosecuted, Catholic or otherwise.

    June 19, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • John

      Does anyone know if the Catholic Church does intensive background checks prior to becoming a priest?

      June 19, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • The Half Baked Lunatic

      John – yes they do. I wanted to be a priest but I didn't have nearly enough experience molesting children.

      June 19, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • fimeilleur

      @HBL LOL, keep working on it, I'm sure they'll let you in one day. 🙂

      June 19, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Yes, they do. Background checks are done for teachers of classrooms or Catechism classes as well as for anyone who is going to cook meals for the children or work around the children such as janitors in Catholic schools, etc, or for Bible Study programs that are held for short periods of time during the summer months...no one goes to work as a volunteer or paid positon without a background check.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  13. bear

    The Vatican will have any Bishop sneak out in the middle of the night like Cardinal Law in Boston did and live in a palatial palace in Rome

    June 19, 2011 at 6:44 am |
    • Jason

      "Palatial palace" is redundant.

      June 19, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  14. Love

    As a member of the Catholic community I repeat the apology that the leaders in the Catholic Church have offered for abuses of her power and authority, but no studies have shown that pedophilia or any other evil for that matter are more prevalent within her in comparison to any other community including yours. Murder, for instance, is a even more grave evil, and if you perform a google search you will find that 2 priests have been convicted of murder. In comparison to police officers, google finds a whole category on wikipedia listing 10 in the US alone. The result of googling atheism and "mass murder" eludes to a possible connection between these. Now from this should I conclude that atheism is a delusion or that it is fallacious? Those who attack the veracity or benefit of Catholicism on account of the failures of some of her members, are not reasoning according to a universal principle - they do not apply it to themselves. Lastly, the only study I know of that compares the percentage pedophilia in the Catholic Church to other groups that work with children (ex. teachers) concluded that the percentage is actually lower within the Catholic Church. Let's all try to think a little more clearly. Peace of Christ be with you.

    June 19, 2011 at 4:12 am |
    • Jim

      Please list the references for these studies. I have access to peer reviewed studies so I should be able to access them.

      June 19, 2011 at 4:50 am |
    • Tom

      The fact that pedophilia occurs in other professions that work with children doesn't forgive the Catholic church for the pedophilia within itself. Teachers claim to teach math, science, or reading. Our society takes extreme measures to prevent them from teaching morality. Not so with the Catholic Church. We expect moral instruction from it. This is why pedophilia on any level offends us in this realm.

      June 19, 2011 at 4:55 am |
    • This is insane

      Your excuse for pedophiles in the Catholic church is other groups have more s3x with kids so it is OK? I am sorry but I am going to hold all of those who abuse children responsible. The Catholic church does not get a pass on this because they are not the worst offenders.

      June 19, 2011 at 5:04 am |
    • Richard

      Love, you have completely missed the point.

      1 – The Catholic Church should be apologizing for covering up the abuses of its clergy, and not apologizing for the abuse, The perpetrators are who should apologize for the abuse.

      2 – The percentage of pedophiles in the Catholic Church as compared to the rest of society is completely irrelevant and a red herring to the issue,

      3 – Atheism cannot be connected to anything other than a lack of belief in God – not crimes or atrocities of any kind.

      Most of the rest of what you said was a strawman argument and ad hominem attack.

      June 19, 2011 at 5:17 am |
    • bagetsvinnie

      The history of the origin of the Catholic church says it all.. Constantine the evil emperor turned religious started it... The Catholic belief is not Biblical... therefore it is from the Devil...

      June 19, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • bagetsvinnie

      The pope is their god... this religion is from the devil... The Bible says many will be deceived by the devil, even the elect... read your Bible and the truth will set you free...

      June 19, 2011 at 6:36 am |
    • Aezel

      "The result of googling atheism and "mass murder" eludes to a possible connection between these."

      Because googling something makes it true right? So you have a google search on atheism vs. actual widespread Catholic leaders who are really in prison for it.

      You can keep your apology. Instead, I look forward to the day when we are rid of your barbaric religion that tells people to be subordinate to old perverted men because a magical man in the sky says so.

      June 19, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • Danielle

      Sometimes I wonder if murder is worse than child molestation. It is essenntially the murder of a person's soul. Victim's seem to never really rebound from this type of abuse. The punishment should be more severe for those who commit these crimes.

      June 19, 2011 at 7:16 am |
    • God's an Atheist


      p.s. nice name

      June 19, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • drcoltrane

      You're totally right! As long as it's just a little pedophilia going on, it's ok! I completely see your point! In all honesty, yours is one of the most idiotic posts I've ever seen on this particular message board. Any amount of abuse of this nature should be subject to the full persecution of the law. So don't sit there and tell me that just because the priesthood has a lower abuse rate than school teachers, we should lay off and let them be. I'd sooner eat tree bark than let potential abusers continue to function in society.

      June 19, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • JAberg123

      If the Catholic church actually stood for morality, then a single pedophile priest should bring the whole enterprise to a halt until they can address this issue. But when thousands of priests are ra ping children, and they choose to obfuscate, the only reasonable conclusion is that they have lost touch with the real world and with real morality.
      Even if your pseudoscientific google search was an effective way to compare priest child pedophilia to the pedophilia of others, it would be irrelevant. Are you really surprised that primates who claim to speak for the invisible sky god who created the universe, are held to a higher moral standard?

      June 19, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • CatholicMom

      This is insane and drcoltrane,

      Love never said, ‘it was ok.’

      June 19, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • JohnnyKay

      While you miraculously appear as a Catholic apologist for your own reasons, has one single priest taught you the Egyptian king making ritual Jesus taught in the New Testament to avoid the first three Dimensions of Thought at death; the very same Ezekiel "espied" through the chink in the wall when the seventy two elders were practicing the rite in Babylon?

      For the very same unlawful "power and control" this church has wielded to maintain its position you glorify to abandon, please tell me why neither you nor any other Catholic on the Planet knows this rite, let alone has ever been taught it?

      Then, begin to question authority, perhaps for the first time in your life and see this 'church' for what it truly is.

      Mr Wall did long ago.

      So can you..

      June 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Johnny Kay – I tried very hard to understand what you were saying. All I know is that The Egyptian king was in the Old Testament. Jesus didn't appear until the New Testament [ It was about Him, His Father and the Holy Spirit, See?]
      So how in the name of my Grandma's dog could Jesus teach any Egyptian king anything, anywhere, anyhow???????? They were thousands of years apart.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @ Makarov – Either cut out the filth and abuse or go back to your cave and play with your S-w-a-s-t-i-k-a. Cretin.

      CNN are a DISGRACE. THET CENSORED MY POSTS MENTIONING STALIN AS AN ATHEIST and it is still awaiting moderation after 3 days.
      I REPORTED MAKAROV FOR GRATUITOUS FILTH AND DEARH THREATS – AND THEY LEFT HIM ALONE ??????? Yahoo and bbc are so much fairer. Shame on you CNN

      June 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  15. HotAirAce

    Going to be interesting to see how the rcc faithful attempt to explain away this one. So much more "no new cases!"

    June 19, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • John Richardson


      June 19, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      The Catholic Faithful don't and can't explain why priests, that they don't know, harmed precious children in the worst possible way. What we do know, however, is that the Church is made up of PEOPLE who chose to use the gift of free will to abuse children and give them a life sentence of pain and suffering. The pain was compounded by the fact that other PEOPLE in responsible positions within the church failed to act in the childrens' best interest and in the interest of justice.
      This scandal is the most awful thing, but if the church depended on the people in it – the Faith would have died out long ago.
      We don't believe in PEOPLE – we believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Our FAITH is unchanged. Peace.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Makarov

      Voice of Insanity, fu.ck you and your "peace". You have committed acts of war. Prepare for death.

      June 19, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  16. jimtanker

    Sounds like Wall is a good man. Hopefully he didn't just leave the catholic church but that whole delusion behind.

    June 19, 2011 at 2:51 am |
  17. restion

    Well said Reality

    June 19, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • Doh

      Please don't feed this troll. His cut and paste keys are so worn down that you can't even read them. He is a useless troll who uses obscure information and passes it off as mainstream. He just likes to hear himself talk and the rest of us have learned to scroll past his jibberish. He has no original thoughts of his own and you can read these exact same passages – cut and pasted – on a couple of dozen other articles. He's a waste of bandwith.

      June 19, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Reality

      o Reiteration is great for the learning process. As is reading and rational thinking followed by conclusions based on all of it.

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


      June 19, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      As a model of showing off with absolutely no basis for debate – your post is quite funny; if a little adolescent humourish. It is quite usual to find that those with no faith mock that of others because they are threatened by it. As a true follower of Christ I forgive you for your ignorance and I will pray that you experience the peace of Christ. You already have His love.

      June 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Makarov

      Voice of Insanity – Your filthy lies are nothing compared to the violence you deserve. Get the fu.ck out and don't come back.

      June 19, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  18. HERO

    the whole christianity is a corrupted religion mixed with pagan

    June 19, 2011 at 1:56 am |
  19. Reality

    For full disclosure :

    Why did today's pope, prelates, preachers and rabbis, so focused on society's se-xual sins, lose sight of clerical se-xual sins?


    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_and_child_se-x_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 ped-ophilia 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.


    "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 se-xual 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 !!!!!

    And let us be wary of Boy Scout leaders:


    "A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered se-xual 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 pe-dophiles 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."

    June 19, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  20. Reality

    And yet again more support of the following:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion, abbots or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    June 19, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • Reality Too

      God agrees! "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle" all concern things which perish with the using- according to the commandments and doctrines of men. These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are OF NO VALUE AGAINST THE INDULGENCE OF THE FLESH.

      ALL religions teach man that they can be good enough to be accepted by God, however God said that even if you put rules on man they are valueless, no value, worthless against the flesh (the quote above is from Colossians 2 in the Bible). That's why God gave mankind the 10 commandments "that EVERY mouth may be stopped and ALL the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19)... NOT to try to teach mankind that they are good... NO ONE is good, no not ONE (Romans 3:9-18).

      Have you ever told a lie? Ever stolen anything? Ever disobeyed your parents? Ever lusted=adultery Matthew 5:28? Ever been angry for the wrong reason=murder Matt.5:22?... WELCOME to the human race... Don't run to religion to fix you... it will trick you into thinking you can be good enough... but you cant, you are warped like the rest of us. The way people change is by being shown love, being forgiven of their debts, which is what Jesus Christ has done for us. He took on God's wrath, which we deserved. Now I am a new creation, I WANT TO SHOW LOVE NOW, instead of literally hating my brother, I DESIRE to forgive, help, show kindness to him... because God has forgiven me from such a deep deep debt.

      June 19, 2011 at 7:39 am |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


      June 19, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Reality Too,

      Matthew 5:48
      Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

      We are expected to be perfect! How is this possible? We become Baptized and then any good works are Christ working through us. Only He is good or can do good works. We are called to be Saints!

      June 19, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Reality


      Matt 5: 48 has been reviewed by many contemporary NT scholars. They concluded that the passage is a single attestation and therefore historically unreliable.

      e.g. Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 144 and http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=141_As_Your_Father

      June 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Reality – you already did your cut and paste copy of someone else's show off piece. Be a good soul and try to string a sentence of your own ORIGINAL thoughts together. Much more interesting don't you think?

      June 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
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About this blog

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