My Take: Catholics will accept a saint who had an abortion
Dorothy Day in New York circa 1969, addressing an anti-Vietnam War demonstration.
July 7th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

My Take: Catholics will accept a saint who had an abortion

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Can Catholics abide a saint who had an abortion?

Dorothy Day, who died in 1980, was an anarchist, a pacifist, and the co-founder of the Catholic Worker, a movement devoted to helping the poor and the homeless. Described by historian David O’Brien as “the most influential, interesting, and significant figure” in U.S. Catholic history, Day is currently being considered for canonization in the Catholic Church.

Before her conversion to Catholicism in 1927, however, Day lived what the late Cardinal O’Connor of the Archdiocese of New York has referred to as "a life akin to that of the pre-converted Augustine of Hippo." That bohemian life included common-law marriage and an abortion.

Some may feel that Day’s promiscuity precludes her cause for sainthood. But in his February 2000 letter to the Vatican in support of Day’s canonization, O’Connor contended “that her abortion should not preclude her cause, but intensifies it.” She is a model, he continued, “for women who have had or are considering abortions” because she “regretted” that action “every day of her life.”

Earlier this month, Father James Martin, the Jesuit priest, author, and go-to-guy on Roman Catholicism for Stephen Colbert (Colbert once called him “The Colbert Report chaplain”), reported on “A New Conversation” about Dorothy Day and abortion.

This private conversation with Catholic Worker member Daniel Marshall occurred in 1977 at a farm in Tivoli, New York. According to Marshall:

I seized the opportunity to ask Dorothy to write in the paper about abortion as possibly the central moral issue of our time.  She paused and gently answered, "I don't like to push young people into their sins" . . .

Then Dorothy said, "You know, I had an abortion.  The doctor was fat, dirty and furtive.  He left hastily after it was accomplished, leaving me bleeding.  The daughter of the landlords assisted me and never said a word of it.  He was Emma Goldman's lover; that's why I have never had any use for Emma."

I hung on every word that she said, not only because she was Dorothy, but because, although I had heard a rumor that she had an abortion, I was aware that few people knew of it from her.

I understood from Dorothy that she was asking me to comprehend what the consequences would be of a public statement from her on abortion and also that the public consequences might be a distraction from the issue and the cause.  What she thought of abortion was clear as a bell from what she said.

But what she thought of abortion is not “clear as a bell” from this interview. What is clear is her disgust over her procedure, and over the “fat, dirty and furtive” doctor who performed it.

Elsewhere, however, Day did make clear her opposition to abortion on pacifist grounds.

For example, in a 1974 interview, she turned a question about genocide into a discussion about birth control and abortion. “We do believe that there is not only the genocide of war, the genocide that took place in the extermination of Jews, but the whole program—I’m speaking now as a Catholic—of birth control and abortion, is another form of genocide.”

Some day, Day may be accepted into the communion of saints as a modern Augustine whose depths of youthful sin make her adult piety even more spectacular. But she could also be rejected as a figure who could well lead some Catholics to justify premarital sex and abortion on the grounds that “Dorothy Day did it.”

On a 2007 “Colbert Report” appearance, Father Martin was asked whether Mother Teresa’s feelings of being abandoned by God had earned her a one-way ticket to "the Lake of Fire." Revelations that Mother Teresa had said she had not felt the presence of God for half a century had raised questions in some circles about just how saintly she really was. Can you be a saint if God feels as distant from you as He does from an atheist–if your experience of God is an experience of lonely "darkness"?

Yes, Martin said, adding that in this case Mother Teresa could serve as a model for Catholics going through a dark night of the soul.

Day's case raises a parallel question. Can you be a saint if you have committed the original sin of contemporary Catholicism?

My money says yes.

Partly that is because of the Christian teaching of forgiveness. But mostly it is because of the tendency of Catholics to diverge from the official party line on questions such as homosexuality, birth control and abortion.

According to a June survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, most American Catholics (54%) think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. More than two-thirds of them (68%) believe you can be a good Catholic even if you disagree with your church’s opposition to abortion. And when it comes to the question of whether abortion is a sin, white American Catholics are evenly divided.

Of course, rank-and-file Catholics do not decide who is declared a saint. But they decide who will be revered as one. And in this case, I believe, they will forgive Day's sin in part because, in their heart of hearts, many of them don't consider it all that much of a sin in the first place.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Abortion • Catholic Church

soundoff (582 Responses)
  1. Seriously

    I am always amazed at the number of non-catholics that are so interested in what is going on in the catholic church. Why do you even care who becomes sainted? I will pray for your salvation, but I don't care who stands at your pulpit.

    July 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • jimtanker

      No, more like baffled that anyone would be stupid enough to be one.

      July 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • brad

      @jimtanker I would give you a reading list to help you understand the church. But all the reading uses words in excess of four syllables. Just go ahead and "imagine there's no heaven" because "it's isn't hard to do".

      July 19, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  2. Mark Harden


    July 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  3. chief

    so a bunch of guys wearing dresses, that would discriminate against her for being a woman, can decide if she is going be a saint for a sin before she saw the light? HA HA ... i cant wait to hear some brainwashed cath spew out some cannonical blabbering made up by those men in dresses ... great mystery of stupidity.....

    July 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  4. michael

    The giant space spaghetti monster has tomato sauce for all... meatballs repent

    July 11, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  5. michael

    The giant space spaghetti monster has tomato sauce for all his loyal followers meatballs repent

    July 11, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • jimtanker


      July 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  6. chief

    who cares what the catholic church thinks about this lady.... they are exclusionist and elitist.... no communion unless catholic.... marriage, etc.... they use all this great nystery crap to control people that are too lazy to think for themselves

    July 11, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  7. D

    She may become a saint and she certainly did go to Heaven if she ask for Gods forgiveness...but Stephen Prothero is entirely another matter. He is really a wolf...

    July 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • DiamondSky

      He is not that bad. I just wish Hindus and secularists would stop talking about other people's religions as if they know something...

      July 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  8. Charles

    Shouldn't it be a basic requirement for a religion professor and writer of a blog discussing religion to understand the religion they're about to slam? Or merely the intent to cause confusion and introduce heresy enough for their anti-religious backers?

    Sainthood is not conducted by a public opinion poll. There is a thorough examination and requires supernatural, unexplainable revelation that the saint was not merely forgiven by her/his peers, but reconciled and blessed by God to consider their intercession. Many saints have sinned in as much serious manner as Day, even of sins held in disdain by contemporary Catholicism. The difference is that unlike say murder, abortion is no longer vÍewed as a sin by some, isolated but influential contemporary voices. But I ask who's fault is that? God will not be deterred by those who say "I can sin, because Day did." Such people are not listening to the Holy Spirit but the Devil. And God knows the Devil will not win in the end. Those that find that selfish excuse okay now will continue to be called to repentance, reconciliation, holiness and sainthood themselves. But woe to those such as Mr. Prothero who might lead these little ones to sin. To much is rewarded, as professors and influential bloggers are in audiences, much is expected.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:47 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.


      July 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  9. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the abortion issue we invite you to read the article "The Abortion Issue" listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles on our website explain what mankind must do to be able to discern and understand all things (1 Cor. 2:15).

    July 9, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      "while the Bible categorically states in 2 Peter 1:20 that it is not for any private interpretation. In fact, it is just the opposite. The Word of God is a discerner of all things and is the absolute and final answer to every question (Hebr 4:14). "
      -- Isn't this just YOUR private discerning ? There you have it then. You just contradicted the bible.
      -- If the word is the discerner, then why read anything else ? (ie your book)).
      -- Why did he make it so "difficult" ? Didn't he know he made stupid creatures ? Why can't he write "childrens" books for us ?
      -- If it's the final answer, and not for "private interpretation", then there's no need for your books.

      July 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  10. Jacques

    Wiil Catholics accept a saint who had an abortion?
    Why not? They just accepted a pope who was an heretic to be beatified.
    Certainly Dorothy Day and pope JPII are in Heavens because God's Mercy is infinite whichever are their sins.
    But beatification and canonization's purposes are to propose a man or a woman as examples of heroic virtues, not as subjects of controversies.

    July 9, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  11. DiamondSky

    One can commit any crime before genuine, biblical conversion to Christianity.

    July 9, 2011 at 3:28 am |
    • Reality

      Coming back to Earth with some rational thinking:

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man" atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices

      July 9, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Great. Then I will go ahead and do pretty much whatever I want, and when I go into an ideo-ventricular rhythm, I will be sure to have the priest standing by, and confess/convert on the way out, and everything will be hunky dory.

      July 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • chief

      so a bunch of guys wearing dresses, that would discriminate against her for being a woman, can decide if she is going be a saint for a sin before she saw the light? HA HA ... i cant wait to hear some brainwashed cath spew out some cannonical blabbering made up by those men in dresses ... great mystery of stupidity.....

      July 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  12. Reality

    Going beyond Ms. Day and into the arena of the contemporary abortion and STD epidemics:

    o The numbers, the calculations and two "bottom liners":

    "Facts on Co-ntraceptive Use


    January 2008


    • 62 million U.S. women (and men?) are in their childbearing years (15–44).[1]
    • 43 million women (and men) of reproductive age, or 7 in 10, are se-xually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they or their partners fail to use a contraceptive method.[2]
    • The typical U.S. woman (man?) wants only 2 children. To achieve this goal, she (he?) must use contraceptives for roughly 3 decades.[3]

    • Virtually all women (98%) aged 15–44 who have ever had inte-rcourse have used at least one contraceptive method.[2](and men?)
    • Overall, 62% of the 62 million women aged 15–44 are currently using one.[2] (and men)
    • 31% of the 62 million women (and men?) do not need a method because they are infertile; are pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant; have never had inter-course; or are not s-exually active.[2]
    • Thus, only 7% of women aged 15–44 are at risk of unwanted pregnancy but are not using contraceptives.[2] (and men?)
    • Among the 42 million fertile, s-exually active women who do not want to become pregnant, 89% are practicing contraception.[2] (and men?)

    • 64% of reproductive-age women who practice contraception use reversible methods, such as oral contraceptives or condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.[2]

    Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unplanned pregnancy (a few examples)
    Method ....... Typical
    Pill (combined) 8.7
    Tubal sterilization 0.7
    Male condom 17.4
    Vas-ectomy 0.2
    Periodic abstinence 25.3
    Calendar 9.0
    Ovulation Method 3.0
    Sympto-thermal 2.0
    Post-ovulation 1.0
    No method 85.0"
    (Abstinence) 0
    (Mas-turbation) 0

    More facts about co-ntraceptives from

    Con-traceptive method use among U.S. women who practice con-traception, 2002
    Method ..... No. of users (in 000s) ...... % of users

    Pill 11,661 30.6
    Male condom 6,841 18.0

    The pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use (from the same reference previously shown).
    0.087 (failure rate)
    x 62 million (# child bearing women)
    x 0.62 ( % of these women using contraception )
    x 0.306 ( % of these using the pill) =
    1,020,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of pill use.

    For male condoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level):

    1,200,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of male condom use.

    The Guttmacher Insti-tute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
    (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

    o Bottom Line #1: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    Bottom line #2-
    Currently, a perfect birth control/STD barrier system does not exist. Time to develop one! In the meantime, mono-ma-sturbation or mutual ma-sturbation are highly recommended for hete-rose-xuals who need a contraceptive. Abstinence is another best-solution but obviously the se-x drive typically vitiates this option although being biological would it not be able to develop a drug to temporarily eliminate said drive?


    July 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  13. Trish

    Perhaps everyone who is writing these comments should start reading The Bible – the living Word of God. Jesus called everyone who believed in Him as saints. The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." It is almost always used in the plural, “saints.” "…Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem" (Acts 9:13). "Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda" (Acts 9:32). "And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons …“ (Acts 26:10). There is only one instance of the singular use, and that is "Greet every saint in Christ Jesus…" (Philippians 4:21). In Scripture there are 67 uses of the plural “saints” compared to only one use of the singular word “saint.” Even in that one instance, a plurality of saints is in view: “…every saint…” (Philippians 4:21).
    Those who confess Christ as Lord, Savior, God are saved for all eternity in Heaven. It does not matter what time of sin is commited but that it is confessed and forgiven through Jesus Christ alone. Jesus is not co-redemptive through Mary, but He alone is God and Lord of all salvation. When Jesus hung on the cross the thief next to Him said "Lord do not forget me when you come into your Kingdom" and Jesus responded "you will be with me today in paradise". (Luke 23:39-43) The thief believed who Jesus was when he said this and therefore this believe was credited to him and he was ushered into Heaven with Jesus. Read the Bible and take a Bible study at a church that teaches the Word of God is Truth!

    July 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  14. BillnTed

    She'd be accepted as a saint by the church a lot faster than someone whose marriage was successfully annulled but cannot be baptized into the faith because the person he is married to was not granted an annulment.

    God wouldn't turn anyone away, it seems that man doesn't have a problem doing so...

    July 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I see.

      Its a backwards completion principal.

      The further you run from the truth the closer you will come, because Jesus made the world round.

      Funny he didin't tell the Pope for several centuries, but hey, nobody is perfect.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  15. Kreuzritter

    All noncatholics and most catholics will go to hell.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I know, I know

      And most Muslims will go to the 7-Eleven, and most Jews will go to Boca Raton.

      I mean its right their in the scriptures for anyone to read!

      July 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Zeus

      Actually, you're all going to Hades.

      July 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • ourkie

      And thus speaks the sacred troll.......

      July 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Prolife Catholic Youth

      Kreuzritter, I am saddened by your statement because this fanatic disposition is what has pushed many non-Catholics to hate Catholics, especially among the youth. In fact, in the Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council, it states that although the Catholic Church is "the pillar and mainstay of the truth... nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside [the Church's] visible confines." Saying that all non-Catholics and cafeteria Catholics automatically go to hell is an idea foreign to the Catholic Church, and best associated with something like the Puritan Church, and the notion of the elect. “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

      July 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      And THAT'S why we all know he is such a loving god, cuz he made 'em al to go ta hell. OK.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:42 am |
  16. Goddog

    Believers of today wouldn't even recognize their own religion in it's origin. Nowadays it's a few rules that you can kinda keep and a bunch of dogma that must be practiced. In the whole smoke and mirrors number they have lost the mirrors and are left with only smoke. They will do as they please... as always.

    July 8, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  17. Peter Hardy

    I think the author forgets how many Catholic saints were very immoral people, some of them until very late in their lives. Look at Thomas More or, of course, St. Paul.

    July 8, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • William Demuth

      Or the Pope!

      Zeig Heil!!!!

      July 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Rose

      Sir Thomas More was immoral when he was supposed to be saintly as well. He persecuted reformers and so-called "heretics" and was responsible for their deaths.

      July 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  18. Ethel

    Maybe those comments about "Catholics" ought to be moderated?

    July 8, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • chief

      re ethyl... kinda like the inquisition.... eliminate those expressions that thing catholicsim is a blasphemy or a protector of peds?

      July 11, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  19. Agatha

    Just as rank and file do not "decide" who will become a saint entirely, rank and file do not get to decide Catholic teaching which is still that abortion is grave evil. Younger generations recognize this more and more so the polling numbers are not very accurate representations of what is going on. Dorothy Day did not just oppose "the procedure" but saw abortion for what it was, killing of innocent life created by God. No canonized saint was sinless so sin itself doesn't disqualify any person from sainthood. As a devout Catholic Dorothy Day, as any priest will tell you, almost certainly had confessed her sin and received full absolution and could go forward confident of God's love and mercy. But she advocated that our system of justice be imbued with truth. So like many many women today she would be one who would stand up and say that because she regretted her own abortion she is compelled to prevent destruction by this evil of others.

    July 8, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      You left out a word or two there. Am sure you meant to say that abortion MAY POSSIBL be a grave sin, because I am sure you have read your catechism, and am sure you know that your church's moral theology teaches that 3 conditions must be in place for mortal sin, (grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent), and thus the second and third requirements would make it IMPOSSIBLE for anyone except the sinner and GOD to know if it actually IS a mortal sin. But I am sure you know all that.

      July 8, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      oops, sorry. The two words are MAY POSSIBLY. 😳

      July 8, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Jeff

      Abortion is a grave sin whether you know it or not. It may or may not be a mortal sin based on the full knowlege of the gravity of the sin.

      July 8, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • News Flash

      @Bucky Ball
      Precisely. If Dorothy Day, or anyone else felt her "back was against the wall", and it was her only viable option, then she would not be free to give deliberate consent, and it could not be grave error. Also if she may have understood that the consequence of the (unrepented) error was hell, she would not also be "free" to give deliberate consent.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Wrong. It is (possibly) a grave MATTER. Only god can judge an act to be a grave sin. Not you.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Jeff

      True, only God can judge(condemn). By what you're saying, it seems that we cannot know what is a sin and what isn't. But God, through His son, Jesus Christ, tells us what is a sin and what is grave matter. He has told us that murder is a sin, abortion is murder therefore intrinsically wrong and evil. It it not a sin strictly because He says it is, it is a sin because it harms us and it harms others. But, we do not condemn, we offer guidance and love to eachother that we all can come to know and love the Lord more fully. Love the sinner; hate the sin. We all fall and we all sin. That is what makes a saint, one who falls, gets back up, seeks forgiveness, and leads others on the path to holiness. That is why Dorothy Day is up for canonization. The greater the sin, the greater the chance for sainthood.

      Yours in Christ through Mary,

      July 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Rank and File is Christian babel speak for mindless automotans

      July 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Why isn't abortion second degree man-slaughter ? "Murder" is a legally defined act. Is the state sanctioned execution of a criminal a "murder" ?
      The granting of "person-hood" civil rights etc, to a "fetus" is an arbitrary (legislatively defined) decision. It's NOT murder unless the LAW says it is, and it doesn't. So you need to call it something else.

      Does your soul "reside" in your foot ? I submit, if you had an amputation you would say you still have a soul.
      Indeed, if you had a severe cardiovascular disease, they could keep hacking away, theoretically, until you were essentially only a brain, and you would STILL say you have soul. If the seat of the soul is the brain, then how could a blastula which has no neurologically differentiated cells be said to possess a soul ? As the zygote develops into a fetus, when exactly does the "soul" enter ? I submit the Classical/Medieval paradigm is no longer useful.

      The question of whether one accepts or rejects abortion, (and during which of the many different phases of human embryonic development), either for oneself, (or thinking one has the right to force or define that opinion on/for someone else, are completely separate questions. None of which you have addressed.

      Yours in Oprah through the mother goddess. 😈

      July 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "By what you're saying, it seems that we cannot know what is a sin and what isn't"
      -- Nope. Well, actually yes and no. We WERE talking about what is a (potentially) GRAVE matter, and the inability to judge a grave "sin". Once you open the door that life is not black and white, things DO get messy.

      "But God, through His son, Jesus Christ, tells us what is a sin and what is grave matter. He has told us that murder is a sin, abortion is murder therefore intrinsically wrong and evil."
      -- Where exactly did he say that ? He NEVER said anything about abortion.

      "It it not a sin strictly because He says it is, it is a sin because it harms us and it harms others"
      -- Good. Good. So you now accept that there are other criteria besides "He says it is". That's a good start. Now you just have to define "harm" and we'll have an argument going. Will check back after my ball game. Later. :twister:

      July 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Crap. I hate it when that happens. 😈

      July 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "God, through His son, Jesus Christ, tells us what is a sin and what is grave matter. He has told us that murder is a sin, abortion is murder therefore intrinsically wrong and evil. It it not a sin strictly because He says it is, it is a sin because it harms us and it harms others."

      So then, does god command good because it is good or is it good because god commands it?

      Curious in Arizona

      July 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • GAH!

      Precisely. What "rank and file" Catholics personally believe on an issue is irrelevant when it comes to matters of life and death. If those "rank and file" Catholics want to go out and support abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment, than those "rank and file" Catholics don't have to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

      July 9, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Those "rank and file" Catholics ARE THE church, in your world, the "members of the body of XT".
      On the other hand if they WANT to receive communion, why not ? Didn't XT give communion to Judas at the Last Supper ? Are YOU more righteous than He ?

      July 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  20. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the word “Sainthood” we invite you to read the article “Sainthood by the Pope” listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    July 8, 2011 at 9:35 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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.