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July 17th, 2011
05:55 AM ET

Vatican's battle with China over church control heats up

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

The Vatican stepped up its battle with the Chinese Catholic Church this weekend, excommunicating a bishop who was ordained during the week without the pope's permission.

Pope Benedict XVI "deplored" the "illicit" ordination of the Rev. Joseph Huang Bingzhang and expelled him from the church because he was "ordained without papal mandate," the Vatican said Saturday.

He was the second bishop ordained by Chinese Catholics without Vatican permission in the past month, and at least the third in the past year, as Beijing and Rome struggle over control of the Catholic Church in China.

Huang Bingzhang was ordained as Bishop of the Diocese of Shantou in southeast China on Thursday, the Vatican said, although Rome had asked him "on numerous occasions not to accept episcopal ordination."

The Vatican said some local bishops had been forced to take part in the ordination, but did not make clear how it knew that.

It issued a stern condemnation after the Rev. Paul Lei Shiyin was ordained as bishop June 29, excommunicating him and saying he was "unacceptable to the Holy See as an episcopal candidate for proven and very grave reasons."

It took a similar line last November, when Joseph Guo Jincai was ordained a bishop without authority from Rome.

At the time, China charged the Vatican with interfering with religious liberty in China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said then that the Chinese Catholic Church was independent and that any "intervention" constituted "restriction of freedom and nontolerance."

That was the first time since 2006 that China's Catholic Church was known to have anointed bishops without approval from Rome, the Vatican said in November.

The United States expressed serious concerned about religious freedom in China in its annual global report on the subject in November.

Despite some limited praise for Beijing, the State Department listed China as one of eight countries of "particular concern" on religious freedom.

It accused China of persecuting followers of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and Uyghur Muslims in western China.

Only Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, Catholics and Protestants are allowed to practice their religions legally in China, the State Department said.

The Vatican's excommunication of Huang Bingzhang came on the same day that President Barack Obama met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in Washington.

That meeting prompted China to accuse the United States of "hurting the feelings of the Chinese people" and interfering with China's internal affairs.

CNN's Hada Messia and Stephen Jiang contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • China • Pope Benedict XVI • Religious liberty

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soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. prophet

    When will people realise that joseph ratzinger has absolutely no authority to decide who can be a priest etc as this Has been Said by Ouir Saviour in Matthew 23, so mr ratzinger and all his clegry colleagues are blaspheming as they are misleading the innocent in the Name of God. There is probably no worse sin than this, let alone the child abuse. Its is an abhorent setup this catholic clergy based upon the attempted greek de-judaizing of the Jewish Nation and their God.

    July 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Victim of Catholic Clergy Abuse

      i could care less if there were a god/jesus or not. Religion stinks. Many victims committed suicide, others mentally ill due to the abuses and mothers cried to their death. Where were the other religions supporting victims? Nowhere, all supporting themselves first. In the end, victims were denied the truth because politicians want catholic/religious votes. Victims denied again.

      July 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  2. Realist

    A recent study about how our brains work is quite interesting. It seems when buying a lottery ticket, it's not an absolute expected win which is the high, it is the dreaming of what you would do with the money during the time before the actual drawing – how you would spend it. It's a high.

    This is the same high that the god/jesus believers have. The difference is, that, it is unlikely that you will win the lottery, it is unlikely any of the god/jesus delusions are real.

    Yes, the lottery ticket and the god/jesus share the same delusional part of the brain.

    Please keep your religion away from kids, let kids be kids. Be fair.

    July 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • frank

      One big difference is people occasionally DO win the lottery, and there's actually a shred of evidence to corroborate it.

      July 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Realist

      However, winning or not makes no difference in my post. The point was that it was the anticipation of winning is the high. If it wasn't, no one would buy a ticket. That same part of the brain that forms delusions, of what I would do if I won, is that same part that is wired to believe in a god. Same delusional part of the brain. The part that lacks reason. Reality is that there is no god, but the brain will enjoy the emotional high as if there were. Reasoning is blocked which is why so many who are religious are unable to act as rational thinkers.and form logical arguments when they touch on god subjects.

      Religions and the governments know that people can be controlled easily by beliefs. All delusional behavior which is why we need to keep this stuff from kids. let the kid decide when they reach 18. Then again, as alcoholics, the religious need others to indulge with them. That is cheating children.

      July 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  3. just a thought

    Wonder why it is that athiestic govrenments are so wicket? Does anyone have any ideas?

    July 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Realist

      Yeah, what is it with them?

      Is it they won't let women be a pope or the paris-hioners have no voting rights on rules and those in position.

      Just wondering too..

      July 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Realist

      Or is it they lobby to stop laws so that small children abused by their leaders never receive justice?

      July 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • News Flash

      Here's some :
      Noun 1. wicket – cricket equipment consisting of a set of three stumps topped by crosspieces; used in playing cricket
      cricket equipment – sports equipment used in playing cricket
      2. wicket – a small arch used as croquet equipment
      hoop
      croquet equipment – sports equipment used in playing croquet
      3. wicket – small gate or door (especially one that is part of a larger door)
      wicket door, wicket gate
      gate – a movable barrier in a fence or wall
      4. wicket – small opening (like a window in a door) through which business can be transacted
      grille, lattice
      opening – a vacant or unobstructed space that is man-made; "they left a small opening for the cat at the bottom of the door"
      stump – (cricket) any of three upright wooden posts that form the wicket

      July 17, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  4. LookandSEE

    There are people in China who are not satisified /w supperststion. They want something that works. I don't mean Catholism, I mean Bible beliving Christians that are willing to risk thier lives to shair w/ others what they found. There is going to be a REAL Christian REVIVAL in China. Nobody will stop it . It's going to come in like the tide. God wants His children home , like any good parent.

    July 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Realist

      Only shows what brainwashing does.. Not only are these sadly freak xtians willing to take on danger to preach, they'll even start wars and murder.

      We tamed the xtians in the USA, China needs to do more than we did,

      July 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      GOD's Children are the Gods and Goddesses of Old Times LookandSEE. WE, (Our Bodies) are nothing but Fruited Vessels of Containment wherein the Sons and Daughters of GOD Reside. Our Disparaging Solstice of Living upon the Celestial Mainframe in Insular Containments of Omnivorous Co-ordinations are Arrangements of Stellar Designations' Predestinations.

      July 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  5. Amalia Sheran Sharm

    Oh wow, a reason to side with the Chinese government.

    July 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  6. André

    "At the time, China charged the Vatican with interfering with religious liberty in China".. WHAT? As if the Chinese government allows religious freedom...

    July 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  7. Wang

    Hey Christians! Keep your dirty religion out of my country. Also, don't poke your nose in our affairs; if you don't like us to interfere in yours.

    July 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Realist

      I agree Wang. We are stuck with them here, they hold us back. BTW; I deal with your country in business relationships and let your young people know how dangerous these beliefs are on a regular basis.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Anglican

      You are free to worship your communist party if you choose.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Tein

      Wang, keep these people out of your country? Silly Chinese, China is not yours.. The government is communist you know. YOU (and everyone else) belongs to China. What matters is the the central government says, not you. If the allow the practice of religion, you need to fall in line a shut up. Or else the folks in Beijing might find you out and give you a few years of reeducation.

      July 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Tein

      Wang, keep these people out of your country? Silly Chinese, China is not yours.. The government is communist you know. YOU (and everyone else) belongs to China. What matters is what the central government says, not you. If they allow the practice of religion, you need to fall in line and shut up. Or else the folks in Beijing might find you out and give you a few years of reeducation.

      July 17, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Realist

      Wang, China has made great strides and will ultimately be a democratic rule. Keep working towards frredom of expression, but don't accept religion (especially the catholic) or you will just switch communist party. Worse than communism, is religion and their brainwashing of your children. Go foerward.

      July 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  8. CatholicMom

    It has been commissioned by Jesus Christ for all nations to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and to hear His Word. Those that call themselves Catholic know that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and has the promise of the Holy Spirit to guide and guard the Church and to bring it into remembrance of all that Jesus Christ had told the Apostles and was given the promise of the fullness of Truth as we can bear it.

    All through history there have been priests and bishops who have decided they can go it alone without Authority to guide them…they lose their patience in getting authorization and have little regard for listening to their superiors in all matters pertaining to faith and morals…and find themselves on a different path which is not in communion with the Holy See.
    Two such men in recent history…Martin Luther, and Marcel Lefebvre who started SSPX…you can google their names if you are unfamiliar with their actions.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Realist

      And you believe that crap? Hope there are no children around you, priest.

      July 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • CATHOLIC GOD

      I command all human beings to worship a man and to make statues and paintings that can be worshiped. I also command all nations of the Earth to convert to my religion so that my Vicar can have absolute power over all. Anyone who questions this is condemned to hell and the absolute proof of my truth is expressed in my own book. So if anyone believes that my word is nonsense, they should go read my book that clearly says it is not and cites itself as a source.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • kevin doyle

      AHHH- When is the world going to stop playing "Let's Pretend"

      July 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Realist,

      The atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."

      The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you like to talk about?"

      “Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?" as he smiled smugly.

      "OK," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps.

      Why do you suppose that is?"

      The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."

      To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death, when you don't know crap?"

      And then she went back to reading her book.

      July 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Realist

      Sounds like a silly little story you tell children. Sad you do those things to children. Ask the little girl why the xtians teach it as fact when there are many other possibilities including even aliens creating us.

      Then ask the little girl if this god is so perfect, why do we have to interpret his bible? After all, if this god were so bright, he'd realize people would change stuff. So why did he appear to primitive man and not us?

      Ask the little girl if there is a boogy man in her closet.. Or are you putting one in there for her?

      You are a sick person.

      July 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Mathew 6:33 But seek ye first the Kingdom of GOD, and HIS Righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

      The Bible declares absolutely that "THIS WORLD IS NOT THE KINGDOM OF GOD: therefore tell me where you feel GOD's KINGDOM IS!

      July 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Victim of Catholic Clergy Abuse

      If there is no god, then there wouldn't be a kindom of god. I've learned long ago that there is no god.The proof came later when witnessing the reactions to clergy abuse. One of those abused by the same abuser as me, committed suicide. His mother cried to her death. We were both denied help by the church, parishioners called us liars and the catholic church lobbied to stop laws that would have helped us expose the truth.

      New York State

      July 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ CatholicMom.

      BWAAAA HA AHA HA HA HA ha ha ha ha. That little anecdote was so funny... I laughed until I nearly peed myself. Almost as funny as when Jesus said that children who disobey their parents should be treated in accordance with the law of Moses (stoned to death). Mark 7:10

      July 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  9. coder

    government and religion – both trying rule over another human being – when neither have a right to do so

    As long as man thinks he knows the word of a god – then humans are in danger
    Government needs to realize – they do not control chaos, government creates chaos

    Without money neither government nor religion can survive
    Without greed, humans can survive

    Until all humans are treated equally – then we are all ensalved

    July 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Realist

      It is good people who do good deeds, that includes atheist and realists. Religions do nothing but collect and steal from others. Show me a religious fund raiser a religion didn't profit from..

      July 17, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      In Birth are We Declared and in Declarations of Fruited Matrimonial Bondages We were Taken into. Our Celestial Embodiment Surmises Serendipitously that upon one's Death you will be upon the Judgment Seat within the Deepest Caverns of Fractal Reletivities wherein Lays the Foundations of Life Celestially Formed and Delegated as Beings of Noteworthiness. GOD Who is CREATION cannot reach the Greatest Depths of the Chasms that hold within HIS Sons and Daughters who Rebelled from His Megalomaniacal Idealisms!

      July 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  10. ruemorgue

    Instead of the Roman Catholic Church, we have the Chinese Catholic Church. Instead of the The Pope, we have the The Chairman of the Party. What a joke. Let the Chinese have their *government*-controlled church.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Realist

      A clash of control, though most cathoholics don't see it. The RCC has the ultimate control over its parishioners, brainwashing. Hell, satan.. get it now. I treat the religion as po-rn and keep it away from kids.

      Without fear, there would be no religion. To deny it's fear, you have the makings of a terrorist.

      July 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  11. just a thought

    Has the Vatican met it's match? I wonder if the Chinese government are even bothering to listen to the Pope?

    July 17, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  12. Tim

    The Chinese leadership knows not about the actual feelings of its people. The people are NOT offended by the WH meeting; only the threatened Chinese leadership is. Everyone knows this. They're just today's version of old fashioned murderous dictators: or worse.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Colin

      Entrenched Chinese bureaucrats versus the medieval power structure at the Vatican. Now that is the very definition of the clash of two great evils. My money’s on the ones with the army.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • doctore0

      @Tim

      So what is your god; According to the bible, he is = mass murderer, killer of children, killer of the world.
      But, actually, there is no god, just humans using magic books to control the masses

      July 17, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    What is the Christian Church contrary to the RCC?:

    The Christian Church consists of all people, having experienced the releasing power of Jesus' death and resurrection. This people have a awareness of their own sinfulness, but daily overcome their sinfulness by the health, which is given to their souls by Jesus Christ. The basis of God's present of health is his love to us (it does not depend on the measure of our awareness of sins).

    The basis of the faith of the Christian Church is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. On the cross the eternal Son of God has borne the sin of the whole mankind.

    The mystical union betwixt Christ and his Church we enter by faith and, and, and baptism. According to Romans 6, at baptism the salvation is dedicated to us (baptism is the locus in space and time, where we receive, what we believe in).

    The reformers expressed it like this: The Christian Church is the place, where the true gospel is preached and where the Sacraments (Baptism and Lord's Supper) are administrated rightly.

    Jesus has prohibited to call anyone (spiritual) "father". The Christian Church has no visible head. Decisions are made at free synods and free councils.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Reality

      For full disclosure:

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

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

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

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

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

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

      Current Luther RCC problems:

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

      3., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      4. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current crises:

      The caste system and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      July 17, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      I am Truly soory Rainer but I acnnot Fathom the Christian Pretenses of CopticCatholistic Flagrancies Devoid of the Sublicenses regarded as GODLY Righteousness Established by GOD. Nor as well, I cannot Truthfully Fathom this Son of GOD who is a God but not GOD and yet is One with GOD. Maybe this is it! GOD, who is CREATION gave to His Very First Propagation the Abundant Measure of One Day Becoming an Abutment of CREATION which is to say, Our Universe Separated itself into 2 Universes, One Being of GOD and the Other being of HIS Son.

      July 17, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  14. Colin

    Re-posting – with apologies to those who have read this before.

    Ten signs you are a Catholic.

    1. You believe that the pope has personal conversations with God (that nobody else ever hears) and is infallible when speaking on matters of Church doctrine. You then wistfully ignore the fact that Church doctrine changes and that former popes therefore could not possibly have been “infallible”. Limbo, for example, was touted by pope after pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go, until Pope Benedict XVI just eradicated it (or, more accurately, so watered it down as effectively eradicate it in a face saving way). Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong – as they were on Adam and Eve v. evolution, heliocentricity v. geocentricity, and a host of other issues that required an amendment of official Church doctrine. You also ignore the innumerable murders, rampant corruption and other crimes committed over the centuries by your “infallible”, god-conversing popes.

    2. You reject the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours. You are blissfully (or intentionally) blind to the fact, that had you been born in another part of the World, you would be defending the local god(s) and heralding the incorrectness of Catholic beliefs.

    3. You begrudgingly accept evolution (about a century after Darwin proved it and after accepting Genesis as literally true for about 2,000 years) and that Adam and Eve was totally made up, but then conveniently ignore that fact that your justification for Jesus dying on the cross (to save us from Original Sin) has therefore been eviscerated. Official Church literature still dictates a belief in this nonsense.

    4. You disdain native beliefs as “polytheist” and somehow “inferior” but cannot explain (i) why being polytheistic is any sillier than being monotheistic. Once you make the quantum leap into Wonderland by believing in sky-fairies, what difference does if make if you believe in one or many?; nor (ii) why Christians believe they are monotheistic, given that they believe in god, the devil, guardian angels, the holy spirit, Jesus, many demons in hell, the Virgin Mary, the angel Gabriel, thousands of saints, all of whom apparently make Earthly appearances periodically, and all of whom inhabit their life-after-death lands with magic-sacred powers of some kind.

    5. You bemoan the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don`t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees or the 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf (or the dozen or so other slaughters condoned by the bible). You also like to look to god to for guidance in raising your children, ignoring the fact that he drowned his own – according to your Bible.

    6. You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that God impregnated Mary with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to “forgive” an ”Original Sin” that we now all know never happened.

    7. You criticize gays as sinners, but have no problem when Lot got drunk and committed father-daughter in.cest (twice) or offered his daughters to a mob to be gang ra.ped, or when Moses, time and again, offered his wife up for the “pleasures” of the Egyptians to save his own skin.

    8. You believe that your god will cause anyone who does not accept your Bronze Age stories to suffer a penalty an infinite times worse than the death penalty (burning forever in excruciating torture) simply because of their healthy skepticism, yet maintain that god “loves them”.

    9. You will totally reject any scientific breakthrough that is inconsistent with your established doctrine, unless and until it is so generally accepted as to back you into a corner. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you of the deep inanity of your silly faith, some priest doing magic hand signals over bread and wine is enough to convince you it is thereby transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus because of the priest’s magic powers (or “sacred powers” to the extent you see a difference).

    10. You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to Lourdes, Fátima and other magic places and prayers in general. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. The remaining 99.99% failure was simply “god moving in mysterious ways”. The fact that, if you ask for something repeatedly, over and over, year after year, or send millions of sick people to ask for a "cure" sooner or later that thing is bound to happen anyway, has not even occurred to you. A stopped clock is right twice a day.

    11. You accept the stories in the Bible without question, despite not having the slightest idea of who actually wrote them, how credible these people were or how long the stories were written after the alleged events they record occurred. For example, it is impossible for Moses to have written the first five books of the Old Testament, as Catholics believe. For one, they record his death and events after his death. In fact, the chance of the Bible being historically accurate in any but the broadest terms is vanishingly small.

    Heavens, I could not fit them into ten.

    PS: I know that intellectually picking on Catholics is like beating up on the weak kid at school, given the Dark Ages nonsense they still believe in, but come on, they sort of provoke it.

    July 17, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Realist

      They helped destroy small childrens lives. They stood by those who abused and, the worst crimes, the cover ups of abuse. Today they call the victims liars, claim everyone else does it and lobby to stop laws that would help ALL victims of abuse.

      Then again, the inquisition.

      This organization is filthy, putrid as they wh-ore themselves to the riches of man kind. A vatican filled with treasures acquired through; theft, lies and the destruction to others.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Colin

      Your "Top 10" lists 'rock' brother. Never get tired of them or your postings ! 😀

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Colin

      You said "Re-posting – with apologies to those who have read this before."
      No need to apologize. You are doing your civic duty here. There seem to be plenty of new and/or occasional visitors here that could use a wake up call (let's just hope they don't all hit the snooze button).

      July 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Colin
      re your post on the next article re "hoped to live long enough".....
      See these little tykes in the photo ? By the time they are 30-40, there are going to be implantable nano-systems hooked into their brains, and they will download every science text, and every book of literature, and every text of mythology and archeology and cultural anthropology, history etc., etc., and filter them through a logic system, and every 4-6 hours will hook their neuro-link into the network, and download that segments update. As the graph of biological/chemical-robotic/machine enhanced Earth based intelligence systems goes (positive) parabolic, the need for the old paradigms will fall in a negative parabolic (opposite) manner. "The Singularity is Near" - Ray Kurzweil.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Bucky Ball

      Love me some 'Kurzweil' !

      Peace...

      July 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Hi Peace
      Actually we already have our adjuct memory modules, as many of us use Google, and save many things "in the cloud", in our searchable file systems. So it's HERE, not only in the future. Many of the topis we talk about here I just pull up from the saved bank, and alter them a bit. 😈

      July 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • John Stemp

      Hey Bucky, shoot me an email. Just want to know the status is all.. Even if it's dumped.

      Thanks

      July 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  15. Cradle Catholic

    What many commenters apparently fail to grasp is that the Church is not imposing itself upon China unprovoked. the Church did not swoop in to just any Christian church in China and attempt to regulate. Rather, it is the Chinese "Catholic" Churches and their unordained "bishops" who have, in fact, provoked the Vatican by taken unapproved. The fact of the matter is that the Catholic Church IS under the direction of the Vatican. If you don't like it, don't be Catholic. There are plenty of other faiths out there to concern yourself with.

    July 17, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Realist

      Then again, it's only the vatican that seems to care. Sounds like they are angry that others are also having fun making money off their delusions.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Cradle Catholic

      On the condition that the Chinese Catholic Church would embrace the doctrines of the worldwide Christian Church, I would appreciate, if she would adopt a new name, for example: Christian Church of China or just Church of China.

      The German reformer Dr. Martin Luther has written down a lot about the doctrine of the Christian Church.

      The Roman Catholic Church is no Christian Church, but Satan's temple.

      The pope is a Satanic high priest (pontiff).

      July 17, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      That's one way to look at it. However, it's THEIR church too. More and more, women, gays, and divorced people are choosing to remain in the church, and not get run out by people like you. It IS their church too. Actually in the ancient traditions of the Roman church, bishops were elected by their local communities, and NOT appointed by Rome. The REAL tradition is for election, and local selection. Only the most recent version from the Italian Medieval aristocratic authority model has Rome appointing bishops. The church which SAYS it values Sacred Tradition, in reality picks and chooses to form it's Convenient Tradition.

      July 17, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  16. Rainer Braendlein

    This issue is a hot potato.

    First we should anwer the question: "Is the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) a state or a church?"

    Answer: The RCC is a state, called Vatican State. Every single Catholic congregation is a branch office of the Vatican (proof: the leading priest of a congregation is not elected by and from the congregation, but imposed by the Vatican).

    The Vatican has a small army and even a small police unit. Furthermore the Vatican has a own bank and academies. Up to 1870 a. D. the pope ruled a big part of Italy like a king. This part was called the Papal States.

    The Papel States was occupied by the Italian kingdom 1870 a. D. and thus finished. Only a very small territory remained in Rome, which is called Vatican State today.

    Thus, the struggle, depicted in the above article, is a struggle between two states.

    According to the Christian doctrine, the Christian Church should be independent from the state (however, the state can support the Church, if it feels like.). Church and state are two different realms: The Church takes care of the souls of the people, the state takes care of the security of the people and of order and progress.Nevertheless church and state handle the same subjects: human beings.

    The Church in China should not be bothered both by the Vatican and the Chinese State.

    Whether the Chinese Catholic Church belongs to the worldwide Christian Church, depends on the doctrines, which she embraces. This would need a further investigation.

    Assumed, China just wanted to make sure that the Chinese Church is not solely a branch office of the Vatican, I would welcome it. However, probably the Chinese state wants to control the Chinese Church, instead of the Vatican.

    July 17, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • Realist

      I guess it's no different than any other money making business. But it's rather odd we allow the con-artist as the RCC to be considered. Let's worry of real business stuff, not the voodoo invisible.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • Anon Ymous

      This has nothing to do with “religious freedom”. It is really an issue of loyalty and, by extension, of control. Should the people living in China be loyal to their government or should they also be loyal to (and, potentially, obey orders from) the Vatican?

      Given the long history of the Vatican’s close alliance with the ruling class of the so-called West, it’s no surprise that sharing the loyalty of even a small group of Chinese citizens with the Vatican is not acceptable to the Chinese government.

      After all, the United States government tries very hard to ensure that Muslims living in the U.S. do not become too loyal to certain Islamic leaders in the Middle East.

      The fact is the religion has always been the tool used by the ruling classes to control the masses.

      July 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • God

      China should invade the "state" that is directly interfering with it. Seems OK.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  17. :/

    To Hell with the RCC, they have proven what they are capable of. Protecting perverts is just one thing that the pope is good for. Having nearly every king in europe indebted to the pope back in the day was a nice way to control the people.

    July 17, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Realist

      I agree. Why are they even in the news. The popes, bishops and cardinals are nothing more than deceivers. Worse, they stole small childrens lives world wide, then claimed others did it too.

      July 17, 2011 at 8:16 am |
  18. Reality

    Something all Chinese Christians should read:

    Saving Christians from the Resurrection Con:

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

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

    To wit;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

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

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

    o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,
    o
    o p.4
    o
    o "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
    o
    o p.168. by Ted Peters:
    o
    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    o So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.( 因此是bones"的地方? 根据Crossan'教授; 在他的许多书的s分析,耶稣的身体在许多坟墓将结束迫害,吃由豺狗,盖用石灰在一个浅坟墓,或者在堆石头之下。)

    July 17, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • delusions

      Nothing more, nothing less.. At least keep their kids away from the religion. Let kids be kids, without the early stage brainwashing.

      July 17, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • Realist

      Well reality. I'd say you need a good therapist. Hope you aren't around kids. Your post here is pure lunacy. You are no different than early volcano worshipers. Yes, as you see them, we see you. There is no difference.

      Without fear, religion couldn't exist. Deny it's fear, you've gone off the deep end.

      July 17, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • TheTruth

      Those who deceive (you) are the work of Satan.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Realist

      haha, Satan? More delusion. You guys are funny with your make believe invisible. Hope you at least aren't around children, give them a chance to evolve please.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  19. Unfair

    I can't believe the world is not in an uproar. This catholic church is penetrating countries imposing unfounded religious fears. I hope China shows the world that religion is no more than creepy voodoo nonsense and kicks the RCC out of their country.

    Without fear, there would be no religion. Claim it’s not fear and your mind has been successfully altered, called mental blocking, which is why we need to treat religion as po-rn and keep it from kids. Let kids be kids, please.

    July 17, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  20. John Richardson

    "Hurting the feelings of the Chinese people"???? Waaah.

    July 17, 2011 at 7:14 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.