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Church extends authority to absolve sin of abortion for papal visit
August 18th, 2011
02:13 PM ET

Church extends authority to absolve sin of abortion for papal visit

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Vatican has given authority to priests who are in Madrid during the pope’s visit there to give absolution to women who confess to having had an abortion - and has empowered priests to lift excommunications for such women.

Typically, only certain priests have the power to grant absolution for the sin of abortion and to lift excommunications that have resulted from terminated pregnancies, according to a Vatican spokesman.

“All the priests that are administering the sacrament of confession during World Youth Day have the general authority to give absolution from the penalty of excommunication for abortion if someone comes to confession… if someone has this need,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told CNN on Thursday, referring to the event that brought Pope Benedict XVI to Madrid on Thursday for a four-day visit.

Madrid Archbishop Antonio María Rouco Varela announced the extension of such authority to more priests in a statement on the archdiocese's website, saying the move was made in hopes that "all of the faithful who attend the celebrations of the 26th World Youth Day in Madrid can more easily attain the fruits of divine grace, that the doors to a new life open for them."

The church has set up 200 confessional booths in a Madrid park for priests to hear confessions in.

Varela said the Roman Catholic Church “has conferred to all the priests legitimately approved to hear sacramental confessions, who are in the archdiocese of Madrid during August 15 to 22, the delegated power to remit during the sacrament of penance the excommunication… corresponding to the sin abortion, to the faithful who are truly sorry, imposing at the same time a convenient penance.”

Benedict’s Spain visit coincides with a weeklong series of religious events that the Roman Catholic Church organizes every three years.

Lombardi said that the Vatican often extends authority to absolve certain sins and to lift excommunications at big papal events. Any woman who knows that the church considers abortion a sin and goes through with the procedure is automatically excommunicated, Lombardi said.

"This is not only for women," Lombardi said. "If a man has given the pressure on the women to do an abortion then he's guilty in the same way."
A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Spain said that the extension of priestly authority around abortion applies only to priests who are in the Madrid archdiocese for World Youth Day festivities.

On Thursday the pope was greeted by a large crowd of followers, including youths from all over the world, but his visit was not without controversy. With Spain suffering a deep economic crisis and nearly 21% unemployment, the amount that the pope's visit is costing the country has been top news in recent days.

The pope arrived in Madrid as protests took place in the city over that cost. The economic crisis has previously sparked protests in the country.

- CNN's Al Goodman and Mariano Castillo contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Catholic Church • Spain

soundoff (1,031 Responses)
  1. Faith

    Stupid West will cause more evil than WW2 and say sorry to the Church again. History repeats. Muslims deserve Europe better than these evil secularists.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • William Demuth

      I agree. Let the Muslims pillage Europe.

      It would be entertaining

      August 19, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • AGuest9

      William – They already are, and getting a foothold here!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar Almightily

      @ AGuest9 & William – "They already are, and getting a foothold here!"

      But the distances are great and our schooled teachers do vary the Muslim's edumacativenesses,, 🙂

      August 19, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • heynow

      If Faith and Lambly/Lionly/Whateverly got together, would their resulting posts end up being the derpiest of all time?

      August 19, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  2. jimtanker

    This article is just so silly. When priests diddle little boys they are not going to need an abortion. Silly guy with a silly hat.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  3. Colin

    I heard on NPR that about 1,000 protestors turned out screaming for the Pope to leave Spain. I suspect this expansion of "authority" is a reaction to the incereasing secularization of Spain. His tight little Papal hands are losing their grip on yet another country.

    I am in two minds as to whether the Catholic Church is truly evil or simply comically outdated and scientifically illiterate.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • AGuest9

      The Catholic Church in the realm of science is more progressive than most. Their schools teach evolution, which many Americans don't believe in. They also teach Big Bang cosmology, and have a Vatican astronomer who is published in mainstream science journals who doesn't push the 6,000 year old early tale. In addition, the Nihil Obstat made a special statement on science in the New Saint Joseph bibles published in the 1980s to these effects.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar Almightily

      "the Catholic Church is truly evil or simply comically outdated and scientifically illiterate."

      My vote is "All 3" the triunity of the poppie of arduent religious and physicalities incestualness doth placate or at least should and give room for enlightenment's sakes upon god-lovers and god-fearers and those who are neither.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  4. Faith

    The Pope – one of the godly men the world should listen in order to survive longer. Filthy Western atheists who murder unborn humans are the last thing the planet need. The human blood soaked by the planet cause all kinds of natural calamities upon everyone. Genesis 4 – 6.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Shall I tell you, how many Catholic nuns are guilty of abortion?

      The profane (secular) people more and more start to hate the pope, because he accuses them of sins, which he commits himself or by his magical body (nuns and priests are members of the pope's satanic body).

      Once a dead pope was found in his bed by a nun (according to the German historian Kurt Aland). What is a nun doing in the bedroom of the pope?

      August 19, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • AGuest9

      Oh no, more quoting of a creation story passed down as an oral tradition. Next, you'll be telling me about the great god Bumba who vomited the earth, a man and a crocodile and telling me THAT was how it all started.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Rick

      Filthy western atheists? Spend a lot of time on your knees, do you Bee-yotch?

      August 19, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  5. adam

    I will still not forgive the Pope's mother for NOT having had an abortion.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • Ben

      .....yeah that was necessary

      August 19, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Regarding the Holy Rat you are right, but you should not favor abortion.

      Better say it in this way:

      Matthew 26:24:

      The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

      Jesus applied this statement on Judas Iscariot, who was the first pope (spiritually seen). Like the pope Judas made a business out of faith.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  6. William Demuth

    Give the pedophilles your money and aborters get a "get out of hell free card"

    When do we lock up the leaders of the charlatan cult.

    August 19, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Billy

      You are right "mein Fuehrer"!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • William Demuth

      I understand you natural German subservience to authority, but I see myself more as the Churchill type!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar Almightily

      I am so gratified to the powers that be for my not having given seed to my 2 wives a child(ren). May GOD built by His Gods and these Gods who do adorn themselves deeply within the fabrisciousness of our bodies in places yet to be known by our so-called scientific elitests, soon shine forth to the publicans of moralty's conservencies upon all the god-loving men and god-fearing men and even the godless men alike!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The following lines don't refer to the false RCC-sacrament, but to the true Sacrament of Confession insti-tuted by Christ himself.

      What is the mystery of Confession of sins?

      Answer:

      Even the pagans and the atheists may know that Christians have a big problem: Awareness of their sins or sinfulness. They confess their sins to the invisible God, but there still remains an awareness of guilt and they may commit the same sins, which they have confessed, again.

      Regarding this problem, Jesus Christ insti-tuted the Sacrament of Confession:

      Everybody, who is not able to overcome sin alone, is encouraged to confess his sins to a Christian brother (can be a pastor, but don't have to be). The brother can forgive my sins in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. During confession my brother is a representative of the deity. When my brother tells me: "you are forgiven!", I can be sure that God has forgiven me, and will release me from any constraint to commit certain sins.

      The maximum compass of the Christian Church is the Holy Baptism, which is not allowed to be repeated. All Churches within this compass can practice the Sacrament of Confession.

      Even the Roman Catholic infant baptism is valid, but as soon as someone wants to live according to his baptism, he should abandon the RCC and become a Protestant. By baptims we get connected with the real Jesus Christ and thus it is impossible for us to be members of the pope's body any longer.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • William Demuth

      The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar Almightily

      I am not sure, but did you just say you are shooting blanks?

      Hell, I thought you were female

      August 19, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    The authority to absolve sins is given to every true Christian, not to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) or to the pope or the clergy.

    THERE IS A BIG MISUNDERSTANDING:

    Protestants assume that "authority to absolve sins" is a Catholic nonsense, invented by the wicked popes.

    The Truth:

    Jesus Christ himself gave authority to his disciples to absolve sins. It is also called the "Power of the Keys":

    Gospel of St. John, Chapter 20:

    21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

    23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.

    I would never confess my sins to a RCC-priest. According to the Revelation the RCC is the Who-re. She is a Who-re, because she loves the world more than Jesus Christ. The RCC is a Church, which wants to rule. Jesus has expressly forbidden his Church to reach out for worldly rule. Thus, the RCC is no real Christian Church, because she acts against the will of Jesus Christ, who was downright humble and who was rejected and had to suffer here on earth. Jesus was not concerned about earthly powern, honour and riches, but he wanted to comfort suffering souls.

    Furthermore the RCC wants to get honoured by the world and wants to become rich. This is never the Church, which was founded by Jesus Christ. The RCC is a totally degenerated Church (spiritually seen).

    August 19, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar Almightily

      @ Rainer B, "I do so wholeheartedly concur with you about the RCC being the Great "Wur" of Babylon, (Great Britian) and it is her flocks that are in now times becoming like meat for the vultures of calamatous and denatured villifiers of faithlessness and contemptuousnesses in foresakedness of religiously devoided lamenations within the English commoners' lessor aged and vigilantied folks of the yet-to-be adulthoods.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Deedee Buettner

      Right on! It will never cease to amaze me how many seemingly intelligent people will fall for such nonsense as the church hands out to them. The claws dig in pretty deep, and not only in the catholic church, but all denominations. It's the same as the government, don't let us learn to think....we might figure it all out!! Thanks!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • AGuest9

      It goes back farther than Rome. Try Jesus' brother, James "the Just". He grabbed for power back in Jerusalem back in 50 CE, actually earlier – I'm sure he had a hand in the whole "Resurrection" plot..

      August 19, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  8. Faith

    The Christian Church corrects this evil humanity until the end of the age. All who hate her love evil.

    August 19, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • think for yourself

      Your god is more evil than all the tyrants in our history combined. "He" supposedly is going to burn 4.8 billion non-christians for eternity. So apparently it is the christians that "love evil".

      August 19, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • William Demuth

      Faith

      Its a shame YOU weren't aborted.

      August 19, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Faith

      God saves anyone who trusts in Jesus. Jesus is the only Savior through whom sinners can be saved. I was almost aborted – another reason I need to fight for the rights of unborn humans. Atheists are murderers.

      August 19, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • William Demuth

      Faith

      Not to worry! It seems they were about eighty percent succesfull!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • AGuest9

      Most about-to-be-aborted fetuses don't need saving. They will be better off not being abused as children, only to grow up on welfare and in prison..

      August 19, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • think for yourself

      Give an atheist just one bit of proof, he will convert. Give a christian 1,000 pieces of evidence against his beliefs, they dismiss them all and call you evil.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  9. Ladervijd

    It is important to remember that there are situations where abortions are outside the will of mothers, such as still-birth/abortus biological which kind of self-happened (as in really not inflicted, arguably not even sub-conciously, themselves), and such as forced abortion where the female wasn't pressured mentally ond emotionally into abortion, but was forced so physically.
    While there are males who subject any female body to the male's 'will', there will unfortunately probably always be black (as in publicly hidden) abortions.

    August 19, 2011 at 8:18 am |
    • Ladervijd

      *While there are males (or females for that matter) who subject any number of (other) female body/ies..

      August 19, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Ladervijd

      Voluntary sterilization or castration, in proper medical clinic, sounds worse than contraception but sounds kind of better than abortion, especially when there are already children.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  10. john-jada youngo

    life is short in our time, the actual holistic living is demanding faith in our daily basis but not reasoning at God's matters for consumptions. Today, I would like to put my voice for the young one, they have to see, judge and act, this based in faith, it means any young one girl or boy is safe and full of faith and without sin. I think this is for our global youth they have understand this for the advantage of their respective future.
    what about our mature faithful... I say still the fact is the way; "The spirit of truth, justice, reconciliation, liberty, freedom, just-peace and love " can help to bring up better and holistic families, communities, societies and make our globe a better place for human to live. In brief all types of killing are the same . And it take time to discover God's love upon human even upon animals and nature. Therefore, sin means bad.

    August 19, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    • AC

      Specifically what is this guy saying? He is using buzzwords such as "holistic"; "faith"; "sin"n etc. So the word "sin" means "bad"?
      john-jada youngo
      life is short in our time, the actual holistic living is demanding faith in our daily basis but not reasoning at God's matters for consumptions. Today, I would like to put my voice for the young one, they have to see, judge and act, this based in faith, it means any young one girl or boy is safe and full of faith and without sin. I think this is for our global youth they have understand this for the advantage of their respective future.
      what about our mature faithful... I say still the fact is the way; "The spirit of truth, justice, reconciliation, liberty, freedom, just-peace and love " can help to bring up better and holistic families, communities, societies and make our globe a better place for human to live. In brief all types of killing are the same . And it take time to discover God's love upon human even upon animals and nature. Therefore, sin means bad. OK. But "holistic"? What on earth does this mean? And "spirit"? OK, if a "spirit " exists, what is it, and how do we measure it?

      August 19, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • AC

      Exactly, what is this guy saying?

      August 19, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • AC

      holistic families, communities, societies
      mmmmm holistic families
      And what is a "holistic family " these days. Does it contain hoes? Or merely lystics? I for one, am looking for hoes. For my garden.

      August 19, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • William Demuth

      AC

      What he is saying is "I desperatley need therapy to make the voices in my head go away"

      August 19, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  11. AC

    Can we please stop using the word "Faith". Faith is the belief that something will happen, based on previous events. So if I let go of my pen, I have faith that it will drop to the floor. Religion is a "lack of faith". That is to say that even though they know something to be impossible , they still claim to "believe". This is not faith. This is purely brainwashing. Example – ask a Christian to pray for something to happen, lets say, drop a pen and it floats. If their god is true, and he performs miracles, then the pen will floats. If not.....

    August 19, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar Almightily

      Like I have been trying to put to "Faith" and her cunningless mindives, Of GOD being built and maintained by the Gods who are manifested within the bodies of god-loving men and god-fearing men and godless men and such sameness can be prdicated toward the womenly species. Should I expound in more detail AC?

      August 19, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  12. Reality

    Said absolution will not erase the significant sin of stupidity as a great percentage of abortions are the result of not taking the Pill daily as spelled out in large letters on the package and/or not using a condom.

    =============================================================================

    Back to basics of pregnancy and STD prevention:

    The numbers, the calculations and a "bottom liner":

    "Facts on Contraceptive Use

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html
    January 2008

    WHO NEEDS CONTRACEPTIVES?

    • 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]

    WHO USES CONTRACEPTIVES?

    • 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?)

    WHICH METHODS DO WOMEN (men?) USE?

    • 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]

    FIRST-YEAR CONTRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES

    Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few examples)
    Metho Typical
    Pill (combined) 8.7
    Tubal sterilization 0.7
    Male condom 17.4
    Vasectomy 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
    (Masturbation) 0

    More facts about contraceptives from
    guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

    "CONTRACEPTIVE METHOD CHOICE

    Contraceptive method use among U.S. women who practice contraception, 2002
    Method No. of users (in 000s) % of users

    Pill ................11,661 .........30.6
    Male condom 6,841 .........18.0 "

    i.e.
    The pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use (from the same reference previously shown).
    i.e. 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: 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 STDs (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 STDs.

    August 19, 2011 at 7:24 am |
    • herbert juarez

      to end this copy paste hit report abuse

      August 19, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • AGuest9

      Education is the best form of prevention, and it appears that there is A LOT of education needed.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  13. Faith

    Most Catholic priests are completely innocent. The rate is far better than American public.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:59 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      WOW!! How can you say that when there is so much evidence to the contrary???

      August 19, 2011 at 6:35 am |
    • Rob

      The Vatican should be disbanded and its leaders arrested for crimes against humanity, Faith. Learn your history.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:44 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Rob: I couldn't agree more. Christopher Hitchens was at one point attempting to have the pope arrested and charged for his part in the crimes against innocent children.
      There is no speaking to Faith, she has her head too far up up the catholic priests robes to properly hear or comprehend anything rational.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Faith

      Why nobody arrests him, then? Because Pope as well as Vatican is innocent. Your politicians, bankers and actors/actresses are far more guilty just as yourselves are.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:52 am |
    • Reality

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

      FEAR, SHAME and GUILT and COVER IT ALL UP!!!

      Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior although it is supposed to be!!!!!

      Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

      Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

      Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have se-x with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy"

      Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods.

      Neither is being an atheist or pagan since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.

      If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of "neithers" they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women), divorce for adultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice (Clinton, Cardinal Law, Cardinal Rigali?, B16?) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder ("Kings David and Henry VIII).

      August 19, 2011 at 7:27 am |
  14. gupsphoo

    How does the sin of abortion compare to the sin of Catholic priests molesting little boys?

    August 19, 2011 at 4:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      no sin in abortion! abortion is not legal after the first trimester, thus there is nothing sinful or whatever term you wish to use. The government nor religion have any right on what is good or bad for a woman to do with her body. It is strictly a personal choice and it should be respected.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:39 am |
  15. someone

    only God has the right for absolution not humans . do the priest know everything and about human intention ? of course no so why you say that human like the priest has the right for absolution no one forgive the sins but only God because he create us and he know our intention . But the priest says give me some money and i will forgive your sins . regards from a muslim man

    August 19, 2011 at 4:19 am |
  16. Rob

    Do people still listen to this stuff in 2011? Geez....

    August 19, 2011 at 3:47 am |
    • jofro

      why not?

      August 19, 2011 at 4:17 am |
    • Magenta

      Unfortunately, thousands, if not millions, of people think the Popse is the spokesperson for god...
      This sounds like a special in a discount store. Confess today and get a special price of one absolution.
      The arrogance of these "holy" men astounds me. The delusion of the people obeying them is just sad.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:28 am |
    • AGuest9

      Brain-washing, a result of low IQ.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  17. Louis

    The Bible says without the shedding of blood there can be NO REMISSION OF SINS. God only grants forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ who paid for our sins when He died on the cross. Jesus is the only way of salvation. Man can not save himself, and man can not take God's authority to help Him forgive other people's sins. QUESTION 1 Have you come to a place in your spiritual life where you know for sure that if you should die tonight that you would go to heaven.? QUESTION 2: If you died, and you stand in heaven before God, and God asks you, why He should let you into heaven, what would you say? If your answer is not something like: "'Because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour and I believe in my heart You raised Him from the dead' then you might have to sit down and think....

    August 19, 2011 at 3:23 am |
    • John Richardson

      Yadda yadda yadda. You don't know where you're going when you die and all this graveyard whistling doesn't change that.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:02 am |
    • Frank

      My dear Luis please can you give us break on these typical shallow "accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour" stuff. Baptism in the name of the Trinity and true contrition is the ordinary way not just the fleeting feeling of words and twists of Bible passages. Thanks.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • AGuest9

      When your heart beats its last and your chest falls and your lungs empty, the last neuron in your brain will fire. You'll be dead, and the truth is, that you will never know The Truth, because you'll be dead and your brain can't know anything past that point. So your body will begin decaying, if it hasn't already. You will be dead. No bright light, no tunnel, no relatives meeting you like at the airport. Just... death. You have to be OK with that. The problem is that most "religious" people aren't. As often as they tell themselves that they will see Jesus and heaven will be great – they are afraid to die. Why? Way deep down inside, they intrinsically KNOW the Truth, and it SCARES them.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  18. A>H

    Why does he not stay in Rome and mind his qwn business. He should clean up his own house.The church breeds pedophiles.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Faith

      Say that to every home and Hollywood.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Faith? Every home and Hollywood don't pretend to speak for god. There's an expectation that if you call yourself a moral authority, you would punish criminals instead of protect them. But I guess you approve of pedophiles, as long as they call themselves christian.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  19. Faith

    The Christian Church is beautiful and does what is right. The Church is forever. All who hate her are damned villains.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Observer

      Just what Jesus would say?

      August 19, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Faith

      @Observer, the enemy of the Church is enemy of God. Read the Gospels, Acts, Epistles and Revelation in the New Testament Bible. As Israel is God's, so is the Christian Church. Forever.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:59 am |
    • gupsphoo

      Oh I see, priests molesting children is beautiful and righteous according to brainwashed Christians.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:25 am |
    • Faith

      It's kind of funny when American perverts accuse the Catholics who are far better than themselves. Europeans and Americans didn't know that child-abuse was wrong until the Christian Church educated them properly. European whites were burning kids in forest all the time.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:57 am |
    • Rob

      Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. ~Seneca the Younger

      August 19, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • Faith

      Those who deny God are fools and the religion-less people are villains. – The Bible (Psalms and Book of James)

      August 19, 2011 at 6:47 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Faith: why are you so vicious? You don't like it when you get attacked but yet you do it all the time. Where are the morals in that and who exactly are you to judge anyone? I really don't care what you wish to believe, however it is my opinion that those beliefs having not been proven with evidence should be kept out of the public view. Why is it that we can't just live peacefully on this planet and accept the fact that regardless of belief, we all reside on this planet and should be making the best of it? It really baffles me and unfortunately it is people like you who turn people like me further and further away. You can't convince us that you are right without evidence to back you and I understand that you believe you have evidence but we're never going to agree on this, so why continue the fight?
      I turned from religion shortly after watching my mother die from cancer with 5 children at home...I wanted to believe we'd meet again but then comes the question of why would a good person such as her be made to suffer for 7 long years from such a wretched disease...what type of 'god' would inflict that upon one of his followers? Then the stories in the bible started seeming less and less realistic...
      So I've turned against those beliefs and yes I've made my mistakes but I live a wonderful life with a good man and a good family...all this without the need for a sky daddy.
      I've seen the good and bad in this world in more ways than you could ever imagine and I'm sorry but I don't agree with what you say on here. Who cares in the end though? All that matter's is that you at least stop for 5 minutes and realize once and for all that it's perfectly human to be different from each other...it's what makes this life unique.
      Stop attacking us...it's not fair and it really says very little about you as a person (why portray yourself like that?)

      Okay to everyone else but I'm tired of the way Faith treats people and she needs to hear the reality of how her attacks affect people.

      August 19, 2011 at 7:27 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      oops should have said 'to everyone else out there...I'm sorry for inflicting this on you'

      August 19, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • Faith

      @T-P-, I'm sorry for your mother and the family situation... I just wonder why you don't find your fellow atheists vicious. All I said was facts so Americans would not be deceived. Most of my older family members and older friends either got killed or almost got killed by atheists. Atheists hate the religious. I need to tell this to American people.

      August 19, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • think for yourself

      Faith, where was your god when the US had slaves and women did not have the right to vote? Why didn't god tell us that we needed to change our ways? Morality does not come from religion.

      August 19, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • Faith

      @Think-, the English were most graceful to the slaves; the reason the blacks remained Christian. Right to vote? Man, it's nothing. Pagans killed girls just because they are females, bound women's feet so we could not run, and burned women alive when husbands died. What Western women went through is NOTHING. I wish I were in America. Not having a voting right is NOTHING. Women were fortunate if they were allowed to live. You Americans are spoiled like hell.

      August 19, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Faith

      Mankind and human societies/cultures have been downright evil. The British and Americans liberated the world by bringing the Judeo-Christian values into the world. We former pagans never knew the meaning of freedom, equality or justice. They all come from the Bible. We all had the Roman/Greek stuff already but not the Bible.

      August 19, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Faith: if you look back over the history of wars, it is extremely evident that most have a religious bias to them. You get good and bad throughout this world in every belief system...why is that so hard to accept?
      I don't find my fellow Atheists vicious because I do not associate with vicious people. I surround myself with people who are good and do just in this world...I do not base my friendships on belief, I base it on morals and for those of my friends that are Theist, they have good morals and those that are Atheist, they also have good morals. I attempt not to judge people without just cause in this world...I believe in the fact that everyone is deserving of a fair chance. It comes down to walking a mile in one's shoes before as.suming anything. We're not all bad, just as all christians are not bad.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Faith

      @T-P-, humans are religious; the reason they use religions for war. Look at Ja-pan; they forced everyone to worship their stupid emperor but no one stayed with that after the war except the Ja-panese themselves.
      The reason non-Christians are not good is that you "moral" atheists don't fight for good. You guys just leave things alone. That's why non-christians are downright evil. Only Christians take care of victims seriously and fight for justice for all. In that sense, Americans are no longer like Americans. You guys are a lot like pagans. You think cruelty done to others is an amusing culture.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Faith

      @T-P-, it took few Nazi soildiers to murder millions of Jews. The rest of Germans and Europeans did nothing. Doing nothing on Planet Earth is extremely evil. If you are not actively do good, risking your own life for good, you ALWAYS end up being the villain. I thought the Westerners have learned this lesson hard way in WW2.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Faith: there is quite obviously no getting through to you. It amazes me that you think you are so much better than everyone and fail to give proper chances as needed to make this world properly function. Get to know a few Atheists before bunching them in to one group....we don't bunch christians all in to one group-you get your good and bad. The only thing we have different about us is what we believe in. Until you have valid proof for the existence of a god, your claims do not hold water. I'm not required by any law to believe without evidence just as you are not required to believe with evidence....it's call freedom of speech and freedom of religion-human rights.
      I by no means condone violence of any form and certainly do not condone the mass killing of people of any belief system. However, that was religious based...Hitler was religious in a certain sense. He wrongfully was bigoted against the Jews.
      The 9/11 attack had religious connotation behind them...they were done by muslims who honestly believed in the belief system. To clarify here because I know you do not consider muslims equal to you, the book they believe in is a derivative of the bible to a point..it is still a religion.
      The point is that if we take away belief's of any form and stop fighting the losing battle, then and only then will this world truly live in peace. I'm not backing down on what I see to be true and you obviously are not backing down.
      I sincerely hope that you don't remain this close-minded forever. Should you choose to remain close minded, enjoy your life...I refuse to waste any more time of this futile battle with you.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Believe it or not, we have here the closest thing Faith has made to a rational argument – the premise that if you do not actively work for good, if you stand aside and allow evil to flourish, then you are part of that evil.

      Of course, she then goes on to claim, without backing it up in any way, that all non-Christians always either actively pursue evil or stand aside to let it happen. All it takes is one example to the contrary to destroy her premise. The mere existence of th organization "Atheists in Foxholes," an organization of atheist military personnel (those people out there actively risking their lives to protect the rest of us) neatly does so, though five minutes on Google will find you many examples.

      Incidentally, Faith, if your activity on these boards is supposed to represent your active work for good, many of us would take issue with it. Mostly, it seems, you aim to spread hatred, intolerance, ignorance, and discord – activities that appear actively evil to many. Therefore, it behooves us to refute you in the interest of doing good. Standing aside would make us participants in your evil.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Faith: Thank you! Thank you for actually conversing with Truth Prevails and giving the rest of us a bit more insight into your reasoning. I don't agree with it in the least. But I am grateful that you made the effort. It's only through active conversation and listening that we can learn to understand another's point of view and start to empathize with each other so we can live peacefully together.
      @Truth Prevails: I'm actually impressed that you got through to her to teh point you could have a conversation.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  20. Colin

    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 he elects to speak “from the chair” 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, 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.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Colin

      LOL...!!! You da' man !!! I was 'truly' looking at this article and thinking, ... where's my buddy -Colin and his infamous... "10 signs you are a Catholic," as this seemed like as good a place as any to put up the heretical listing.

      And here it appears... must have been God's will or... something like that. 😀

      Gotta' say... never get tired of it. As I stated before though, I think your "10 reasons why being gay is wrong" may be as good or better. LOL !!!

      Thanks again, dude... always makes me chuckle.

      Peace brother...

      August 19, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Colin

      Hey Peace – I know I still owe you 10 reasons you know you are a fundamentalist, my friend.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Colin

      Yes... ! You have been promising that list (10 reasons you know you are a 'fundie'). I'm very curious to see the differences you put in vs. the Catholic listing.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 19, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • Shirene

      My favorite line is "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?"

      August 19, 2011 at 5:24 am |
    • Sophie

      Thank you for posting your list, it is an excellent antidote to reading about the ridiculous antics of the Catholic church!

      August 19, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      perfect 🙂

      now please post the one about fundamentlist's...we need to see Faith aka Adelina go crazy and spew fire from her fingertips (at least she's good useful for something)

      August 19, 2011 at 6:44 am |
    • GBMartin

      Great stuff, but i think it was abraham not moses who pimped his wife in 7. And what about the trinity? isn't that a definition of polytheism? 3 gods?

      August 19, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • BRC

      It is a fantastic lst, the only downside is that I doubt there will be any good back and forth conversation spawned from it. I can only think of one or 2 people on these boards who would disagree with you in a calm a reasonable manner, and I'm affraid that anyone who can't is going to reply with something that just sort of dead-ends at "you're wrong", if they even try at all.

      Shame really, numbered lists are always good for clearing up disagreements.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Sma

      Colin this is one of the most absurd things I've ever read. I am catholic and believing and almost none of these suit me. Generalizing without questioning, as you apparently do, is the most dangerous of all endeavors.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Colin

      Hey SMA, what did I get wrong?

      August 19, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • AGuest9

      You left out Mary being "ever-Virgin" when she had other children.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:00 am |
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About this blog

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