September 13th, 2011
09:44 AM ET

Top Irish Catholic cleric calls for church to end celibacy for priests

By Peter Taggart, CNN

Belfast, Northern Ireland (CNN) - A respected former Catholic bishop in Ireland is calling for an end to clerical celibacy in the wake of the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the church worldwide, and says he finds it "heartbreaking" that some prospective priests turn away from the calling because of the celibacy rule.

In his recently published book, "A Troubled See, Memoirs of a Derry Bishop," Dr. Edward Daly said that allowing clergymen to marry would ease many of the church's problems.

There needs to be a place in the modern Catholic church for a married priesthood, said Daly, a prominent figure in the Catholic church in Ireland and the most senior Irish cleric to question the Vatican's celibacy rule.

Daly, 77, reiterated his views in local radio interviews in Northern Ireland Tuesday.

"There will always be a place in the church for a celibate priesthood, but there should also be a place for a married priesthood in the church. I think priests should have the freedom to marry if they wish," the former bishop said.

"It may create a whole new set of problems but I think it's something that should be considered.

The retired bishop said he was worried about the decreasing number of priests and the number of older priests. The issue "needs to be addressed and addressed urgently," Daly said, adding that he finds it "heartbreaking" that priests were forced to resign or prospective priests were unable to join the priesthood because of the celibacy rule.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN Tuesday: "The position on celibacy is clear."

Daly said he accepted he might be out of step with current Vatican thinking, but he was "not engaged in a popularity contest."

His comments are expected to ignite fresh debate within the church as the number of priests continues to fall amid the international controversy over child sex abuse and a number of damning reports on pedophile priests in Ireland.

The retired bishop also addresses the issue of abuse in his book, saying he is "heartbroken and appalled that fellow clergy could engage in such horrible criminal acts against the most vulnerable." He said he was deeply ashamed and profoundly shocked there were so many instances of child sex abuse by clergy in Ireland and throughout the world.

Daly was Bishop of Derry from 1974 until 1993, during the height of the Northern Ireland conflict. As a priest, he was photographed waving a white handkerchief as he led a group carrying a dying victim of the Bloody Sunday shootings in Derry in 1972.

The picture became an iconic image of "the Troubles" - a term used to describe the 30 years of violence between pro-British and pro-Irish forces in Northern Ireland. Much of his memoir is devoted to that violence, but he called the issue of celibacy "the other conflict."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Ireland • Sex

soundoff (784 Responses)
  1. Smuz

    It will never happen because the catholic church does not want to spend any money paying for families of priests...it was why the celibacy rule came into effect in the first place...no families, no death benefits, land, ect. Their rules on birth control are for the same reason...have a ton of kids so we have more little catholics and our -business- remains secure. It is not a religion, it is a business...so much so it should just be called judaism...;)

    September 13, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Sauce

      You couldn't be any more incorrect. It came into effect because priests are supposed to live a life like Christ, he wasn't married. And you literally have no idea what you are talking about in terms of the Catholic Church as a whole. Have a nice day.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Jim

      Yeah Smuz, you have no idea what you are talking about....if it were a business why would every priest take up a life of poverty to join this so called "business"? The point of a business is to make you rich, not poor.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • JustSayin

      Smuz I agree with you 100%. The church is run like a business. @Sauce are you really that ignorant to believe that Jesus was never married and had no children? There is a good 30 years missing of the life of Jesus from the bible. Priests do not take the vow of celibacy to be like Christ, they take it as a vow to the church so that their lives are lived for the church. It is a sacrifice. @Jim the Vatican is one of the richest businesses in the world. The entire religion is run as a business because it is a business. Priests are just a really low rung on the ladder of wealth and power. Like any business there is room to grow, make more money and yield more power.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Christlover

      Sauce, you are incorrect. Jesus calls all believers to live like him. So using your logic, Jesus doesnt want anyone to get married. You're a little mistaken and uninformed here. The vow of celibacy that Catholic priests must take is very much something imposed upon them by the Catholic Church, not mandated by Jesus Christ. Living like Christ has nothing to do with rules created by a denomination, its about truly giving up yourself to Him. Its about allowing yourself to be molded, guided, and transformed by The Holy Spirit of God, sent to us after Christ's ressurection.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • You've misspelled your screen name

      It should read "Moron".

      September 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  2. Debbie

    Finally. A priest that reads the bible instead of books written by "saints". 1 Timothy 4:1-3 KJV
    1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron ;
    Forbidding to marry , and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Peace2All

      Hmm... Why do you think it took so long...?


      September 13, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  3. bandgeek1

    The abuse of children by priest is a matter of the powerful over the powerless. Any one group of people given the amount of power and control over others that priests have opens itself to the potential for abusing those who trust them and look to them for guidance. S3x is only a convenient tool. Marriage might appear to be an easy solution, but it won't mend the inherent character flaw in an individual who would perpetrate such pain on another human.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  4. rick perrytwit... slack jawed bible thumper

    Here in Texas we believe that masturbation should be a capital offense.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Right-Wingers Are Like The Theme to "Dragnet" - Dumb-Dumb-DUMB-Dumb

      Rick Perry's whole political career has been masturbation badly performed. And watching the Tea Party at work has been like watching a group of meth-mouth hillbillies molest sheep.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  5. gary

    a corrupt pope about 1000 yrs ago stopped priests from marrying. Let them marry .. better yet, get rid of religion, the sick cults like the RCC, end the myths, etc... God is pretend ...just a myth

    September 13, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • HeavenSent

      gary, Jesus Christ's letter to all of us (the Bible) is the truth about life and the hereafter. If you weren't so lazy, you'd comprehend this.

      Religion is man made. Jesus' truth stands forever.


      September 13, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Ben

      If God were a myth, you wouldn't have been able to type those words.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • HellBent

      @HS – then jesus needs a better editor. Or at least a fact checker. If jesus was writing a letter you'd think he could at least be clear who his own grandpa was and who first saw his empty tomb.

      If God were a myth, you wouldn't have been able to type those words."
      That statement is actually logical to you?

      September 13, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  6. Reality

    Ending celibacy for priests will not solve the problem since 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

    Then there is the high divorce rate. Will parishnors have to pay for the pastor's alimony?

    Mas-turbation might be the easier solution? A pill to temporarily control the se-x urge?

    But then there is this:

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

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

    September 13, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  7. Katie

    I'm certainly no fan of Christianity, especially not Catholicism, but I have to give this guy props! Even if I don't believe in what he believes in, the fact that his beliefs are so strong that he's willing to fight from within for a change that he thinks is truly necessary (and it is), then kudos to him!

    September 13, 2011 at 11:14 am |


      September 14, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  8. BJD0012

    The church was not created to control people, it was a way to try and explain the unkown, to answer the quesitons everyone has. There were more questions back then, many of which science has answered, but the basic questions as to the meaning of life and why we are here is how religion was started. People had ideas for what things meant and then those ideas grew into belief and faith. As with anything that gets a following, greed plays a part in the future and people began to see how the could use belief and faith as a means of control and then religion became that mechinism for control.

    In the end religion started from belief and faith, but know it is mostly about rules. What you can and cant do or what you have to do. Faith holds people to religion, because they can't diferentiate between the two. So religion has the ability to change belief and change faith, whcih is why it can be so dangeroud. that is how cults evolve.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Religion was most certainly about control in the beginning. But this was important and necessary. Before civilizations developed a sound system of law and justice it needed a way to organize effectively and efficiently. Religion fits this role perfectly. Studies have shown that people behave better if they think that someone (i.e. god) is watching them, regardless of whether there is actually someone there.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • HeavenSent

      BJD0012, I'll write the same to you. Jesus Christ's letter to all of us (the Bible) is the truth about life and the hereafter.

      Man made churches and doctrines of said churches have nothing to do with Jesus' truth. They are suppose to teach Jesus Christ's truth book by book, scripture by scripture and then have Q & A afterwards so the folks that attended mass can discuss said scriptures with the person preaching His truth to sharpen their knowledge on His wisdom.


      September 13, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  9. AGuest9

    When I finally left the church, 10 years ago after 9/11, there were more married deacons than there were priests. This will take care of itself.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • HeavenSent

      AGuest9, why did you leave the church after 9/11?


      September 13, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • AGuest9

      I became an agnostic in college, and went back and forth. 9/11 demonstrated that the truest evil in the world is organized religion. Killing one another over (or at the very least, seeing people mistreating one another) over what was written millenia ago, interpreted and mis-interpreted over the centuries is ludicrous.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      AGuest9, that makes you a coward. Sitting on the fence, never to fight for Jesus' righteousness as you allow evil to do it's will.


      September 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  10. DianeD

    Allowing priests to marry will not solve the problem of pedophelia! Pedophiles will become whatever it takes to have access to children, whether it be clergy, boy scout master, school janiter, teacher, coach, etc. Pedophiles can be already married people and they can be single people.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • maxine

      I agree!
      One thing has nothing to do w/the other. If the priests were not attratted to kids in the 1st place they would be breaking their vows with grown women.
      Let them marry! being celibate does not make u closer to the Lord. JMHO, of course.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Katie

      True, but the Catholic church is the only one that seems to have this problem, whereas all other religions where the leaders are allowed to marry don't. Maybe it's not an exact cause and effect, i.e. maybe being celibate doesn't CAUSE men to become pedophiles. But maybe pedophiles are attracted to the priesthood because of the access to small children? Something needs to be reevaluated, whether it be celibacy or Catholicism as a whole.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • HeavenSent

      The sins of Pride and Lust blinding the person from Jesus Christ's truth. That's why Jesus told us to go humble (meek) and to pay attention to Him and NOT the ways of the world.


      September 13, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • chuck

      If you think this does not happen in non catholic churches you are dead wrong. Do a little research before you just blog what you don't know about. Give me a break.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Cathy

      Katie – Do you have statistics to back up that claim? I've never seen it shown that this is more prevalent in the Catholic Church problem.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Katie

      Cathy, you can't prove a negative, so saying "show me proof that it doesn't happen in non-Catholic religious organizations" is a logical fallacy. I'm not saying there are no non-Catholic pedophiles, that's obviously false. But what other religious organization has such widespread child abuse among its religious leaders, whether they be priests, ministers, rabbis, imams, etc? If there is evidence of that, then fine I'd like to see it, but otherwise I can't prove that it DOESN'T exist.

      September 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  11. Rich

    Religion is delusion.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Rich, do you suppose you can save yourself? Only Jesus Christ saves.


      September 13, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  12. Leonidas

    Orthodox Christian priests can be married before they are ordained and most of the ones I know choose to do so. Ironically they don't have an epidemic with priests molesting kids. Priests are human, they have urges, how many kids need to be molested till the Catholics do something about it? Then again, they still wont officially acknowledge that the earth is a sphere, long after it has become common knowledge....religion causes people to follow dogma rather than logic or individual thought.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • A Theist

      This... is..... SENSIBLE!!!!

      September 13, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Leonidas, obviously, you've never read Jesus Christ's truth (the Bible).

      Isaiah 40:22: "It is he that sitteth upon the CIRCLE OF THE EARTH."

      How did Isaiah know in 700 B.C. the earth is round Leonidas?


      September 13, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • HellBent

      @HS – in case you didn't realize it, a circle is FLAT.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Hellbent, in case you never comprehend this truth, every advancement came from reading Jesus' truth.


      September 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  13. Carol

    I agree, man and woman were created for a purpose. Why shouldn't a priest take a wife? I find celibacy strange and would like it explained to me why there should be such a thing as celibacy among nuns or priests.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Peter

      "find celibacy strange and would like it explained to me why there should be such a thing as celibacy among nuns or priests"

      That includes gay priest and lesbian nuns, everyone should have someone to love.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • YBP

      It is so they, their spouses and their children will not own or inherit any of the Church's property or real estate.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Carol, the Catholic Church branched off from Jesus Christ's truth centuries ago (read the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah) to follow their man made doctrines..

      1 Timothy 4:1-3

      1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

      2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

      3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.


      September 13, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  14. swohio

    Peter himself was married. If, as Catholics profess, he was the first pope, then the fact that he was married should alone set the precedent. Besides, the Bible says it's better to marry than to burn, and even states that a bishop should be the husband of one wife. I can't fathom why the Catholic Church doesn't understand that.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      better to marry than to burn, that about sums up marriage : )

      September 13, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  15. dorothea

    the Bible does not say that you must be single in order to serve God.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Carol

      BULL!!! Then again, we can all have an opinion.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • YBP

      Paul states that it is preferable to remain celibate. But that was because he was a self-loathing closet case, like most priests are today.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      everyone can 'serve' god. There's a difference when it comes to shepherding the sheeple.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • bob

      but the bible does say the world is flat!

      September 13, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • S

      The Bible doesn't say the world is flat. Read it sometime. There is no Biblical mandate to prevent a leader in the church from being married.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  16. coder

    why would a priest marry a god anyways?
    isnt that the reason they molest children
    nuns, are just as bad at molesting girls – as priests are at molesting boys

    why cant they just admit
    the church created god to control humans
    extort money and impede human advancement – unless the pope really believes Galileo was incorrect and blasphemous

    September 13, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Capercorn

      The pope at the time of Galileo was on friendly speaking terms with Galileo. He warned Galileo that the Aristotelians had been very angsty, and didn't like being called simpletons. So, the Pope told Galileo not to call the Aristotelians simpletons.

      Galileo then proceeded to call the Aristotelains simpletons. I'm not saying that Galileo deserved his house arrest; I'm just saying that Galileo knew that he could get his ideas across without calling his opponents simpletons. Not exactly smart on his part.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  17. EarthBrother

    I see so married guys don't molest kids?

    September 13, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  18. Tom

    It's high time to make this change...even the apostles and early church leaders (including Popes) were married. It's unrealistic in this time to expect these men to remain celibate....and why? The church should wake up and know that the number of people leaving the church has doubled in the last 10yrs....the churches will be empty if they don't make big changes to their archaic policies. That also includes allowing women a bigger role in the church.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      it's most likely because most of 'church' is archaic rules and ritual. You start tearing down that wall and pretty soon people will start asking why we do the other stuff. I guess god decided to run things as a democracy now, so we all get a vote? No more ten commandments, more like ten suggestions awaiting our approval?

      change is death to a religion. Now as to whether or not some of the older religions dying is a good thing, that is up to debate : )

      September 13, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  19. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    the reason why celibacy is essential to a priest and up, is because it removes the temptation of the flesh from the decision making process. When someone speaks for god, it's a lot of power, a lot of influence. It's easy for a weak person to use this to their advantage. Who wants priests 'praying' on their wives or daughters? You want to be a good, holy person? Sleep with a priest, it's as close to sleeping with god that you'll get.

    That's why celibacy became a rule, only the fit and strong should become priests, men who are willing to give up their bodily needs for the greater good, for god. You get away with that, allow them to marry, and then priests can start dating, meeting people in church, giving sermons on how lonely they are and just want a little love.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • matty

      If celibacy is meant to "remove temptation" why are all these priests molesting children? Duh!

      September 13, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      because they are pedophiles! duh
      I like to date, maybe get married one day, doesn't mean I molest children!
      Maybe you should be praying to god why he allowed such things to happen in his own name?

      September 13, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      and matty, the individual is the one who fights the temptation, the rule of celibacy is there to enforce the concept. You cannot date or marry, know that before joining the priesthood, as the corrupting effects of influence and power will cause people not willing to give those things up to become a blight on their community and the message they claim to be spreading.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • sergentpeppa

      Absolutely. Can not think of a 'man of God' with wife and kids leading a so called normal life. If one can not rise above temptations of the flesh, one should not aspire to become a priest.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • YBP

      You have no idea about what you're talking about, whether it's celibacy or human nature or religion. Celibacy prevents priests, their wives and their children from owning or inheriting church property and real estate. Plain and simple. Look into it.

      Also...Paul, writing in the mid-40s to mid-50s CE, seems to think you get extra points for remaining celibate. He invented the religion that exists today. Jesus was a Jew, and his radical "Kingdom of God" zealot movement came to end with the Jewish-Roman War in about 70 CE. Paul, rejected by Jesus' original followers, spread his vision-inspired "gospel" outside of Israel to non-Jews. His Christianity is based more on paganism than Judaism, because he had to play to a different audience. That's how we ended up with a dying and rising man-god, born of a virgin, walking on water, turning water into wine, raising the dead, whose flesh and blood we are to consume in a ritualistic memorial meal. None of that is remotely Jewish. It's all derived from Greco-Roman and Egyptian mythology. Look into it.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • newsreel

      LOL, in your words : "it removes the temptation of flesh", then you should be the first to agree that priests should be married ! Nothing enhances the temptation of flesh more than these unmarried guys, proof is that they DID do it to children, in DROVES. So, take your own preaching, and allows the priests to marry so that flesh temptation is removed from them, and spare the chidren from the abuse.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Nora

      On the contrary, celibacy only make them focus in things that shouldn't matter to them, it is an unnatural thing. At least a wife could keep track on them, hahaha.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      because men that are attracted to women molest young boys?
      great logic there.

      and priests don't OWN anything. If they had families, they wouldn't inherent a single dime, because the church owns all the property, not the priests or monks or sisters. Look into it.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      and YBP, some of what you say I do agree with, but to say all the silliness comes from Paul is pretty unfair. Moses parting the waters, curing the people from god's curse when they started worshiping the golden moo cow, killing the first born of a civilization, raining fire down and then bread, turning a river into blood, spouting water from a rock, appearing as a burning bush –these things seem pretty 'pagan' too, don't they?

      Take Osiris for example, Jesus has many similarities to him, what with the rising from the dead and all. Also, not all early christians were 'non-jews.' The whole old testament part of the Bible is around for that very reason, christianity draws from the jewish faith.

      when you get into saints, sure, there's plenty the christians take from pagans. Jesus even seems to be a fictional character drawn from Mathias, to be honest. The whole christmas tree and the easter bunny, all pagan rituals taken over by christianity.

      It still comes down to celibacy, as theory, as philosophy, being a check and balances against the temptation of corruption within an organization that proclaims to serve god and all that is holy.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  20. Richard

    Follow God, not man. Follow the Bible, not man's doctrine.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Ummmm

      Men wrote the bible, it's fiction so men are following man.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      I would argue that the Bible IS man's doctrine. God doesn't live in a book.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • dorothea

      the Bible doesn't say you must be single in order to serve God.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      the Bible doesn't say you need to be a priest to turn wine into blood either

      September 13, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • firebrand

      God: "This is my beloved Son, listen to Him." (Mk. 9:7)

      Jesus: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Mt. 16:18)

      God himself wills that man be given authority.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • BRC

      We don't know that. What we do know is that a book written by men demands that men be given authority. While that makes perfect sense, it doesn't mean anyone should listen to it.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      firebrand, read Mark, chapter 9 verses 16-18, and ask yourself how is it man can be given authority, if the disciples can't even cast out the demon or stop the poor kid from foamething at the mouth?

      September 13, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      in general, it's a bad idea to tie quotes together that have little to no context with each other. Most people make fun of people and ridicule them when they edit people speaking, for example.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • firebrand

      Apologies, somehow my post fell out of the thread:

      1nd3p3nd3nt – you are funny. It's like you think in black and white. Not being able to cast out the demons, if you recall, stemmed from the apostles lack of faith (as clarified further in the passage you cite). The point was not their lack of authority. Furthermore, their authority comes from God, so to be able to use it well and properly they have to be united to God, hence Christ's suggestion that this kind can only be cast out by prayer and fasting.

      As to the quotes not having any context with each other, you again seem to make the presumption that spatial context in the text is the only context. If God says listen to Jesus, then we should listen to what he says, period. And Jesus said that Peter is the rock of His Church. How would the context of these verses possibly contradict the logical conclusion?

      September 13, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      lol, tell me about it, i tried pasting a couple of quotes to reply to you, and I got no love from cnn. No idea where my posts went : )

      following Mark chapter 9 etc etc, he casts out the demon, killing the kid, then raises him from the dead back to life. Not sure if our, man's, authority is capable of doing that. Not to be black and white, and I do apologize if my tone was confrontational, I just enjoy a good conversation about religion, but most of the books in the Bible were written by different people. Just because the topic is the same, doesn't mean the context is. Frankly, if man did have the authority, there wouldn't be any evil in the world at this point, since it would be a simple matter of casting it out.

      I do like the old testament and the notion of original sin, man is flawed. It's a lot more black and white to think we have the authority and can cast out evil, instead of simply we are flawed and must live with a struggle. The devil doesn't tempt us, we tempt ourselves.

      I'm not perfect by any means, and i may be wrong here, but God saying to listen and obey jesus, and then following that up with a quote about how Paul is the rock of Jesus' church, may very well be a corruption in and of itself. I'm not sure Jesus would want a 'leader' for his church in the first place, considering what he says in sermons and whatnot, seems like he's more interested in a personal relationship with god, not someone leading us and telling us what to think. The nature of his parables, for example, were to teach us new ways of looking at things, he didn't just say 'do this because i say so because i'm god.'

      If I were the devil, so to speak, top on my list of objectives would be to corrupt the very bible itself, so as to confuse and mislead god's children. I might go so far as to say the evidence of child molestation inside the church, and the cover up of it, may very well be proof that the devil is involved in the church itself. Authority without morals is a dangerous mix, i think we could both agree on.

      Personally, i think god is too great, too large and all being to only live in a book. I find god in the world around me, if I am humble enough and open enough to god to see him in the world around me. The Bible is just a book, with some good in it, but god doesn't live in a book. Cars, trains, planes, computers, all these things are not covered in the Bible. I don't think that was a moment of forgetfulness on god's part, I simple think it's more evidence that god lives in us, all around us, and not just in the book.

      cheers, i gotta run, but was nice chatting with you

      September 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
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About this blog

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