November 4th, 2011
03:43 PM ET

Big changes to Catholic Mass spur confusion in the pews

By Gabe LaMonica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - The Roman Catholic Mass is undergoing a major overhaul.  In an effort to unify how the global church prays, the English translation of the church's worship service is being modified in order to more accurately reflect the Latin from which the Roman Missal is translated.

The Catholic Church is known by some as a bastion of permanence that has not often yielded to the forces of change in the modern era. In many ways the changes harken back to the Mass spoken in Latin, as it was in the United States prior to the 1960s.

“There is an Italian proverb,” said the Rev. Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin, a professor of liturgical studies at the Catholic University of America, “that ‘every translator is a traitor.' "

“Every translation is less than the original,” he said.

The liturgical changes are “all within the responses and the language of the Mass. In the grand scheme of things, they’re fairly minor,” said Mary DeTurris Poust, whose book The Essential Guide to Catholic Prayer and the Mass, on the subject came out in March.

“It will be a great chance to think about what the prayers mean again,” said Theresa Leyva, a choir member at St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg, Maryland, as she browsed new translation of the missal at a book store.

“I’m sure the first few weeks, it’ll be a little rough, but we’ll slip into it,” said Sara Hulse, a student at Catholic University from Milford, New Jersey, on her way to Mass on Thursday.

Experts acknowledge mixed reactions to the changes in the mass amongst members of a Catholic Church unaccustomed to change.

“Part of what’s going on is just the way human beings deal with changes,” said the Rev. Michael G. Witczak, an associate professor of liturgical studies at Catholic.

“Some people love change and some people hate change and some people deal with it as it comes and they’re not really hot or cold about it,” said Witczak.

The alterations in language are drastic enough that for longtime Catholics “it will be a big change to have to use a sheet of paper or a worship aid to say prayers,” said DeTurris Poust.

Some of the changes include, instead of responding, “And also with you,” to the priest when he says, “The Lord be with you,” Catholics will now respond with, “And with your Spirit.”

During the penitential act, where Catholics once said, “I confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault,” they will now say, “that I have greatly sinned.”

In the Nicene Creed, where once Catholics said that God is the “Maker…of all that is seen and unseen,” they will now say God makes “all things visible and invisible.”

And in that same prayer, where Jesus was once “Begotten, not made, one in being with the Father,” He is now, “begotten, not made, con-substantial with the Father.”

Where Catholics once said, “Lord I am not worthy to receive you,” they will now say, “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.”

The Second Vatican Council, a meeting of the world’s Catholic bishops beginning in 1962 under Pope John XXIII and ending in 1965 under Pope Paul VI, “made some tentative decisions about translating the liturgy into the vernacular languages of the people,” said Witczak, “but once the process started, people really liked it, so bishops around the world, not only in English speaking countries, but also other countries, began making more and more requests to have more and more of the sacraments in the vernacular, until finally everything ended up in the vernacular.”

“It wasn’t exactly what the bishops had wanted,” said Witczak, “but the dynamics of the process ended up with that as the outcome, and different languages translated the Latin differently.”

The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), formed in 1963 by 11 English language speaking countries, wrote a liturgical constitution called "Sacrosanctum concilium" that same year. Their initiative was to translate “texts from a form of Latin that dates back 1500 years,” said the Rev. Msgr. Rick Hilgartner, executive director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Some of these prayers have been maintained in our celebration of the Mass since the fourth and fifth centuries. We have many source texts that come from the sixth, seventh, eighth centuries,” he said.

That first generation of translators, in the aftermath of Vatican II, relied heavily on a philosophy of translation called “dynamic equivalence,” originating in a 1969 French document, Comme Le Prevoit, and emphasized a style of translation that focused on the language into which the Latin was translated (French in this case), rather than Latin. The first complete English translation of the Roman Missal, what was called The Sacramentary, dates to 1973.

The changes, put into motion in 2000 by then-Pope John Paul II when he announced an updated addition of the original Latin book, the Missale Romanum, affect not only the U.S., but “really the church in the English speaking world: the Catholic church in Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales, and Ireland and Canada, in various other parts of the world, in India, in some countries in Africa, and in Asia - this is also happening around this time, some are a little bit ahead of us, some are a little bit behind us,” said Hilgartner.

“This is a moment that’s not just about the church in the United States,” he said.

“In 2001,” said Irwin, “the Vatican published a document, Liturgiam authenticam, in which all countries which use the vernacular, their native language, in the liturgy would need to make sure that their translations from the Latin were as accurate as possible.”

This “new” document, new in the relative sense of “church time,” as DeTurris Poust so accurately characterizes the speed at which change is implemented in the Catholic Church, de-emphasizes the dynamic equivalence philosophy of translation, which, according to Witczak, “led the first generation of translators to choose to translate text in a way that in retrospect may have been a little bit too simple in not paying enough attention to the richness and content of the Latin prayers.”

“The watchword has been fidelity to the Latin ... and every vernacular translation needs to revisit their translations in light of the document,” said Witzcak, meaning that Catholics in English-speaking countries are not the only ones who will be seeing liturgical changes.

On the first day of Advent, November 27, on the beginning of the church year, “the new translation of the liturgy will be implemented,” said DeTurris Poust.

And, she said, “there’s no going back, except that we’re going way back.”

“Every diocese and each parish will prepare for and implement the changes as they deem proper,” said Irwin.

“The United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's website has posted information about and resources on the new translation for over a year and a half,” he said.

The old books, which cost up to hundreds of dollars each will be sent to libraries and archives or buried in church cemeteries.

“There’s specific guidelines on how to retire older books because they’ve been used in liturgy and there’s a blessing on them. You can’t just throw them onto an ash heap,” said Witczak.

“I’m keeping mine because I teach liturgy,” said Witczak.

CNN's Eric Marrapodi and Athena Jones contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Catholic Church • Church • Mass • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • United States • Vatican

soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. RightTurnClyde

    The JESUIT MODEL OF EDUCATION By Fr. Michael McMahon A conference hosted by Fr. Michael McMahon at the Summer 2004 Principals’ Meeting convened at St. Mary’s College and Academy (St. Mary’s, Kansas).

    … Arriving at this stage, we must look to the great masters and Christian educators who have preceded us, handing down to us their wisdom and experience. Among the greatest are the Jesuits. …

    .. in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Jesuits were accused of being witches and magicians .. the Jesuits were doing something incredible …. St. Ignatius was trying to form a shock troop for the Papacy, a small, mobile, well-educated, group of men. .. was what St. Ignatius had in mind …Once St. Ignatius realizes that God disposes for him to get into education, he goes for it, and then you have this great educational system of the Jesuits.

    .. the Jesuit methodology .. the Ratio Studiorum, the Jesuit manual of education. ..The Ratio Studioroum is very Ignatian… it is a practical code for establishing and conducting schools. … while the Jesuits had the Ratio Studiorum they were not slaves to it…The Jesuit philosophy of education is nothing more than the Christian philosophy of education .. Man is not merely a citizen of this or that country; he is born to be a citizen of heaven. Therefore, in all truth, we can say that the purpose of education is a preparation for life, proximately this life, but ultimately everlasting life.

    November 5, 2011 at 5:30 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      quoting further [The ultimate end is to lead students to the knowledge and love of God. Essentially, education is ultimately apostolic. It is an apostolic mission. We instill in children a knowledge and love of Almighty God, a knowledge and love of the holy Christian Faith, an enthusiasm for the Christian Faith..]

      So what you put in your mind establishes the "condition" of your mind - order vs chaos, good vs evil, value vs junk .. useful vs useless .. so why not create a happy and rewarding life full of children and laughter and adventure (with them) and the joy of experiencing their joy ... BEING part of wonderful family community you have in your own home.. THUS not embittered or angry .. but fulfilled and content ..

      November 5, 2011 at 5:42 am |
    • Mirosal

      So are you saying that those in public schools don't have a chance of this "everlasting life"?

      November 5, 2011 at 5:58 am |
    • Reality

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694

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

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

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

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say?

      November 5, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • Jimtanker

      You do realize that the reason that he posted that list is because the more you read about the bible and how it came to be the less you can beleive that what is in it is true.

      November 5, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      @Mirosal .. public schools are not even doing a decent job of educating for this life. Here is another giant left-wing failure. They were great in the 50's and even into the 60's. Then the new left got control of them and politicized their curricula. Today public schools are little more than babysitting until they are adults. If you want a decent education today you need a private school or a lot of tutoring. [fortunately state universities and colleges seem to be very good AND liberal controlled .. but Jesuit is better .. and Christian colleges .. for a number of reasons]

      November 5, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Get a clue, Clod. You've been drinking the right-wing Kool-Aid too long. American schools aren't failing-that's just what you morons like to believe. If you look at statistics that compare apples to apples, even an idiot like you will be unable to deny it.

      November 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      @ Tom-Tom I think you are a product of public schools .. and good reason not to want to be one of you. You didn't get much (but it's your life .. thank God .. and not ours) God does work in mysterious ways .. but there was not much work went into your situation. He must have had a head ache (or .. maybe you just ARE a head ache).

      November 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Figures you're a parochial brat, Clod.

      Poor little thing. You just can't handle being around anyone who isn't just like you-lily white and a sanctimonious prig.

      November 6, 2011 at 12:03 am |
  2. RightTurnClyde

    @Reality ..EXCELLENT publication list (thank yo for that). We definitely are on different sides in viewpoint but I will read some of those items listed (and of course have read most of the biblical content) .. and some Jesuit studies in my undergrad... Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Wycliffe, Des Cartes, Kierkgaard, Sartre, .. Loyola's spiritual exercises and Jesuit retreats. We cannot read too much in this topic area. I liked your list.

    Odd .. how many people think there was a "publishing industry" back in the first century and that they "bible" was written and proof read and on book shelves before the first council in Jerusalem... but NOT SO .. it took a couple centuries and there were mistakes made .. and there was NO printing press .. all hand written (pen and ink). BUT illiteracy was universal ..ONLY A FEW could read or write even toward the 17th century (and thus unable to make use of printed materials).

    I have always respected the committee of scholars who produced the KJV .. and whatever scholars made the early translations (Jerome et al). I respect today's scholars who keep thins "honest" and assure (at least) that license can not be taken by creative writers. It is a valuable process.

    So thank you for having provided this list and being part (at least) of that process.

    November 5, 2011 at 4:55 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      @Reality Looking over this list .. I like that you have the Gospel of Luke and the Acts (written by Luke) in that order because we think Acts is a "continuation" of the gospel of Luke (but obviously not synoptic. So the three synoptic gospels corroborate one another (even if you do not believe them .. I do .. but others do not). Then also I think you have the works of John in the correct order .. the 90-95 Apocalypse of John (first - and actually not essential to the Christian faith) 90-120 Gospel of John (excellent gospel) 90-120 1 John 90-120 2 John 90-120 3 John (we often call these "one eyed John, two eyed John and three eyed John) all are excellent epistles .. John is incredible. And during that latter period there wer already some major (heretical) differences brewing in the early Christian community. I do not spend too much energy on epistles (or later on encyclicals) because they have limited value (in my individual opinion) But I liked the chronology .. put into context with Masada, Rome burning, Nero and Paul's execution. .. and John's death. Josephus does not exercise academic discipline (many then did not). ...The Search for the Historic .. read portions of it in under grad and also after graduation. I lost interest in the gospel of Thomas and some of those omitted items .. I can see why they were omitted.

      I would suggest, however, that anyone who does not have your list to go and copy it (a few pages back) and become familiar with the chronology AND the content on a number of them before trying discuss them (at least academically). My suggestions are largely ignored. But that is a good list .. excellent list.

      November 5, 2011 at 5:17 am |
    • Reality

      With respect to John's Gospel and John' epistles, from Professor/Father Raymond Brown in his book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (The book has both a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from the Catholic Church),

      John's Gospel, Date- 80-110 CE, Traditional Attribution, (2nd Century), St. John, one of the Twelve,

      Author Detectable from the Contents, One who regards himself in the tradition of the disciple.

      First Epistle of John, Authenticity- Certainly by a writer in the Johannine tradition, probably NOT by the one responsible for most of the Gospel.

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."
      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      November 6, 2011 at 12:51 am |
  3. Jimtanker

    Whatever these deluded fools have to do to get through the day. Why not just change the word god to "Big G" and change the whole mass into Doggy Style. Have Snoop Dogg do the rewrite.

    November 5, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  4. HotAirAce

    If The Babble is the inerrant word of some god and the rcc is the lead christian cult, why do their tribal ceremonies need to be changed? Wouldn't a perfect god provide perfect rituals?

    November 5, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • HellBent

      You're talking about a god that endorses cannibalism and vapirism, nothing should really be surprising.

      November 5, 2011 at 1:16 am |
  5. i wonder

    These "new" words are exactly the ones that I learned as a kid in the 1950s. I remember folks being pretty miffed when they changed them...

    I wonder how much time and money they spent on these "big changes".

    November 4, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  6. HotAirAce

    Anything that causes confusion amongst believers is good and hopefully it helps them evolve to understanding their god and the jesus myth are just fairy tales.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      Read "The Little Engine that Could", or something by the Brothers Grimm. Then read something by St. Augustine of Hippo or G.K. Chesterton, or Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Doing so will help you discover the difference between a religious thought and fairy tales.

      November 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      catholic, apparently you haven't heard of C.S. Lewis. He took a fairy tale and made another fairy tale out of it. The bible is a book of fables that uses a few actual events and places to make it appear real.

      November 5, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • HellBent

      For my money, if I want something religiously-derived I'll go with Jefferson's bible. Take the moral message and remove the hocus pocus and you're left with a pretty decent text.

      November 5, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @christian engineer

      Have read The Babble and suffered through many years of religious indoctrination, and determined that there is no discernible difference between The Babble and a fairy tale or bad fiction, but please do attempt to prove me wrong.

      November 5, 2011 at 12:59 am |
  7. RightTurnClyde

    God exists. God does not need to wonder if He exists (like Des Cartes) and He knows HOW he created everything. It is mans "problem" to decide if he believes in God and accepts God's goodness. Many men cannot do that and want to reform God into THEIR notion of Him. And that does not (ever) do the trick. It's mans dilemma and mans enigma.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      Man created god. Man also created the tooth fairy. End of story.

      November 4, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      The moon is made of green cheese. (And BTW it's Descartes.)

      November 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      And as Carl Jung, the father of analytical psychology pointed out: "God's existence does not depend upon our arguments."

      November 4, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • HellBent

      @catholic engineer,

      Neither does Allah or Zeus or Krishna or Atlaua.

      November 4, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      @ HellBent: Look up "The Perennial Philosophy" by Aldous Huxley on Wikipedia. ( I think he was an atheist). He explains that all the religions originate from one universal principle. The many religions are simply different expressions of that one truth. The "perennial error" of atheists is that they argue against the trees, when their real problem is the forest.

      November 5, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      They are expressions of one truth? So, that thing about christianity and jesus being the only way to heaven is just part of the larger myth? Different religions tend to make it clear that their way is the only way. Doesn't sound interconnected to me.

      The larger "truth" is that all religion is a myth. Out of the hundreds of gods mankind has invented, not one of them ever steps foot on Earth for any of us to see. We can't see black holes, but at least they provide evidence to prove their existence.

      November 5, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • HellBent

      @catholic engineer, I get the an.alogy, though I think it's a poor one. The 'trees' in your ana.logy – the individual gods, are important to argue against when believers talk about their One True God. When talking about the forest – that all religions have a common origin, I completely agree. Of course, atheists can point to a number of studies that talk about the origin of a deity or deities. There are psychological arguments that purport humans created deities as a coping mechanism and to explain phenomena they couldn't otherwise understand – tides, the rising and setting of the sun, etc. There are also evolutionary arguments for religion – that religion was a necessary adaption for group cohesion in early societies.

      As a catholic, I as.sumed that you thought your is the One True God (a tree) and not a deist (the forest) who thinks that all gods are basically the same enti.ty. After all, your pope has recently refused to pray at an interfaith gatherings for exactly this reason.

      November 5, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      By the way, an Atheist that calls any religion "truth" isn't an Atheist at all. Might want to think long, deep and hard about that one.

      November 5, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • AGuest9

      @catholic engineer: If you stand on a mountain top, the forest below doesn't matter. The view is quite clear.

      November 5, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  8. RightTurnClyde

    This is one more reason why many of us left the RC church. There was nothing wrong with the Latin m.a.s.s - the "problems" were with s.c.r.e.w.e.d up d.o.c.t.r.i.n.e (like celibacy and a we./.they view of religious.-.l.a.y. Christians ..and the increasing .p.a.n.d.e.r.i.n.g. to women's l.i.b.b.e.rs and other i.s.m.s and movements). So now they are d.e.f.u.n.c.t church arranging the d.e.c.k. chairs on the T.i.t.a.n.i.c.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  9. gerald

    Big changes? great confusion? They just changed the gloria a bit and the response to "the lord be with you". Not a whole lot else. If people have a cow about this they are clueless.

    November 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      They are incapable of change .. they do not know how to do it

      November 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      I actually know people who have left the church over this. They would much rather have seen the church's efforts focused on taking care of larger issues.

      November 4, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  10. JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

    If every translation is less than the original, then why does the catholic corporation not use the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek bible? These are the original languages this book of fiction were written in. I'm curious to know what this jesus fellow in the bible would think today if he walked into a catholic church. I believe his inner monologue would sorta of resemble the following:

    "Lovely architecture. Why is that priest so interested in that boy? Hmmmmmmmmmm. This is terribly boring. Wait a minute, why are you people talking to my mother? She's friggin dead for Christ's sake. These people really are out of it. Like zombies. I don't remember teaching my followers to abide by this life-sucking weekly ritual. It's been nice, but hell is a lot more fun than being here. The atheists were right. I'm out of here."

    November 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Pocket Lint, tell all of us how you learned about love, compassion, forgiveness, patience, honesty, sharing, caring ... to list a few of the positive human interactions? Oh, it was Jesus' truth taught to you by your parents and their parents before them, so on and so forth ... just as I thought!


      November 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "tell all of us how you learned about love, compassion, forgiveness, patience, honesty, sharing, caring"

      don't need a god for that, it is part of being human, we learned over time.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      These things existed before the creation of god. Sorry to burst your bubble!

      November 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      Ah HeavenSent, don't ya be bothering me sons and daughters in this fine blog now. Carry on with yer Bible Study web sites and perhaps learn a bit about how to not be a complete caustic bit ch. God Bless ya then.

      Amen. (for no apparent reason)

      November 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • DamianKnight


      I respectfully disagree. The ideas of "charity" and "kindness" are not human nature. Greed and selfishness are the ways of humans. Think about everything going on in the world. Look at the top headlines of a day and you'll see that the world is full of greed and selfishness.

      I'm not going to say Christ had the monopoly on the idea of kindness and charity. After all, we can look at the teachings of Confucius, Buddha and a lot of other people who spoke about being kind to one's neighbor and treating others well. I'm just saying kindness and charity are not innate "attributes" of humans, which is kind of sad.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.


      It doesn't take a belief in a deity to be moral or compassionate. All one needs is basic psychology to figure it out. The term "selfish" is one that has become synonymous with the guilt of religion. Self gratification is considered selfishness according to religion. But why would anyone be religious if it wasn't self gratifying? If these people didn't think it would get them into heaven, do you think they'd go to church or do good deeds? They do it because they think the sky-watcher is peering down from the clouds and weighing their actions. Pretty selfish to be charitable just because you think it'll grant you entry through the pearly gates and not because you don't really care, don't you think?

      Why have mothers been found covering their children in house fires? To protect them. Is it because they were religious? Absolutely not. It's because they wanted to protect their children out of love and would go through unimaginable torture and death to ensure their survival. It's not something they learned from a book. We don't need religion to guide us.

      November 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • gerald


      November 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      What factual evidence do you have to support this monumental claim?

      November 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • gerald

      Well with every post you provide we have greater and greater evidence of it.

      November 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • HAHAHA

      "Look at the top headlines of a day and you'll see that the world is full of greed and selfishness. "

      Wow this just demonstrates the negative attitude that christians have in our society. You know what this says to me YOU"RE not INVOLVED in your communities. If I got my idea of this world from the news media I probably have your negative attitude too. DUH that's why it's news and sells.. If we take your poor example then if you look at the destruction your god has caused over time then life is total shit. It's amazing that you can't give the human race the credit for how far we have come, the compassion and love that is within them. Do us all a favor and get an atttude adjustment.

      November 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      Gerald, such as.....? What, because I'm anti-religion you believe that your OPINION is evidence and that I'm the opposite of all things pure and righteous in your eyes? Makes plenty of sense to me!

      November 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • DamianKnight


      Ahem. I am trying to remain respectful, not intending to get you wound up, so let's try to keep this civil, shall we? It breeds a far more intelligent and thought-provoking discussion rather than baseless assumptions on my atti.tude.

      Second, since I am not in places such as North Korea, Sudan, Libya or other places, I do rely on other sources to tell me what is going on. That said, I read several news sources, both liberal and conservative on a daily basis. But what I do find interesting is that you imply I should not use news sources as a basis for my opinion that people are greedy and selfish, yet you fail to provide what sources you are using. Would you care to enlighten me?

      I won't deny that the news is full of grim and pessimistic news, but what doesn't surprise me, is that they somehow seem to fill their newspapers, internet pages, magazines and television programs with this information on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. It seems to be a limitless supply which would indicate that there is QUITE a bit of it.

      Finally, I did not say that there were not compassionate, good-natured and kind people.

      Look at our government and Wall Street. What caused the economic downfall we are in? Greed and selfishness.

      Look at how the American worker has been reduced to replaceable machines in the workforce when back forty or fifty years ago, American companies had PRIDE that they hired American workers. Now, there is no pride in that. They'd rather off-shore it for cheaper labor costs. Pension plans which people worked hard for are now either minimized or not available at all in favor of 401ks that have diminished so much that people can't retire. Greed and selfishness.

      Look at how many people are in financial debt because they had to buy the newest iPhone or big screen television when their current phone and television operate just fine.

      Those are just some of the problems and that's just here, in America. Let's not even get into regimes such as Sudan, North Korea, Iran, etc.

      People are inherently greedy and selfish. Can that be overcome and true compassion be shown? Absolutely and it's a wonderful thing that happens and a true testament to what humans can do when they show that kind of generosity. All I'm saying is, that's not the "default" setting on people.

      November 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Damien knight
      I agree that selfishness is the default state of humanity.
      People instinctively do that which is least painful.
      The old testament god was full of wrath in order to instill enough fear to convince it's intended audience, the Jewish people, to overcome their base instincts and form a community.
      Shared fears, hopes and goals, often expressed through mythology, are what form the basis of tribes.
      The tribe is the most basic extension of the survival instinct beyond the immediately personal.
      The haracte of Jesus Christ moves a step beyond, encouraging others to extend the tribe into all the world.
      Unfortunately, as the ultimate exemplar of altruism, con men turned shamans have exploited those whofeed the beauty of emulating Christ – hence we had churches as the ruling authorty for centuries, brandishing threats of hellfire to again exert power through fear.
      I don't fear or even dislike Christians, but I am extremely wary of shamans and their followers.

      November 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HS, apparently God isn't teaching everyone about those things–he missed you.

      November 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  11. catholic engineer

    Apparently, the anti-catholics could use their own version of a rosary. They could go from bead to bead repeating the same comments over and over and over and over again as they do on this blog. Man, I could make a fortune !

    November 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes, the atheists go to the same ole same ole Jesus bashing site to get their nonsense they repeat and spew on this and other blogs.

      Talk about being cut from the same cookie cutter. LOL.


      November 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • TCS

      Too true!!!

      November 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • ......

      "Yes, the atheists go to the same ole same ole Jesus bashing site to get their nonsense they repeat and spew on this and other blogs.

      Talk about being cut from the same cookie cutter."

      Pot meet kettle – Kettle meet pot. Wow that log in your eye is getting bigger and bigger.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      Heaven, and you? Producing the same nonsense day after day on the same site! At least atheists can back up what they have to say.

      Atheism : Here are the facts, what conclusions can we draw from them?

      Religion: Here is the conclusion, but we don't have any facts to support it.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      Amen Jesus Saves, Amen.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      @ Jesus Save Pocket Lint, "Producing the same nonsense day after day on the same site! At least atheists can back up what they have to say."
      The atheist goes back to his ideas in the same sense that a dog goes back to his own vomit.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.


      When you say vomit, you mean when we quote scripture to destroy the bible? Scripture is vomit. You're right about that! Glad you agree. Come on out to Vegas. Let's grab a beer and celebrate this unity of thought.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      Well now catholic engineer, that is just not a nice thing to say now is it. Forget that it doesn't make a lick of sense but it just be a foul thing and I don't think the good Lord is gonna give ya a pat on the back for that one son. Bless ya.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • ghera

      Isn't that the truth.
      Same old stuff all of the time yawn.

      November 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • AGuest9

      @HeavenSent – when you whackos stay off the science sites blathering about how your god "made" the sun create sunspots and how your god "will save us from an asteroid if we all pray hard enough" and stay out of our schools and court rooms, trying to force your lies on our children in the guise of "science" and using your god to pick a presidential candidate to further ruin the country with the messes Bush created, I'll be happy to leave you fools to babble about your ancient mysticism.

      November 5, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  12. Father O'blivion

    Everything sounds funnier in Ja panese. Try it children, it's fun!

    “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.” =


    That one gets 'em rolling in the aisles every time! Bless ya then.

    November 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  13. Father O'blivion

    Oh dear me, and I was still strugglin' with the Holy Trinity. Now this.

    November 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  14. BobZemko

    How about giving a bit more attention to the victims of the abusive priests. People are leaving the church by the thousands. Why not address that? Move into the 21st Century and stop the hate (against gays, other faiths, etc.)

    November 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • HellBent

      The RCC would rather the sheeple be ignorant. If they can't even figure out what the priest is saying then things sounds more mysterious. You'll have fewer people that question things because they won't even know what to question. Ignorance is bliss.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      "If they can't even figure out what the priest is saying then things sounds more mysterious."

      "Latine dictum sit, altum viditur"

      November 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      BobZemko, you wrote "How about giving a bit more attention to the victims of the abusive priests. People are leaving the church by the thousands. Why not address that? Move into the 21st Century and stop the hate (against gays, other faiths, etc.)"

      Answer: Your lazy generation is leaving the church not because of abusive priests, but due to their laziness and self discipline issues. Christians don't hate gays or other faiths. We love all people. Too bad these same people don't love themselves enough to learn, comprehend and apply Jesus' truth about Life and the hereafter into their lives. Christians can't force them to stop paying attention to the ways of the world, man made false religions and lifestyles. Only Jesus saves. Or, haven't you heard that truth either?


      November 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      Heaven, based on your opinion I can tell you've never read the bible.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  15. hippypoet

    according to Witczak, “led the first generation of translators to choose to translate text in a way that in retrospect may have been a little bit too simple in not paying enough attention to the richness and content of the Latin prayers.”

    if anyone here has ever studied latin, they know the task they were up against- translating something from latin in exacting fashion is truly a pain in the @ss... trust me, i know first hand... a simple sentence can have many different meanings if you take the words in a sentence and lets say they were directed at a person, and you translate them as if the person was just saying the words outloud – well in latin there are different words and pre-fixes for that. its insane!!! you have to be VERY careful when translating from latin!

    November 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      Hippypoet my lad, you seem like a bright sort of fellow indeed. Now do ya subscribe to the Vetus Latina or the Vulgate? And uh, perhaps a bit later you might be sharin' some of that Glenfiddich with the 'ol Father eh? Bless ya son.

      November 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well thats not really a question unless i wrote in latin for more then the translation i did when i was younger – i translated a few passages that were published online of the dead sea scrolls – i hate doing greek linear A, i prefer if i am going greco roma – linear B is much more complete alphabet...but to attempt an answer at your question – i'd say the Vetus Latina is the best- its more pure to the source. this is what i used and built off of when doing the DSS.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      Aye Lad, I agree with ya on the Vetus Latina, but as far as the rest you are a bit to brainy for the good Father. Thank heavens we still have a few smart ones out there like yerself. Now about the Glenfiddich......? I be needin' my medicine son.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      hippypoet, if you knew anything about languages you'd know that English is the most difficult to learn.


      November 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      Heaven, this is the first time you've ever said anything that wasn't a complete fabrication. Good for you!

      November 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HS, you're wrong again. Chinese is far more difficult.

      November 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      From the perspective of a native English speaker, Chinese is at the top of the list. From other language speaking perspectives English ranks near the top due to the many exceptions within the language.

      November 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope. The tonal nature of Chinese is what makes it the most difficult language to learn. Chinese and other Asian language speakers are more likely to develop perfect pitch because the languages they speak are so dependent on intonation.

      English can be learned comparatively easily. Except by dolts like HS, who think "recooping" is a word.

      November 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    I can sum up every Catholic rite in four, easy to remember Latin words.
    "Merda taurorum animas conturbit".

    November 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  17. catholic engineer

    Mass confusion in the pews? Oh, cut it out. The other Sunday our priest (pedophile! pedophile! ) used all of three minutes to explain the changes.

    November 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  18. hippypoet

    mass confusion is the christians way of life !

    November 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      It only seems like confusion when people emerge from their hemp fog.

      November 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      Yes my son, and "Mass" confusion is the Catholic way, among a few other un-mentionables. Dear me.

      November 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • HellBent

      @catholic engineer,

      Oh, there's plenty of confusion in the pews already – this just adds a wee bit more. 45% of Catholics don't even know the church's teaching on the most important and fundamental part of the mass – transubstantiation. (that's from a study conducted by the Pew Research Forum)

      November 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Lorem Pater O'blivion, cur non iustus utor English et alienandi stop fidelium. Aliquam cursus sem et pretium necesse. Fecerunt in ninteen sixties perdiderunt millions of his nunc sunt stulta satis efficio is iterum? Quam stolidus. 😈

      November 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      Well me lad, I don't have much of an opinion on the why's and what for's. Just sit down, say what your told, drop in your money. God is Christ. Christ is a Ghost. A Ghost is God, etc. Pray and go to Heaven. Easy.

      November 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Why thank ya Faaather. All me cousins in County Cork, and County Limerick will be happy to know their fallen-away cousin is speakin to a reverend once again. I do think you may have been kissin that blarney stone a bit too much tho. 😈

      November 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  19. Reality

    For the next change:

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

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

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

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

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

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


    November 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      I love this part: "(updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)"

      Meaning: I took what parts I liked and used them to substantiate my "belief" without so much as a quote from any of these historians and/or theologians.

      November 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Absolute bull sh it concocted by someone not based in reality and unworthy of attention.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, still miffed I see that no one cares to follow you. Oh, that's right, they love and follow Jesus.


      November 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      He doesn't appear miffed to me. He posted and left it at that. And as predicted you show up with a smug comment. Beautifully done!

      November 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Reality

      "Updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)"

      Some of the studies for those interested:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm

      November 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.

      November 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      29. NT and beyond time line:

      November 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      November 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Would respectfully suggest the addition of "Jesus Interrupted" by Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, Chairman of Religious Studies at U of NC. From the Amazon description : "Picking up where Bible expert Bart Ehrman's New York Times bestseller Misquoting Jesus left off, Jesus, Interrupted addresses the larger issue of what the New Testament actually teaches—and it's not what most people think. Here Ehrman reveals what scholars have unearthed:
      The authors of the New Testament have diverging views about who Jesus was and how salvation works.
      The New Testament contains books that were forged in the names of the apostles by Christian writers who lived decades later. Jesus, Paul, Matthew, and John all represented fundamentally different religions.Established Christian doctrines—such as the suffering messiah, the divinity of Jesus, and the trinity—were the inventions of still later theologians.
      These are not idiosyncratic perspectives of just one modern scholar, as Ehrman skillfully demonstrates. 😈

      November 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Reality

      Ehrman's books and conclustions are included in reference #1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      November 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  20. Hasa Diga Eebowai

    “Every translation is less than the original” ... that includes every version of today's bibles (including the latin one)

    November 4, 2011 at 3:52 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.