My Faith: An unexpected Christmas at South Pole
The South Pole reminds people how little control we have over our lives, the Rev. Steve Rossetti says.
December 23rd, 2011
06:00 AM ET

My Faith: An unexpected Christmas at South Pole

Editor's note: The Rev. Steve Rossetti is a professor of theology at Catholic University in Washington, and he's a chaplain this Christmas at the South Pole.

By The Rev. Steve Rossetti, Special to CNN

South Pole, Antarctica (CNN) - Modern men and women often live under the illusion that they are in control of their lives. Science and technology have brought us far beyond the superstitions of ancient civilizations. Confident in our abilities and achievements, we feel secure. Outside of the occasional environmental or personal tragedy, we feel self-sufficient and safe.

Antarctica blasts this illusion of control. As one of the managers at the South Pole told me, “Antarctica is boss.” Anyone who loses respect for this savage continent is in danger of paying the ultimate price. As local lore has it, “Antarctica is constantly trying to kill you.”

Normally, I teach theology at the Catholic University of America, and I am a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse. But for the second time, the first being 2008, the Antarctic "itch" got in my blood, and I volunteered to serve on the "Ice," as they call Antarctica here. My "parish" is the Americans at McMurdo Station and the South Pole, plus the New Zealanders at Scott Base, without forgetting the 211 scientists and support staff strewn across the continent, living in tents, at our 20-plus field sites.

This month we are celebrating the centennial of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his party being the first human beings to set foot at the South Pole. They arrived on December 14, 1911. Thirty-four days later, British naval officer Robert Scott also reached the pole, but on his return his entire party perished in a harsh Antarctic blizzard. And they were both traveling during Antarctica’s summer. In the austral winter, the weather is completely impossible.

The Rev. Steve Rossetti visits the South Pole to be a chaplain to scientists.

I arrived at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station on Wednesday for a “quick trip.” The plan was for me to celebrate an early Christmas liturgy before returning to McMurdo Station on the coast of Antarctica the next day for its celebration of the Lord’s birth. When I arrived at the pole, it was sunny, no wind and a relatively warm -24 degrees Fahrenheit. Things seemed great.

It felt like an easy trip to the pole this time, but the next day the winds began to howl and everything turned white. All air traffic ceased. I spoke to the weather people. Things didn’t look good. I was locked in at the pole, and there was absolutely nothing I or anyone else could do about it. A common feeling on the continent swept over me - I was helpless.

Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest and coldest continent on the Earth. The coldest temperature ever recorded on this planet was -128.5° F, in Antarctica. The old hands here tell me that each winter, the temperature at the pole will dip at some point to -100° F. Combined with the strong winds, winter on the continent is mostly about survival. Even with eight chemical hand and foot warmers working and bundled in our issued “extreme cold weather” gear, South Pole winter staff do not last long outside.

Antarctica puts you in your place. We are not in control here. Planning is difficult, and people are constantly adjusting. But on a larger scale, it reminds me that in general we have little control over much of our lives. Antarctica can remind you of that. Try as we might, we have little control over most of the events that impact so heavily upon our lives. This seeming arbitrariness can be frightening.

Some believe that their lives and very existence are a matter of random chance or simply the result of cosmic and biological processes. Behind such processes, they do not see any hand guiding it all. Much of the astounding science that occurs on Antarctica is immersed with understanding the origins and health of our planet. But it cannot answer fundamental human questions, “Why am I here?” “Is there a plan for my life?”

On this icy, frozen continent, we are humbled. It reminds us of our frail humanity. When I entered the South Pole station and I took off my thick goose-down parka, my clerical collar and lettering on my shirt saying “chaplain” were clearly visible. I walked down the corridor of the South Pole station, and there were more than a few faces that smiled and welcomed me. They said they’re glad I’m here.

This morning, as the flights out were canceled again, I walked into the manager’s office. We looked at the weather and she said, “Looks like you might be here for Christmas.” She told me that they have never before had a chaplain here on Christmas Day. She said, “We would be fortunate and grateful.” This morning, several people smiled broadly when they heard I might be at the pole with them for Christmas.

One could see this storm as a random event and my being weathered in at the South Pole simply as an act of nature. But it may be that, for the first time, a chaplain will be here on Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of the Son of God. I cannot plan it; I can only accept whatever comes. Each day, we will look out and see what has been planned for us.

Isn’t this the case for each of our lives?

Whether I am here for Christmas or not, I will be present for a few more days, and I will try to spend each hour meeting with the hardy souls who inhabit this southern end of the Earth. I will listen to them. I will pray with them. I will remind them that while we are not in control of our lives, there is someone who is. This divine someone loves us so much that he sent his only son, whose birth I will soon celebrate ... perhaps at the South Pole.

Maybe this was the plan all along.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the Rev. Steve Rossetti.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Christmas

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. miguel

    great, now those hideous cape wearing mind eating people known as the clergy can claim a toe hold on that last unspoiled part of the planet, can they not for one moment beleive that anyone might not want their presence, lies, or pontifications?

    for the love of the universe, whats with them, be gone already

    December 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Mad The Swine

      Batman wears a cape. Does that make him evil?

      December 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  2. LinCA

    At he beginning of the article Rossetti says "Science and technology have brought us far beyond the superstitions of ancient civilizations.", and then spends the rest of the article proving that he hasn't been. What else is new.

    December 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I bet he doesn't even realize the irony of his statement. Or is "hypocritical" the word I'm looking for?

      December 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • DanB

      No irony at all. Monotheistic religion was the impulse behind the adoption of the scientific method. Started by a muslim it was then used by Newton, Kepler, Leibnitz, Pascal, Maxwell, Heisenberg, Farady, etc, etc, etc, to advance knowledge of the material world (and as an FYI the Big Bang, which shows that the book of Genesis was correct in postulating that the universe had a beginning whereas science for at least a century before that had thought it was infinite in duration, was postulated by a Roman Catholic Priest/Physicist).

      Morever, 20th century science and mathematics has consistently shown us that we are almost certainly not completely material beings.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      Your selective, incorrect reading of history is rather myopic. The origins of science were far older than monotheism, (Greek, Egyptian, Chinese), and please cite one scientific study that proves we are more than "material". And then even if you were to be correct, how is you decided to take the HUGE jump to the irrational ("god is a person").

      December 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      Actually it's going to be really funny in the next 50 years to see what the religionists do to "revise" their paradigm when self-aware robots, and human-machines are WAY more intelligent than strictly biologically based intelligence systems. Do they go to Macy's and pick up a soul ?

      December 23, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Maybe you could buy a clue

      That is a thought. So the omniscient god made man in his image, and then man made a better version of the image. Sorta weird. God did a mighty poor job it seems.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • DanB

      @ FN

      Godel's Incompleteness Theorem.

      BTW, you apparently don't know that science never "proves" anything. Scientific theories can never be proven, not disproven. No matter, what I gave you above is a mathematical theorem and mathematical theorems can be proven.

      Also, there is wide consensus among historians that the scientific method was developed by Al-Haytham. Apparently you are unfamiliar with it but you can easily Google it:


      The above link will help you understand what the scientific method is (so in the future you don't ask people to show scientific "proof" of something) and who developed it.

      Indeed, none of this shows that any given monotheistic religion is correct. For that you have to look at other thing such as the historicity of their holy books, etc.

      BTW, just for holiday entertainment read Genesis 6.3 and then look up how many years the Hayflick Limit is 🙂

      December 24, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • DanB

      meant to say "only disproven" above.

      December 24, 2011 at 8:33 am |
  3. cm

    Kiss all those penquins for me! Happy Christmas and what an amazing vocation!

    December 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  4. Ann

    God bless you, Father. Have a blast. Human beings argue among themselves yada yada. In this dark time, the light of Christ's goodness and peace lives in the ice and snow of winter.

    December 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  5. *frank*

    +It's really cold in Antarctica. Places that are frozen solid are really cold. Who knew?!?
    +Great Sky Spirit Yaw-Wah sent his son to Planet Earth because he loves us.
    +Yes, it's really cold here in Antarctica. Some scientist guy smiled at me. Why did he smile? Why am I here? Science is mute! Could it be...Yaw-Wah? *conspirational wink*
    profound stuff...

    December 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm |


    December 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  7. David Johnson

    If there were an intelligent designer, why would He make so much real estate virtually uninhabitable? Especially since the Catholics want everyone to multiply?

    Yet another reason to reject the "there is a god" hypothesis.


    December 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • just sayin

      Why is there habitable?
      Yours is about the most stupid I have ever seen.

      December 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Jose Manique

      Simply because His plan is far beyond your very limited intelligence, Sir.

      December 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • AHHH

      If god has a plan, what happened to free will? Talk about limited intelligence ...

      December 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • fidel m

      David. Your point was valid. Your detractors are the morons.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @just sayin

      You said: "Why is there habitable? Yours is about the most stupid I have ever seen.

      There is habitable, because organisms have learned to adapt to it. The earth was NOT created for us. We (and every other living beings) adapted to it.

      Consider, if there really was an all knowing, all powerful god, He could have created us to live in every environment found on earth. Or He could have designed us to thrive on Mars or Jupiter. To claim the earth is designed by a god, so humans can exist, is dumb. You are limiting your own myth. LOL

      Why is much of the earth comprised of water, ice or desert or land that we cannot live on? Because the earth and the rest of the universe was formed by chance. Not created by an intelligent designer. Well, maybe a dull witted designer...?

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist. Or, do you have evidence that He does?


      December 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • just sayin

      bull sh it

      December 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  8. Kevin

    How can anyone wade through all of this dreck and fail to see how it classifies itself as hate against not only Catholics but religion in general. It almost makes me think atheists can't count as high as the body count caused by atheistic regimes in the 20th century. I keep running into atheists who are apparently unaware of how deadly state required atheism proved itself to be over and over and over in the 20th Century's wars. More deaths than in all previous human conflicts combined. Atheists never know anything about this. They just keep repeating their slogans. Even atheists never want to see something like Stalinism or Maoism anywhere in the world. Not even in Antarctica.

    December 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Dude

      Atheism is a religion, much like any other. Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Atheism all have their dogmatic extremists who are so certain that they are right that they are willing to kill to force others to join them.

      Atheists who do not believe in a god, yet believe that there are higher powers or callings can quickly be set upon by the fundamentalist Atheists who reject such heresy.

      There is only one "there is no god" and it is the "there is no god" that we believe in. Belief in any other "there is no god" is heresy and must be put down.

      And so on. . .

      December 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • AHHH

      First, no one ever killed in the name of atheist. Several totalitarian regimes used atheism as a way to control the masses. By suppressing religion. The killed to consolidate power and eliminate enemies – not because of a lack of belief in a deity.

      And atheism is as much a religion as bald is a hair color. One either lacks a belief in any sort of higher power or one doesn't. If you just believe in a higher power, that makes you a deist. It's not a matter of being militant, it's a matter of looking at a dictionary.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • fidel

      Hey Kevin, please explain the Taiping Rebellion????? 20 million dead because some clown though he was the younger brother of jesus. Why don't you blame the atheists for that too.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "I keep running into atheists who are apparently unaware of how deadly state required atheism proved itself to be over and over and over in the 20th Century's wars. More deaths than in all previous human conflicts combined."

      Actually, you are right about killing more in the 20th Century's wars. But, consider that as the weapons improve, the death count goes up. Humans now have "ability" to exterminate every man, woman and child from the planet. The wars of old lacked effective weapons. It wasn't due to a lack of trying.

      I personally don't care if atheist or believers have killed more people. A winning body count on either side, is not evidence for or against there being a god.

      I am a Humanist. I don't have any desire to exterminate or enslave anyone. I believe in the Golden Rule (This wasn't new with Jesus. It preceded him by hundreds of years in one form or another.).

      The Republicans are serving two masters: The Christian Right and the Rich. You never hear Jesus' advice to the rich or how the poor and the elderly (honor your father and your mother) should be treated. Instead, they have adopted Paul as their Messiah. The quote from the First Ep_istle of Paul to the Thessalonians, to justify their cutting programs for the p_oor and elderly.

      Evangelicals are not Christians.


      December 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  9. chosenrebel

    I have long prayed for the scientist in Antarctica and though I am not Catholic, I am delighted that you are there and bringing the declaration of the gospel and that "he is there and he is not silent" to the men and women working there. May God give you great fruitfulness for the King of Kings and may the men and women there find their hope in Immanuel, God with us.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      It is meaningless, when a servant of the lousy pope preaches the gospel. He tells of something, which he doesn't understand.

      Assumed, the baby finger of the devil would decide to do good deeds instead of evil deeds, what would he first have to do? Answer: He had to leave the devils body. A finger will be able to do good deeds only in connection with a good body. An evil body with an evil head will never have got any good finger.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • evolvedDNA

      Is it a coincidence that the penguins look like nuns from the back.. its god way of enticing the Catholics out there perhaps!!!

      December 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      Rainer...What does an evil body and evil head look like,,,as for the finger thing.. hilarious...

      December 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Is it a coincidence that the penguins look like nuns from the back.. its god way of enticing the Catholics out there perhaps!!!"

      I think that would only work, if the penguins looked like altar boys from the back...


      December 23, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  10. SeanNJ

    Hope I'm not the only one to spot this. The author wrote:

    Antarctica blasts this illusion of control. As one of the managers at the South Pole told me, “Antarctica is boss.” Anyone who loses respect for this sav.age continent is in danger of paying the ultimate price. As local lore has it, “Antarctica is constantly trying to kill you.”

    To a believer, I would've thought that the "ultimate price" would be losing your immortal soul, not your relatively short, meaningless physical existence.

    December 23, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Brad

      From a believer: my immortal soul is not in danger of being lost. "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will s.natch them out of my hand."

      December 23, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Brad: But that should be the ultimate price, right?

      Or do I have to sit here and argue with you because you're not reading what he wrote.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Brad

      How can it be a price if it cannot be lost -at least in the way he is talking about. We do consider the "ultimate price" to be death. One death in particular: Christ's death on the cross.

      At any rate, you're expecting an RC priest's words to all have heavenly import. Like Father Mulcahy on MASH, perhaps.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Brad: F'ing ponderous. You win.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "From a believer: my immortal soul is not in danger of being lost. "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will s.natch them out of my hand."

      I don't think Christians are any more ready to die than I am. I don't want to die. Not now, not ever. I bet if I put a gun to your head and promised to blow your brains out, unless you asked me not to, you would ask me not to. Life is precious to all humans.

      Do you go to the doctor Brad? Of course you do. You don't depend on god for a healing. In spite of all the promises Jesus makes. LOL

      Saying you would not be as afraid as me is a non-starter. No way to measure it.

      Cheers !

      December 23, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • DanB

      Silly comments here. If many Christians were not extremely courageous and didn't posses the courage that only the firm belief in something beyond this physical universe could provide there religioun would not have survived. For 300 years being known to be Christian was a death sentence and yet Christianity had explosive growth.

      Some here might benefit from reading Tacitus some time.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  11. tallulah13

    I'm very confused as to why the author seems so surprised that nature is not under human control. Every winter around here, someone gets killed doing something shortsighted, like climbing one of the area mountains in dodgy weather or following their GPS instead of common sense. Humans can destroy nature, but they can't control it. As a friend of mine says: "Nature always bats last."

    December 23, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      The nature is under God's control: Once Jesus and his disciples were threatened by a storm. The disciples feared for their life. Jesus just spoke a word and the storm ended.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 8:

      23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

      December 23, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • hippypoet

      Rainer, yeah me too! and i have as much proof as you do that jesus did the same!

      December 23, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Nature is under Thor's control.
      With Tanngrisni and Tanngnost pulling his chariot, the God hurled Mjolnir and opened the heavens with mighty torrents.
      Until the day Jormungard poisons Him during Ragnarok, Thor will always control the storms of the world.

      "Force rules the world still,
      Has ruled it, shall rule it;
      Meekness is weakness,
      Strength is triumphant,
      Over the whole earth
      Still is it Thor's Day!

      Thou art a God too,
      O Galilean!
      And thus singled-handed
      Unto the combat,
      Gauntlet or Gospel,
      Here I defy thee!"

      – The Challenge of Thor – V. 4-5

      December 23, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Bo

      @ tallulah13–How did you read into this article that this man was surprised? I didn't see it as he was surprised at all, in fact, he knew the weather could not be controled, he was just just explaining that we are “not in control” of all the things in our lives. No surprise.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Doc Vestibule

      Hi Doc, merry Christmas!

      You should not equate the Holy Bible, which has much historical evidence, with Germanic myths.

      The Bible is true. The strories of the Bible were confirmed by many independent eyewitnesses. Within in short time the Bible spread all over the whole Roman Empire. Nobody wrote a refutation. Why? Obviously it was all true, what was written in the Bible.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • tallulah13


      I guess because he keep reiterating what most people know to be true. This is just another fluff article.


      If your god is control of nature, he certainly uses that power to make it look as though he doesn't exist. In fact, pretty much all of what your god does seems to be done with the intent to make himself look as nonexistent as possible.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • hippypoet

      you said "In fact, pretty much all of what your god does seems to be done with the intent to make himself look as nonexistent as possible."

      lol, thats like the old saying, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convicing the world he doesn't exist! oh god is the devil... that means that the devil is god!!! so all religious people that worship the abrahamic god was really just devil worshipers!

      December 23, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • God

      Yeah, nature IS under my control. Why do you think I sent that tsunami last Spring to kill all those evil babies in Ja'pan ?

      December 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Not under human control, and not under any god's control. Random Events.

      Rick Perry issued a proclamation, that for 72 hours, the citizens of Texas would all pray for rain. I thought, surely god would hear their prayers and open the windows of Heaven!
      The "days of prayer" ended Sunday, April 24, 2011.
      As of Dec 7, 2011 ... Most of Central Texas and the Colorado River basin remain in the grips of an extreme drought.

      We are on our own sister. There is no evidence a sky daddy is watching over us. If an asteroid comes our way...


      December 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rainer Braendlein

      If you think the storm story is cool, you definitely should read some Greek mythology. It will blow you away!

      The Greeks gave their gods all sorts of cool adventures, including mating with humans and creating demigods, like Jesus.
      In fact, Jesus is a composite of the sun gods, Mithra, Horus etc. Check them out. You will be amazed at the similarities.

      The miracles supposedly performed by Jesus were added, to convince everyone He was... "miraculous"! LOL

      Spiderman once used his webbing and strength to stop a runaway train! OMG! How did he do it?

      He didn't. It is all B.S.

      Prove the Christian god exists, and your tales of Jesus will be more credible.


      December 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  12. Lorem Nativitatis

    Merry Christmas!!!

    December 23, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    The great German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer has condemned papacy together with the Reichskirche (German Nazi-Church) of his time

    You can check this in Volume 14 of the DietrichBonhoefferWerke (DBW) “Illegale Theologenausbildung in Finkenwalde 1935-1937″, Bonhoeffer’s Aufsatz über Kirchengemeinschaft:

    Open page 677 and 678 of the volume, because there you can read the following:

    What if, if in a single congregation of the Roman Church or of the Reichskirche (Nazi-Church) the gospel would be preached purely? Isn’t there then the true church too? (Answer:) There is no pure preaching of the gospel independent from the whole Church. Even if someone would preach the gospel in purity like the apostle Paul and he would be obedient to the pope or the Reichskirchenregierung (Nazi-Church), he would be a heretic and seducer of the congregation.”

    December 23, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • Brad

      I am a Lutheran, but would find it impossible to reject the whole of a denomination on the basis of some error I perceive. The papacy is an error, I believe, but the pope together with all Catholics make a similar confession of faith to the one I make through the creeds. I accept them as Christian brothers and sisters on that basis.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Hi Brad,

      First, merry Christmas!

      Please don't be naive. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) is never a Christian Church. The RCC is a strict hierarchy with the pope as its head. Everything in the RCC-body is under control of the pope-head.

      In contrast the true Church should be led by the Holy Spirit. The bishops or pastors of local congregations should have no visible head, but merely meet sometimes on "ecu-menical councils", in order to discuss difficult questions of the doctrine. Such ecu-menical councils would be led by the Holy Spirit or by the invisible Christ and thus it would be sure that the true doctrine would be figured out. No local pastor or bishop is higher than any other one, they have all the same rank and their divine teacher and head is Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit.

      In the RCC everything is focused on the pope, which is actually a poor, weak human being like I am. It is clear that a weak human being must err constantly and thus the RCC has become a nasty wormhole of heresies.

      I love the Catholics as human beings, but I reject their faith like I reject the Islam (I know that sounds hard, but it is according to the truth).

      December 23, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Brad

      Merry Christmas to you, Rainer, my brother in Christ!

      Your description of the error of Catholics is accurate, but I have to consider that I am not without error. I try to identify true doctrine and follow it, eliminating error, but I know I must fail in that because of my sinful nature. Am I divided from the body of Christ by my error? I don't think so. Neither do I think that all Catholics are excluded. Like many Catholics, I am saved by the grace of God.

      With respect, what do you find about Catholics that might be considered sin that cannot be forgiven?

      December 23, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • hippypoet

      because the creeds were all written by man as well as the bible and any so called word of god was also written down by man, there is a huge gap of error. if you view god as perfect, and humans as imperfect there can be no other conclusion, and therefore no creed or holy book is better or more correct then the other.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      I suppose the following:

      Sometimes Jesus had some talks with the Scribes and Pharisees and he proved his divine sonhip be the miracles, which he worked in the power of the Holy Spirit. However, the Scribes and the Pharisees said that Jesus would be obsessed by a demonic ghost. They called the Holy Spirit a demonic ghost. This seems to be the sin, which cannot be forgiven.

      Matthew 12:

      Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    "This divine someone loves us so much that he sent his only son, whose birth I will soon celebrate ... perhaps at the South Pole.", Mr. Rossetti said.

    This term is good in itself, but there is a problem: Mr. Rossetti is a Roman Catholic priest.

    The problem of Mr. Rossetti is that he is submitted to the pope. The pope has displaced Jesus Christ from his office as head of the Roman Catholic Church like he is head of the worldwide Christian Church.

    Thus, Mr. Rossetti can preach anything, it is worthless, because he is member of a Church, which has lost God's favour or in other words: The de facto Lord of Mr. Rossetti is not Jesus Christ, but the lousy pope.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Redlost

      Pssst...Your ignorance is showing. The idea of the pope is drawn from Jesus telling Peter, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." And what about all of Paul's letters, chastising churches that had lost their way in his eyes?

      While I do not believe the Pope is infallible, the idea of a man guiding a church (presumably with prayer, contemplation and study) is quite Biblical. I also fail to see how a Catholic priest teaching the Bible is somehow worthless because he answers to the pope. Catholic priests don't worship the pope, they worship the same trinity any typical Christian does.

      December 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Redlost

      The ideas behind "Thou shall not kill" and "Love thy neighbor as thyself" don't suddenly change because you want to feel more righteous than the one saying them.

      December 23, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  15. hippypoet

    what an interesting idea...NOT! every kid has had that idea EXCEPT we had it at the north pole....DUH! I doubt mrs. clause is gunna bring him her delicious home made cookies – shake n' bake and the elves helpped! Oh have you ever have chocolate moose...here try an antler...muhahahahaahha

    December 23, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • just wondering

      does hippypoet lay claim to every possible combination or inclusion of the name? could someone else be twohippypoet or just plain hippy or poet, would that offend? What about poethippy? Are all these under patent?

      December 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • hippypoet

      no offense is taken, its just cause misunderstandings of who posted what... you could consider it a common courtesy, but then courtesy would have to be common now wouldn't it! Common sense has the same issue.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  16. onehippypoet


    December 23, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • Ha

      So you admit it. Good.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • hippypoet

      that is rather odd that we should post at the same time given that we are not the same dude and you have stolen my name for your own use... i love serendipitous events!

      December 23, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein


      What do you criticize concretely?

      December 23, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • hippypoetcubed

      We're hatching all over the place.

      December 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  17. Reality

    Father Rossetti noted: " Science and technology have brought us far beyond the superst-itions of ancient civilizations". And yet he practices some of these superst-itions 24/7.

    So bringing the padre into the 21st century with a prayer:

    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.


    December 23, 2011 at 7:17 am |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on reality bull sh it

      December 23, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  18. Maybe you could buy a clue

    So because he feels that he is not in control of the weather, after he purposely puts himself in that potentially dangerous situation, feels helpless, then he drags the "god sent his son bs" thing out yet again. How idiotic. I wonder how many of those scientists were thinking, "oh great..him again...how long is he gonna be here this time". If that floats his boat, fine. Maybe some day he might think about the the fact that the answers he gets are in large part defined by the questions he asks. "Why am I here ?", "What is my purpose ?" Maybe those are not the questions he should be asking, and stop assuming those questions are the questions everyone really is asking. My question is : Why does he feel better when he gets others to accept his ridiculous answers to his inane questions ?

    December 23, 2011 at 6:51 am |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      Agree. It's like the 3 year old, constantly repeating "but why, but why, but why ?" to everything his mom or dad tells him, or asks him to do.

      December 23, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  19. Uncouth Swain

    Lol...unlike yourself, I was not foolish enough to write out a bunch of silliness and then say, "I don't even need to say anything."
    And argue what? You have made no claims that need a counter. Sure you came onto a belief page and seem surprised that aspects of faith and religion are being discussed, but I figured you was just slow.

    December 23, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • Aw, poor swain, awww!

      heh heh heh. You will never get it because you are too stupid, Lycidas. Your ignorance and stupidity shine from you like a beacon of darkness in the sunlight. You are one of the slimiest people who've ever posted here. Enjoy the sound of yourself fapping out a response to everyone who makes you mad. Poor kid. You must think you're making points but all you're doing is looking damn stupid. Ethos with Pathos. What a pretentious prig you are. Well, have fun! It's Friday you know. Big weekend for you, right? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      December 23, 2011 at 6:38 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      I love the wind-up toys on here. Hurt their pride an watch them go.

      Care to cite any real information or are you just going to ramble on all morning?

      December 23, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • Freeman

      Did you say something?

      December 23, 2011 at 6:47 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Say? No..write..yes.
      But I guess the question was too difficult for you at this time of day. Figures.

      December 23, 2011 at 6:52 am |
    • Freeman

      Hmmm. That's strange. I thought somebody said something. Must have been a mouse farting. Oh, well.

      December 23, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Well get your friend out of your pocket and move on then.

      December 23, 2011 at 7:01 am |
  20. Are you kidding me?

    You have GOT to be kidding me.

    Well, at least he uses pretty good grammar to say stupid and insane things.

    CNN sure is good at digging up ridiculous articles for us to comment on.
    I don't even need to say anything. It's too easy and just so sad and pathetic.

    December 23, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      You say a lot on here for someone that doesn't need to say anything.

      December 23, 2011 at 6:12 am |
    • Aw, poor swain, awww!

      And here you said so much stuff yourself! Poor, poor child. It really is sad and pathetic how you never quite have enough brains to argue, yet find the time to act like a child. When you have something halfway intelligent to say, someone will be along to talk to you. I'm guessing it will take several years before you grow up, so don't expect me to wait around.

      December 23, 2011 at 6:26 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.