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Pope appoints 22 new cardinals
Pope Benedict XVI arrives for the Consistory where he will appoint 22 new cardinals on February 18, 2012.
February 18th, 2012
10:51 AM ET

Pope appoints 22 new cardinals

By the CNN Wire Staff

Rome (CNN) - Pope Benedict appointed 22 new cardinals at the Vatican on Saturday, with his choices for the lofty role likely to influence who will be appointed as the next pontiff.

The Vatican named the new cardinals last month, but they were officially inducted by the pontiff in a special ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica.

Among those to be elevated to the College of Cardinals are New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, cementing his standing as the top Catholic in the United States, and Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of Baltimore.

Others include Archbishop Thomas Collins, from Toronto, as well as the Bishop of Hong Kong, John Tong Hon, and Major Archbishop George Alencherry from India

Senior clerics from Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Romania and Brazil are also represented, as well as several from Italy.

The College of Cardinals was established in 1150. Its main role is to advise the current Pope and pick his successor.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Willie

    Now go back and look at the antichrist's statement. He said that Jesus was showing Mary great praise. Is this not a lie? Yes, it is! Jesus was making it clear that His family are those that hear and do God's will. He made clear that His blood ties with Mary and his half-brothers and sisters are not of consequence. What is of consequence is hearing God's word and doing it. A woman once said to Jesus, "Blessed is the womb that bare thee and the paps that gave thee suck." Jesus said, "Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it." See what I'm saying?

    It is no wonder Catholics aren't encouraged to engage in serious Bible study. It would be crystal clear that the Catholic religion is built out of toothpicks. The pope and priests have on fancy robes, carrying incense in ornate cathedrals, and marching in processions with the montrance that includes their wafer god, but the bottom line is that there is nothing there. It is all vain. When Catholics write me with hate mail, they NEVER quote scripture. They just call me idiot, and worse. The devils that inhabit the Catholic religion have strongholds on these people's lives–but they can be saved. With God, nothing is impossible.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:50 am |
  2. Willie

    Back to the V.I.S. article. The antichrist goes on to put in a plug for Mary as co-reedemer/co- redemptrix with Jesus. [Co-redeemer means they believe that Mary is also an author of salvation to those that believe. This is a lie.] Look at this mumbo-jumbo without a supporting scripture to be found.

    Mary participated in Jesus's sufferings, through which "she shared in her Son's journey 'toward Jerusalem' and, more and more united to Him in faith, hope and love, cooperated in salvation."
    Just another day in the life of an antichrist. Spreading blasphemy and 20,000 people "in the audience" eating it up. May their eyes be opened to the truth of God's word.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:50 am |
  3. Willie

    hello

    February 21, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  4. Reality

    o http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
    o
    Religion………………………… Adherents

    Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

    Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism 1.1 billion
    Hinduism 900 million
    Chinese traditional religion 394 million
    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million

    Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

    Baha'i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000

    February 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  5. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Once again, an innocuous post on my part that offended no one was removed by the moderator. I praised the Pope for Sanctification of Kateri, congradulated the new Cardinals and simply asked why the rule that requires Cardinals to retire at age 80 did not affect the Pontiff.

    February 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Reality

      • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".
      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      --–
      ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
      ba-stard
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      do-uche
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      fu-ck......!
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      ji-sm
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sh-it
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
      -–
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      anal
      anus
      ass
      boob
      crap
      damn
      execute
      hell
      kill
      masturbation
      murder
      penis
      pubic
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)
      sphincter
      testes
      testicles

      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

      February 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Willie

      The RCC church will always be around. As long as they keep people under their fingers and control. They will control you, everyone, and the government. Number one target right now is taking out the Baptist and Protestants churches. Get their keys Jesuits in positions to act like baptist or Protestants and these keys Jesuits will pose as people preaching love and unity. The bible says to be separate if you are Born Again. Salvation is free and for everyone, does not need to be paid for or worked for but it's given to you freely. Just ask. So, the Catholic church is going to always be around because they are under the command of Satan.

      February 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Willie

      Ignatius of Loyola was hit by a cannon, recovered, wanted to be like St. Francis and started seeing things, so he seen mary one night and that was it....Jesus is the way, not mary. Satan will appear to you as a shinning light of angel the bible says. So, Ignatius hung up his sword by the alter of Black Madonna in the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat. He put himself in pain to suffer which is not BIBLE and this is not repentance..It's penance. He would whip himself, and see visions. He would tell people he knew the secrets and people would follow him. then the catholic church wonder what kind of witchcraft this was, and who he this man is...they put him in jail for a few years and after those few years went before pope Paul III. The pope accepted him and made this a part of RCC. "The society of Jesus" which came into being on Sept. 17, 1540. To destroy baptist and Protestants churches. "life of St. Ignatius of Loyola", by F.A. Forbes

      February 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  6. AGuest9

    The last photo I saw Emperor Palpatine smile in, he was wearing a black hood.

    February 19, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 19, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      exactly opposite. getting out into the world and making change happen is more effective than prayer. leave the cult of christianity and look instead to finding the truth.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      God is truth. Life without a plan or proper Godly instruction is a wasted effort.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you explain YOUR wasted life, Just Lying? You claim to believe, yet you are a hypocrite. You don't follow the teachings of Christ.

      Guess claiming to believe doesn't make you a Christian. Too bad for you.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Time for that soap bar to be inserted in your mouth Tommie, Tom.

      Amen.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Time for something much warmer and more cylindrical to be inserted in YOUR mouth, Stinky.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • just sayin

      Awww poor Tom, Tom, HeavenSent must have really left a mark on the poor widdle thing. There, there Tom,Tom it will be all right, that mean old HeavenSent was just teasing. Please put the soap back when you're done.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  8. md2205

    All narrative that occurs in the Torah does so only because it has significance relating to why G-d created the Jewish people and what He wants from them. (What were the Jews chosen by G-d for? It is their job to teach the world by example or by direct teaching the way G-d wants everyone to live – why He created the world. Why were the Jews needed to do this? The first person, Cain, killed his brother. After that, the people born treated each other badly up to Noah's time and G-d had to send a flood. The generations that were born after the flood eventually decided they wanted to fight G-d during the times of the Tower of Babel, and G-d decided to disperse everyone in location and language, to give people a chance to be able to live according to the way He wanted them to live, as there wouldn't be one king that could dictate to all of them how to act. Generations later, He decided to overthrow Sodom and Gemorah because of the way the people were treating each other, not being generous, acting immorally, etc. and the government in those areas punished those who were actually good to each other. So G-d decided to create a nation that would help the world come to a better place, to teach them to stop stealing, cannibalizing, murdering, and etc. as they were given plenty of chances to develop a good society on their own throughout the generations, but they never were able to do so. This is what G-d wants of all of us: He gave all people seven commandments to follow to make the world a good place to live. They are: To believe in One G-d, not to blaspheme Him, not to murder, not to steal and kidnap, not to do adultery, etc., not to eat the limb of a living animal (animal cruelty) and to set up effective courts of justice. We can make this world a better place to live, a place where G-d Himself will want to show Himself, and where He will "feel comfortable", when we increase in acts of goodness and kindness.

    February 18, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  9. Usman Akhtar

    Power full Truth.

    Hi,

    Watch these videos to see who your Lord, Your Savior, is truly and who take Jesus back after his Cruisifiction. You are the people who enslaved themselves in the slavery of the people who cruisify Jesus. I Challenge you to deny these videos and the massage in these videos. Paradise, who’s Paradise? Think about your kids and what they believe in. Listen to these creatures very carefully. These creatures are saying the name of their and every bodies Creator. May be GOD wants to give you a chance? I hope you won't call these creatures terrorist. Good Luck.

    Watch these videos.
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiX5AN1XiZg&w=640&h=360]
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFcrCiaqfEg&w=640&h=360]
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okazbOSMKSQ&w=640&h=360]
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkXtzxKbthg&w=640&h=360]
    Watch where this Red car is going.
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpex5x6YlL4&w=640&h=360]
    Usman Akhtar

    February 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  10. *frank*

    I think the loss of so many amazing works of art would be outweighed by the benefit to the world if a very small comet smashed into Vatican City and incinerated every one of those nauseating jackals.

    February 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Casey

      You are a repugnant excuse for a human being.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  11. TruthPrevails

    "Pope Benedict appointed 22 new cardinals"

    This translated is "Pope Benedict appointed 22 new potential ped.o.philes"

    February 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • captain america

      canadian atheist, this translated is a self appointed potential mass murderer. There's your sign

      February 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I guess CA wasn't on Pope-a-Dope's "most favored delusional" list.

      February 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • captain america

      canadian atheist mass murder wanna bees come oozing out of their dark corners, there's another one now. There's your sign

      February 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Does anyone have a secret decoder ring to make sense of CA's last post?

      February 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The Idiot Translator Ring? I don't know who's in possession of it at the moment. It's required so frequently that it's hard to keep track.

      February 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • just sayin

      Since atheists have been responsible for millions of mass murders in the last 100 years it is as logical to equate mass murder with all atheists as it is to equate child abuse with all catholics.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • Mirosal

      And how many mass murders were there from the x-tians in the past 1000 years, huh?

      February 19, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • just sayin

      Since there have never been a peoples known as x-ians the total would be zero. How about Klingons?

      February 19, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • Mirosal

      Klingons, like your god, are the product of imaginative minds. Fine, smart ass ... how about the mass murders, phony trials, and executions made by the religious in the past 1000 years?

      February 19, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      How the hell did murder come in to this? Ped.o.philes are prevalent within the catholic church, there is no debating that. As for Canadian Atheist Murderers...what the hell? The last time I had a record check done it showed NOTHING. Hell, I won't kill a bug and least of all would want to kill another human. This is just another one of CA's sad, pathetic attempts at attacking Canadian's and Atheists...what a sad pathetic human it is!
      Just spewin...I don't equate all catholics out to be child mo.lesters-I know that isn't the fact. You get peds no matter what a person believes in...it unfortunately becomes more noticeable when it comes from people that you should have no worries about. Being a ped is a mental illness and I do not know of anywhere in the buybull where it gives authorization for such a crime. Would you let your child be alone with a priest, knowing what the world knows? Would you seriously take that chance.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • just sayin

      There is no debating the millions murdered by atheists either, if all priests can be condemned by the actions of a very few then the same rules should apply. All atheists are at heart, mass murderers.

      February 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Gerald

      "Ped.o.philes are prevalent within the catholic church, there is no debating that."

      Oh really? There are a higher percentage of men who are peds In the CC? Is that what you are saying? That would in fact be wrong. In the CC it is less than 2% of the priests who have committed such acts. In general society it is more like 7%. Your posts are nonsense.

      February 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Gerald

      By the way not one single cardinal has EVER been charged with pedophillia. Sorry.

      February 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Gerald: Lack of seeking out evidence on your behalf does not make my comments nonsense and it wouldn't matter what the percentage was...any amount is too much!! The actual percentage for the States alone is around 4% within the catholic church...a place where you should be able to trust those in charge. I personally think given the stats, the catholic church should be disbanded and all the accused turned over for prosecution. If you think turning them over for prosecution is wrong, then I would have to say you have your morals wrong and need a reality check!!! Your post was nonsense and your made-up numbers inaccurate. You're an idiot and I refuse to argue with idiots! Your ignorance is dangerous to society!

      @just spewin: none of what those monsters did was in the name of disbelief. Atheists do not have a doctrine to guide us. christians do-you call it the buybull and maybe not you but some others out there take it literally word for word and use it to cause harm. There is no debating that things can happen regardless of belief but history speaks for itself.

      February 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      And you'd be wrong that not one of them has been charged...the following website lists those accused and convicted: http://app.bishop-accountability.org/member/psearch.jsp?op=assignments#list

      February 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • just sayin

      The rotten soul of atheism is found in the unspeakable acts committed by those who have been atheists biggest adherents, Stalin , Hitler, Mao, Ho, Pol Pot and the like. Anyone who rejects a moral compass and relies on their own view of morality given the opportunity degenerate quickly into murder, tortures and the like, thinking they are "improving " the human condition. The same vile ati tudes,prejudices and hatreds that motivated Stalin are evident in the writings of the atheists on this blog , in particular you.

      February 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Just sayin..If god disappeared from your mind to morrow would you become a murderer? if the only thing that keeps you sane is a belief in a ghost, keep believing. Forget evidence, please.

      February 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Again, Just Lying, where is the proof that atheism was the cause of these crimes? Where is your proof that all atheists are black-hearted murderers and thieves? Where is your proof that all Christian rulers were merciful and kind?

      February 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • just sayin

      History

      February 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just lying is drunk...AGAIN. If it were sober, it would still be too stupid to figure out that history doesn't bear out its idiotic claims.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Casey

      It's funny how athiests aren't so vocal about public schools and saying they should be shut down... child molestation being far more prevelant there than the Church. Could it be some political expediancy? Just want to tear the Church down on general principles? Oh no.... can't be. Liberals are supposed to be so understanding, open to new ideas, and loving...

      February 20, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Casey..you missed the point of the problem with the CC..There was cover up and those at the very top of the chain had an idea of what was happening. The CC was more concerned about its own skin that those victims. If a school did the same thing..any school or organisation, I be just as vocal to have the top folks held accountable. There are many cases of abuse in all facets of society, no one has ever claimed it is unique to the CC, but as an organisation that thinks it owns the moral conscience of humanity, it should have stepped up to the plate and handled this. Also, what about the Residential school problem that was prevalent in Canada and again covered up by the church. in the 20s....there is nothing holy about this church..

      February 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  12. hippypoet

    now cla$$ conspiracy theories 101 –

    every good conspiracy needs a front man or men to rise then fall when the time is right, it serves both as a diversion to whats really going on and a political show of power that outlines normally two main features –

    1: they still have power, thats an important one.
    2: they have the will to use it outright.

    now these by themselves are designed to instill fear (something the church is very skilled at) however together they also have the sweet ability to completely exert the arm of power and lose it all. There must be those willing to take it down when it is weakened by its own power.

    so inshort, these new 22 will soon find the catch in the plan, and its sad that they don't see it coming....power is truly the most corrputible force, its also blinds us to the truth.

    cla$$ dismissed...

    February 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Enjoy your cancer

      shut the fuck up hippy

      you're an idiot

      February 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I've been stating this truth for months now ... except, it's you non-believers that are being controlled as the useful idiots because stroking your ego is all they need to do. Did you ever question your professors what their intentions were to get you to hate Jesus? No. You just sat their like a lump of clay working for that "A" as they gave you half truths about His wisdom. Did you ever question that the big bang and evolution theories have so many flaws? No. Again, you sat there like a lump of clay getting your ego stroked by professors that are also, useful idiots. I pray you open your eyes to what war is truly going on, but, I doubt it ... because Christians won't stroke your ego.

      Amen.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      heaven sent...what truth..we we still waiting for you to post it...there is none.. which is why we will never see it. Its saying but is empty as the bible is with answers...the truth is god, any of them, is not real...and you are unable to accept this. you can post and say you have told us this stunning piece of news, but as it it a lie you may have forgotten what you may have said before.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • hippypoet

      heaven sent – you said "because Christians won't stroke your ego." no but they will stroke something else...shallow it all heaven, you may sent but i came and you responed! 🙂 now get off your knees and go away, others need your advise! lol gurgle not bubble!

      February 21, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  13. tallulah13

    I thought the only one who could appoint new Cardinals was the GM in St. Louis, but then I realized that there are the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL. I guess my baseball bias is showing.

    February 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • J.W

      I was hoping that Albert Pujols would be pope one day but he is not a Cardinal now. He died and became an Angel.

      February 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • tallulah13

      That was really quite funny.

      February 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      You seem to amuse yourself to no end.

      February 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As opposed to you, troll. You'd make the baby Jesus cry.

      February 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Scusame

      These cardinal guys are more like a different Pujol... Joseph! 🙂

      http://thefartiste.com/history.html

      February 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yes, "Just Sayin", we do amuse ourselves. Kind of funny, because I'm an atheist and J.W. has identified himself as a christian. Imagine that. People with different beliefs sharing a laugh and civil conversation. I bet that just burns you.

      February 19, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just lying is just jealous. No one every corresponds with it for 'amusement' or pleasure. It would be more fun to play with a scorpion. Probably one would have just as much intelligent discourse with it, as well.

      February 19, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • just sayin

      Still trying to answer Tom's question from the other day. Why Tom, Tom is here?
      9 months before you were born all the other girls on your mom's street corner were out with the flu?

      February 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      9 months before Tom, tom was born Dr. Moreau had an experiment go very, very bad?

      February 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    The hierarchical composition of the Roman Catholic Church is absolutely anti-divine.

    In the Early Church the single local congregations were autonomous. The congregations elected their leaders from their midst. There was no lousy super-bishop, called pope, which appointed a local bishop or pastor. For example: In the Early Church the bishop of Rome in Italy could not appoint the bishop of Alexandria in Egypt, but the bishop of Alexandria was elected by his own congregation.

    Or just read Acts and you will see that the apostles surrendered the leadership of the Church of Jerusalem more and more to elders of the congregation in the course of time. One of the leaders was James, a brother of the Lord. The apostles were not greedy for honor and power, but surrendered leadership to others. In contrast, the pope and the cardinals are greedy for honor and power and try to keep and increase their power by any means. Honour, power and riches are the purpose of the pope's and his cardinal's life.

    A true Christian leader is not concerned about his power or honor, but tries to live a model Christian life, which includes the care for the souls of his sisters and brothers. Pastoral care should be the main purpose of a true Christian leader. If a congregation gets aware of members, which are concerned about their sisters and brothers, she may elect them pastors or bishops. This is the way, how leadership is practiced in the real Church.

    By the way, the first man, which abused Christian leadership, was Judas Iscariot. He could not stand that Jesus did not take money for his spiritual services (cure of soul and body). Judas betrayed Jesus, because he wanted to take over rule and make the disciples a little pope-church earning money by spiritual services.

    February 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Reality

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

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

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

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

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

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

      Current RCC problems:

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

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

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

      February 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • dave

      It is aming to me that the early christains were persecuted horribly by the romans. But when Rome itself became a christqin nation, christians became the persecutors. Through out the early days they killed tortured and destoyed any nation that did not agree with their doctrine. They became a virus on this planet nd are responsible of acts that compare that of Hitler and Stalin. I wonder what kind of world we would live in if it were not for the christian religion.

      February 19, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) is merely a pseudo-church (she is no real Christian Church).

    During the first centuries after Christ the Church of Rome was an ordinary Christian Church and her bishops did not dare to claim that they would be the highest bishops on earth. According to Luther, Gregory the Great (540-604 a. D.) was the last good pope of the Church of Rome, in so far he refused the ti-tle "bishop of all bishops". 607 a. D. the Roman See was made the highest See on earth by the criminal emperor or usurper Phocas.

    After Gregory the Great the RCC began to corrupt gradually. She more and more dissociated from the Church of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium), which was the legitimate Church and mainly represented by the See of Alexandria (Egypt), the See of Antioch (Syria), the See of Constantinople (Greece), the See of Jerusalem (Palestine) and the See of Rome (Italy). All these churches together were the worldwide Christian Church. The bishops of this Church sometimes met on ecu-menical councils, in order to discuss difficult matters of the doctrine. It was not possible that any lousy single bishop, who called himself pope, made decisions for the whole church. Important decisions were made on ecu-menical councils and the decisions were not predetermined by any lousy pope. Furthermore the Churches of the single countries were autonomous and not under the rule of the Roman bishop. There was no Roman Catholic hierarchy.

    The seperation of the RCC c-u-l-minated in the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation. Charles the Great was the first emperor of this empire, which was in fact a pseudo-empire, because the real and true successor of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire with its capital Constantinople and the ecu-menical Church of the empire. When Charles the Great was crowned emperor by pope Leo III a pseude-empire with a pseudo-church (the Roman Catholic Church) came into being. It was a crime that Leo III crowned Charles the Great emperor, because the legitimate emperor was at Constantinople (empress Irene) and the legitimate Church was the whole, ecu-menical church of the Eastern Roman Empire.

    In the course of time the popes did not only claim to be bishops of all bishops, but even regarded themselves higher than the emperor. Beginning with pope Gregory VII (1020 – 1085 a. D.) the popes ruled the whole Europe (Holy Roman Empire) for 666 years (indeed the number of the Beast). After 666 years the rule of the popes was finished by the enlightenment, which was strongly promoted by the Protestant King of Pruzzia Frederic the Great. Frederic finished the rule of the Habsburgians, which were subordinate to the pope (the pope used the Habsburgian emperors like puppets).

    Regretably the Eastern Roman Empire was completely distroyed by the Muslim Arabs and Turks. Together with the Eastern Roman Empire the Church of the Ecu-mene (civilized world) perished. All the former Christian regions became Muslim.

    Europe is the successor of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation. Hence, Europe is a pseude-civilisation like its predecessor with a pseudo-church (the RCC).

    The RCC has still too much influence in Europe and we need a second enlightenment to disempower her. Furthermore we need an ecu-menical council of the Christian Churches in order to restore the good old doctrine and the good old church.

    Furthermore, we need an authority, which promotes the true Christian Church. It is one of the core tasks of the authority to protect and promote the Church. It is a calamity and apocalyptical that the mordern authorities are totally profane or godless and promote godlessness.

    February 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Reality

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

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

      February 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Casey

      I never really understood why some protestants were so against the pope as a leader. I appreciate the history lesson (very interesting)... but clearly the Church evolved. If there wasn't a unifying leadership, there would be a slow divergence in belief. The word of the Lord is a living and breathing thing... it reveals itself in time through scripture and study... both to individuals and to mankind as a whole. As the Church grew in size, it seems natural that there would be a leader. So... what's the big problem with that? And... how can you say that the Catholic Church is not a real Church??? I mean really? What are you talking about?

      February 20, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • jisu

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      April 1, 2012 at 2:04 am |
  16. Halo of Flies

    The Catholic Church has been the main culprits of two of the worst atrocities committed on human kind. The first one was its Sanctioning of the African Slave trade and the second is the biggest COVER UP of child molestation all over the world. While the first event happened centuries ago, with the affects still reverberating today, the second event has been going on for decades if not centuries only to be revealed recently. And their religious intolerance and bigotry is still going on today.

    For those people unaware of the beginning of the African Slave trade, when the Europeans came to the "New World", they came with the intentions of claiming all lands, riches, and peoples for themselves. They forced the people they found living there into slavery. This action caused the death of millions of people. It was the edict of one Bartolome de Las Casas, a name no person of African Descent should EVER FORGET, to essentially say that the "Indians were dying because of the hard labor. Why don't we make the AFRICANS become our slaves?" And with those words, the African Slave trade was ramped up and the rest, as we all know, is history.

    February 18, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      February 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 18, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Halo of Flies

      Proven (I just like to help you out.)

      February 18, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  18. Halo of Flies

    Crusades (1095-1291)
    • First Crusade: 1095 on command of pope Urban II. [WW11-41]
    • Semlin/Hungary 6/24/96 thousands slain. Wieselburg/Hungary 6/12/96 thousands. [WW23]
    • 9/9/96-9/26/96 Nikaia, Xerigordon (then turkish), thousands respectively. [WW25-27]
    • Until Jan 1098 a total of 40 capital cities and 200 castles conquered (number of slain unknown) [WW30]
    • after 6/3/98 Antiochia (then turkish) conquered, between 10,000 and 60,000 slain. 6/28/98 100,000 Turks (incl. women & children) killed. [WW32-35]
    Here the Christians "did no other harm to the women found in [the enemy's] tents—save that they ran their lances through their bellies," according to Christian chronicler Fulcher of Chartres. [EC60]
    • Marra (Maraat an-numan) 12/11/98 thousands killed. Because of the subsequent famine "the already stinking corpses of the enemies were eaten by the Christians" said chronicler Albert Aquensis. [WW36]
    • Jerusalem conquered 7/15/1099 more than 60,000 victims (jewish, muslim, men, women, children). [WW37-40]
    (In the words of one witness: "there [in front of Solomon's temple] was such a carnage that our people were wading ankle-deep in the blood of our foes", and after that "happily and crying for joy our people marched to our Saviour's tomb, to honour it and to pay off our debt of grat.i.tude")
    • The Archbishop of Tyre, eye-witness, wrote: "It was impossible to look upon the vast numbers of the slain without horror; everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with the blood of the slain. It was not alone the spectacle of headless bodies and mutilated limbs strewn in all directions that roused the horror of all who looked upon them. Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot, an ominous sight which brought terror to all who met them. It is reported that within the Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels perished." [TG79]
    • Christian chronicler Eckehard of Aura noted that "even the following summer in all of palestine the air was polluted by the stench of decomposition". One million victims of the first crusade alone. [WW41]
    • Battle of Askalon, 8/12/1099. 200,000 heathens slaughtered "in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ". [WW45]
    • Fourth crusade: 4/12/1204 Constantinople sacked, number of victims unknown, numerous thousands, many of them Christian. [WW141-148]
    • Rest of Crusades in less detail: until the fall of Akkon 1291 probably 20 million victims (in the Holy land and Arab/Turkish areas alone). [WW224]

    February 18, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      February 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  19. Halo of Flies

    Since they did not caption the photo, here is what the Pope is saying:

    "Now go forth with your diks in your hands and leave no young boy untouched by God's truth! Amen."

    February 18, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Reality

      Why did today's pope, prelates, preachers and rabbis, so focused on society's se-xual sins, lose sight of clerical se-xual sins?
      "
      FEAR, SHAME and GUILT and COVER IT ALL UP!!!

      Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

      February 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  20. Pope Benedict

    Ten signs you are a Catholic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Heavens, I could not fit them into ten.

    February 18, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Reality

      Starting from the beginning explains much of the situation:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      February 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • md2205

      Please watch the interesting and informative video at:

      chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/1528357/jewish/Who-Wrote-the-Torah.htm

      which addresses the topic of who wrote the Torah.

      February 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • md2205

      There are different opinions regarding the last eight verses of Deuteronomy (34:5-12) which deal with Moses' death. Some authorities maintain that they were written by Moses himself at G-d's dictation. Others maintain that these verses were written by Joshua.

      February 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • md2205

      Conspiracies are very popular, psychologists say, because they provide simple explanations for a very complex world. But they are absurd. Some say the one of the greatest conspiracy theories is that the Jews invented the Torah, that millions of Jews over thousands of years could conspire to agree on a single version of a national event that never happened. Whoever imagined that Jewish people could get a conspiracy off the ground was totally off his rocker. (One look at Israeli politics will tell you just how hopeless that is.)

      Universally, there is a single account of how the Jewish people received the Torah. It states that on the sixth day of the third month of the year 2448 from Creation, an entire nation gathered at the foot of a mountain in the Sinai Desert and witnessed how G-d spoke with Moses. Rather overwhelmed by the experience, they asked Moses to kindly fetch all the details of what exactly G-d would like from them and report on it. Which he did, over a period of forty years wandering in the desert. Moses also charged the people to keep multiple copies of the written record, which they did, and so we have many copies of that record to this day.

      Here is the proposed most likely explanation of the existence of this record: Someone made up the whole story. Someone else later wrote it down. A third individual put it together with other manuscripts, and the entire nation conspired to agree that it had actually happened. They agreed to agree on only one version of how it had happened, eradicating any trace of dissent. (And they agreed to start doing the practices associated with the version, and started doing them, even though it says in the record that they had started already at the time they left Egypt.) Basically, a conspiracy theory involving huge numbers of people over a very long period of time. Does that really make sense?

      February 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Reality

      m2205,

      Obviously, 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis disagree:

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

      February 19, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • md2205

      to reality:
      You already quoted that paragraph from before. But you didn't offer any more information or even comment on the logic of my comment. Here is a good article to read for anyone who is interested in exploring the topic of did the event at Sinai actually happen or did people conspire to rewrite history, as these conservative Jews wish to put forth.

      http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3007/jewish/How-Do-We-Know-that-We-Heard-G-d-at-Sinai.htm

      By the way, the fact that no archeological remnants were found does not mean something didn't happen. Even Darwin put forth his theory of evolution saying that the proof is yet to be found, and people all over the world jumped and ran to follow his theory.

      To be intellectually honest, you would have to apply your standards of proof to all historical claims equally, such as did Alexander the Great really exist, and Julius Caeser, and ALL ancient history, even if no archeological remnants were found of their existence and activities. You would have to discount any historical writing as not being real or truthful, such as the accounts of the Hyksos' invasion of ancient Egypt.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • md2205

      Here is a great article to read for those who wish to understand the process of Torah and Judaism, which is unlike that of Christianity:

      http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/216477/jewish/The-Murky-Truth-About-Truth.htm

      Conservative rabbis in general have an agenda and they do not wish to learn more about the Torah and its processes in order to come to understand the questions they have. Conservative began after Reformists wanted to change Judaism to be more like Christianity, and this began the problem. Jews in Germany in the 1700s wanted to be just like the Germans. So they decided to make synagogues like churches, services like Christian services, take the commandments out of daily life and act like the non-Jews, change the daily prayer book to remove references to Israel and Jerusalem, and so on. Conservatives weren't comfortable with the reduction of Judaism to just a copy of Christianity, so they decided not to drop and change everything. But their premise was the same: Since we want to be just like the non-Jews, but we don't feel comfortable with reducing Judaism to nothingness, we will perform those ideas we like, and reject those we don't like. So now they have to justify this and they do so by rationalization, such as Abraham didn't exist, neither did Moses, and there are no archeological remains in the Sinai, so that means the Jews never were there, and etc. etc. But it would be better to try to understand the Torah and Judaism first before they reject it.

      February 19, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Reality

      From amazon.com

      "Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary (Hardcover) $58.00

      ~ David L. Lieber (Editor), Jules Harlow (Editor), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (Corporate Author), The Rabbinical Assembly (Corporate Author)

      4.7 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews)

      "The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) is the primary organization of synagogues practicing Conservative Judaism in North America. It closely works with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international body of Conservative rabbis, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.[1]"

      February 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Reality

      http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

      Religion………………………… Adherents

      Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

      Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

      Irreligious/agnostic/atheism 1.1 billion

      Hinduism 900 million
      Chinese traditional religion 394 million
      Buddhism 376 million
      Animist religions 300 million
      African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
      Sikhism 23 million
      Juche 19 million
      Spiritism 15 million

      Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

      Baha'i 7 million
      Jainism 4.2 million
      Shinto 4 million
      Cao Dai 4 million
      Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
      Tenrikyo 2 million
      Neo-Paganism 1 million
      Unitarian Universalism 800,000
      Rastafari Movement 600,000

      February 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Matias

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      April 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.