Case of Boys Town founder shows long road to making a saint
Edward Flanagan, whom supporters are trying to make a saint, visiting Boys Town in 1942.
March 9th, 2012
10:23 PM ET

Case of Boys Town founder shows long road to making a saint

By Jen Christensen, CNN

(CNN) - Surrounded by TV cameras and an excited crowd, the archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska, taped a notice to the doors of St. Cecilia’s Church last week announcing to the world that his archdiocese was launching a formal process to try to elevate one of its most famous members to Catholicism’s highest honor.

Archbishop George Lucas wants the Vatican to recognize Father Edward J. Flanagan as a saint.

As the founder of Boys Town – the famous Nebraska community for at-risk kids – Flanagan radically transformed how people handle troubled youth. He is known for the saying, “There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.”

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But just because someone does good doesn’t entitle that person to be a saint, at least in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church. Many faiths have their saints, but attaining sainthood may be hardest in the Catholic Church.

By posting a notice about Flanagan, the Omaha archdiocese is embarking on a complicated legal, scientific and surprisingly expensive journey that could take over 100 years to accomplish – if sainthood is achieved at all.

“To be recognized as a saint these days, it may cost upwards of $1 million,” said Steven Wolf, the lead volunteer and president of the Father Flanagan League Society of Devotion. “You essentially need it to pay for a good lawyer and an expensive multi-media campaign.”

Wolf’s organization grew out of a Boys Town alumni group that that came together some 13 years ago to make Flanagan’s case. The group has held monthly prayer meetings at Flanagan's tomb and leads pilgrimages to Boys Town to speak about his life and accomplishments.

“You need splashy videos, a social media blitz, a website, prayer cards and podcasts, not to mention we need to find a couple of miracles,” Wolf said about the sainthood process. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

In the early days of the church, achieving sainthood was easier.

“Until the 13th century, beatification is a local matter and the devotion is the most significant part of the process,” said church historian Alberto Melloni.

Archbishop George Lucas posts a notice at St. Celia's Roman Catholic Church in Omaha to officially launch the campaign to Edward Flanagan a saint.

If enough people thought you were a saint and prayed to you after your death, you became a saint. But that informal process left room for less-than-holy politicking and bribery on behalf of wannabe saints.

Without much vetting, even some fictional characters became saints, including St. Christopher, who for centuries was revered as the patron saint of travelers. In 1969, the Catholic Church removed his saint day from its calendar because it couldn’t prove he ever existed.

To avoid more St. Christophers, the church has over the years set down much more rigid rules for sainthood.

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Flanagan, who died in 1948, easily met the first criterion for sainthood: being dead for at least five years.

The next steps are more challenging. There needs to be spontaneous public support for someone to be placed in the canon of saints – a step known as canonization. Wolf says Flanagan’s candidacy has support in spades.

“Right now, we can’t really get our arms around how many people are involved in praying for Father Flanagan’s intercession,” he said. “It’s not like you get a membership card.”

But since launching a website in 2004 dedicated to making Flanagan a saint, Wolf’s group has heard from people in 36 states and nine countries seeking Flanagan’s help in finding a job, curing a relative’s cancer or saving an aunt who suffered an aneurysm.

After spontaneous public support for a sainthood candidate is demonstrated, the bishop of the diocese where the candidate died needs to open a formal investigation.

But Flanagan didn’t die in Omaha, where he did most of his work. He died of a heart attack while on a mission to Berlin on behalf of President Harry Truman, who had sent Flanagan to address the orphan crisis caused by World War II.

Because Flanagan’s main base of support is in Omaha, advocates for his cause had to petition the Vatican to make an exception to the rule to allow them to lead the sainthood effort.

The Vatican granted the rule change, clearing the way for the next step: The Omaha archdiocese must assemble a tribunal to gather evidence that Flanagan was truly holy.

At a Mass at the Immaculate Conception Church at Boys Town this month, Flanagan will be named a “servant of God” and Lucas will set up the tribunal, which will interview witnesses about Flanagan’s virtue.

If the tribunal rules in his favor, it will pass witness testimony – along with every piece of material written by Flanagan it can collect – to the Vatican. There, a lawyer called a postulator organizes the evidence and presents it in what the church calls a positio to the Congregation for the Cause of Saints.

Flanagan’s group has already hired its postulator, a Rome-based lawyer who has become known in the Italian press as “the saint maker.” The lawyer, Andrea Ambrosi, says that 400 current saints have him to thank – in part, at least – for the honor. And he has a caseload of 30 more aspiring saints.

Wolf hired Ambrosi to give Flanagan his best shot at sainthood. “We know of a cause in Michigan that’s been stuck for 60 years, and they’ve been through seven postulators,” Wolf said. “There are not a lot of people doing this sort of thing effectively. If you have any misstep you could be stuck forever.”

Once Ambrosi assembles Flanagan’s positio, nine Catholic theologians examine the dossier. A majority vote among them advances the cause to Pope Benedict XVI, who can designate Flanagan as “venerable.”

But the church also requires two miracles from the prospective saint after his or her death. Peter Gumpel, who scrutinized hundreds of cases of saints in his nearly 50 years as a “devil’s advocate,” fact-checking positios, explains that miracles essentially seal the deal.

“A miracle is some extraordinary fact, especially in the medical field – a cure that nobody expected and suddenly against all expectations this person is cured,” he said. “Miracles are still required because the church has to be absolutely sure what we are doing in canonizing someone conforms to the will of God. To do this, we ask for a sign from God.”

The public campaign for Flanagan has only just started, but Wolf says six people have contacted him to say they believe they’ve experienced a miracle by praying for Flanagan’s intercession.

Wolf hopes at least one of the reported miracles will stand up to church scrutiny. Several local doctors will have to testify that there is no medical explanation for someone’s cure. The person who has been cured will have to testify, too.

That testimony is scrutinized by top doctors and scientists hired by the Vatican – and examined by the pope – before it can be considered a miracle. At that point, a sainthood candidate is beatified. That’s what happened to Pope John Paul II last year, after the Vatican ruled that the case of a French nun who prayed to him and was cured of her Parkinson’s disease was a bona fide miracle.

Then the whole miracle confirmation process begins again, with a second miracle that has transpired since beatification.

“Yes, it is a lot of work. Yes, it is expensive, but it is worth it,” Wolf said. The tribunal, the lawyer in Rome, and the travel required to press Flanagan’s case all cost money.

But Wolf argues that the more people who know about Flanagan’s life and work, the more who will be helped by the priest, as he was.

Wolf didn’t know Flanagan personally, but he is a 1980 graduate of Boys Town. Going there, he says, changed his life.

“Before Boys Town, I spent time in runaway shelters,” he said. “I was locked up in juvenile detention. I didn’t have the best environment growing up,” he said. “But when I got to Boys Town, things changed.”

Today, Wolf helps run a public affairs consulting firm and has five daughters.

“Father Flanagan gave a damn about people like me – kids most people were ready to write off as losers – and it matters,” he said. “That man is a saint. I’ve been won over. I know others will be, too.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Miracles • Nebraska • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (492 Responses)
  1. lunchbreaker

    When I feed the poor, they call me a saint, but when I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a communist.
    -Dom Helder Camara

    March 12, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  2. catholic engineer

    I think that the Church's process of cannonizing saints is very noteworthy. The church turns over the last stone in it's investigations. It thoroughly examines the credibility of witnesses. Sometimes, the process takes centuries as in the case of St. Kateri.
    In our culture, we judge a person's competence for president according to the contents of our wallets, or the inconvenience of bringing children into the world and raising them.

    March 12, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Bob

      They should have investigated that nasty old beotch Mudder Theresa a bit more thoroughly before trying to bestow that ti-tle on her. She actually worked to keep the poor and starving in a state of unenlightened misery. Very typical of your sicko religion.

      Go here http://www.fitz-claridge.com/Articles/MotherTeresa.html

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of religion in 2012.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @Bob "Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of religion in 2012." Right, Bob. Then work like hell not to enslave yourself to your own weak human nature.

      March 12, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @Bob Re your comment about Mother Theresa. At first I recalled that she received a Nobel Prize for her work. Then I recalled that Algore and Chairman OBarry also received the award. So forget it. Receipt of the Nobel is not a significant recommendation.

      March 12, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      OK, oh deluded one. The French nun who was supposedly "cured" to support the JPII beatification has relapsed. Some process ya got there.

      March 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Bob

      catholic incompetent engineer, Mudder Theresa has since been exposed as the nasty cruel beotch that she was, and there is a movement underway to revoke her prize.

      They should have investigated that nasty old beotch Mudder Theresa a bit more thoroughly before trying to bestow that ti-tle on her. She actually worked to keep the poor and starving in a state of unenlightened misery. Very typical of your sicko religion.

      Go here to read about the sick beotch that you are stupidly defending:

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of religion in 2012.

      March 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  3. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family. 🙄

    March 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Perversion is not a family.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Time to join the 21st Century. Goggle it. 100 % of every single specie on earth have a %, (including bugs, fish, and birds), that exhibit same-se'x behaviors. "Perversion" is a 15th Century idea. Time to grow up, and get an education. If se'xual orientation is a choice, when did YOU choose to be straight. You DO realize what that means. YOU are attracted to both se'xes. Are you sure you want to be sharing that ?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • pervert alert

      Lies don't intimidate those in the know. Sick twisted perverted qu eers will never be accepted as normal. Your opinions mean nothing and you are not far from stupid.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Mr Pervert Alert

      Mr Four Jumps may not be far from stupid, I don't know. You, however, are right on top of stupid giving it a b lowjob, which corresponds with your latent bis exuality.

      March 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • pervert alert

      I don't buy the bullsh it, its or yours or any other que ers.

      March 12, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Just Sayin' Atheism Is Not Perverted
      How many handles do you troll under?

      March 12, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Prevert Alert
      If you were really straight, you would not care one bit about this subject. Look in the mirror, f'ag.

      March 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  4. Rational Libertarian

    Look at all those nervous smiles. I bet Flanagan truly "touched" them with God's hand (and p enis).

    March 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  5. chief

    this is just another non scriptural pagan act by the catholic church making fun of what God intended..... im not a hater, im a believer, and actually think for myself.... i guess it takes a lot more faith to just open heartily believe what men in dresses that cant get married have to tell you....

    March 11, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • RightTurnCLyde

      Well your credibility is shot as soon as you said "men who wear dresses" because there is lot of implied hatred. So you ARE hateful and malevolent. I see (mostly guys .. not all) people on the freeways who'd swear they are not hateful trying to ram other cars with their car or truck .. throwing beer cans at other cars . following so close it is obviously dangerous (so they are threatening and capable of causing a major event. (is that hateful? or innocent? ) Just a little harmless road rage. I see other preoccupied with text (so boring to actually watch where the car is going (at 70 mph and steer it) .. so are then innocent? or dangerous? .. as son as you said "men who wear dresses" you are obviously hateful and ill-willed .. and sure you do not believe in God either .. well that is your choice (but not all of us choose that - and that is our choice)

      March 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Vince

      Come on chief, stop eating scraps from the floor and join us at the table already.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Yum




      March 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • chief

      re rightturn.... its not implied hatred, its open disgust at the mockery of fake holiness they exhibit due to their man fashion .... i love the great leap you made in that i do not believe in God ........ i do believe in God but not those that mock and deceive people with fake holiness...... like i said (try reading) this saint garbage is another catholic pagan voodoo thing to create more parishoners and money for the church....

      March 12, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Vince

      You talk about fake holiness ... Look at all te non doms in their million dollar houses and lavish lifestyles... Their churches on serve their own! Youre talking badly about a church who is not only the largest charitable organization, but also the oldest and whose contributions you make use of daily! I with all these stupid anti catholic "Christians"would just study history. Perhaps you will realize that you're merely a poor imitation of the original. Tell me what has the anti catholic "Christian" done for mankind.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • catholic engineer

      "i guess it takes a lot more faith to just open heartily believe what men in dresses that cant get married have to tell you...."
      Married people understand a lot about commitment, sacrifice, and endurance. Priests understand the same things. Therefore, priests are quite qualified to opine about marriage.
      As for the "dresses", would you be more tolerant if they were dressed in drag?

      March 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • chief

      ha ha .. you guys are funny... this saint garbage and the process is just made up by catholics ( led by men wearing dresses or in drag ) ..... can non catholics be saints? or is this finely tuned expensive bogus process limited to the only true believers? if so, where is that list, does God have it? or is it an addendum to the catholic priest list.... what a mockery of Christianity

      March 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 11, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Jesus

      ~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!~~...

      March 12, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Faith is not the conclusion of an intellectual exercise. Faith is an interior quality. Prayer emanates as a result. It makes the prayerful person better, which benefits those around her/him.
      Studies do not have access to an interior quality and are not relevant.

      March 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  7. Pink bunnies

    Those who are angry about this should spend time in self-reflection.

    March 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Inspector Clouseau

      "should spend time in self-reflection" = code for "agree with me, or you're evil".

      March 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • goddog

      Project much, pink bunnies?

      March 10, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • chief

      those who are not angry should actually think for themselves.....

      March 11, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  8. Bootyfunk

    the child molesters' club is giving itself an award! woohoo!

    March 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • SueEllen

      Finally we agree on something! I'm going to make a Christian out of you yet!

      March 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  9. eberle

    It doesn't matter what the Catholic Church, the Pope, or any other human does. They don't have the authority, the knowledge, or the Scriptural authorization to grant anyone what they would refer to as 'Sainthood'.
    Where they came up with these traditions (certainly not in the Bible) and why anyone still buys into them is beyond me. Sort of like 'the Pope is infallible and yet look how many of them have proved to be as error and sin prone as any man.

    If you claim to be a Christian please read the Bible rather than operating on ages old tradition that was developed when they burned you at the stake (the Catholc Church that is) for have a Bible in your possession.

    March 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      It is kind of an empty conference since they do not have au.t.h.o.r.i.t.y (and they have invented a lot of things for which they have no au.t.h.o.r.i.t.y) .. that notwithstanding Flanagan has been incredibly GOOD .. and most of us believe that God is forgiving and not a d.a.m.n.i.n.g. God .. oh sure some m.a.l.i.g.n.a.n.t souls are S.a.t.a.n's but not the great m.a.j.o.r.i.t.y of good people .. not babies, not s.a.v.a.g.e.s (pagans) n.e.c.e.s.s.a.r.i.ly - they are not m.a.l.i.g.n.a.n.t. minds. The ones that are bad are well known and probably have a comeuppance but the others will be in God's embrace. (So pretty good bet that Flanagan and Mother Teresa and other i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.y. good people are God's friends).

      March 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Vince

      What authority does your pastor have to preach the scriptures? You need to read history and ask yourself how your church magically appeared with it's own interpretation of a catholic bible ... Because all bibles were first catholic when the catholic bishops gathered to compile it... Our com Jain comes from Jesus when he appointed Peter, his rock, as the first leader and pope of the catholic church.... And why don't the non Dom ecclesiastical communities pay attention to the old testament .... Oh yeah, perhaps it's because it teaches that their faith is completely incomplete! Stop eating scraps off the floor and join us at the table already!

      March 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Inspector Clouseau

      No one "grants" anyone anything. they are simply asserting so-and-so is in heaven. It's an ancient custom. Very quaint. Very outdated.

      March 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Vince

      No one but God!

      March 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Vince

      And chuck norris

      March 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Chips

      "Stop eating scraps off the floor and join us at the table already!"

      I get an immediate mental image of those "Dogs Playing Poker" pictures.

      March 11, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Chips

      p.s.... and that was before I saw that card counting article...

      March 11, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  10. helomoto12354

    This is great. I've donated to Boys Town in the past and it's such a great and helpful organization. All the people bashing it and the Catholic Church ought to be ashamed of themselves. This is a good example how good religion and the Catholic Church is to our youth and society.

    March 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      I agree. No one should attack people who are so dedicated to covering up criminal activity.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • confused

      I don't understand. How can the Catholic church decide who is a saint or not? Shouldn't that be God's decision? How can humans decide who to pray to and make a saint? Doesn't the bible say pray to god and nobody else? And they say Mormons are strange.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • eberle

      The Catholic Church has been no friend to other faiths down thru the years. They have taken the lead in persecution and promoting governments to persecute those of other faiths. And that isn't confined to the Dark Ages or Spanish Inquisition.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      @deadlyserious ... then you must be working to unseat the current White House occupant and his followers .. and much of the Congress. Nobody covers up crime like they do. They spent $73 billion of yours and cannot account for it - none of it. Then, of course, there is Enron and the entire mortgage banking industry .. and whomever paid to GET "cap and trade." You have got to be angry at the military industrial complex, the former USSR (crimes without number .. the Gulags), Kosyvo and Bosnia .. subSaharan butchering, the Long March, the Bataan March, the Katyhn forrest, Armenian genocide, Kurdish genocide, Wounded knee .. there's been a lot worse both recent an historically .. and so you have to be mad at that.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • chief

      re righturdclyde.... they dont in the name of God..... at least my God.... thats what infuriates people.... people like you are enablers to the peds in the church... your denial stops any progress toward eliminating the peds in the church.

      March 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  11. are there any catholic saints who weren't catholic?

    seems fishy that the only people good enough to be a saint all happen to be catholic.
    what's the real story here???
    is it some kind of primitive marketing scheme?

    March 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      I think the church is ridiculous, but your question is pretty ridiculous too. Of course there aren't any non-Catholic saints in the Catholic church.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • trav

      a saint is a holy person. You areeither a saint or sinner

      March 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      Trav: I wonder why publishers aren't clamoring for the chance to publish your book, "You're Good or Bad: The Trav Morality Story".

      March 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • helomoto12354

      The article says that other religions have their saints. But to be declared a saint in the CATHOLIC church, you have to be CATHOLIC. It's stipulation of faith, in order for God to give you the power of a saint, you have to believe in God.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Are there any U.S. presidents who were not U.S. citizens?

      March 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • lol

      Are there any Rightturnclydes who can out-think the average house plant?

      March 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Inspector Clouseau

      Where EXACTLY in the Catechism does it say you have to be a Catholic to be declared a saint. Jesus was a Jew, and so were all the Apostles.

      March 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  12. RightTurnClyde

    My earlier post got removed(!) I said that Flanagan is how most (99.9%) Roman Catholics experience priests. They are genuinely good and trying to make things better for those least able. (Protestant Christians too). Consider how Catholics and Protestants built St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, CHOC hospital in Orange, St. Luke's, St. Judes, Loyola – Maywood, Passavant, Lutheran Deaconess, St.Elizabeth (central Illinois) .. elementary schools, high schools, colleges, medical schools, orphanages, women's shelters, soup kitchens, asylums, T.B. sanitariums, leper colonies. (they are saints - all o f them) certainly Flanagan is a saint. Many Jesuit saints (St. Lawrence river). (Doing God's will, working tirelessly for God). ST. Teresa (of course), Mother Seton, Isaac Jogues, St.Brebauf, Martin De Porres. (endless list .. the world is a much better place because they were here - how many of us can say that?O)

    March 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      want a longer list of the destruction and misery wrought at the hands of the catholic church? inquisition, witch burnings, book burnings/bans, the spread of HIV/AIDs by telling 3rd world countries not to use condoms because it's a sin, the crusades, spreading ignorant beliefs like the earth is the center of the universe, etc.

      does any of the good make up for all the evil/ignorance spread by the church?

      March 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      I think that hundreds (maybe thousands) of priests who have abused children in the US alone kind of offsets the good works, especially when the church leadership covers up the abuse.

      And unlike your 99.9%, those numbers are real.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      It has not been hundreds or thousands .. i... if you want to list agents of misery and cruelty begin with Stalin and Mao (record holding brute),, THEN Hitler .. he is not even close to Joe Stalin and Mao. Castro - a starving island imprisond for a godless socialist (who promised to be a "messiah" - and they believed him). Chavez, Noriega, Honduras, Edi Amin, Hussein, Khadaffi, Khomeini, Bin Laden .. go back in history .. Edward Longshanks, King John, the Czars, the Ceasars (roman emperors - many of them) (Nero burning Rome), Ghengis Khan, Atilla, the Shoguns, the Manchus ... the pope is NO SAINT but he is nothing compared to those .. list those... and there are still others ..

      March 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      Gee, Clyde. One would almost think that you just regurgitate arguments from a badly-written pamphlet on the subject.

      There are at least hundreds of priests active in the US who have abused children (just ask the cardinals who are currently stonewalling any investigations into the activity). It doesn't matter if worse things have happened in history (though, during the Holocaust, the pope was remarkably amenable to Hitler's plans); this is happening now, and it's bad.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      to rightturnclyde:

      in the crusades, it's estimated 1 million people were killed at the hands of invading christians trying to take the holy land. that's nothing to you? there have been lots of other agents of cruelty, yes, but the crusades were ordered by the church. does 1 million people being slaughtered for having opposing religious beliefs count as large enough scale for you?

      and it hasn't been hundreds or thousands of victims of child molestation at the hands of priests? are you kidding? just in that one school for the deaf, the priest molested 72 children himself. you can be sure that thousands of children have suffered at the hands of priests in this country and around the world. it's the only organization, aside from NAMBLA, that protects child molesters.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      You spout numbers that could not exist .. cite your sources if you want to talk about millions of these and hundreds of those. Wars were very limited as late as Agincourt and battles such as Normandy and Okinawa were not possible as late as 1890. Even Greek and Roman phalanx battles did not involve millions .. The population of the U.S. was only 32 million when the Civil War began. Gettysburg was two massive armies of less than 85,000 each. Paulus at Stalingrad lost 400,000 and that was incredible loss an the 1940's. Losses at Normandy (less than 40,00) required a 3-month build up all over England and several hundred ships. The crusades did not have the capacity to kill millions. They were very small groups and not well led - like the U.N.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      Clyde do we even want to mention that most of us here are in the States so Hiroshima and Nagasaki and being the only country in the history of the world to kill that many people in that short period of time, has a lot of blood on our hands.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      >>>"in the crusades, it's estimated 1 million people were killed at the hands of invading christians trying to take the holy land. that's nothing to you? "

      BF- One million at the hands of invading Christians and we Christians should forever feel guilty of those one million deaths. Ok, just wanted to give these numbers to you, from a few sites. I will admit I do not know if you are White and also an American but that one million got me to thinking about ... my Great Grandpa's Great Grandpa.

      In American Holocaust (1992), David Stannard estimates that some 30 to 60 million Africans died being enslaved. He claims a 50% mortality rate among new slaves while being gathered and stored in Africa, a 10% mortality among the survivors while crossing the ocean, and another 50% mortality rate in the first "seasoning" phase of slave labor. Overall, he estimates a 75-80% mortality rate in transit.

      In Slavery A World History, Milton Meltzer estimates that 10 million slaves arrived in the Americas. This would be the residue after 12.5% of those shipped out from Africa died on the ocean, 4-5% died while waiting in harbor, and 33% died during the first year of seasoning.

      In "The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Holocaust" (Is the Holocaust Unique, A. Greebaum, ed., 1996), Seymour Drescher estimates that 21M were enslaved, 1700-1850, of which 7M remained in slavery inside Africa. 4M died "as a direct result of enslavement". Of the 12M shipped to America, 15%, or 2M more, died in the Middle Passage and seasoning year.

      Jan Rogozinski, A Brief History of the Caribbean (1994): "[A]s many as eight million Africans may have died in order to bring four million slaves to the Caribbean islands."

      In The Slave Trade, Hugh Thomas estimates that 13M left African ports, and 11,328,000 arrived.


      Now BF, we could go Old Testament Exodus 34:6-7 and blame the sins of the Fathers on the son ... but if you want to go that route, the crusades were much further back so those would have cleared in the 4th generation. Now slavery we are just clearing the 4th generations.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      "O n . .D – D a y , . .t h e . .A l l i e s . .l a n d e d . .a r o u n d . .1 5 6 , 0 0 0 . .t r o o p s . .i n . .N o r m a n d y . . .T h e . .A m e r i c a n . .f o r c e s . .l a n d e d . .n u m b e r e d . .7 3 , 0 0 0 : . .2 3 , 2 5 0 . .o n . .U t a h . .B e a c h , . .3 4 , 2 5 0 . .o n . .O m a h a . .B e a c h , . .a n d . .1 5 , 5 0 0 . .a i r b o r n e . .t r o o p s . . .I n . .t h e . .B r i t i s h . .a n d . .C a n a d i a n . .s e c t o r , . .8 3 , 1 1 5 . .t r o o p s . .w e r e . .l a n d e d . .( 6 1 , 7 1 5 . .o f . .t t h e m B r i t i s h): 2 4,9 7 0 o n G o l d B e a c h, 2 1 ,4 0 0 o n J u n o B e a c h, 2 8,8 4 5 o n S w o r d "B e a c h , . .a n d . .7 9 0 0 . .a i r b o r n e . .t r o o p s . “ C a s u a l t i e s ” . .r e f e r s . .t o . .a l l . .l o s s e s . .s u f f e r e d . .b y . .t h e . .a r m e d . .f o r c e s : . .k i l l e d , . .w o u n d e d , . .m i s s i n g . .i n . .a c t i o n . .( m e a n i n g . .t h a t . .t h e i r . .b o d i e s . .w e r e . .n o t . .f o u n d ) . "a n d . .p r i s o n e r s . .o f . .w a r . . .T h e r e . .i s . .n o . " o f f i c i a l "" . .c a s u a l t y . .f i g u r e . .f o r . .D – D a y . . .U n d e r . .t h e . .c i r c u m s t a n c e s , . .a c c u r a t e . .r e c o r d . .k e e p i n g . .w a s . .v e r y . .d i f f i c u l t . . .F o r . .e x a m p l e , . .s o m e . .t r o o p s . .w h o . .w e r e . .l i s t e d . "a s . .m i s s i n g . .m a y . .a c t u a l l y . .h a v e . .l a n d e d . .i n . .t h e . .w r o n g . .p l a c e , . .a n d . .h a v e . .r e j o i n e d . .t h e i r . .p a r e n t . .u n i t . .o n l y . .l a t e r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .T h e . .A l l i e d . .c a s u a l t i e s . .f i g u r e s . .f o r . .D – D a y . .h a v e . .g e n e r a l l y . .b e e n . "e s t i m a t e d . .a t . .1 0 , 0 0 0 , . .i n c l u d i n g . .2 5 0 0 . .d e a d . . .B r o k e n . .d o w n . .b y . .n a t i o n a l i t y , . .t h e . .u s u a l . .D – D a y . .c a s u a l t y . .f i g u r e s . .a r e . .a p p r o x i m a t e l y . .2 7 0 0 . .B r i t i s h , . .9 4 6 . .C a n a d i a n s , . .a n d . .6 6 0 3 . .A m e r i c a n s . . . .
      " . .H o w e v e r . .r e c e n t . .p a i n s t a k i n g . .r e s e a r c h . .b y . .t h e . .U S . .N a t i o n a l . .D – D a y . .M e m o r i a l . .F o u n d a t i o n . .h a s . .a c h i e v e d . .a . .m o r e . .a c c u r a t e . .- . .a n d . .m u c h . .h i g h e r . .- . .f i g u r e . .f o r . .t h e . .A l l i e d . .p e r s o n n e l . .w h o . " . .w e r e . .k i l l e d . .o n . .D – D a y . . .T h e y . .h a v e . .r e c o r d e d . .t h e . .n a m e s . .o f . .i n d i v i d u a l . .A l l i e d . .p e r s o n n e l . .k i l l e d . .o n . .6 . .J u n e . .1 9 4 4 . .i n . .O p e r a t i o n . .O v e r l o r d , . .a n d . .s o . .f a r . .t h e y . .h a v e . .v e r i f i e d . .2 4 9 9 . .A m e r i c a n . " . .D – D a y . .f a t a l i t i e s . .a n d . .1 9 1 5 . .f r o m . .t h e . .o t h e r . .A l l i e d . .n a t i o n s , . .a . .t o t a l . .o f . .4 4 1 4 . .d e a d . .h t t p : / / w w w . d d a y m u s e u m . c o . u k / f a q . h t m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .L a r g e s t . .B a t t l e : . . . .W h a t . .w a s . .t h e . .b l o o d i e s t . .b a t t l e . " . .e v e r . .f o u g h t ? . .O p i n i o n s . .d i f f e r . . .S o m e . .s u g g e s t . .i t . .w a s . .t h e . .B a t t l e . .o f . .S t a l i n g r a d , . .w h i c h . .l a s t e d . .f r o m . .A u g u s t . .1 9 4 2 . .u n t i l . .F e b r u a r y . .2 , . .1 9 4 3 . . .T h e . .G e r m a n s . .w e r e . .d e f e a t e d . . .E s t i m a t e d . .t o t a l . " . .l o s s e s . .w e r e . .1 , 9 0 0 , 0 0 0 . .d e a t h s : . .1 , 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 . .S o v i e t s . .a n d . .8 0 0 , 0 0 0 . .A x i s . .l o s s e s . .( G e r m a n s , . .R o m a n i a n s , . .I t a l i a n s , . .a n d . .H u n g a r i a n s . ) . . . .A g a i n s t . .H i t l e r ' s . .o r d e r s , . .G e r m a n . .F i e l d . .M a r s h a l . .F r i e d r i c h . "P a u l u s . .s u r r e n d e r e d . .t o . .t h e . .S o v i e t . .f o r c e s . .w i t h . .h i s . .r e m a i n i n g . .9 1 , 0 0 0 . .t r o o p s . "

      As far as Hiroshima and Nagasaki are concerned - you are jumping from one topic to another .. you said millions were killed in the Crusades (and blamed the Catholic church and Christianity in general) ... whatever the moral implications of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may be, it was not a result of Roman Catholic policy decision. The United States (yes the U.S. dropped the bombs) and the U.S. at that time was under the Presidency of Harry S. Truman (who was not a Catholic and who did not cover up anything .. so far as I know) ... I gave you the largest battle ever (Stalingrad) and the largest western battle ever (Normandy) and even there millions were not killed.

      So your effort to malign the Catholic church and Christendom in general are obviously fabrications and no where near the truth .. the same for HOW MANY priests are pedophiles and HOW BIG the problem actually was ... when you distort things as badly as you have it is nothing more than propaganda - the Soviet press (Pravda or T.A.S.S)

      March 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      If the entire population at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War was 32 million then HOW could they have killed 60 million blacks and still had a slave population to defend? Your numbers do NOT add up. They are transparent propaganda. If you are counting ALL of the black slaves ever sold (Brazil, Caribbean, Saharan) .. it is doubtful there were 60 million blacks in Africa at the time .. these numbers are all fabrications and out of the air. Your sources are not accurate .. good that you read a book. But the book cannot be correct. Read more books. It will be good for you. Today we have 7 billion people on earth .. but less than 1 billion before 1930. So what you believe to be normal wasn't normal even 80 years ago.. Use your mind and read fact and verify it .. make sure it fits .. otherwise you are a mere propagandist. (which is not unusual on this BLOG)

      March 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Lucsoren

      I think many of you are missing the point... This article is not saying that all Catholics, or all of anything for that matter, are inherently good or bad, it is simply stating that there was this ONE good guy who made life a lot better for disadvantaged youths. Whether you think he was holy, or just a man doing the right thing, the bottom line is he helped a lot of people.

      On a side note, yes, the Crusades were mostly an atrocity, but there were people on both sides doing good. For example, the leader of the Islamic Crusaders during the (2nd, I think) Crusade, Saladin, was a pious and merciful man who fought only to free Jerusalem and the surrounding area from the repression of the Christian Crusaders (not saying the Islamic Crusaders were all pure, they really started going downhill morally from the 3rd Crusade onward). He never allowed killing of civilians and even allowed all the Christian citizens (European immigrants and pilgrims mostly, but many native Christians, too) to stay there, under his protection. He just wanted the violent Crusaders gone so the area could be peaceful. They even teach this in Catholic School history classes. I say all this as an Atheist.

      Oh, and don't be so hard on Genghis Khan. Sure, he led a huge military Campaign, but the areas he conquered were given liberties practically non-existent until the dawn of America. He enforced laws of freedom of religion, gender equality, fair taxation, etc. The only reason he started conquering in the first place is because some jerks kidnapped his wife and, once freeing her from them, wanted to make sure atrocities like that never happened again, anywhere. Killing of civilians was also entirely frowned upon by his government and such acts were rare by his armies, even by today's standards.

      March 11, 2012 at 4:23 am |
    • chief

      hey righturdclyde .... 100's or 1000's of priests..... check out bishop-accountability-org/AbuseTracker/ ...then hit priest database... find your favorite there

      March 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  13. information

    Is the pope a living saint?

    March 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • AGuest9

      A saint. Only in a twisted universe. Hitler youth ring a bell?

      March 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • helomoto12354

      The pope was forced into the Hitler youth.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • helomoto12354

      Although many Popes have been declared saints, not all have been.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Vince

      @bootyfunk do you think belief in God exempts anyone from pain and suffering? Even Christ suffered and he is man/god. Only thing faith does is give reason to suffering, otherwise you are only suffering for no reason

      March 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Funny, Karol Wojtyła wasn't "forced" to be a freedom fighter in the ghettos of Warsaw before he was made pope. Character speaks volumes.

      March 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Vince

      The young Pope John Paul ii was also older and not a German youth being forced to join as all Germans were

      March 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • dalis

      Young Joseph Ratzinger also refused to go to Hitler Youth meetings unless physicallly detained and eventually went AWOL, which carried a punishment of death. That speaks of his character anyway. Also, did you know his first cousin was killed in the Holocaust for having Down Syndrome?

      March 11, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • information

      Please pray that I win the lotto tonight as that will for sure change things.

      March 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Sorry but God doesn't answer those kind of prayers. He only does things like cure cancer and such.

      Disclaimer: If God doesn't cure your cancer it is because it wasn't part of his plan.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • helomoto12354

      For the better.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      my grandpa died from lung cancer. he was a devout baptist. so God failed in saving him from cancer. God = Fail

      March 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      BF. But did he live long enough to see his children and grand children get born. Do you have good memories of your grandpa?

      Think of how many of us didn't get to know our Grandpa's because they were long dead. Sounded like you loved him a lot and chances are that he loved you. Sounds like he and you were blessed.

      Maybe think of it as that your grandpa and you were really blessed in many folks books.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      "Disclaimer: If God doesn't cure your cancer it is because it wasn't part of his plan."

      So in other words, prayer only works when god feels like it. And since "god's choice" of who lives and who doesn't is more connected to the proximity of quality health care and early detection than it is to mystical occurrence, a reasonable person can safely conclude that either there is no god, or that prayer doesn't work.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • just sayin

      Be advised that Tom,Tom the Pipers son is posting as Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things.

      March 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • AGuest9

      How do you know, just lyin? Didn't allow you to post as Atheism is not healthy at the same time?

      March 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      just lying is just lying again.

      March 10, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  15. superplus

    After a series of devastating tornadoes that killed a lot of people, this one survivor prouldly said on CNN "Thank god, my family was spared" (or words to that effect). Thank god? For What? What the hell did god do to save this man's family? Not a damn thing! If god really exists then he could've stopped those tornadoes with a simple sneeze – on second thought, maybe he caused those killer tornadoes with a sneeze – Thanks a lot pal!

    March 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • dalis

      At least he wasn't ungrateful, superplus.

      March 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Inspector Clouseau

      Why should someone be "grateful" to nothing, or "probabilities". Why should anyone be "grateful" for near miss. It's SUPERSTI'TION.

      March 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Lucsoren

      I speak the phrase "thank God" all the time, and I am an Atheist. It is a figure of speech, a colloquialism, that is used worldwide by even non-religious people to denote fortune.

      March 11, 2012 at 4:06 am |
  16. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    Money wasted as the "vomit-inducing" ped-ophilia and coverup will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks.

    March 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • .....

      Time wasted on the vomit inducing reality is time lost hit report abuse on all reality posts

      March 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

      Isaiah 40:8


      March 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • helomoto12354

      You have no idea what you are saying. Prayer has taken criminals from the streets, turned druggies clean, and drunkards sober. You don't see the value of religion, but the structure and the message has changed people's lives. You shouldn't bash something as "useless" only because YOU don't see the value of it.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Reality

      Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

      So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of your religion or any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

      March 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  17. Bootyfunk

    doesn't sound like a long road to me... if you have a million dollars. the church is the biggest money-making scam ever. and yet they constantly claim to be the good guys. lol.

    March 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Vince

      Yeah the bad catholic church that's the largest charitable organization to ever exist... The terrible church that brought the world public education and the college and university systems.... The most horrible church that brought about public hospitals and continues to operate free ...FREE medical treatments not only in the third world areas but also in (gasp) north America (st Jude, mercy, st Jude cancer treatment.).... How can such a terrible religion give birth to such monstrosities such as the holy bible, the equal right movement, the eradication of slavery, desegregation (catholic churches in Mississippi refused to divide their congreation long before the Jim crow laws were even challenged), you know, I really can't stand those who think they hate the church so much, yet are so readily eager to make use of all it's fruit!

      March 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Real Deal

      St. Jude Hospital is super-fantastic, BUT, although it was named after founder Danny Thomas's favorite saint, St. Jude is not a Catholic hospital and not affiliated with any religious organization.

      Look here for its funding sources:

      March 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Vince

      Sorry, you're right... St Jude was only founded by a devote catholic... My bad. St Joseph in Arizona then.

      March 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      How man homeless kids have you taken in and raised? (most of us can only raise our own). How man days a week do you feed 10 or 20 homeless people ("will work for food" people)? How many times have you dr.e.s.s.ed a gaping wound (cleaned it and s.t.e.r.i.l.i.z.e.d it and bandaged it? How many b.a.t.t.e.r.ed women have you taken in this week? How many .b.a.t.t.e.r.e.d animals? How many active T.B. cases have you been e.x.p.o.s.e.d to this week? How many A.l.z.h.e.i.m.e.r v.i.c.t.i.m.s. have you s.p.o.o.n fed this week? How many o.c.t.o.g.e.n.a.r.i.an d.i.a.p.e.r.s have you changed this week? ..unless you are able to do those things your complaints about pe.d.o.p.h.i.l.e.s are hollow. Complaining is not a virtue. It is a sign of a spoiled b.r.a.t. P.i.t.c.h in and DO something good.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      Clyde: it doesn't matter.

      If I spend my whole life caring for poor people while turning a blind eye to the abuse of a child, I don't deserve to be called a moral person. Period.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • helomoto12354

      How is it a scam? People voluntarily give money to the church and expect nothing in return. It'd be a scam if the church promised something it couldn't hold it's word up to, so far as a Catholic that hasn't happened.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Vince

      @ iamdeadlyunesucated if you think only the sinless are worthy enough to help others we would never have never gotten anywhere. The church continues to pay for the sins of these priests... Yes it happened and it is terrible... Any person agrees with you , but to have our faith hijacked by these people is victimizing a whole new generation of people. The church has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to these victims, offers to pay therapy and have asked for forgiveness over and over again. Unless you yourself are victim, I suggest you move on, the drama is over there is nothing left to see anymore.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious


      Nothing could have been funnier than seeing you misspell "uneducated" in your attempt to insult me. Thank you for that.

      I don't expect priests to be sinless, but I do expect them to not abuse children. And if they do, I expect the church authorities to not sweep it under the rug.

      March 11, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • vince

      Fat fingers on an iphone touchpad make for a bad combination when it comes to spelling and grammar! First off, I will apologize for insulting you, that was uncalled for and immature. I guess I am too quick to reply and may go a little overboard.

      Yes, i agree I expect more from my priest and my church. It disappoints me when the church does not live up to its teachings, yet that does not shake me, nor does it drive me away. I recognize that everyone here is a sinner. If I had to wait to be ministered to by a sinless person, I would never be ministered to. This is my faith and I have to separate the messenger from the message. Just as we are called to love the sinner and hate the sin. The poor victims of these terrible priest were not just robbed of their innocence, they were robbed of their faith! No one is arguing that....However, to attack the church's teachings is completely and its contribution to this world and the history of its humanity, well that's just wrong. The church's teachings continue to be stable and unchanged in 2000 years. Its rich tradition is steeped in the ancient practices that have related the scriptures to generation upon generation without any break or contradiction in its teaching.

      Have there been clergy who have abused their position? you bet...but does that change, in any way, the teachings....no way.

      March 11, 2012 at 4:11 am |
  18. ddrew78

    Since there are always so many confessed atheists on here, let me put it this way: If I'm wrong and there is no God, and there is absolutely nothing after this life, I won't know I was wrong after I die. However, if I am right and God does exist, all you non-believers will definitely know it.

    March 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • information

      If there is a god I have several suggestions for him/her/it. With all the power he/she/it supposedly has, he/she/it could come up with something better than p00ping. It is really gross and with just a snap of his/her/ it's finger could be replaced by exhale of gases when we breathe.
      And this burning people forever. Sounds like some serious abandonment issues from all those forever’s alone before he made man/woman. Once he/she/it creates something he/she/it can not get rid of it. Even when he/she/it is very angry.
      Some short term therapy could work thru this easily. In grade 4, 1958 my 4th grade nun told me god controlled the population by wars and famine. I have a few better ideas for god there
      So if he is as tolerant as he is billed then before he sends me to hell forever I can get him to implement some changes that will benefit future peeps.

      March 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      Ah, Pascal's Wager. So fun, and yet so invalid.

      Your wager assumes two basic religious positions in the world: yours, and atheism. You neglect to mention that most major religions make a point of saying that people who believe in a god, without believing in the specific dogmas of that church as they related to their god, are not going to be doing so well in the afterlife. So it's not a 50% chance that you're right, it's somewhere around a .01% chance. Which kind of makes talking about faith in a god or gods in terms of probability games pointless.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • helomoto12354

      That's what I always say, but the atheists only know how to bash faith.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious


      Evidently people of faith (at least the ones on this board) don't know how to read logical refutations of badly constructed and outdated arguments.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Vince

      Again iamdeadlyuneducated is trying to steer you the wrong way... Not to sure about non Christian and quasi Christian faiths but the dogmas only help you to understand the nature of God, belief and acceptance in him and his sacrafice is all that is needed in salvation. You crafty demon!...

      March 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious


      I'm assuming you're a Christian, so quick question for you. Can someone go to heaven if they haven't accepted Jesus as their lord and savior?

      March 11, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Vince

      No, they can not. A belief in God is a requirement for enterance to heaven. Luckily God is merciful and the soul eternal. So if one is not evangelized in this physical world, it is our belief that God gives those an opportunity to still enter into relationship with Him.

      March 11, 2012 at 3:05 am |
  19. Blessed Geek

    I did not realise that George Lucas is also a Catholic priest. An archbishop no less.

    What happened to star wars?

    March 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • helomoto12354

      Haha, good joke, but George Lucas is considered a common name as both the first and last can serve as either first or last names.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The profits from Star Wars allowed George Lucas to purchase a position of authority withing the catholic church. He's working on a sainthood for Yoda.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  20. Inspector Clouseau

    Return ze Pewp to Avignon today ! THAT is what iz important. Ze Pewp belongs in France.

    March 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
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About this blog

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