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7 reasons Catholics leave church (in Trenton, #1 is sex abuse crisis)
One in 10 Americans is a former Catholic.
March 30th, 2012
01:52 PM ET

7 reasons Catholics leave church (in Trenton, #1 is sex abuse crisis)

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Even though Roman Catholics are the second-largest religious group in the United States, the tradition has seen an exodus of members in recent decades. One in ten Americans is an ex-Catholic.

If ex-Catholics were counted as their own religious group, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

If it weren’t for the infusion of Catholic immigrants, especially from Latin American, the American Catholic Church would be shrinking pretty fast.

A recent study by two college professor tries to get at a simple question: Why are they leaving?

Conducted William J. Byron, a professor of business at St. Joseph’s University and Charles Zech, founder of the Center for the Study of Church Management of Villanova’s School of Business, the anecdotal study conducted in late fall of 2011 processes the opinions of 300 non-churchgoing Catholics in Trenton, New Jersey.

The scholars, working at the request of Trenton’s Catholic bishop, asked parishioners who have drifted away not just why the left, but what church teachings they disagree with and whether they ever truly considered themselves part of the Catholic community.

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Though the study paints a picture of a church with some characteristics that rub people the wrong way, the researchers – both at Catholic schools in Pennsylvania – argue that the study presents new ways in which church leadership can reconcile with ex-Catholics.

"We need a more pastoral approach to people," Zech says. "There are two types of issues that appear. One revolves around church beliefs and frankly those won’t change. But we have to do a better job explaining some of the issue that the church might not change and why that is."

The report is based on one particular diocese, but its authors say it gives a good picture of challenges facing the broader church. "I think the same seven items would show up for the most part," in other areas of the country, Zech says.

The 7 biggest reasons Catholics from Trenton are leaving the church, according to the study:

1. The sex abuse crisis

Byron and Zech asked ex-Catholics to cite their main reason for leaving: “If you could communicate directly with the bishop, what would you say?”

The most common answer: the church’s inadequate response to clergy sex abuse. “The bishop’s refusal to list pedophile priests on the diocesan Web site and his non-support of the effort to lift the statute of limitations for bringing sexual abuses cases forward in the courts” did it for me, one man said, according to the report.

Several respondents said they had been victims of sexual abuse by church leadership.

2. The church’s stance on homosexuality

The second most cited reason for leaving the church was that former worshipers felt homosexuals were unwelcome in the church.

As recently as March 9, Pope Benedict XVI denounced what he categorized as the “powerful” gay marriage lobby in the United States. In the same speech he noted these views would be seen as “countercultural” to young people, but told bishops to not back down to “powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage."

When those surveyed were asked if there were any religious beliefs in the Catholic Church that troubled them, a number cited views on same-sex marriage. “The church’s view on gays, same-sex marriage, women as priests and priests not marrying, to name a few,” said one respondent, explaining her departure from the church.

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“Hypocrisy,” said one person. “History of discrimination against women, anti-gay stance, unwelcoming attitude.”

William D’Antonio of the Catholic University of America recently published a study called “Catholics in America: Persistence and change in the Catholic landscape.” found that even though the church and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has come out against homosexual relationships, only 35% of Catholics surveyed said the church’s opinion on homosexuality is “very important.”

The same survey found that 86% of respondents believe a Catholic “can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church."

3. Dissatisfaction with the priest

About half of those surveyed in the Trenton report were not supportive of the pastor they had left behind.

According to Byron and Zech, words like “arrogant,” “distant,” “aloof” and “insensitive” were all used by respondents to describe their priest.

4. Uninspiring homilies on Sundays

A number of people responded that homilies, weekly Sunday messages from the priest, did not relate or “speak to” them.

“I stopped going regularly because the homilies were so empty,” one respondent said. “And whenever the church wanted to raise money, they dropped the homily and talked money.”

“I would advise the bishop to make training in public speaking mandatory for every priest,” said another. “They should also be trained in how to relate their homilies to the people and inspire them.”

“As much as I wanted to get involved and expand my faith, there were no clear avenues to do that,” replied one person. “So it was just a place to attend Mass. And because attending Mass was a guilt-ridden obligation, I was always alone in a crowd where I knew no one and no one knew me.”

5. Perception that church hierarchy is too closely tied to conservative politics

Politics was a mixed bag, according to the survey.

Though some people wanted the church to become more conservative – “change the liberal-progressive political slant to a more conservative,” said one person – others responded differently.

“Eliminate the extreme conservative haranguing,” said one person. Another respondent said politics and the church shouldn’t mix: “I feel the church should stay out of politics; it should certainly not threaten politicians.”

6. Church’s stance toward divorced and remarried Catholics

Catholicism’s stance on divorce and remarriage were also highlighted, especially by divorced females.

The churches stance on divorce is closely tied to their stance on adultery. Without getting a marriage annulled, any marriage after a divorce is considered adulterous. Therefore, divorced people who have not had their marriage annulled or remarried are not able to receive Holy Communion.

“Please find a way not to exclude me from the Catholic community,” said one 56-year old divorced female. A 59-year old divorced female said she would tell her bishop to “petition the church to expand its view on divorce.”

In November of last year, Pope Benedict XVI responded to a German bishop who questioned the Church’s teaching on divorce and remarriage. “A pastoral approach which truly wants to help the people concerned must always be grounded in the truth… in the end, only the truth can be pastoral,” the Pope wrote, signaling a reluctance to change church teachings on divorce and remarriage policy.

“Instead of making every Mass a form of humiliation for Catholics who cannot receive communion,” one respondent to the Trenton survey said, “do something like a private blessing at communion time, to include everyone.”

7. The status of women

With the political debate over religious conscience and contraceptive coverage, women’s rights and the church have come to the forefront of debate in American politics. According to the Trenton study, a number of people who have left the church cite a “history of discrimination against women,” as one reason for leaving.

Respondents also took issue with the fact that while other churches allow women to become ordained priests, the Catholic Church does not.

“If the Catholic Church does not change its archaic views on women, it is going to become a religion that survives on the fringe of an open-minded, progressive society,” one person who was surveyed said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Sex abuse

soundoff (1,757 Responses)
  1. Abinadi

    Wow! If you hurry you can see the 2nd session of the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Just go to lds.org and click on General conference.

    March 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  2. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    Why I am no longer a Catholic:

    Flawed theolgy, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, vomit-inducing pedophilia and cover-ups !!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • wrong side of the bed

      #8..Guilt!!Since my father's death 10 years ago, my step-mom has been turned into a shell of a woman ,driven by worry and guilt after a lifetime as a devout catholic.How can people go about their day to day business believing that some of the people they love are going to suffer forever?I find it hard to comprehend the amount of guilt and shame this freak- show has brainwashed into the human race.Although i think guilt should be a reason to leave the church,I fear it is the number one reason people stay.

      March 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  3. Anon

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28PjVaW4kKI&w=640&h=360]

    March 31, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  4. jim

    All are true, but the Church has made significant progress. For example, it now accepts the fact that the Sun is the center of the Solar System and it has also stopped burning women as witches. This means we can now trust that it will be infallible when it says it is infallible. Just one thing I would like to know, what is the official Church opinion of pedophile? Pro or con? 😉

    March 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  5. 4reise

    There doesnt need to be reasons 2 – 7.. I left the church because of priests molesting kids.. sorry.. I cant be part of a club that hides child molesters.. "Yeah.. I could get past the molestation.. but you know.. I dont like how tied to politics the church has become." Come on.. get out of here with that nonsense.. it starts and end with priests fondling kids

    March 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • TING

      Funny way to put it. Sad too.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Scott

      The priests and bishops who allowed child molestation to happen should be defrocked and brought to justice. There is no excuse.

      Having said that, I've worked for companies that had people who stole millions of dollars from other clients, but that didn't make the people in the rest of the company into criminals. Although I totally understand why clients would take their investments elsewhere, if that same company still provided, by far, the best rate of investment in town, you'd be a fool to go anywhere else once you were sure that you were not affected by the bad guys.

      So, yeah, the Church hierarchy needs to clean itself up, but when you believe the doctrine, you accept that teachers do not automatically become perfect people. Would I stop attending mass with a pedophile priest? Hell, yeah. Would I refuse to see even a priest that I was sure was a good priest? No. Other than the victims and their families, I don't think you will find a group of people more upset about pedophile priests than the good priests who don't do that stuff and now are watching their parishioners lose faith through no fault of their own.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  6. Party Catholic

    I'm catholic and love going to church. But I also love partying. Drinking, drugging, occasionally whoring. It's all good. As long I get to confession in a timely fashion I keep the slate clean.

    March 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Southern Baptist

      Once saved always saved. We don't even have to repent. Party on!!!

      March 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Gabriel

      We have room in heaven for all of you. Murderers, rap.ist, child molesters are all welcome. All you have to do is believe. Now click your heels together and say three times "there's no place like heaven."

      March 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  7. chveka

    It's just my opoinion, but it seems to me people are very much concerned with what the faith and the Church should do to
    enhance their own ego. As if the church&the Faith existed to do just that. People who dont get their ego boosted thy the faith leave. That is their free will. Does that mean the Faith is inadequate? No. Contrary to popular belief Faith is not a buissnes venture or a political party or a rock tour you can join, trail after and leave when you realize or not your own personal interests. You either believe in Jesus or not. That is it.

    March 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  8. Brought It All On Themselves

    As a former catholic who left the church ages ago (thank God) after seeing many of the very things this article has greatly brought out, I can say that the RCC has completely disenfranchised many of God's people. God created everyone as EQUAL, Everyone, something the Church has refused to embrace. Neither are they embracing Jesus' teaching to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Priests often told me they did not read the Holy Bible instead they resorted to what they call a "missalet" designed to bring out the church's points of view rather than Biblical teachings. Therefore, the RCC is paying the penalty, a very high price, due to non-conformist bishops including the pope who continue to refuse to change things to reflect the love God meant for Everyone to embrace. If they think all of those who have left the church amounts to a large number, I've got News for them, they haven't seen anything yet!!

    March 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Scott

      Here's a clue for you all who like the Bible so much as the end all and be all of Christianity: the current Bible you read is a translation done by committee. The New Testament itself was written in Koine Greek, which was itself probably compiled from all sorts of original sources. While this doesn't invalidate it's message, the fact is that you can't just open up the English version and start talking as though you were on the Sermon on the Mount yourself.

      The reason that the Catholic priests refer to a Missal is the same reason that you go to Bible College: people who can read Greek, and people who have written accepted commentaries on the Bible itself are providing you with their translations and insights so that you can go about your job without having to become a scholar of a first century European language yourself.

      Thus, the word you are having trouble with is "consistency" and it is something that the Catholic Church strives, and occasionally succeeds at, by ensuring that just anyone doesn't start calling themselves a minister and selectively reading the Bible to suit their particular axes to grind.

      March 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Its Fabricated

      Scott, you're so full of it with your story you're probably seeing all brown by now!

      April 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  9. Captain

    It's all fairy tales.

    March 31, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Soylent Green

      It's peopllllllllllllle!

      March 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  10. Ann Ecdotal

    I'd say that contraception was the very first time (as a newlywed) that I seriously questioned the Church's dogma, but it opened the door to discovering many other problems with it; and after lots of years of reading, discussing and thinking, I am no longer a believer in supernatural fantasies.

    March 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  11. cafeteria catholic

    we drifted because of our parishes staff is so militant and harsh, the favoritism to people with money within the parish was astounding and disheartening. I think the church should maintain its faith and "opinions" but stay out of politics. the parishes don't support the people in need like other churches do and i feel that should be focus in these times of financial crisis. Providing affordable group health insurance for parishioners would be fabulous and timely. can you imagine how the flock would grow!

    March 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  12. GodsPeople

    1. S-e-x Abuse Scandal: Yeah I get that. Those individuals should find the Orthodox Church more to their liking. I attend the Antiochian Orthodox, and love it. And yes, I was raised Catholic.

    2. Ho-mos-e-xu-alit-y: Romans Chapter 1, verse 26-27: (26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lus-ts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lu-st for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their pe-rv-ers-io-n.

    As you can see, they were given unnatural lu-sts by God as a punishment, not something to be proud of. Both men and women were stricken with this curse. There is absolutely NO reason for the church, ANY church, to celebrate and accept a curse of God.

    3. Dissatisfaction: Go to the Archdiocese office with complaints. Get enough of the parishoners to complain and the priest will be replaced. A priest is a spiritual and emotional counselor and teacher, nothing more or less.

    4. Uninspiring homilies: Take your concerns to your priest. That's no excuse for apostacy. Explain to him that you're not feeling like he is trying to connect with his parishoners, and speaking of things that affect their relationship with God.

    5. Politics: Politics? really? Any good Christian is GOING to be conservative. Very conservative. Church isn't a place to think about politics. It's a place to think about God and to build your relationship with God. If you happen to be liberal, you can't be a real Christian.

    6. Divorce: Matthew 5:32-35 (I believe): But I say, a man who divorces his wife, unless the marriage is unlawful, commit adultery. A Man who marries a divorced woman causes her to commit adultery.

    Jesus Himself said that the only reason the Jews were permitted divorce through the Covenent of Moses was because their hearts were hard, that it was not the desire of God that it happen, but actually the desire of man. Divorce of a lawful marriage is frowned on and should be, since it's supposed to be a committment for life, a promise made in the presence of, and to, God.

    7. Status of women: Are you kidding? All throughout the New Testament it speaks of God's wish that man honors his wife, that son honors his mother and father, not just his father. God also said, "go forth and multiply." Not, "go forth and use a condom or the pill to try NOT to multiply." The Church is exactly in line with God's will on this, and anyone who disagrees isn't a real Christian and is going to burn in hell.

    These are facts. Have a nice day.

    March 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Denise

      Love that "burn in hell" bit. Par for the course for Christian god. Even wants you to do his dirty work for him, the lazy...

      Numbers 31:17-18

      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Andy

      But very few people believe this drivel nowadays.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Andy, you're new to this blog, aren't you?

      March 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • mandarax

      "Any good Christian is GOING to be conservative. Very conservative. Church isn't a place to think about politics. "

      Aside from being laughably stupid, did those sentences strike anyone else as being completely contradictory?

      March 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Urafkntool

      @Denise: Stop taking one small line and taking everything out of context. As a matter of fact, stop posting. You're too stupid to keep up. Now go worship Satan like a good little harlot.

      @Andy: Those that don't want to be seperated from God and wish to actually be saved do. The rest.. well, aren't even real people and don't matter to anyone.

      Anyone notice that Mandarax is not only laughably stupid and unable to actually read, but.. well, that he doesn't matter, he isn't important, and nobody will miss him when he's dead?

      March 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Scott

      Sadly, the points you made are accurate, except for the burn in ... part. If you know enough about the Bible to post those things, you know that you don't get to make those judgements, only the Lord does.

      And yes, people who leave the Church because they want to divorce are frankly SOL. There are things in the Bible that are directly attributable to Jesus. One of them includes his revocation of divorce as a possibility. Personally, I understand how this could be extremely difficult for people. As someone who is married, the thought has crossed my mind more than once. Luckily, we've managed to work things out. I'm not going to sit here and tell you to stick it out, but that may well be an option that can work if you remove the other possibilities.

      The no women in priesthood part as well as the married priest situation has always been optional to me. For one thing, there are married Catholic priests, due to certain conversion rules and the existence of other Rites in the Church. Also, while all of the Apostles were men, there were prominent female disciples. It is unclear whether the Apostles all being men was Jesus simply working within the existing order of the time, or whether he actually meant that women should not enter that role. I personally see no reason women could not take a greater role, but there are arguments on both sides.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Okay, so I post the reasons WHY the church says what it says, and of course it's time for hate speech. Well, I won't lower myself to your standards. What I posted came straight out of the New Testament, which is the covenent God made with both the Jews and Gentiles, as opposed to the orginal covenents of Abraham/Moses. These are why the Church teaches what it does. If you leave because of it, you're not following what God wishes. In order to be able to call yourself Christian, you have to do what God says.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Thinkergal

      I'm a real liberal and a real Christian; you are a judgmental ass.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Thinkergal

      I am a liberal and a Christian; you are a judgmental jerk.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Thinkergal: Try again. You can be either liberal or Christian, but not both. People say Christ was ultra liberal. He wasn't. He wasn't there to change or deny the law, He was there to fulfill it. He spoke God's will, not man's.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  13. GodsPeople

    Amazing. I posted a long post that it took me over an hour to work on, and CNN decided not to publish it because it's truth. What hypocrites.

    March 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      had to do a little editing. I haven't posted here in so long I'd forgotten about the "forbidden words." Meh. Sorry CNN, falsely accused you.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  14. Matt

    I'm an ex-Catholic because imaginary friends are for children.
    Weirdly, that explanation is not on the list.

    March 31, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Scott

      Probably because it isn't one of the top reasons. Few people will drop going to Church because they stop believing in the supernatural. Most people like the idea of God or something like him, they just want God to want what they want. Look at all these people who believe in ghosts and astrologers and ask yourself if most non-religious people are atheists in denial. The reality is that they're not even agnostic. They just don't like rules.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  15. JMD

    I think liberals and conservatives just don't agree on who Jesus was, literally. Liberals think he was the Nazarene that lived 2000 years ago who was a teacher and healer, conservatives think he was Ayn Rand.

    March 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • mandarax

      like, like, like.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  16. James Cyr

    I was a Catholic growing up and got excommunicated because my parents got a divorce. I believe the Catholics at least teach about Jesus and the cross. You can go to heaven being a Catholic. Now I am an international and community Pastor. I am all denominations, non-denomantations, born again Christian, and born again Catholic. Everyone calls me Father in uniform all day. I volunteered as assistant Chaplain in the military U.S. Air Force. I received an official certificate of appreciation United States Air Force leadership in ministry. I believe the Catholic Church still has a lot to offer. Father Jim Cyr

    March 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Veronica13

      YOU were not excommunicated because your parents got a divorce. This is a crazy statement.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Denise

      If you didn't claim to believe, you'd be out of a job. If people were smarter, same result.

      Always chuckle when I see a priest given the honorific "Father". Indeed.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Get Real

      James Cyr,
      "got excommunicated because my parents got a divorce"

      - Oh my, what other nonsense are you teaching your 'flock'? Holding their hands, gentle hugs and assisting them with practical real-life issues has perhaps been a comfort for some, but I sure hope that they (and you) don't think that you are imparting any factual information about the supernatural to them.

      "You can go to heaven being a Catholic."
      - What, exactly, is your verified evidence for that?

      March 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Scott

      If you were excommunicated, it wasn't because your parents were divorced.

      The only thing I can think of is that your parents were excommunicated as a result of the divorce's effects (ie. They divorced and remarried). After they were excommunicated, you were not taken to Church or baptized or something which would have meant that you would have had to have "converted" later in life to be a Catholic, instead of having it all taken care of by your parents for you. That wouldn't be excommunication, but it would seem similar because you wouldn't have been brought up Catholic by default.

      However, there is no way you could be directly excommunicated for what your parents did without you actually taking some action on your own. Not even in the olden days would that have happened.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Boast Busters

      Preachers, pastors, reverends, priests, chaplins, elders, vicars, padres and pontiffs - totally clueless for over 2000 years! Who ya' gonna call?

      March 31, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  17. Dianne

    christ would be so sad if he came down and saw what the name Christian(christ-like) has come to mean and the kind of people that represent that name!! It is so unbelievable that they are so unable to think for themselves that they believe everything they are told even though it goes against a good God would tell them! I'm sooo glad to say I'm not a Christian and no longer a catholic, just a very good person!!!!

    March 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • enkephalin07

      Word.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Ryan

      A lot of what you believe of Catholics and Christians also stem from ignorance. Many, even from within the Catholic population, don't even know Catholic Church doctrine. I had a choice to either split with the RCC, or dive deeper into it. I looked at the overall picture from a non-biased standpoint for roughly 2-3 years, and decided that the Catholic Church's' TRUE doctrines and TRUE teachings seemed to be be THE ONE AND ONLY TRUTH. Obviously, one will not find the truth of the Roman Catholic Church on the CNN comments section. That being said, I'm pretty sure that if you took some of the people here bashing the Catholic Church to mass, they'll be absolutely clueless as to what is going on and clueless as to what to say. It's one thing to be educated over something and disagree with it, but it's another to reject some concept based off of word-of-mouth.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      good idea.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Scott

      Be careful what you say about what you think a "good god" would do. Almost by definition, a deity is not going to think like you do. And in this case, he has countenanced and allowed wars, inquisitions, injustices and all sorts of evils to arise. None of that means that he doesn't exist, but it is very clear that while God may love puppies, just like you do, he also loves brutal dictators as well.

      If there is a God and that God has a plan, in no way does that plan need to make sense to you. Think about every scientific law and mathematical concept your don't understand, and realize that such a deity not only understands all of it, he theoretically created them all.

      I don't ask you to accept any of that as the truth, but be aware, something that seems good to you, may not be as good as you think it is, and something that looks inherently unjust to you, may well be entirely fair if you have the necessary perspective.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  18. enkephalin07

    I'm an ex-Catholic simply because I was born, baptised, christened into it, and then excommunicated from it, before I was old enough to have a choice. I know more about paganism than Catholicism. Why I would put 'pagan' and 'Catholic' in the same sentence is something you could work out for yourself.

    March 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Scott

      Excommunication... people keep using this word, but I don't think it means what you think it means.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Mark

      finding and listening to every post from you about religion is detrimental to modern society.......stop your propoganda campaign and go back to school, get a brain and a life

      March 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Bruce Mitchell

      Then pray for your pervert priest bub!

      March 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Denise

      Report abuse on the base post. It's high time CNN banned that poster. It's gotten out of hand.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • God

      Stop posting or I shall smite thee.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Get Real

      Denise,

      Just think of it as our little gift to society... keeping the twit here and out of the streets, parks and away from our front doors!

      March 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  20. Prayer changes things

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things .

    March 31, 2012 at 12:25 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.