Vatican scandals lift lid on secret power struggle
May 29th, 2012
01:51 PM ET

Vatican scandals lift lid on secret power struggle

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Bad luck comes in threes, even for the pope.

The past week has seen his butler arrested, accused of leaking secret papers from the papal apartment; the head of his bank sacked for incompetence; and a demonstration on his front doorstep by protesters demanding that he reveal what he knows about Italy's most famous missing-person case.

It's bad PR for the Vatican, but it may be more than that, experts say. It could affect who becomes the next pope.

The arrest of the pope's trusted butler, Paolo Gabriele, came just a day before the board of the Vatican Bank fired its director, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

Two days after that, hundreds of people chanted "Truth, truth!" in St. Peter's Square, holding pictures of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee who disappeared at the age of 15 and has not been seen in the past 29 years.

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No less a figure than the Vatican's chief exorcist said he suspected the girl had been abducted for sexual reasons, adding: "The investigation should be carried out inside the Vatican and not outside."

The timing of the demonstration was probably a coincidence, since conspiracy theories about Orlandi's disappearance have been swirling for decades and police investigations have gone nowhere, said the Rev. Thomas Reese, author of "Inside the Vatican."

But the butler and bank scandals are significant, and reveal a secret battle going on behind closed doors, he said.

Nuns at odds with Vatican meeting this week

The effect of each event is the same: to weaken the authority of Pope Benedict XVI's second in command.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, is involved in a power struggle with his predecessor, experts say.

"The reason for this fight is that the secretary of state will have a strong influence over the next conclave which will choose the next pope," said Giacomo Galeazzi, a journalist at the Italian daily La Stampa.

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The late John Paul II's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, is trying to sideline Bertone and put one of his own proteges in place before Benedict dies, Galeazzi said.

"The leaks will end when Bertone is out as secretary of state," he predicted.

He said he expects that Bertone, who will be 78 in December, would be replaced at the end of the year, but not by the cardinal Sodano wants.

Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, isn't the only one who doesn't like Bertone, Reese said.

Bertone "did what normally happens. He brought in his team, the people he likes, the people he trusts, and he put them in key positions in the Vatican," he said.

"There are people who had hitched their star to the previous secretary of state who thought by now they would become an archbishop or a cardinal, and they didn't," Reese said. "These people are unhappy and don't like Bertone."

Part of the reason for the butler and bank scandals is that the Vatican hasn't been run well in decades, Reese said.

"Clerics don't go to Harvard Business School. Bertone is a theologian. He doesn't have an MBA," he said.

And Benedict is no better, he said.

"He is a German professor. He's a person who is into ideas, not a manager, and yet he is running a 1.2-billion member organization," Reese said.

There's a faction within the Vatican that wants the next pope to be "a better manger who can get the shop in order," Reese said.

"A lot of people think that would be an Italian, of course," after two popes from outside of Italy, John Paul II from Poland and Benedict from Germany, he said.

But the undermining of Bertone may work against that faction, he said.

"Bertone is from the Vatican and is Italian," Reese pointed out. "People may say we need somebody from outside who can come in and knock heads together and make it work."

Reese isn't taking a position on where the next pope should be from, but he has strong views on what Benedict's successor should do: "The place really needs to be restructured and reorganized. It still operates in many ways like a 19th century European court."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope John Paul II • Scandal • Vatican

soundoff (1,326 Responses)
  1. Reality

    The RCC continues on its slippery slope to oblivion as do all religions because of their flawed theology and history.

    May 30, 2012 at 7:01 am |
  2. MGM

    If its secretary Bertone, Pope John Paul 11, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Timothy Dolan are still better looking.

    May 30, 2012 at 5:50 am |
  3. truth

    WERNER HEISENBERG, Nobel Laureate in Physics:

    1. ¨ Heisenberg wrote: “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” [“Der erste Trunk aus dem Becher der Naturwissenschaft macht atheistisch, aber auf dem Grund des Bechers wartet Gott.”] (Heisenberg, as cited in Hildebrand 1988, 10).

    May 30, 2012 at 4:36 am |
  4. truth

    This is Sartre’s before-death profession, according to Pierre Victor: “I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.”[i]

    This statement effectively closes Sartre’s existential phase to the consternation of his followers and his lover, Simone de Beauvoir, in particular. During Sartre’s funeral, De Beauvoir reportedly behaved like a bereaved widow, but later became quite critical of Sartre in her “Cérémonie Des Adieux.” Later on, she revealed her anger at his change of mind by stating, “How should one explain this senile act of a turncoat? All my friends, all the Sartreans, and the editorial team of Les Temps Modernes supported me in my consternation.”[ii]

    May 30, 2012 at 4:32 am |
  5. truth

    'In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of God."

    Darwin, Francis, The Life of Charles Darwin. London: Tiger Books,1995, 55

    May 30, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  6. truth

    "I never know whether I should say "Agnostic" or whether I should say "Atheist". It is a very difficult question and I daresay that some of you have been troubled by it. As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God."[i]

    Bertrand Russell ,

    May 30, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      I dont know what to say....................

      I pee, therefore i am.
      Found something.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  7. Jimmy G.

    Still laughing. Give me a moment.

    May 30, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Enter the Sand Man.. nite y'all!

      May 30, 2012 at 4:24 am |
  8. Jimmy G.


    May 30, 2012 at 4:07 am |
  9. Jimmy G.

    So sad to see some poor religious fool get that nasty ole truth on them! It must really sting.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:52 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Spoken like a true 10th grader.. BRAVO JIMMY!!! BRAVO!

      May 30, 2012 at 3:56 am |
  10. Bootyfunk

    it's a picture of the emperor addressing the storm troopers

    May 30, 2012 at 3:35 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Interesting story about Ratzinger not wanting to be Pope. He wanted to retire and write books. He is a theologian first. He gave that up to lead 1 billion knuckleheads.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:44 am |
  11. ha

    How sad to see yet another crop of delusional idiots appear. Oh, wait, that is only gerald. Hi gerald.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  12. Truth

    The only points at which the New Atheists seem to invite any serious intellectual engagement are those at which they try to demonstrate that all the traditional metaphysical arguments for the reality of God fail. At least, this should be their most powerful line of critique, and no doubt would be if any of them could demonstrate a respectable understanding of those traditional metaphysical arguments, as well as an ability to refute them. Curiously enough, however, not even the trained philosophers among them seem able to do this.

    May 30, 2012 at 2:41 am |
    • Truth

      Sorry I ment to reply.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      I don't think they are too concerned with metaphysics. Our witness as Christians speaks louder than any philosophy. Sadly, the only time many Christians make news is when it is a scandal. Hopefully, they are smart enough not to judge God on our merits, but on his. But that is hard and the road is not easily traveled.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • Drew

      I don't really have enough knowledge of metaphysics to speak to that. I would point out however, that even if a god is proven metaphysically, there is nothing that makes a Christian god anymore likely than a god as seen in the Quaran, or the Torah, or the Book of Mormon

      May 30, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      How hard is it to prove a fairy-tale is truth to someone like you, who pompously calls themself "Truth"?
      You are a delusional fool for believing a lie to be true.
      No logic, no reason, no evidence shoved in your face will make you see the real truth, the reality of your situation, the reality of your delusion, or even get you to admit the truth.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • Truth

      the New Atheists’ favorite argument turns out to be just a version of the old argument from infinite regress: If you try to explain the existence of the universe by asserting God created it, you have solved nothing because then you are obliged to say where God came from, and so on ad infinitum, one turtle after another, all the way down. This is a line of attack with a long pedigree, admittedly. John Stuart Mill learned it at his father’s knee. Bertrand Russell thought it more than sufficient to put paid to the whole God issue once and for all. Dennett thinks it as unanswerable today as when Hume first advanced it—although, as a professed admirer of Hume, he might have noticed that Hume quite explicitly treats it as a formidable objection only to the God of Deism, not to the God of “traditional metaphysics.” In truth, though, there could hardly be a weaker argument. To use a feeble analogy, it is rather like asserting that it is inadequate to say that light is the cause of illumination because one is then obliged to say what it is that illuminates the light, and so on ad infinitum.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Drew, you will be glad to know that those are all the same God. Funny that the God of Abraham is the God of the Torah, the Koran and the Bible! – Its Jesus that stirs the pot. For the record, Christians believe that Jesus IS God incarnate.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • Drew

      I understand that they are all the same God, but he is also viewed differently through the lenses of various religions, and each advocates different beliefs and practices

      May 30, 2012 at 3:11 am |
    • Lol

      Instead of "Truth",
      Shouldn't your username be "idiot troll who copies and pastes pompous-sounding but painfully feeble and bad 'arguments' from other websites"?

      May 30, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Since there is no god, all your blathering is worthless. You claim there is a god but have no proof. It's really quite simple, even for you, so you desperately try to fling a ton of nonsense into the air hoping it will obscure the fact you have no proof.

      Squirm all you like. There is no god. You have nothing but hot air on your side.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • Truth

      The most venerable metaphysical claims about God do not simply shift priority from one kind of thing (say, a teacup or the universe) to another thing that just happens to be much bigger and come much earlier (some discrete, very large gentleman who preexists teacups and universes alike). These claims start, rather, from the fairly elementary observation that nothing contingent, composite, finite, temporal, complex, and mutable can account for its own existence, and that even an infinite series of such things can never be the source or ground of its own being, but must depend on some source of actuality beyond itself. Thus, abstracting from the universal conditions of contingency, one very well may (and perhaps must) conclude that all things are sustained in being by an absolute plenitude of actuality, whose very essence is being as such: not a “supreme being,” not another thing within or alongside the universe, but the infinite act of being itself, the one eternal and transcendent source of all existence and knowledge, in which all finite being participates.

      It is immaterial whether one is wholly convinced by such reasoning. Even its most ardent proponents would have to acknowledge that it is an almost entirely negative deduction, obedient only to something like Sherlock Holmes’ maxim that “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” It certainly says nearly nothing about who or what God is.

      But such reasoning is also certainly not subject to the objection from infinite regress. It is not logically requisite for anyone, on observing that contingent reality must depend on absolute reality, to say then what the absolute depends on or, on asserting the participation of finite beings in infinite being, further to explain what it is that makes being to be. Other arguments are called for, as Hume knew. And only a complete failure to grasp the most basic philosophical terms of the conversation could prompt this strange inversion of logic, by which the argument from infinite regress—traditionally and correctly regarded as the most powerful objection to pure materialism—is now treated as an irrefutable argument against belief in God.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Ah, I see you are nothing but a copypasta troll, never able to form your own arguments but must copy and paste a large clump of blathering idiocy from some pompous apologists website.

      When you want to talk like a regular person, feel free. Your copypasta does not address anything I said with any credibility.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:26 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Jimmy – I not a copypasta – but I hardly think you really want to debate the existence of God.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Lets debate the existence of love instead.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:32 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Jimmy – are you in love?

      May 30, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Show it to me.. can you email it?

      May 30, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      So you admit you, Crazyhorse, and "Truth" are the same troll? What a shock. *yawn*

      There is nothing to debate. There is no god. You have no proof or evidence and cannot even perform a demonstration.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:34 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      I hear that love transcends time and space – do you love someone who has died in your family?

      May 30, 2012 at 3:35 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Jimmy – I don't think for a minute you really are searching for the truth about God – but if you are, it is easier to understand love first – then God. Love is window. I can say all I want that I love my wife, but she has to take it on faith. God is no different.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Crazyhorse, emotions are not proof of your god. Emotions are an electrochemical reaction inside your stupid head.
      Emotions have no relation to reality. They are a distortion of your pithecine instincts, a growth of primitive tendencies.

      If all you have is you emotional babytalk as so-called "proof" of your god, then I suggest you go suck on your momma's d1ck.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:44 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      So I conclude from that – you don't believe in love either huh?

      May 30, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Again, next time you are with your special person, chosen apparently from their ability to procreate, ask yourself – "Does this person really believe I love them?"

      May 30, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Love exists as an emotion, a distortion of our primitive instincts. Just because emotions exist does not prove your god exists.

      Really, you poor fool, you are going to have to draw a logical and provable relationship between our human emotions and the fact that they are just electrochemical events within our organic brains....and your non-existent god.

      Go ahead. Dangle a bit on the end of that rope. Emotions are just emotions. If you are blinded by your emotions and don't have a good grasp on reality, I can see how someone as stupid as you would assume that your blinding emotions must mean something supernatural is happening to you.
      But you are stupid in that you have drawn a conclusion that is not supported by the facts of the situation.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:57 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      I am not talking about "how" love manifests itself physically. You would stop there. Go deeper.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Using your logic – love can be replicated and forced. What about free will? You telling me you don't believe in free will either?

      May 30, 2012 at 4:07 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      I'll take myself for example on "why" love makes a good analogy for belief in God.

      First, it is more than emotion. When I fart, I have an emotional response (at least sometimes). Very clearly, the beans I ate gave me gas, which in turn needed some relief – hence I broke wind! Love however, exist in my soul. Then in my mind, then in my being. I freely love and choose to love. Very different than a fart.

      I'm being silly, I know, but the point I want to make, is that you are trying to reduce love to the level of a fart. Unless you have ever loved, truly, it is not the same. Next time, turn on Delilah and count the love songs! Better yet, read the history of man and see how love did some crazy things! When you are done with that – tackle free will.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Love CAN be forced and NO you do not have free will. You only have the illusion of free will.

      I can force you to love anything using brainwashing techniques. I could make you worship a coffee cup filled with dog p1ss.
      I could turn you into a nazi or a catholic, oops I'm repeating myself.

      No, you do not control your will. You are even BLINDED by your emotions. That "blindness" is a cognitive blindness, where our distorted instincts take over and the more primitive structures of the brain gain pre-eminence.
      You are no more than an emotional ANIMAL because your emotions can blinded you.
      Minds can go blank with fear, love, hate, anger, protectiveness, and all the other various emotional states that are simply distorted versions of the simpler primitive brain structures our DNA has added more growth on to.
      Your higher brain functions can be blanked out. You can try to control this to some degree, but it depends on how the brain is structured for any particular success.

      As for your god, all our organic perceptions show no sign of your god. Sorry. Prayers do not work. Your god does not exist.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:30 am |
    • WASP

      I am not talking about "how" love manifests itself physically. You would stop there. Go deeper.
      May 30, 2012 at 4:05 am"

      i have a question; where is the soul located? because i would like to extract it and run chemical analysis on one so i can find a way to make all souls pure. if you can't show me the location of a soul then it only proves there is no god. i can touch my physical body and see it's real, i can use technology to see the brain and how parts of it work........but no soul thus found anywhere in or outside the body.
      next have you ever had a "gut feeling"? news flash, it's not your guts giving you that feeling it's your subconcious alerting the concious mind of some kind of danger it has percieved. humans have many terms to discribe something that is incorrect, such as "brain freeze" your brain doesn't freeze, it's pain caused by the sudden contraction of the stomache due to the introduction of cold, your stomache doesn't have nerve reseptors for pain so the signal is send elsewhere in the body to alert you of a problem. on to emotions; emotions are the combining of basic instincts wtihin a more complex brain. we percieve that our dog loves use, it shows physical signals of affection. dogs don't truly love you, they accept you as the alpha of their pack. if you want to break love down into its' instinctual components, you would find it made of; the need to reproduce, safety in numbers and ownership of a mate/territory. these very same set of instincts combined with a percieved threat to one of those can cause love to become jealousy, especially if the mate is going to be lost; all animals will fight tooth and nail to protect what the think to be theirs, even if said mate is the one attempting to leave. so literally everything that makes you whom you are is all in your head. i bonk you on the head, you get amnesia i can teach you and tell you almost anything, take memories distort them a bit so your mind accepts that view of them and you become a totally different person......so either you have no soul, thus no god or when you get amnesia your soul changes for another one, however i doubt that one.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  13. Truth

    A truly profound atheist is someone who has taken the trouble to understand, in its most sophisticated forms, the belief he or she rejects, and to understand the consequences of that rejection. Among the New Atheists, there is no one of whom this can be said, and the movement as a whole has yet to produce a single book or essay that is anything more than an insipidly doctrinaire and appallingly ignorant diatribe

    May 30, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Drew

      Wait, so to be an atheist I have to learn and reject EVERY faith? But as a Christian, do you have to learn and reject EVERY faith except Christianity?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Drew

      The arrogance of you people, to assume that your faith is so mighty that everyone will be required to reckon with it at some point

      May 30, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • Truth

      I have come to realize that the whole Atheist movement, when purged of its hugely preponderant alloy of sanctimonious bombast, is reducible to only a handful of arguments, most of which consist in simple category mistakes or the kind of historical oversimplifications that are either demonstrably false or irrelevantly true. And arguments of that sort are easily dismissed, if one is hardy enough to go on pointing out the obvious with sufficient indefatigability.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • Drew

      Listen, there really is no argument to be had between you and Atheists, because you don't argue on the same terms. The fact is most of them have just decided to bypass religion and get their spiritual kicks from other avenues. You guys are the ones making extraordinary claims, not them, so don't act like they have anything to prove or answer for.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Are you two having fun stroking your own self-righteous egos? Atheism is merely the rejection of a god claim. The rejection of all other supernatural things falls under the area of naturalism, which is not tied to atheism.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Drew – I read that first sentence a little differently. "That he rejects".. I think what they are saying is the old don't tell a doctor where to cut thing. As a Catholic, we are constantly told how silly our faith is, or how ancient, or how out of step with reality, or how inconsiderate of women, or how .. well you get the picture. Yet, when pressed into a dialogue, most shrink away from any meaningful discourse.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Drew

      Yes, but my first point remains, am I required to gain intimate knowledge of every faith and then reject it? Because there are so many! I'd be hesitant to be a Catholic because it contains certain beliefs that I have to accept dogmatically without thinking for myself, and same for many other religions. I think that the only thing that makes any sense is to think for yourself about spiritual matters and not accept anything on authority. I also think that sometimes when people are interested in actually debating you Catholics see it as an attack, because your beliefs are too rigid to survive any alteration that might come from critical engagement with them. respectfully

      May 30, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Believe and pray for your unbelieving. Faith is a gift not something we possess. I was an atheist – no bull.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • Drew

      I'm not even opposed to going that route, but since I have an equal lack of beliefs in all faiths, which one should I choose?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Catholicism engages all your senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch). Hence it is, by definition, ritualistic. Any true form of worship has to be. When you boil it down, we are still Cain and Able offering up our best. That really freaks some people out. You mean, I HAVE to believe that this is Jesus' "body and blood" – YUCK!! That sounds cannibalistic. Well yes, if you think like a human and stop there. However, if you go deeper, it can be no other way. The whole "I am the vine, you are the branches" thing.. its deep!

      May 30, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • Drew

      See that does sound really awesome to me. But so many religions seem awesome to me in particular ways, I just couldn't decide

      May 30, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      So who the hell are these "New Atheists"? I've never heard of them and I've been here for years.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:02 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      I can't tell you – but I started with what I parents passed on to me. I was a "Cradle Catholic" – meaning, born into it from birth. I went to all sorts of schools and said, bunk! – But I could not shake the feeling I had as a little kid. That drove me to read and read and study and ask questions.. etc. If you have ever experience God (I pray that you did) – start there. Open the mind and dive in. You won't be sorry and your eternity could depend on this journey.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • Drew

      Perhaps I will. Thank you for the interesting conversation

      May 30, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Crazyhorse, you spell out your lifelong brainwashing and then imagine that your biased and distorted perceptions are a god?

      May 30, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • Drew

      Jimmy G., if CrazyHorse had a genuine religious experience then he is certainly justified in pursuing it.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Drew, you can say that for any serial killer, too.
      That doesn't make his delusions true nor give any credibility to the brainwashing that was done to him.
      And since there is no god, his "religious experience" has no authority, no authenticity, and no credibility.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:29 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Well – for us it is impossible to believe in God on our own intellect. Hence *faith* is a gift. Look up faith in the bible and Paul says of it, that it is the evidence of things unseen.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      There, that wasn't so hard, was it? Just admit you have no proof and go on your merry way back to your rubber room.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:47 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Jimmy – do you think we have empirical evidence on everything we believe in? I completely believe, humans evolved from apes – yet we are still missing some critical evidence. While there is no evidence of life beyond earth, I think there is. I know science is lacking in the exact dates for when the universe began – but I think they're getting there and the Big Bang – what is that? String Theory? Quantum Physics?? come on, Jimmy.. you're easy dude.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • 2992

      I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
      maker of Heaven and earth and of all things
      visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus
      Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten
      of his Father before all ages, God of God,
      Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten,
      not made, consubstantial with the
      Father, by Whom all things were made; Who
      for us men and for our salvation, came down
      from Heaven, and was Incarnate by the Holy
      Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made Man;
      He was crucified also for us under Pontius
      Pilate, and was buried. And the
      third day He rose again according to the
      Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven. He
      sitteth at the right hand of the Father: and He shall
      come again with glory to judge the living
      and the dead: and His kingdom shall have no end.
      And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and
      Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and
      the Son, Who, together with the Father and the Son,
      is adored and glorified: Who spoke by the
      prophets. And I believe in one holy Catholic and
      apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism
      for the remission of sins. And I expect the resurrection
      of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      You might as well recite the illegal Pledge of Allegiance while your at it. And don't forget to wave your arms around or do some "magical" gesture while you're at it. It is all brainwashing using the same detergent.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      I can say all I want that I love my wife, but she has to take it on faith.

      When is the divorce ?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  14. kittyzen

    Karmic Justice.

    May 30, 2012 at 2:20 am |
  15. Drew

    @CrazyHorse: Right, I try to live love every day too, as do many other va guely agnostic people. So do plenty of Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims...right? So how can any one of us claim a monopoly on holiness when we all try to practice love?

    May 30, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Bob

      Because "holiness" isnt about love, and never has been. It's about participating in mindless rituals and confessing your sins to pedophiles

      May 30, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Drew, let's give Bob a hand for his blunt knowledge on all thing Catholic! That's a softball Bob.. nice hit!

      Ok, Drew.. so you hear it from a so called, knowledgeable Catholic – about claims on the path to heaven.

      First, there will be many, Jews, Buddhist, Muslim, and many others in heaven, I completely agree. If you are saying that the Catholic Church has some kind of monopoly on holiness, that's not true. We are all called to holiness and in the Catholic Church that is the message of Vatican II. How we attain it and hope to live it out in our lives is what this is all about. So do, some don't. We believe Jesus blazed a trail to the top and we walk "the way" with him. Jews are looking at the same mountain top. As are Muslim and other People of Good Will.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Drew

      I really like what you are saying here, but it is my perception (perhaps wrong) that it stands in tension with some Catholic atti tudes. For instance, the RCC is so emphatic about doctrine (see the current conflict with the Nun's organization) that it almost is as though they don't think there are other ways. Why play politics with doctrine if doctrine doesn't matter?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      The nun thing is easy. They want to be priest. Well, biologically they can't. Believe or not, during the mass, the priest "becomes" Jesus. There is something referred to as matter and form. So what's a matter with a female priest?? LOL. OK, that was not nice. But seriously, many of these nuns see the same thing the rest of the world tells them.. the power is in Rome or the power is in the pulpit.. yada, yada! So they want power! Truth is that the power is in service and suffering. Hence, we have Jesus (who is God) on a cross as symbol of what real power is – love.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • Drew

      But who is to say that it is really the Nun's grabbing at power, and not the Vatican trying to hoard it all itself? Both of them have a motive

      May 30, 2012 at 2:52 am |
  16. Bob

    Someone explain to me why these criminals and perverts are revered as the epitome of righteousness by Catholics....

    May 30, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      I'm Catholic, we don't worship the Pope. Just God.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      No, you worship the Pope. Don't bother trying to deny it.
      Will you speak against his criminal acts? No? That's because you worship him.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!

      May 30, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Yes, you are a big boy now! Don't worry, you can brush off that nasty ole truth right off before it sinks in!

      May 30, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      How long are you in for?

      May 30, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • 2992

      I don't worship the Pope, I worship God/Jesus/Holy Spirit/Mary/Saints, a Pope can only be a saint after death.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:33 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      In the spirit of brotherhood and wanting to see you all fulfilled in your holy worship of the delusions you share, I invite you all onward to your eternal reward as soon as you possibly can.
      Don't worry, we'll miss you terribly and will find it much easier to go on without you if you are no longer around. LOL

      May 30, 2012 at 4:43 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      ** Crazyhorse

      I'm Catholic, we don't worship the Pope. Just God.

      And year after year millions of followers flock to the Vatican and kneel in front of the pope.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  17. klassified

    i guess if you believe a guy lived in a whales stomach for 3 days you'll believe in anything

    May 30, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Moishe

      Well you were in your mom's for 9 months...so go figure....HOOOOOOO

      May 30, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Oy! My back! You're killing me with your lame jokes!

      May 30, 2012 at 3:11 am |
  18. mikey

    What the heck?? It's 2012, this nonsense needs to go away..Our origins are uncertain, so get off this religious stuff you dummies

    May 30, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  19. Jim456

    The church are the biggest mass murders in history and never had to stand trial. I suppose they will do whatever it takes and nobody out there will be able to change it. There are too many religous fanatics out there sweettalking everything negative.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Drew

      They rank highly, but surely not much more highly than many conquerers and dictators, right?

      May 30, 2012 at 2:03 am |
  20. Bob

    The child rapists are at it again....

    May 30, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      They never stopped.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:11 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      Bigots!! I smell bigotry!!

      May 30, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      Crazyhorse, that is because of where you have your head stuck.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:32 am |
    • Crazyhorse

      So you admit your an a ssh ole?

      May 30, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      I have no problem admitting that I am abrasive, callous, arrogant, angry, and whatnot.
      My problem is being sane and intelligent in a world full of crazy idiots who cannot be reasoned with.
      Know of anyone like that? I sure do. Too many people like you in the world.
      Yet I care for you as a fellow human being even while being an a&s hole.

      Consider my side of it: surrounded by people who have been brainwashed into thousands of different delusional cults, I am an outsider who has no desire or intention of choosing delusion and fantasy over clear thinking to the extent possible.
      I can imagine scenarios where I might be persuaded or forced into doing something that is literally insane, but I would much rather avoid any such violation of my personal integrity.
      I have rights. Cult members do not respect the rights of anyone outside their cult, on average. This is biased thinking with no basis in reality, science, logic, or reason.

      But here you are thinking that an emotion is proof of your god! LOL That's really funny.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:52 am |
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About this blog

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