Vatican intensifying crackdown on American nuns
The Vatican and the American Catholic Church have issued three reprimands of Catholic nuns since last year.
June 5th, 2012
02:34 PM ET

Vatican intensifying crackdown on American nuns

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Vatican denies there's a connection, but its reprimand of an influential American nun, at a moment when the Holy See is already engaged in an intense fight with most American nuns, sends a clear message: The Catholic Church’s leaders think America’s nuns have gone rogue and must be reined in.

The Vatican on Monday censured Sister Margaret A. Farley, who teaches at Yale Divinity School, over a 2006 book she wrote that the church said is out of step with official church teaching on human sexuality.

Just weeks before, the Vatican issued a major report condemning the groups that represent most American nuns, saying those organizations had promoted “radical feminism” while neglecting teachings against homosexuality and abortion.

“The Vatican believes that there is a climate of dissent in some quarters of the women’s religious life in America,” said John Allen, CNN’s Vatican analyst. “They are trying to deal with that, and both these developments speak to that.”

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In its reprimand of Farley, the church focused on her book “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” which it said condones masturbation and homosexuality.

“Masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action,” the church said in a statement Monday that characterized “homosexual acts” as “acts of grave depravity.”

The reprimand warned church officials not to use Farley’s book, raising eyebrows in Catholic circles because she is one of the country’s most respected female Catholic theologians.

The Rev. Brian Linnane, a Jesuit priest and president of Loyola University Maryland, did his doctoral work in theology under Farley.  He said the notification could have a chilling effect on academic freedom at Catholic institutions.

“There’s a sense that the vocation of the theologian is diminished in this notification to where it’s just, ‘Keep repeating what we’ve already said and don’t question it, don’t critique it, don’t try to help us make it more adequate.’  And I think that’s troubling,” he said.

Linnane said people who read the book knew that Farley was departing from Catholic teaching in certain areas.  

“She did not write a book about sexual practices.  She wrote a new framework to think about sexual ethics, which looks at justice, instead of procreation or abstinence, which have been part of the tradition,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s a question of right or wrong so much as I think it is of the ability to raise critical questions, to try and develop new understandings of the theological tradition and in this case of the moral tradition.”

Linnane said the Vatican is right to be sure that public ministers such as priests and nuns be on the same page doctrinally as the church leaders, and he noted the rebuke was specifically against the book, not the author.

“There’s no silencing of Sister Farley in the notification, there’s no threat to her membership in her religious community; it’s just about the book, which everyone agrees probably shouldn’t be taught in Catholic seminaries, certainly shouldn’t be taught in religious education classes for young persons. Everyone agrees it’s theological speculation,” he said.

The censure came days after the leadership that represents most American nuns concluded a meeting in Washington to devise a response to an April Vatican assessment that accused the nuns of hosting speakers who preached “radical feminism” at an annual gathering of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The group represents about 80% of American nuns.

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The report also said the nuns were too focused on social justice and not enough on opposing abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage.

The recent reprimands come about a year after U.S. Catholic bishops rebuked another nun, Sister Elizabeth Johnson at Fordham University, for her writings.

The bishops said that Johnson falsely claims the Catholic Church’s names are “metaphors that do not apply to the reality of God within the traditional Catholic understanding.”

“In the last 12 months you’ve seen two of America’s leading Catholic nuns who are theologians in the cross hairs,” Allen said. “I’m not sure there’s anyone left of their stature to go after.”

Many parts of the American nuns’ community and the Catholic academic world have come out swinging against the Vatican critiques. In a statement, Farley defended her work, saying it was not meant as an official church teaching.

Farley said she feared the Vatican “misrepresents (perhaps unwittingly) the aims of my work and the nature of it as a proposal that might be in service of, not against, the church and its faithful people.”

On Friday, the leaders of the American nuns whom the Vatican had criticized said the Holy See’s report was “based on unsubstantiated accusations and (was) the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency” and that the report had “caused scandal and pain throughout the church community.”

Representatives of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious are flying to Rome this week to try to chart a course forward with Vatican officials. Church experts said that the nuns could accept the assessment, negotiate or resign en masse and form a new group outside the watchful eye of the Vatican.

The reprimands originate from the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict XVI led for decades before his elevation to the papacy.

In interviews conducted while he held that earlier post, Benedict spoke often about growing the church by pruning - becoming smaller but more devout before expanding.

It is hard to know what the reaction to the fight between American nuns and the Vatican is within the American Catholic community, but there have been some pockets of protest against the Vatican’s actions.

“It’s one thing when the Vatican goes after a theologian, because most rank-and-file Catholics don’t know any theologians,” Allen said. “But so many have been educated by sisters in a school, taken care of by a sister at a hospital or know a nun in their parish that is running the office."

He added, “When there’s a perception that sisters are under fire, there’s a tendency to support them.”

There is evidence that the reprimand against Farley has raised her profile as a theologian. Her "Just Love" was the best-selling religious studies book Tuesday on Amazon.com.

- CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Sexuality

soundoff (2,186 Responses)
  1. Bootyfunk

    heya Topher, had to log earlier. you there?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:51 am |
    • Topher

      Hey, how's it going?

      June 6, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  2. Mike

    The catholic Church is out of touch to start off with. Second in this day and age one would think that society would have cast off the shackles of religion and moved on. Sadly this is not the case. When will society learn that religion is harmful to the progress of society?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • usaidwhat?

      ...pat on the back...good one

      June 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  3. keyser

    I can't believe that grown ups actually pay attention to the pope or any of the other shamans for that matter.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:24 am |
  4. Crater

    The Vatican is more interested in protecting pedophile priests than supporting women's rights.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • jan

      I am a 67 year old Catholic female and this is my sentiment, exactly.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:53 am |
  5. hal

    guess it is time the nuns hire an mba student to present a cost benefit analysis to the pope and tell him how much power they want for bringing in certain $ amount ! it is a business after all, with power struggles and drama, maybe time for a reality TV deal too ?

    June 6, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • keyser

      You have to contact the 700 club for TV deals. It's the most efficient way to skim off the gullible, poor and elderly. I'm surprised the pope hasn't moved in on this.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:26 am |
  6. Matty

    Guess it is time for Pope Papatine to dust off the Malleus Maleficarum again. Free-thinking women have always been a threat to this ancient old men's club.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:17 am |
  7. Floss

    Boy they really do hate women don't they?

    June 6, 2012 at 3:14 am |
    • cherlmw01

      you are right they love little altar boys

      June 6, 2012 at 3:19 am |
  8. cherlmw01

    personally, they should shut down the catholic religion. They worship $$$$, statues, candles, unholy water, unholy kiss rings, and, unholy communion. Most of the "leaders" are perverted!!! And should all REPENT and marry a man a woman or both.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • truecatholic

      Catholic worship the Blessed Trinity and are were founded by Jesus Christ Himself. It can't get any better than that!

      June 6, 2012 at 3:12 am |
    • Floss



      June 6, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • Lactose Intolerance is a HATE CRIME

      The catholic business pretends to be a polytheistic religion as a front. Financially, they're not doing so good right now. Cheers to its inevitable and eventual collapse.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • sam stone

      shut down the catholic religion? by what authority?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:58 am |
  9. joe parker

    Are you dissatisfied yet with the world's message that promises so much yet fails to deliver?

    After my conversion, I found ewtn invaluable for learning about the true beauty of the Church. For those who like a little edge to their truth, try realcatholictv.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:58 am |
    • cherlmw01

      you need some zoloft you sound so depressed.. i had to get some to understand what's going on in the world today.. now i am very verbal!!!!

      June 6, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • sam stone

      i am quite satisfied being away from all churches, thank you

      June 6, 2012 at 4:01 am |
  10. joe parker

    Dissatisfied with the world's message that promises so much yet fails to deliver?

    I was too. After my conversion, I found ewtn invaluable for learning about the true beauty of the Church. For those who like a little edge to their truth, try realcatholictv.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Your support for these criminals does not speak of your intelligence or morals! People who support them support pedophiles.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:57 am |
  11. Shane

    If the Catholic Church wants to not die, it needs to adjust with the times.

    Else its going to go the way of the Dodo for the same reason, failure to adapt.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • crackedskull44

      With over a billion followers, I think its doing just fine.

      June 6, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  12. The Minge of Oprah

    Nuns make the choice to be in that boy's club. If that's what they want, they deserve what they get. Just like all christians who are broke and driving 20 year old minivans to church every Sunday.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"like all christians who are broke and driving 20 year old minivans to church every Sunday."

      So the judge of a good life is what kind of car you drive and how much money you have in your bank account?

      June 6, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • The Minge of Oprah

      No. It just proves the point that they aren't willing to do anything for themselves.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      So again, are you saying that your motivation in life is determined on the car in your driveway? So, if you are driving a top of the line Corvette (120k)

      .....and your neighbor pulls up in a Buggatti Super Sport 1.8 million.

      Are we to say that your nieghbor is doing things for him or herself and you are not doing anything for yourself based on the vehicles in your garages?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • The Minge of Oprah

      I like how you're trying to twist my words in order to make it seem like I'm judging people based on money. You're really fucking stupid. You're most likely getting the point of what I've said, but wish to pretend to be the devil's advocate. You really aren't. The whole "middle river" thing is a farce.

      Just in case it simply just flew over your head, christians like to think that they suffer and live in persecution. You know, to prove to god that they're just like Job. They think that christianity is a career of struggle in most cases and that everything is a test. All too often, they claim that "god will provide.' In other words, they won't do anything to improve upon their lives, rather they choose to believe that some fairy from magic sky forest will do everything for them.

      Does that straighten it out for you? Or are you just going to continue being an obtuse retard?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:29 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      When your points have to come with the tinge of insults then it is your argument that is weak.

      Thankfully, for the good of society, yours are very weak. I do not twist words. I just take your hate and show you the flaws in your thinking. You believe that Christians wish to suffer and choose to not drive more up to date cars and that was the basis of your hate message. Wasn't much to twist. Heck, I could just quote a few rabid Atheist post that declare that all Christians want is to be rich by all means necessary. They point to church members driving fancy cars and wearing fancy clothing and jewelry. Who is right you or those Atheist?

      Your problem is that you were caught placing value on a material item. Which is a impossible position to hold these days. You scrambled and then out of the blue decided that you wanted to say that to Christians, being like Job was our desire. Being like Job in faith maybe, in suffering, you are a few hundred years behind your understanding of many Christians. I mean you are back in the Puritan era.

      Here is something to think on while you figure how a person in the middle ground can defeat a extremist on either side so easily. The Amish drive buggies. We are going further back than a 20 year old Dodge Caravan.

      Do you believe that they feel that they are “suffering” as Job when they are out on the road? You see for your view to work, the Amish would have to feel that they are suffering or their lives were lacking. Do you feel that is accurate in the Amish community?

      Also, not as much devils advocate but just standing in the middle, knowing that I can be just as Faithful as those on the extremes of both side to my Faith, Beliefs and Views.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:52 am |
  13. GeorgeBushSr

    Its about time they started getting those hippies what they deserve!

    June 6, 2012 at 2:13 am |
  14. Topher

    Hi, everyone. If any of you are up late burning the midnight oil and would like to talk about Christianity, feel free to ask me anything.

    June 6, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      There's nothing to discuss – it's all bullsh!t.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Topher

      Why do you think so? I'm not being snarky, I truly want to know. I used to be an atheist myself.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      Hi, everyone. If any of you are up late burning the midnight oil and would like to talk about Atheism, feel free to ask me anything.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • The Minge of Oprah

      Christians used up all the oil burning people to death whom they accused of witchcrafteries.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Religion makes zero sense (unless you suspend all disbelief) and there is proof for any god – none! Until someone comes up with definitive proof, it's all a variation on astrology.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • Topher

      What sort of proof would it take?

      June 6, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Re: atheism, nothing to talk about! Makes perfect sense and is supported by all available evidence. :^:

      June 6, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Topher

      Hi, Bootyfunk. Long time no chat.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Been down this road before...

      Have your god meet me for lunch anywhere in the world. While we're having lunch, have him cure child famine everywhere, permanently. I'm fully prepared to worship any being that can achieve this.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • Topher

      So are you saying there's absolutely no evidence of God? I'm not saying proof, but evidence?

      June 6, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • Topher

      You think you deserve some extra attention from God?

      June 6, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Atheism, feel free to ask me anything."

      >>>"Christianity, feel free to ask me anything."

      For each of you. If you had a child that went against your view or belief, how would you take it?

      Second, if a group came into the community and said we are going to refurbish a community hall for the community, and a Atheist group and a Christian group came forward, could you see both groups working side by side?

      Third 🙂 Once the community hall was completed, and they offered space for Atheist meetings on some nights or Planned Parenthood and Christian functions such as large weddings. Would either of you object?


      June 6, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      No evidence, no proof, nothing! And I don't need nor expect attention, extra or otherwise, from a non-existent being.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • Lactose Intolerance is a HATE CRIME

      Existence is not evidence. Because there's no evidence of creation. There is only existence. Just because the Universe exists doesn't mean something had to create it. The only reason why people continue to believe that it was created is because they're too afraid to deal with being insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Nothing we do will ever matter to the Universe, no matter how far we advance technologically. Belief in god equates completely to fear. If believers weren't afraid of feeling like they didn't matter, then they'd stop believing.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • HotAirAce

      As I have stated previously, if my children become believers, they will not inherit a single cent! I would like to believe atheists and believers could work side-by-side, assuming believers could shut up about about their imaginary friends. :^) OK to rent to believer's if they pay twice the standard fee. :^). :^)

      June 6, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • Lactose Intolerance is a HATE CRIME

      Mark, why would Atheists need to hold meetings?

      June 6, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • Topher

      Hi, Mark

      1. Depends on the age. If we're talking under 18, they'd still be required to attend church with the family. Once he or she is out on their own, I can't force them. But no matter what age, I'd be praying like crazy and talking with them about it as much as possible.

      2. No, I don't see the groups working side by side. There's many reasons, but here's one. You see how Christianity is attacked on these boards. Kind of hard to trust someone to hammer in the nail you're holding when they think so highly of you.

      3. Of course I object to anything involving Planned Parenthood. But if the building is just a rental hall, I can't tell the owner who to rent to. As far as atheist meetings, I have no problem with that. They have every right to meet together.

      Hope that answers your questions.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Topher

      Hi, Lactose

      That might be true of some people, but not for me. I actually think the creation is evidence of a Creator because there's just too much order. Time and chance actually causes disorder, not more order.

      And you could be right about fear. To think there's nothing after this life, that my life and your life has no meaning, that's scary. And I am afraid of God. I have sinned against Him. A lot. And I deserve His wrath. I deserve Hell. He should send me there. But He loves me (and you) so much that He took the punishment we deserve on the cross and defeated death by rising again. And by only His grace, He has saved me from eternal torment.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"As I have stated previously, if my children become believers, they will not inherit a single cent! "

      So, your hold over your children will be your money? Is that really a parent to child relationship?


      >>>"2. No, I don't see the groups working side by side. "

      Topher, when Christopher Hitchins passed away, a few months ago, he was eulogized by a Christian friend of his. Same one that had traveled with him, had dinners and other outtings? If a known major Atheist can be on friendship terms with a person of Faith, then how could it not be possible.

      >>>"here's many reasons, but here's one. You see how Christianity is attacked on these boards."

      Come on Topher, if your best example of Atheist and Christian relations is from a open internet blog, then you are grasping at serious straws to hold on to your distrust. Good grief, some folks come here just to get others upset and get a reaction. What you have here are mostly the extremes of both side that often times echo each other.

      >>>"3. Of course I object to anything involving Planned Parenthood. But if the building is just a rental hall, I can't tell the owner who to rent to. "

      Its a community hall. belongs to the community.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • Topher

      Yeah, I would have liked to have had dinner with Hitchens, too. He seemed like a very nice man and I think we'd have gotten along very well despite our differences. But I think there's a difference between two men being friends with disagreements and two groups of people who like to spar with each other.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • HotAirAce

      My children are adults. Think of it as a simply knowing the consequences of a decision. You are free to make the decision, but being an adult means understanding and accepting the consequences.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • Lactose Intolerance is a HATE CRIME

      What "sins" have you committed that should result in an eternity of torture? Did you kill six million Jews or something?

      Too much order in the Universe? Since when? You do realize that our galaxy is going to collide with another, right? Were you aware of random black holes floating around at random that could quite easily rip our solar system apart?

      Evidence proves something. The fact that a rock exists doesn't mean someone created it. Quite the opposite. The rock simply exists and nothing more. If you were to build a house out in the middle of a field, what would people notice when they walked by? The house, as it stands out from the rest of its surroundings. Why? Because it's not natural. It was built.

      Of course, people will try to say, "Well, there's no proof that someone built the house." Bullshit. We know that someone built the house and it didn't just magically appear there because we know that nature itself does not build homes with windows, electricity, gas and water. We also know that nature does not supply the house with these things and that they all have to be transported via man-made devices. And how is that? Because we have witnessed it and in some cases taken part in the activities needed to complete such a task. Has anyone ever witnessed god creating anything? Nope. "But god created us!!" No. My parents probably got drunk, did it, and then I was born. That's how I got here. And god certainly didn't create plants and animals. Never seen one just magically appear. Nature makes that happen, and we can witness with our own eyes how it happens. We have also been able to reproduce evolution in a lab environment. This proves the theory that living things can and do evolve, which negates the myth of creation by a deity.

      I've read that there are anywhere from 100 to 400 billion stars in our galaxy alone. There could be more. Many of these stars are centers of their own solar systems. Many solar systems are capable of sustaining life. And let's not bring up the whole "odds" thing. I've heard pastor's preach odds from the pulpit and it's a joke. "The odds of life existing are blah blah blah to blah blah blah, so there HAS to be a god." Please. Do you know what the odds are of a leaf falling from a tree in a forest and landing in a particular place are? The possibility of something happening is against the human comprehension of understanding doesn't automatically necessitate a deity.

      Why should you fear god? Because the old testament god will send fire from the sky? Or because the new testament god is going to come forth from the heavens and slaughter billions of people until his horse is knee deep in blood as the bible myth book suggests?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • Topher

      "What "sins" have you committed that should result in an eternity of torture? Did you kill six million Jews or something?"

      I've broken all 10 Commandments.

      "We have also been able to reproduce evolution in a lab environment. This proves the theory that living things can and do evolve, which negates the myth of creation by a deity."

      We certainly have ... within a kind. For instance, a chihuahua and a great dane or both dogs. But it has not been observed that a monkey becomes a man. So I'm afraid that doesn't disprove the Bible at all. In fact, it supports it.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:22 am |
    • Topher

      IF there's a Heaven, do you think you are good enough to go there? Are you a good person?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:32 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"My children are adults. Think of it as a simply knowing the consequences of a decision."

      So, you are hoping to manipulate their views with the promise of money?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • Lactose Intolerance is a HATE CRIME

      Which set of ten commandments? You do realize that two exist, correct? The first got broken and god promise (according to the bible) he'd write them down again. Funny thing is, the two sets differ dramatically.

      Evolution does not support the bible at all, in any way.

      The monkey to man evolution argument does not work. Fossil records prove that different species of humanoids existed before us. Do you know how long it took for humans to get where we are today in current form? Which is by the way, far earlier than the claim of the creation of the Universe by the bible. Humans must have been really confused when they witnessed god creating the Universe when it already existed.

      The bible itself can't be used for any evidence whatsoever. Given that the creation myth itself is contradictory to itself, amongst the vast number of holes and contradictions within the other books of the bible. Not to mention that the bible itself is incomplete, as it references books that weren't included in the bible. Using the bible as proof or evidence of anything would be like trying to teach out of a math book with "2 + 2 = 7" written on the cover and trying to argue its accuracy. Just doesn't work. Period.

      Instead of fearing god, I'd be more afraid of believing in something that doesn't exist and wasting my entire life away based on rules written by primitives that taught that raping women was an acceptable practice.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:47 am |
    • Topher

      Which part of Creation is contradictory?

      What other contradictions?

      So what if it references other books?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • Lactose Intolerance is a HATE CRIME

      If you really want to know:

      ebonmusings.org has plenty of information straight from the bible about its multitude of shortcomings and lies, some of which came from jesus. Well, the authors that "quoted" him decades after he died.

      I'm fairly certain the creation myth is discussed there as well. Or you could just read the first two chapters of genesis, which apologists try to explain away via misinterpretation. This also explains the expansive list of christian denominations.

      If the bible references missing books, then the bible is obviously incomplete. Would you feel comfortable taking a test based on the content of incomplete text books? Would you allow a physician who only learned part of the curriculum on human anatomy to perform surgery on you? I find it odd that people would base their lives on a collection of incomplete books and just accept it at face value considering it outlines all of eternity.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:02 am |
    • sam stone

      i haved already discussed christianity with you, and come to the conclusion that you are a judgmental pompous dweeb, thank you,

      June 6, 2012 at 4:06 am |
    • Topher

      Did you just call Jesus a liar?

      June 6, 2012 at 4:07 am |
    • Zee

      There is too much mention about proof. Athiest rely too much on science. You do realize that there is no evidence or proof in science of how the universe or anything was created. Its all speculation. No one will ever truly know becuase we were not there at the beginning. So you see, I chose to believe in Jesus just as you choose to believe in science(man). We will all find out in our end who is truly correct. The only difference is, by me following the bible's teachings helps me become a better person. I'm not perfect but I strive to be good to others and understand their point of view.

      "I'd rather live my whole life assuming there is a God, only to find out that there isn't, than to live my whole life assuming there isn't a God, only to find out there is."

      June 6, 2012 at 5:38 am |
  15. escher7

    There is only one representative of God on earth. Me.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • GeorgeBushSr

      hell yea son me too

      June 6, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • cherlmw01

      oh wow seriousily.. you sound like someone who is in need of some serious meds...

      June 6, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  16. BadDog91748

    It's not a democracy. Get used to that idea. It's a male-dominated hierarchical structure, ruled from the top down. There's only one man, emphasize man, in charge. What he says goes. If you don't like it, leave. You are not compelled to belong. BTW, I am an absolute non-believer. Adults arguing theology is like 6 year olds arguing over whose imaginary friend is best.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • The Rankin

      Posting on a CNN forum is more futile than 6 year olds arguing. Yet, we are mastermind.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:00 am |
  17. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    It would be best for all nuns to leave the RCC, especially given that there are no gods, not even just one. They do not need an imaginary god, the jesus myth or Pope-a-Dope to carry on their good work, and they just might like a good, guilt free, roll in the sack...

    June 6, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • The Rankin

      There is a God. I've seen him. He won't talk to you though, you're ugly.

      June 6, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • escher7

      Dawkins says Christians have all decided that thousands of gods don't exist. They only have one more to go.

      June 6, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Unless you have demonstrable, veifiable and factual proof, you are a liar or mentally ill, not unlike most believers. So provide your evidence or shut the fuck up!

      June 6, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • The Rankin

      I was being funny. Sorry, I didn't realize you were _actually_ ugly and that I'd touch a nerve. ; o

      June 6, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • crackedskull44

      0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Lol please show me apicture of the galaxy thats billions of miles away. And no, I dont want an "artist" drawing me a picture of a how a supernova explodes or a computer model. Show me physical, undeniable evidence that these galaxy numbers exist such as AGO. Science is good to an extent, then its balony.

      June 6, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • usaidwhat?

      No Rankin, your the Ugly one, does passing judgement make your little weenie hard? keep trying don't give up, he will rise to the occasion someday.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  18. Brian

    "The reprimands originate from the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict XVI led for decades before his elevation to the papacy.".....................................................

    this office used to be called the Inquisition but they had to change the name because the Inquisition earned a bad reputation because of all the "heretics" they tortured to death.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Isn't this the same office within the vatican that continues to lead the pedophile priest coverup?

      June 6, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Minerva from Los Angeles

      Now it should be called Office of Acquisitions since Pope-y RATFLINGER owns so much money! I think we need to tax the Churches everywhere, heavily. That will solve the Euro crisis, and resolve the US National debt in one bold sweep!

      June 6, 2012 at 2:01 am |
  19. Frank

    Enough of this heresy about God loving everyone equally! Inquisitor, Pope Ratflinger has ordered that those nuns be reined in immediately! Oh, and he also wants some fresh young boys brought to him before supper.

    Let's face it – the Catholic Church's days are over. If you're one of those toe-the-line Blood-of-Christ practicing Cultholics, the time has come to recognize the control-freak cult sickness that comes out of the Vatican for what it is and move on.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • You're kinda dumb

      Thanks Frank.

      I really like how you change the spelling in words so they are pronounced differently. After the summer is over and you start 4th grade I am sure you will be able to provide some type of substance to your pathetic arguments. Such as: "American Catholics are the most liberal thinking group of Christians in the United States as a whole, often holding opinions and beliefs that are not in line with Catholic church doctrine."

      You are right, that sounds so cultish.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  20. Margaret

    Maybe the Vatican will be happier when they have no more nuns? At the rate they are going there will soon be none!

    June 6, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Minerva from Los Angeles

      its the nun's fault. Why do they want to belong to a classic chauvinistic male-dominated club, where their ability to climb up is severely restricted, and they are censured for spreading enlightened ideas in a book. What next? Shall we have book burnings and witch burnings at the stake now? Notice how Pope-y turned his head the other way, when thousands of priests were sodomizing and terrorizing and damaging little children in their care, but so much time on his hands to bring down American nuns who are doing nothing but GOOD in this world! It makes me furious!

      Impeach the Pope! Burn down the Vatican and all its dirty politics!

      June 6, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      The Pope has not turned his head and has met with and taken steps that even the victims rights groups have acknowledged. They have also acknowledged that of the Priest that are even in question that they are only looking at 4,6 or even 7% of the total Priest.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Mark, you fail to realize it's not just the acts of the pedophile priests, no matter the percentage, at question here. it is the systemic coverup that has people really upset. There is no excuse for not turning over child abusers to civilian authorities – none!

      June 6, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      It is not a failure but a realization that the Catholics are just like any organization. You have their ones doing good and ones doing bad. When we start moving on to destroying the entire insti'tution for the acts of the bad and not factoring in those doing good, then we open up many simular organizations. From the Military to even a few of our beloved hospitals who tested on minorities back in the days.

      Was it a coverup, sure but again when the vast majority of Priest are not pedos should we strike out at them as well. If I know that a certain percentage of White Americans are klan or neo nazis... am I to strike out at the ones who marched with Martin Luther King?

      There is no excuse, true. But, should they go after those in the coverup and not against the whole? I am not even Catholic but at the same time I know a bunch of decent Catholics. In many ways my same defence of them is the same defence that I would give for my White friends when I hear Blacks wishing to hang all of the ills against the Black community on them and all Whites.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      All child abusers should be pursued relentlessly. My personal experience, having been involved in a number of organizations involving children, is that the RCC has resisted more than most, if not all others, in dealing with this issue. Plus they set themselves up above everyone else, so fuck 'em!

      June 6, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I agree, all child abusers should be pursured relentlessly. The question is are you advocating the destruction of the entire insti'tution. I ask that because we are about to begin the trial of Sandusky with Penn State. Now, if we look at the inst'itution of Penn State, they also meet your standards. They covered up and definately being located in a College town they also saw the University as being above the law.

      Are you willing to step into the adminstration of Penn States and declare that their doors should be closed as well? You see, that is the realist or someone in the middle grounds way of viewing things.

      We could even push this question right to the White House. Of the current "drone strikes", did you notice that a few of them were American citizens? No trial, no hearing, no day in court... just death from above. Or should we return to all of the "coverups" that our own Government does? I mean this is just from channeling my inner Berkley Lib side.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      I know of nothing to suggest systemic widespread coverup at Penn State. If there was, the current administration appears to have taken swift action to deal with Sandusky. If there was systemic coverup, the inst!tution should pay a heavy penalty and if that means they go out of business as a result, too bad. Re: drones, simply, it's a war – if Americans have put themselves in harms way, too bad. But I do admit my bias – I would love to see the end of all religion!

      June 6, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”know of nothing to suggest systemic widespread coverup at Penn State.”

      Well, its called being informed.

      “Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley requested to be placed on administrative leave so he could devote the time needed to defend himself against perjury and other charges, university President Graham Spanier said. Gary Schultz, vice president for finance and business, will step down and go back into retirement, Spanier said. He declined to comment to reporters after the meeting.”
      Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-400_162-57319464/penn-state-se'x-scandal-prompts-2-resignations/

      See, I think I prove my point. You declared, with much pride and pomp,:

      “My personal experience, having been involved in a number of organizations involving children,”

      At the same time you do not know of a similar scandal that was also a cover-up and cost a couple of folks their jobs... including the winning-est football coach of all time. The late Joe Paterno. How can we take you seriously that you are involved with the fight against such child abuse when you are admitedly absent of knowledge about Penn State. It just makes it look like you do not care as much about child abuse unless it is with the Catholic Church, at which point you come out guns blazing.

      >>>”If there was systemic coverup, the inst!tution should pay a heavy penalty and if that means they go out of business as a result, too bad. “

      Well, I figure we should punish those who did the crime. Penn State is educating thousands of children and adults. Why punish the professors, staff and students who had nothing to do with the abuse to punish those involved.

      >>>”But I do admit my bias – I would love to see the end of all religion”

      Wow, those on the extreme on the Faithful side want to see a end to anyone not of Faith. Yours is just another voice of those who just want to see a “end” of the other side. And us in the middle are always caught in the crossfire of yall Bin Laden types. 🙁

      June 6, 2012 at 3:29 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.