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'Recovering Catholics' reveal spiritual journeys
According to a 2008 poll, 31% of Americans were raised Catholic, but only 24% describe themselves as Catholic.
June 19th, 2012
09:36 AM ET

'Recovering Catholics' reveal spiritual journeys

By Jim Spellman, CNN

Denver (CNN) - Kristen Kelly was raised Roman Catholic, attended Catholic elementary school and considered herself a good Catholic, but when she was 21-years-old that changed.

“A coworker asked me if I believe in Jesus Christ,” she says.

Despite spending her entire life in the Roman Catholic Church she couldn’t answer the question.

“I never really got exposed to Christ," she says. "It was more about Mary and the Church and a condemnation of everything I was doing wrong.”

She looked at her coworker and saw someone who appeared to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and decided that was what she wanted. She said this prayer:

“Jesus I accept that you are my lord and savior, and I ask you to come into my life.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

And from that moment Kelly, now 41 and living in Florida, considered herself born-again, and an ex-Catholic.

“I like to call us recovering Catholics,” she says with a laugh.

According to a 2008 study by the Pew Forum on Religious Life and Public Life, 31% of Americans were raised Catholic, but only 24% now describe themselves as Catholic. Read the study (PDF).

That means about 1 in 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. If they were a denomination they would be bigger than Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and Presbyterians.

The total U.S. Catholic population has remained at about 24%, as immigrants have filled the pews the ex-Catholics have left behind.

Video: Why do some Catholic outsiders remain inside the flock?  

Kathleen Cummings , associate director at the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame, says that some people leave the Catholic Church after a defining event like the priest abuse scandals or because of a disagreement with the Church over social issues, but most leave because they feel their needs are not being met.

“They are not experiencing something that fulfills them spiritually,” Cummings says.

Church supporters are urging wayward Catholics to return to the fold. For example, Catholics Come Home, a nonprofit lay organization formed in 1997, has been putting out the welcome mat via the media.

The group has an interactive website www.Catholicscomehome.org and airs what it calls “evangomercials” on radio and television. The group says that since 2008 more than 350,000 people have “come home” to the Catholic Church through their campaign.

Tom Peterson, president of Catholics Come Home, says some worshipers who've returned to the Catholic Church report leaving because they had disagreements with church officials or had divorced and feared they wouldn’t be welcome. But, he says, the majority never really gave up on the Church.

“They just drifted away and life got too busy," Peterson says. "Most say they didn’t dislike the Church, nor were they opposed to the Church teachings.

“An overwhelming majority of returnees tell our diocesan partners that they came home to the Catholic Church, 'because you invited me,'" he says.

But it may not be so simple to lure back ex-Catholics like Matt Rowe, a 35-year-old married father of two living in Denver. Rowe attended 16 years of Catholic School in Illinois and attended a Catholic university.

But by the end of college, Rowe was adrift. He found himself disagreeing with the Church on everything from the role of women to the concept of original sin and what he saw as the Catholic Church’s dependence on guilt as a motivating factor.

Rowe gave up on religion for most of his 20s but never stopped believing in God. When he got married and had kids, he started feeling a void in his life.

“I wanted my kids to grow up in a religion, but not Catholicism,” he says.

After “church-hopping” for a few years, Rowe ended up at Pathways Wash Park, a multidenominational Christian church in Denver.

After years of feeling disconnected in the Catholic Church where he says sermons rarely connected to his life, he has finally found the connection he has been looking for at Pathways.

“I wanted spirituality. I wanted God. I wanted all those points to go back to what I’m dealing with today,” Rowe says.

Fred Viarrial, 59, grew up as an altar boy at St. Leo’s in Denver. Six days a week he donned his cassock and worked the 6 a.m. Mass.

“Books or bells. You are ringing the bells or moving the books for the priests,” Viarrial says.

But as he grew up he began questioning elements of Catholicism. One day, when Viarrial was somewhere between age 10 and 12, he had something especially embarrassing to confess, so he trekked over to a Spanish language parish where he was unknown.

“The priest pulled me out and spanked me on the spot,” Viarrial says with a laugh. “That got me to question this whole thing of confession.”

When he was just 14 the precocious teenager went so far as to schedule an appointment with Denver ‘s then-Archbishop James Casey to discuss his doubts.

“I took a two-page list of questions starting with the Hail Mary. I wanted to find them in the Bible, their origin … where is that in the Bible?”

Viarrial says the archbishop humored him but ultimately did not answer his questions.

He still believed in God, but was losing faith in the Church.

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By his 20s he was searching for a new church and ended up at Arvada Covenant Church, an evangelical congregation in a Denver suburb.

At Arvada Covenant he says the focus is on a personal relationship with Jesus and that his questions about his faith and the Bible are not met with derision, but with a search for answers through Bible study.

He has found a home at Arvada Covenant, but says he holds no grudge against the Catholic Church and still feels echoes of his Catholic upbringing in his faith today.

“It’s like a spiritual tattoo that you receive as a kid," Viarrial says. "Those roots don’t ever disappear, you just better try to understand them.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Colorado • Faith

soundoff (2,511 Responses)
  1. Sarda

    God is ONE. We are SOUL and are eternal. There is an eternal religion for everyone.. Vedas and Puranas are eternal scriptures....If we really want to learn who the GOD is, search for a real Saint, God Realized Saint then we will learn who the GOD is and What is our purpose of life. a Material minded human will not be able to expalin who the God is
    Please Read “the Philosophy of Divine Love”, by Swami Prakashanand Saraswati. It’s awesome!

    June 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Adam

      I counted 6 unsubstantiated and unevidenced dogmatic assertions of truth in that statement. You're gonna have to do a LOT better than that to keep up with the Catholics!

      June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  2. BobFromPA

    You know if you got rid of ALL the religions how peaceful a world we would live in? DO the math, more people have been killed or died in the name of some obscure god or religion than any other single reason in the recorded history of mankind.

    June 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • BoyHowdy

      False

      June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  3. ms jackson

    Catholics confuse meekness with self pity. Stamping your feet at CNN goes to show just how much you understand about Christianity and the word of Christ(zero). Hey young people out there, if you want to live on the margins as the 21st century progresses then this is the religion for you. You can induce all the misery and guilt on your children and leave them shells of their potential. If you don't want to side with a group that's headed by male child molesters in blinged-out wedding gowns, whose history is based on the blood of young people like you, avoid it like the plague it is. The world will progress just fine (even better) and scientific achievements will accelerate like nobody's business once Vatican City gets turned in to condos around 2050.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • ms jackson

      Nothing like a boy howdy to inspire you all to spend your lives in pursuit of a delusional boondoggle. Hey young people again, boyhowdy's incorrect response shows just how diminished your capacity for critical thought and success in life will be if you devolve into something like a boyhowdy – on the wrong side of the future.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  4. SARI

    I AM LOVING THESE ANTI RELIGIOUS COMMENTS!! FINALLY!! PEOPLE ARE SEEING THE ONE THING IN THIS WORLD THAT IS HOLDING THE HUMAN RACE BACK FROM EVOLUTION!!!!

    June 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Colin

      And the ycan't burn the internet, or place it on their list of banned books.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • BoyHowdy

      False.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  5. AverageJoe76

    Do not trust anyone that tells you 'I know what God wants'. The sentence is laughable in itself. 'Know' and 'God' should never be in the same sentence, since there is nothing we 'know' about God, or if there is one. Keep it simple, people.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Saby

      Your very statement cancels itself. Either you are an idiot or just confused.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  6. KMW

    I wonder how many practing Catholics work at CNN? I would hate to be associated with this biased, hateful network. They are just one sided and it is not a very good side.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • KMW

      I am sorry –correction– practicing Catholics. CNN has gotten me so upset that I cannot spell correctly.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • uhh..

      Lets hope none, catholics are a derisive and underhanded group of people

      June 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Automatic translator

      KMW: "I disgree with it, therefore it's biased and awful."

      June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  7. Wanderer81

    Why no articles on Muslims or Jews, CNN? Security and capital matter alot don't they. But the "turn the other cheek" crowd is fair game I guess. Nothing new under the sun.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • BoyHowdy

      True.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Have the Muslims or Jews been trying to force their religious myths into our laws lately? Have the Muslims and Jews been advocating for legislating discrimination against US citizens?

      By the way, the very next freaking story is on Jews abusing kids.

      I wonder why you fundiots lie?

      June 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  8. michelle

    Raised Catholic. I became a non practicing Catholic when the pedophilia charges started rolling in in the 80's and 90's. I signed the form to leave the Church when they were more forgiving of adultery, corporate greed, and robbing the poor then family planning and abortions. It makes no sense to me to go to war on condoms and birth control pills when there are no ethical people left on Wall Street.
    Bishops, Cardinals are quicker to forgive a rapist then the woman who just had to make the biggest choice of her life (when she probably needs love the most). So yeah, Shame on any religion who speaks one way and acts another. They can lie in the bed they made for themselves. I will communicate with
    God on my own and treat people the way I was raised to treat them.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Adam

      Welcome to de-facto-atheism, Michelle. It has a great view from which to observe and criticize the manifestly fraudulent beliefs of our fellow human beings. And what's even better is that we don't have to presuppose anything on insufficient evidence to do so! That alone does wonders for one's intellectual honesty. And the salad bar is pretty great too... Please enjoy your time here on earth, and don' be shy to call out those who pretend to know things they cannot know for the evil they are.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • CM

      At its core the problems with the Catholic Church are so much worse than with other religions because with most other religions those who "lead" the congragation also engage in daily life. In the middle ages marriage wasn't allowed within the church because it would create family ties outside of the Church and dilute their power. Unfortunately if you aren't married, don't have children, and aren't living like people in your community you become out of touch. Once the leadership is out of touch how are they supposed to offer realistic moral guidance on issues like family planning? Can you support and raise 22 children? I can't so realistically what would happen to our social fabric is everyone had way more children than they could afford to feed and educate?

      June 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  9. MiddleWay14

    Haha! I guess former Catholics are just that much smarter than other groups who are born indoctrinated into religions. Many actually have sense enough to abandon the ridiculous dogmas and mythos of religions altogether.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  10. Colin

    Here are 10 commandments every child should be taught.

    1. DO NOT automatically believe something just because a priest, rabbi or minister tells you that you must.

    2. DO NOT think that claims about magic, miracles and the supernatural are more likely true because they are written in old books. That makes them less likely true.

    3. DO analyze claims about religion with the same critical eye that you would claims about money, political positions or social issues.

    4. DO NOT accept it when religious leaders tell you it is wrong to question, doubt or think for yourself. It never is. Only those selling junk cars want to prohibit you from looking under the hood.

    5. DO decouple morality from a belief in the supernatural, in any of its formulations (Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc.). One can be moral without believing in gods, ghosts and ghouls and believing in any of them does not make one moral.

    6. DO a bit of independent research into whatever book you were brought up to believe in. Who are its authors and why should you believe them in what they say? How many translations has it gone through? Do we have originals, or only edited copies of copies of copies– the latter is certainly true for every single book in the Bible.

    7. DO realize that you are only a Christian (or Hindu or Jew) because of where you were born. Were you lucky enough to be born in the one part of the World that “got it right”?

    8. DO NOT be an apologist or accept the explanation “your mind is too small to understand the greatness of God,” “God is outside the Universe” or “God moves in mysterious ways” when you come upon logical inconsistencies in your belief. A retreat to mysticism is the first refuge of the cornered wrong.

    9. DO understand where your religion came from and how it evolved from earlier beliefs to the point you were taught it. Are you lucky enough to be living at that one point in history where we “got it right”?

    10. DO educate yourself on the natural Universe, human history and the history of life on Earth, so as to be able to properly evaluate claims that a benevolent, mind-reading god is behind the whole thing.

    If we could teach our kids to think critically, we would be rid of God and other Bronze Age sky-fairies within a generation.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • JJC

      Very nice list. Sure beats the original. You know, the one that makes a big deal out of saying his name in vain but doesn't mention slavery.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Johnny

      Of course, there are a lot of critical thinkers who are still religious.

      It is a concept many atheists appear to have trouble with, and perhaps understandably so - when confronted with a question to which there is no scientific answer, people have a tendency to assume that their gut feeling is the correct answer. Whether or not they do so intentionally, they then go on to rationalize these assumptions in a way that makes their solution the only "logical" one.

      If you examine your position critically, you will find there is no more reason to believe that there is no god than there is to believe there is a god.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Rationalist

      @Johnny

      If the question is to believe in the abstract notion of god, I would agree since it is impossible to measure something that is by definition immeasurable. I can safely say I highly doubt the existence of god without painting myself into a corner, though.

      On the subject of very specific religious dogma of a particular sect, it is very easy to disbelieve because the claims can easily be proven false. Twenty plus years of wafers and wine did not once being made body or blood from my own personal experience.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Saby

      Well said Johnny.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  11. JAB62

    I'll tell you what's behind the statistics. Some people are too smart to be fooled by sheep herders. I started doubting when I was 7 years old and was singled out for it. I went to Catholic school and was an alter boy for 3 years. I gave it up when I was 13. Made a deal with my parents: I'll get confirmed if I never have to go to church again. They agreed. End of BS in my life. REALITY ONLY for me, my wife and my children. Save fantasy for books and movies and live in the real world.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Saby

      Sounds like a blind man who believes there is no such thing as a sunset.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  12. southernsugar

    I am a cradle Catholic and have found that my faith has brought me great help in times of need. Doubters are usually haters and have the most trouble in life; trouble, fears, unhappiness and everything else people avoid like the plague.

    God Bless all of you non believers. When your time comes, there won't be anyone there waiting to pick you up and take you to heaven. I"m sorry for you.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • uhh..

      Nope. We nonbelievers are doing just fine, no more unhappiness than your average fellow. Life is quite awesome actually, once you stop with the divine guilt trip and start appreciating how short your one life is.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Ex-Catholic Glo

      I'm sorry for YOU, considering yourself a God-fearing Christian yet being so judgmental and deprecating to people who do not share your zeal.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • JAB62

      You know all this how? I feel a little sorry for you. It must be hard for you to go through life with so little brain power. I'm doing great. Two kids in college, one in HS, nice house, good job, lovely wife, nice nest egg. Yeah I'm so lost NOT!

      June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Funny, a Catholic who thinks they are a Christian. They will be burning next to the non-believers. Catholics who support their church support Satan.

      Amen.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Steph Brusig

      southernsugar, we can still believe in God and not go to church and that is what this article is about. Just because I don't go to church (for the same reasons in the article) doesn't mean I am a non-believer, quite the contrary. I am very spiritual and you don’t need the church to get you there.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • KMW

      southernsugar,

      I agree with your comments. These biased people are so ignorant and close-minded. I, too, feel sorry for them and they seem so bitter and miserable. I am glad I am not them.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Slowgun

      southernsugar, please tell me why the Pope and all his buddies live in the riches country in the world (per capitia). With walls made of solid gold and more priceless art work then anywhere else in the world? They are supposed to be teaching Jesus' way. Jesus who lived and died a pauper. If they really would be doing Jesus' work, the would liquidate all of their riches and feed the hurgry and cure the sick...just like Jesus did.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  13. rick1948

    Any religion fears rational thought. As soon as their members start looking at things logically and rationally, the whole religious fantasy starts falling apart. The Catholics have been shown to be what they are – nothing but a big business full of corruption and, as an added plus, a group of old men that wants to tell young women that they have to have more babies than they want to. Rational thought is overcoming them just as it will the others.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • The Church

      Founder of the Big Bang theory is a Catholic priest backed by the Church.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • gerald

      I have 8 kids and every one of them is a blessing. If my wife had listened to your type of thinking I would have missed out on many blessings. That is a fact. My youngest daughter makes me smile the most. My wife does not say gee I wish I had taken birth control so that we didn't have our little girl. Nope the Catholic Churches teachings on children are true. If you accept the blessing you will be blessed.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • uhh..

      Well said, and I tihnk this is why religion as a whole is, thankfully, declining in almost all areas of the world. People are beginning to learn the facts about the world and it is showing religion to be the blatant scam that it is. People are waking up.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Automatic translator

      gerald: "If my wife could have escaped while she still had the chance, I would not have been able to force her into popping out endless children no one can afford."

      June 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • KMW

      Gerald,

      I love your comment and God Bless You.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Johnny

      This isn't actually true.

      If that was your experience growing up, I'm sorry for you - but painting with such a broad brush moves past stereotyping and brings you close to bigotry.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Slowgun

      For those of you wondering. Yopu can decide to have 8 kids without being a catholic and be just as happy.
      Odds are your 8 kids will grow up more adjusted without having their mind full of fantasy tales so that old white guys can obtain the riches and power they want.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  14. Tara

    The Catholic Religion or Faith whatever is the surest way to go to hell. They have changed God's laws to fit their beliefs. Like how they pick the worse day to celebrate Jesus’ birthday the day when Pagans celebrated the devil that is the reason I don't celebrate Christmas. Then you have the Sabbath day which for Christian is Sunday but the original Sabbath day created by God was on Saturday so your evil deeds on Saturday is really done on the Sabbath. I won’t even start on the Gay Child Molester Priest that you can only find in abundance in the Catholic Church. If there is a God the Catholic Church is the closest way to the devil.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • uhh..

      The devil doesn't exist and neither does god.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  15. Dee

    Wow, I am stunned that she said she was never taught about Jesus, It was totally different growing up Southern Baptist.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Ah yes. . . .another cult of winners, the Southern Baptists who just recently in the 90's FINALLY denounced slavery. You must be very proud to belong to a group of Neanderthals such as that eh?

      June 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Slowgun

      Why are you stunned. She was taught to obey the rule or go to hell. And don't forget to hand over your money to the church.
      Jesus didn't teach that, so that is why she wasn't taught about Jesus.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  16. ryan

    religion............LOL

    June 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  17. Keith

    The majority of self proclaimed Christians and Catholics will go to hell when they die, that is the sad truth. Everyone believes that if they just recite the phrase; “Jesus I accept that you are my lord and savior, and I ask you to come into my life.” that that will get them into the pearly gates lol. Not quite that easy. I blame the modern day church for sending most to hell, it's a travesty and to be honest, I'm glad I am truely saved and walk that wich is of holiness. Most want to recite that phrase and still live of this world, on their judgmenet day, they will be sadly mistaken and sent to hell. God bless all.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      You really revel in the thought of your own self-perceived piousness. I thought pride was supposed to be one of hose seven deadly sin things.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Adam

      Oh, Keith, you tease! Whatever is your secret?! Is it "The Secret." I bet it is. If not that, then it is probably your willingness to lie to yourself and to others about what you know about the metaphysics of the universe.

      June 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Sadder Truth

      The real sad truth is that you believe in a deity who would choose to torture his creations for eternity for their few short years on this plane of existence, and some for doing nothing more than never having been introduced to him...

      June 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Dane

      While i agree that this is not sufficient for salvation, i believe that god is a loving God and that everyone will be given a real chance at returning to his presence. I don't believe that God would send the majority of his children to Hell merely because they never had the chance to understand and know true principles like repentance and exercising faith leading to baptism and becoming a disciple of Christ. I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints and this is why we practice baptizing a proxy (someone living) for dead ancestors. We believe that people who are not given a chance in this life will have a chance in the spirit world where we wait for the judgement of God.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Bible Student

      The bible actually says that you shouldn't judge others, it also doesn't say anything about "once saved always saved," so you can't really be "saved" until you die. I agree 100% just saying "Jesus I accept you," isn't anywhere near enough. "Pick up your torture stake and continually follow me," is what he said. Also, the sad thing is the Bible doesn't teach the hellfire doctrine that so many talk about. Ezekiel 18:20: "The soul that is sinning—it itself will die." And Psalm 146:3, 4, says: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish.” Ecclesiastes 9:5 says: "For the living are conscious that they will die;*+ but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all" Can't really be in a place being tortured for eternity if a.) souls die b.)thoughts die and c.)you are conscious of nothing at all. How could you be conscious of nothing at all while dead, but experience the things in heaven or hell???

      June 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Jake

      Ok whatever, clown.

      Sound so sure of yourself being saved – being better than damn near everyone else.

      Hubris/pride is a sin. You're guilty. You can burn with the rest of 'em you arrogant sanctimonious windbag.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Slowgun

      The majority of self proclaimed Christians and Catholics will go to hell when they die, that is the sad truth.

      Yup look no further than Sarah Palinand all the other "Christain Conservatives" they couldn't be any further away from Jesus teachings.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  18. Mei

    Wow, I think the article is appalling the way it starts out! I came into the Church myself when I was only 15 years old. I found Christ in everything in the Church, so it is very odd that the woman at the beginning of the article did not hear about Jesus??! At Mass we listen to three readings from Scripture: the Old Testament, the New Testament and then the Gospel reading, plus we have Pslams which are read (or sung) inbetween, not to mention the entire Mass ceremony with the consecration JUST like in Scripture when Jesus was with the Apostles. Part of being Catholic is learning about it, and that means reading about it and exploring the Faith. You don't just sit there. You also have to pray and ask God to open your heart to the Truth and the fullness of the Faith. I once heard that for every Catholic that leaves (cradle Catholics), God will replace them with a convert. I really believe that, because I've met so many converts in my life time. I'm sure He is very sad when those who grew up in the Church have lost their way. I've also heard that those who leave the Church, eventually come back in the end. I pray that is true as well.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Steph Brusig

      Mei, When you say "At Mass we listen to three readings from Scripture: the Old Testament, the New Testament and then the Gospel reading, plus we have Pslams which are read (or sung) inbetween, not to mention the entire Mass ceremony with the consecration JUST like in Scripture when Jesus was with the Apostles". How does these things show in your life? How can they relate to everyone? It doesn't and when you ask a priest about where this stuff came from or what it REALLY means they skirt around it. They don't want you to know the truth. I know the truth and that is God/Jesus loves EVERYONE, not just the people who haven't sin.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  19. AverageJoe76

    Being a born sinner is lame. That's why I purchased 'Sinner-B-Gone', and all my sins were wiped clean!! Now..... I cannot prove to you that I purchased 'Sinner-B-Gone' and that it works, you're just gonna have faith that I did. See how that works?

    June 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • DC from NJ

      Makes as much (or more) sense than believing in an imaginary sky deity and reading thousand year-old books for inspiration...

      June 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      OMG! Where can I buy a can of Sinner be Gone? I'd like to try it!

      June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • sam

      Does it come in a fresh mountain breeze scent?

      June 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      I got it from a guy, who knows a guy, that stabbed a guy. But other than that, he's a good guy. And yes, it comes in a variety of flavors. 'Fresh Mountain Breeze' is just one of many! 🙂

      June 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • ms jackson

      DeeCee1000 – It can be found right next to the cans of Catholic Retardant

      June 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Did you get the refillable spray bottle with the little bottle of concentrate you mix with holy water?

      I tried the fizzy tablet version and it just foamed over making a huge mess on my pôrn collection.

      You should be careful if you use the super concentrated Sinner-be-gone mister bottles. I had one as I passed a tea baggers rally and the bottle exploded. 300 people just disappeared.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Rationalist

      I'm still cashing in on indulgences that my ancestors earned while pillaging, err.. saving, the holy land during the 12th century.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  20. Danny

    To contribute to the theme of the article Ill say this: The Catholic church has strayed from the teachings of Scripture and decided to add their own rules and regulations and declaring them equal to the Bible. Many traditions that have been created through the centuries have been declared "A MUST" or be damned, many and if not all cannot be found in Scripture. Also the pope is just a man, he does not have the authority to declare anything else apart from what is already established by God.

    June 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • ms jackson

      DeeCee1000 – It can be found right next to the cans of Catholic Retardant

      June 19, 2012 at 3:24 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.