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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. cole

    According to the 2012 report by the Census Bureau of the United States around 23.8% of the US is Catholic and in the 2008 presidential election 20% of the electoral vote was comprised of Catholics. The Catholic church is the largest single religious denomination in the US. I do not think there is much of a problem with the number followers.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  2. matter-of-fact

    Since religion is such a funny, ridiculous concept, why would anybody insist on remaing a butt-of-all-jokes?

    June 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      cause we have to book and know how if turns out for all the mockers 🙂

      June 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • wat

      Nah. The idea that atheists consider themselves to be non-religious, while holding certain ideas to be sacred, and actively proselytizing others (as you're doing right now) is actually quite hilarious.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  3. Reality

    Putting the kibosh on religion to include Catholicism: (and so easy to do!)

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • wat

      Nice pasta bro.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  4. LMD

    If one has the inclination to believe,why the need for a "building' to pray in? People who claim they are followers of Jesus are only fooling themselves(former catholic),as the church is no where anything to what Jesus preached. he cared not for riches(the Vatican?) ,segregation,bigotry,etc. Yet this is what the catholic dogma is based upon.Better to truly be a follower of the so called teachings,than to be led around and be falsely taught and intimidated by a bunch of robe wearing,hypocritical human beings.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  5. Jim Ryan

    I ask this of any religious person in here. Tell me why it considered taboo to challenge religious beliefs when it's considered perfectly fine for religious people to challenge any subject they see fit?

    June 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      challenge away jimmy boy

      June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • A Catholic

      It's not taboo to challenge religious beliefs. It's only taboo to rabidly attack people's beliefs and blaspheme. Big difference between challenging and blaspheming.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  6. Clinton

    Common lies from Atheists:
    Religion has caused more warfare and death than anything else. Truth: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, all were opposed to the church, Stalin alone murdered more than 20 million people, more than any war EVER fought over religion. The truth is, Religion's often preach peace. The various books have been twisted by maniacs in the past to justify war and hate but the truth is the words and the message in those texts are overwhelmingly peaceful.
    Religion hurts humanity: The truth is there is no more giving and helpful people in the world than Christian Americans. The churches in the United States make up the MAJORITY of non-governmental aid that goes out to the world. Atheists love to forget that fact.
    The most commonly held Atheist myth, is that they are not a religion themselves. They in fact ARE a religion, because they believe in scientific theories of how humanity was created. They follow their scientific doctrines as if they are fact when in fact they are known as theories. I.E. the big bang theory which would require belief in the fact that some kinds of Matter ALWAYS existed and that at some point it all exploded and created a universe, a belief i might add, that in my view takes more faith to believe in than most modern religions.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • non-believers have killed millions upon millions

      its true

      June 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Clinton

      See Atheists, there's plenty of firepower to attack your beliefs... plenty of blame for historic injustices to go around... how does it feel to be attacked? Did you just HAVE to respond? Well maybe you should realize this is what you're doing all over this blog, start having respect for your fellow man and know that just because we're not attacking your ideas and your beliefs that it's not because we can't, it's because we have more respect for others than you do.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • locksmith

      You MUST be a troll clinton, because everything you have stated as a "lie" has already been proven as fact a while ago.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Give it up. If I was going to believe your crap I would have chosen to do it during my 8 years in Catholic grade school, my 4 years in Catholic high school, and my 4 years at a Catholic college. But I saw right thru your crap from early on. And as a physician I have done much SECULAR good in my community. I just do do it on the promise that I'll get to heaven if I do.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • OOO

      Atheism has no tennants. It is a non-belief. It alone can not be used as a reason for anything just as your non-belief in Santa Clause can't be used.

      To kill 20million (or 1) person, you need a motive.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Clinton

      And just like i said, right on cue: "not all docs play golf" and OOO and others HAD To repsond to my post because they felt they were being attacked... You couldn't resist responding right? you totally don't believe what i said right? Well that's what you're doing all over this blog, attacking people, if you can't see it you're ignorant, if you don't see anything wrong with it, you're not a very good person, and if you truly believe you don't need religion to be a good person and have a moral center than you should be able to see that what you're doing here is absolutely wrong and what you're doing is basically on the level with racism.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Look up the usage of the word theory in the scientific community.
      In terms of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, atheism (non belief) does not drive a persons actions. Do you believe in the loch ness monster? Bigfoot, ancient aliens visiting us? Do you take actions on your lack of belief in those things? Atheism is the non-belief in a di.ety, and that's it. There's other worldviews that are co.nsi.stent with atheism, but they are, for the most part, not contingent upon atheism. I don't mention Hitler because he was an avowed catholic and actually was supported by the catholic church for most of his time in power. He took his anti-se.mit.ism from Martin Luther (founder of the Lutheran religion), and used a lot of religious language.
      Stalin, Mao, and, Pol Pot were evil people without a doubt, but a non-belief in a di.ety doesn't drive someone to ki.ll people.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Madtown

      what you're doing is basically on the level with racism
      --------
      LOL!!!!!!!!! Comedy! Yes, of course, because all those "others" chose to have different color skin than you.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Hitler didn't oppose the church, he embraced it. The pope even backed Hitler during the war. He was a devout catholic who tried to wipe out the atheists just as much as the Jews.

      Religion does hurt humanity, the dark ages turned into the renaissance when people began moving away from the church. Religion slowed scientific advancement for decades before enough people stood against them.

      I don't think you understand what the word theory really means in a scientific setting. I'll let you look that one up yourself. It's also obvious you don't really understand the big bang theory either.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • LMD

      I see no problem with what you have written. However,it can also be used for those that have no formal religion in their day to day lives.One does not have to be religious in order to do good,to be giving etc.It is strictly up to the individual as to how they live their lives. And neither side is 100% right nor 100% wrong-the key is what was preached by the man named Jesus-tolerance. And in this world no matter where one lives,there seems to be a major lack of it.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      "The most commonly held Atheist myth, is that they are not a religion themselves. They in fact ARE a religion, because they believe in scientific theories of how humanity was created. They follow their scientific doctrines as if they are fact when in fact they are known as theories."

      OK so I really think you need to know what the real meaning of scientfic theory is.
      Scientific theory IS fact. A great example is the Theory of Gravity. Do you 'believe' in gravity ? Of course not ... you see it and experience it every day. It is a FACT. I think you are mixing the meanings of hypothesis and theory. A hypothesis is a proposition, set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena. An example is 'I have a hypothesis that aliens cloned their DNA to create the first humans on planet Earth'. Know I do not have PROOF of this ... therefore it is a hypothesis NOT a theory.

      See the difference?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • b0bc4t

      To: Not All Docs Play Golf:
      If you read your last sentence, you have made a case that you have not shed your Christian faith, just filed it away for later use, ie. when standing at those pearly gates. Heaven is a creation of religion .... the astronauts never bumped into it on their journey through space, the Hubbel telescope never spotted it, and no one ever drilled through the ground to find the damnation of Hell either. ....... but otherwise, I enjoyed your post.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  7. Jim Ryan

    are we talking about the same Catholic Church Catholic that had an alliance with fascism ? I rest my case

    June 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Yeah...Pope Pius XII showed such "moral" leadership, didn't he?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • wat

      No such thing as willful cooperation when the fascist authorities are holding the sword against one's throat. Your argument fails.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  8. bvilleyellowdog

    If you read these blogs about the catholics – the supporters are the same every time.
    Foot soldiers for religious fascism.
    They obey and know you should too.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  9. winston

    Bollocks on this story. Catholics have Christ in the tabernacle behind the altar. There is a cross with him hanging on it somewhere up front (ours is just above the tabernacle).
    Every mass, the Priest breaks the bread, speaking of Jesus. Anyone can pick up a Catholic missal and see it is Jesus-centric.
    Mary is mentioned as mother of Jesus.

    Maybe it wasn't a Catholic church? Or you weren't a good Catholic?

    June 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • sam

      Ah. Mentioning him and having him hanging on the walls is enough then?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • winston

      Sam,
      We pray to Him! He is part of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, they are one. That *is* in the Bible. We eat his flesh, drink his blood.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  10. Tony

    Another day, another anti-Catholic story on cnn.com.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Me

      Yes, the Catholic Church can can destroy itself with out the help from outsiders, thank you.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  11. misterjames

    Let's say Jesus is God..God owns heaven, the best place ever..God is infinite..So when Jesus, who is God, dies, he knows he's going to the greatest place ever forever..So why oh why is Jesus dying such a big a deal?

    Haven't people died more terrible deaths for much less?

    Please answer these questions

    June 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • misterjames

      no christians can answer this

      June 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • The Dog Delusion

      do really not understand the why christians consider his death and resurrection important? a simple google search should answer your question.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'll start with I'm not a theologian. But here goes. Jesus was God incarnate. This means he was God but also fully man. As such, he experienced everything all men experience. Fear, pain, hunger, joy, friendship, love. As his ministry unfolded, He continually sought not His own will but the Father's. His cry of abandonment from the cross established the completion of his labor to assume the sin of the world. Sin is defined as separation from God. So at the moment he died, Christ was not Christ, he was man, every man including you and me. Yet he was also God, fully God, accomplishing that which none but He could accomplish. Think about it.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  12. Jesus Christ Superstar

    Maybe if the Catholics just kept their mouths shut, didn't protest against gay marriage, didn't protest against Obama's health insurance bill, didn't protest against women's rights, and didn't try to tell everyone how wrong they are, maybe everyone wouldn't hate them so much.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Tony

      Catholics believe in women's rights. They believe every woman deserves to live, from a heart-beating fetus onwards.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • sam

      Yep, they believe in a woman's right to obey and keep popping out kids!

      June 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      @Tony

      Then why do the Catholics fight so hard against a women's right to have contraceptives or abortions? Why can't they trust a woman and her doctor to decide what health options are best for her?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Me

      Or, maybe if the leaders of the Catholic church practiced moral behavior, they would at least have a leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing the behavior of others?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  13. Phillip

    I was baptized and received into the Catholic Church this Easter. Guess I'm bucking the trend. I didn't become Catholic because I like my parish community or find the worship services spiritually fullfilling (although to me they are). I became Catholic because I believe it teaches the truth about God and it represents Christianity in its fullness.

    And yes, I can think for myself. I'm a middle aged college professor with a PhD from an Ivy League university. It is true that many Catholics leave the Church, but many others, like myself, convert to Catholicism after years of study, prayer, and reflection. If there is any version of Christianity that has a deep and serious intellectual tradition, it is Catholicism. Same goes for spirituality and mysticism. But it has to be admitted that the post Vatican II church has largely dropped the ball in passing on its own spiritual treasures.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Does that "intellectual history" of the Catholic church include the fact that Robert Bellarmine, a Catholic theologian, actively participated in the trial ogf Galileo for espousing, like Copernicus, that the searth was in fact NOT the center of our universe?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • OOO

      As a PHD, you must know the history of the bible and of the origins of various religions. And you must have been on the earth long enough to understand human nature.
      As you gather all this knowledge, it somehow points to the truth of the Catholic religion???? Come on.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Madtown

      I believe it teaches the truth about God
      ----–
      So, naturally you then think that every other flavor of religion is "wrong"? This is where I think we get into potential hot-water. I think the "truth" about God is unknowable. I don't think your church teaches you the truth, because I don't think your church has all the answers and knows the truth. I don't think any organized religion does. To think we can know the nature of God, the "truth"? The pinnacle of arrogance.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Welcome to the Faith my brother!

      June 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  14. Clinton

    In conclusion about 90% of the Atheist's i've met on this blog are hypocritical idiots. They feel they must attack other's beliefs, without respect for their fellow man. You should understand that your belief that there is no God is a MINORITY belief. You're a blip on the stat sheet. The vast majority of humans believe there is a God, many of them infinitely more intelligent and gifted than you are so seriously, quit spewing your hatred over the internet. If you had any respect for your fellow man you wouldn't attack their beliefs repeatedly, you're acting like idiots. The louder you scream won't change the fact that most people think you're foolish.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • OOO

      More people believe therefore it is true. Got it!

      June 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Jim Ryan

      to the contrary. We simply state that there has never been one scientific evidence for the existence of an intelligent designer. But, by all means, go ahead and give us yours.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • non-believers have killed millions upon millions

      you want proof?

      go find it yourself

      June 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • sam

      It's kind of cute that you have some special power to tell who is atheist...

      June 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • bvilleyellowdog

      ...speaking of hatred.
      No we just aren't in to fairly tales much.
      "Left behind" is what your ilk is.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      1. Yes, in the United States, self confessed atheists are a small minority – from memory, Pew Research estimates are less then 5%.
      2. The strength of the response here is a reflection of the deeply held beliefs of a minority that is marginalized in this society – whose foundation doc.ments indicate a freedom of (and therefore from) religious expression.
      3. I don't condone the vitriol here, but I understand where it comes from.
      4. It is rude to belittle any deeply held beliefs. Proselytizing by theists or atheists is offensive.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  15. KMW

    I am sure the people in China and North Korea would love to have our problems.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • sam

      Mass is over already??

      June 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  16. What about Protestants???

    There are thousands of Protestant denominations. All of them started with just the kind of thing is article is talking about. I am "not getting fed", I don't like this point or that point about my denomination,I just don't "feel it" here any more. You get out of a church what you put into it. Especially the Catholic Church which does not rely solely on personal emotional experiences.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  17. Jim Ryan

    Religion; Early man's first and worst attempt at trying to explain the world around him. Those that believe in religion belong to the infancy of our species, a slightly lower order of Primates who are obviously cognitively challenged when it comes to using their reasoning ability.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      If we evolved from apes why are there still apes????

      June 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      To Atheist Hunter....we did not "evolve from apes", we evolved along side apes. Shame you didn't have better science teachers. Maybe if you read anything BESIDES the Bible, you'd know more.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Madtown

      Atheist Hunter
      If we evolved from apes why are there still apes????
      -----
      Because we didn't evolve from apes.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      For the same reason than when you cut the skin off your finger, and new skin grows, but the skin on your leg is still there... I know it involves science, but try to think hard about it. But don't ask god, SHE'LL just confuse you

      June 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      duh....my point

      June 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Colin

      Because neither allopatric nor sympatric speciation require the extinction of the parent species. I am at a loss as to why the bible-cuddlers think this is an issue for evolution.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Colin

      Atheist hunter, you really are dumb, aren't you. Madhatter's point was that we evolved from a hominim, not an ape, not that we didn't evolve.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      that's not the way they taught it when I was in school....the story then was we evolved from apes....you have to keep changing it cause the lie don't fit the proof....the skin on my body heals not evolves....are you sure atheists are as smart as you all say. I never went to a doctor for a injury and was told just wait three weeks and your skill will evolve and you will be fine.... really people

      June 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Tony

      Who created the universe? How did the matter get there?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      atheism is a HUGE JOKE!

      June 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • sam

      Better education would have avoided some of this...

      June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Evolution is not a linear process with a specific end goal in mind.
      Humans are not "Ape v. 2.0" that render other species obsolete.
      That's like saying "if humans first came from Africa, why are there still black people?"

      June 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • sam

      Hunter, you act like a sillier little bitch every time you post on here. Don't you have some pointless cause to go picket for?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Yes all you atheist....listen to Sam and read your BIBLE and forget how smart you THINK you are. You're not. You could quote from every science book ever created and it won't hold water to refute the CREATOR!

      June 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      But the CREATOR invented science. Just read the Bible. Human evolution, appearances of different species in evolutionary order, it's all there in the Bible. It appears the Bible and the Creator are on the same page with all of our science books.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Me

      You are wrong. Religion is a drug used by many to ease the fears of what (if anything) becomes of our consciousness when we die. For most, it is harmless, and it brings much peace of mind. For a very few, it is used to justify murder, and other crimes.
      The negative aspect seen most often is when "believers" have serious doubts about their chosen religion, and they seek to force it on others in order to reassure themselves that they have indeed chosen to follow the "right" theories with respect to the creation of life as we know it, who did the creation, and what "he" expects of us in return.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Now Now sam, no need for name calling. Atheist are such angry people and we're not talking about the color of skin, we're talking about you all believing that we evolved from having fur and fangs. Big silly difference! Sometimes you just need to use your common GOD GIVEN sense.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • b0bc4t

      Atheist Hunter: Dalmations, Great Danes and Chihuahuas all evolved from wolves, we suspect, but there are still wolves. Evolution does not kill the predecessors, their ability to survive allows them to survive. As to why you were taught that we evolved from apes, why are there still apes, and why do we change our teaching over time .... not to fool you, deceive you, or lie to you. Education changes over time as we learn more and more of our surroundings, we take that knowledge and test what we know, and our teaching .... (wait for it).... EVOLVES! You can accept evolution for your ape theory, but reject it for an answer to changes in education and knowledge? Amazing! If we did not change our education, we would still be gathered in caves, worshipping fire and lightning, or dealing with medicine by bloodletting and you, my curious friend, might have been lobotomized for hysterical dangerous thoughts. think about that! Things change, people change, and we can accept it, change with it, fight it, or deny it. It is all part of free will – which, by Christian thought, was the marker for when we evolved above apes and became self evident and critical thinkers.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  18. Rich Dix

    There's only two things disturbing about Catholics, they breed...and they vote.

    June 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • FreeMan

      Do you post hateful comments because you are afraid of Catholics or you are just a bigot???

      June 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Jesus Loves A N A L

      The Pope and Leadership is also disturbing.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  19. Atheist Hunter

    Know how to keep an atheist busy? Tell him there is a God and he will blog day and night!

    June 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Jim Ryan

      as opposed to living you life in servitude to a celestial theocratic dictator?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Jim Ryan

      one more person who doesn't understand evolution – we are descendants from a common ancestor (before the ape species you refer to) Geeezzzeee...8th grand material

      June 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Yes Adam.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      That doesn't seem to make any sense. Or do I have to read the bible to get it?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • locksmith

      Squeel little piggie, your kind is dying out or waking up from your outdated myths.

      June 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Jesus Loves A N A L

      Christians represent majority of our immoral acts and criminal activity in our country. It does not appear Christianity is the answer to our woes. In fact the evidence shows Christianity perpetuates ill behavior and criminal activity in our country.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, that is a funny observation. It does however take two to tango.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  20. Someone

    this is a very unreliable story... for the first part it's based on anecdotes and very few statistics (that have no citations) second of all, the people who are the 'recovering catholics' haven't truly understood the teachings of the Church.... we don't worship Mary and Saints... we HONOR them... but we only worship ONE GOD.... furthermore, the hail Mary can easily be found in the Gospel close to the nativity scene.... and to those who bash on the bible, there is no other non-fiction book that is congruent and parallel in terms of symbols and characters

    June 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      and what about Jesus Christ?

      June 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Someone

      it was insinuated that ONE GOD was Jesus Christ

      June 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Jesus Loves A N A L

      A N A L Hunter,

      Christians represent majority of our immoral acts and criminal activity in our country. It does not appear Christianity is the answer to our woes. In fact the evidence shows Christianity perpetuates ill behavior and criminal activity in our country. Christ is clearly not the answer.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
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About this blog

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