home
RSS
'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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. tomf

    It is Christ's Church and the gates of CNN shall not prevail against it.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • sam

      Pretty sure Jesus wouldn't recognize this church if he saw it.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • me me me

      This is not Christ's church but rather a political power/government already rich with off the backs of people who are trying to be faithful to God. There is nothing holy about the Catholic church. Especially since they do nothing of what the holy book requires of them.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  2. Mike

    You only get one Sunday morning a week. If the options include sweating on a hard bench in a stuffy room full of people I don't especially like, OR driving through the country with the top down, I think I know where God wants me to be.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  3. bp

    "I like your Christ. Christians, not so much." – M. Gandhi

    June 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  4. Robert

    One who is conformed to the world will not find much to like in the Catholic Church. One who is conformed to the Word of God, or seeks to be so conformed, can find a home in the Catholic Church.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  5. asdf

    Remember, out of $10 on the collection plate, $8 is going to Rome, $1 is going to the needy, and $1 is going to a pedophile's legal defense team.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • matthew

      And you are sure about that because you are the pedophile?

      June 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Matthew

      Nothing about that made-up sentence is even remotely true.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  6. cworr

    Well I am a 36-year Protestant who converted to the Catholic Church, so there! And I sat in Church on Sunday and heard the name of Jesus Christ mentioned about 23 times during the one hour service. The name Mary was mentioned one time, in the Nicene Creed, while discussing Jesus, as in "born of the Virgin Mary and became Man". If you spent your life in the Catholic Church and don't know anything about Jesus, you must be Helen Keller. Everyone likes to bash the Catholic Church because it seems rigid, they wear uniforms, and the worship is very structured. In reality, the real Catholic Church is very diverse and not nearly as monolithic as it seems. Just because one Catholic Priest or Bishop somewhere in the world says something stupid, does not mean every single one of the 1.2 Billion Catholics believe it or for that matter even the other Priests and Bishops. There is just as much dissent and disagreement in the Catholic Church as in the Methodist, Presbyterian, etc. The only difference is that the Catholic Church has a Pope to settle disputes.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Mike

      You're the reason I quit.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Emmsy

      You go Cworr!

      June 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  7. Reality

    For those Catholics who still believe:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.
    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    June 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Emmsy

      Miracles happen every day! Prove that our gracious Lord doesn't exist!!!! You can't and it's unscientific to say that he doesn't exist!

      June 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • sam

      More exclamation point make it true!!!!! Right Emmsy????

      June 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

      The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      June 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  8. LDL

    I left as the Catholic Church failed in teaching the true theme of the Bible;
    1. The Santification of God's Name, which all the years of my upbringing never knew, that God's name is Jehovah. Matt 6:9
    2. Dan 2:44 ; Matt 6:10 The Kingdom that will replace all current governments, and that God never left us, he allowed man to prove they cannot govern themselves, meet the needs of the people, and "Thy Kingdom Come" is now, and we are at the thresh hold of that new incoming Kingdom. God didn't cause, sickness, death, and suffering. He is allowing for a short while only. Psalm 37:10, 11, 29
    3. The Ransom of Jesus Christ, why he died for us, how we can approach Jehovah only through Jesus in prayer, (not praying to Jesus), Rom 5:8-11
    4. Condition of the dead Ecl 9:5,6

    Just to name a few. To this day, all they are interested in is your money and support.
    What about my/your "Spiritual Needs?" Rev 18:1-8

    June 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Huebert

      "God didn't cause, sickness, death, and suffering. He is allowing for a short while only."

      If these things didn't come from god, and aren't intended to be permanent, why did god allow them to exist at all?

      June 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • LDL

      Why has God allowed suffering?

      For a time, Jehovah has tolerated rebellion against his sovereignty. Why? To show that no effort to rule without him benefits people. (Jeremiah 10:23) After 6,000 years of human history, the issue has been settled. Human rulers have failed to eliminate war, crime, injustice, and disease.—Read Ecclesiastes 7:29; 8:9; Romans 9:17.

      By contrast, those who accept God as their Ruler benefit themselves. (Isaiah 48:17, 18) Soon, Jehovah will bring all human governments to an end. Only people who choose to be ruled by God will inhabit the earth.—Isaiah 2:3, 4; 11:9; read Daniel 2:44.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Reality

      Matt 56:1-18, as per many contemporary NT scholars is only partially historically valid. e.g. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=120_The_Lords_Prayer and http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb120.html. See also Professor Gerd Ludemann's conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 147.

      With respect to the Book of Revelation:

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      June 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Reality

      Oops, make that Matt 6: 1-18.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Huebert

      So god allowed his creations, who he loves, to suffer all the ills of the world in order to prove a point? I guess that would be logical if he only began and ended suffering within one generation. But by now, according to you 6000 years later, everyone who rebelled against gods rule is dead and dust. Why continue to allow suffering if it is only effecting those who had no part in the rebellion against god's rule?

      June 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  9. Matthew

    What is the point of this article? That some people switch religions during their lives for any number of reasons? Who cares? Will we now be forced to endure a series of articles about people who grew up Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist and then switched to something else, or even to nothing at all? (Probably not, as it's generally only ok to criticize the Catholic Church.) For that matter, where's the article about the person who grew up Catholic and has happily remained Catholic his whole life (which, after all, is the story of the vast, vast, vast overwhelmingly vast majority of Catholics throughout the world). Where's the story about the content Jew or the perfectly satisfied Buddhist? You won't find those on CNN, because stories like that aren't divisive, and therefore the CNN's website won't get any clicks for those stories. Typical.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • MOJO

      Your precious Catholic church is falling. DEAL WITH IT. Its about time.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Matthew

      @MOJO – I'm an atheist. I left Catholicism about 5 years ago. Don't be such a partisan radical and try to actually think about the point of what you read rather than the assumed background of the person who wrote it. And, by the way, you shouldn't post on the internet without your mommy's permission. Your childist "blah blah blah – Deal with it!" just shows that it's past your nap time.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • bill

      well put. totally agree

      June 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  10. Anomic Office Drone

    I was raised Catholic, so I'll tell it like it is. Many of us who went to church more out of a sense of tradition than actual religion stopped going when it became clear just how widespread the child molestation was. How do you give money to a group knowing it will be going towards a legal defense fund for child molesters?

    Here's the other problem the Catholic church has: it's a big tent. The Catholic church welcomes both allegorical and literal interpretations of the Bible. For a church, they really seem to value thinking for yourself. Several times during my religious education, the classes were told that if they didn't agree with what was being taught then they should really think about whether or not Catholicism was the right faith for them. When people think for themselves, they often find that living under the dogma of fairy tales isn't something that makes sense.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Can you post for us exactly how widespread is the child abuse compared to other churchs and organizations?

      June 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Anomic Office Drone

      Compared to others? I have no idea, but I didn't join another church when I left the Catholic church. If you're trying to make the point that I left one evil to join another, I haven't. If your point is that everyone else is doing it so the Catholic church must not be that bad, you're wrong.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • recovering catholic

      I had recurring nightmares when I was about six years old in which the ground would open beneath my feet and I would plummet into hell to be tortured by the devil. This was preceded by a stern male voice asking if I wanted to go to heaven or hell. When I timidly replied "Heaven", the response came – with an evil laugh – "You're going to hell!" THAT is what the catholic church did for me. I don't see how it differs from child abuse.
      On the bright side, I was never molested by a priest.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  11. SoberDude

    I was raised a catholic, went to church every week for 16+ years. I quit for 2 reasons, firstly I lost my faith in the catholic church after the 5,000+ pedophile priests were exposed in the 80's. If 5,000+ were exposed you can safely assume there were 10,000+ that were not exposed. That's really F'd up. Secondly, I hate to break it to y'all, but the athesits have it right. Religion typically promotes good, but breeds evil. The number 1 killer in the planets history has and always be religious wars.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Matthew

      The number 1 killer has been and always will be disease. Religious wars don't even come remotely close.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Emmsy

      Check out the numbers that died under atheistic Stalin, more people died under athiesm.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • TonyB

      Your facts are wrong about religious wars being the #1 killer. People usually point to the Crusades as evidence, but the Crusades actually killed very few people comparatively speaking. Economics and power are the cause of most wars. French Revolution, Hundred Years War, wars between Athenians and Spartans, Alexander the Great, American Revolution, World War I, and I could go on. Besides the Crusades, what other historical wars can you point to?

      June 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • SoberDude

      OK, so maybe it's not the #1 killer, but it is safe to say that hundreds of millions have been killed over religion over the last 6,000 years. Go get'm god.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  12. Christina

    Of course this article fails to mention those who enter the Catholic Church each year of their own free will and accord because they desire to be a part of Christ's Church. That "statistic" is nowhere to be found here.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      It is mostly out of tradition and the fact that family goes. That's why most people go.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • asdf

      You must not understand statistics. That figure would be accounted for in the difference in polling between years.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Emmsy

      You are so right! It's just like the mainstream news, they think if they ignore the growth of the Church and all of the great things it does, that it somehow isn't there! It's juvenile!

      June 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Free what?

      Exactly how many enter the Catholic church of their "own free will" and how many children are entered by their brain-washed parents... not of their own free will?

      June 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  13. Reformed Catholic

    The hypocrisy of the leadership is the biggest issue facing the church today. They blast the nuns for not following church doctrine and then secretly – and intentionally – aid and abet pedophile priests so as not to embarrass the church. There is a gaping & growing chasm between the everyday life of a catholic in their local church & community and the doctrine put forth by its leadership, aka The Holy See. The Vatican is no different than the corporate headquarters for any large, international company whose only true motivation is developing their brand and growing their consumer base in order to achieve greater power and bring in more money.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  14. bp

    Good to know there's still a place where pedophiles can feel safe and protected.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Emmsy

      Yeah, in the public schools!

      June 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • She doesn't get it

      Emmsy remains mired to the hubs in denial.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • sam

      Gosh Emmsy! You're soooooo funny! Whatever.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      can you post for us the stats for pedophile priest as a comparison to public school teachers? No? I didn't think so.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • sam

      I'm sure you can, Bill.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  15. TomGI

    Make them pay taxes or shut them down and liquidate the assets to pay for 2 centuries of free ride.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  16. NY Veteran

    Open you mouth to make the church better and see what wrath Jesus received from the Jewish High Priests of his time. Dare to voice an opinion and be labled a heretic. Or worse, be a woman and questions stupidity and be threatened with loss of position and excommunication. If they could burn a nun at the stake they would do it but for the secular laws. Just like conservative Americans, they forget they were founded by a revolutionary that was the heretic of his day. And had they been in power at the time of the revolution, we would now be speaking with a British accent. Things that stand still and refuse change erode and blow away in the wind. Things that adapt and evolve by using the very wisdown our creator endowed us with grow and thrive. Look at the number of US Catholics since 1945 and tell me which is happening?

    June 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • NY Veteran

      And another thing...the IRS should dispatch an agent to every church very day of worship and the minute any church spokesman delves into policits a meter should go on recouping all of the tax exemption and chargin fees for the party that they endorse. Its time to end the sham that is 21st century organized religion (itself an oxymoron).

      June 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  17. puckles

    The Catholic church is an abomination to the face of the earth. It is a good thing that more and more people are beginning to realize this!! This is awesome! What is going to be more awesome is when the entire church completely collapses!

    June 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Emmsy

      It will never collapse and hasn't since Christ founded it!!! Read the words of Scripture, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!! Go Jesus!!

      June 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Betterment123

      I love the Catholic Church, but I'm ok with all christian religions, and most other peaceful religions too.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • sam

      Christ didn't found a church in his lifetime. Funny how the supposedly devout folks never remember that.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Christ anointed Peter as the rock on which he would build his church. Sounds like He started one to me.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • bill

      man is that harsh. why the hate?

      June 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • sam

      Not really, Bill.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  18. bp

    "It is necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." – Pope Boniface VII

    "The Catholic Church is one of the pillars of the Third Reich." – Adolf Hitler, 1933 National Proclamation

    June 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • asdf

      They got paid for that little endorsement deal too.

      June 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      That quote you attributed to Hitler isn't correct. What he said was this: "The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life."

      June 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  19. Emmsy

    The Catholic Church is awesome!! Christ HImself founded the Church! It has blessed my marriage, my kids and my whole life. I have met lovely, selfless, caring, wonderful people in the Church. The priests we know are striving to live holy lives and are young, normal, fun and part of our family. The Church has taught me about the value and dignity of each person and how God cherishes each one of us. That none of us is expendable or looked down upon. It has taught me to live in the truth and not the gray areas. Jesus, through His Church has taught me that we are all made for heaven and in being free, I will choose by my actions, whether I want to go there or not! The Church has taught me personal responsibility for my faith journey and to not make excuses for sinful behavior. The Church has taught me forgiveness of myself and others. I could go on and on... Catholic Church, you rock!!!

    June 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • me me me

      Try reading the bible, which supposedly is the holy book of the catholic church and you will find they are actually as far away from the bible as is east is from the west. Try opening your eyes and you will see, just cause you have your eyes closed does not mean that there is nothing happening. As I mentioned to my co-worker your sins are cleansed by Jesus not by some man pretending to be more holy than you. Why speak with the jester of the court when you can speak directly to the king.
      Dude, you are lost if you think the catholic church is right.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      me me me. Emmsy doesn't claim that there is a man more holy than her whom she looks to for forgiveness. You are guilty of ascribing beliefs to Catholics which we do not hold.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • TonyB

      me me me – you can speak directly to the King, but the Bible also says to the apostles, "he whose sins you bind on earth are bound in Heaven, and whose sins you forgive on earth are forgiven in Heaven." The Bible encourages confession.

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the official and complete teachings of the Church, and in almost every paragraph there is a reference to the Bible that supports the teaching. I would encourage you to read some of it, especially those areas where you disagree with the Church. You may be surprised.

      Priests are human, they are not better than any of us. You can find good priests and bad priests, just as you can find good ministers and bad ministers in any denomination. Jimmy Swaggert and Jim Baker did not serve as ideal representatives of their denominations, but I don't condemn all Protestants because of the actions of a few bad apples.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Kool Aid

      I'm delicious and come in many refreshing flavors. Emmy drinks me every day.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  20. asdf

    The problem many people have with Catholicism is that an awful person who believes in god somehow comes out better than a great person who doesn't.

    June 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      That's because there are no great people. Even, and especially, the very best of us will tell you that we all fall short. You just can't be good enough.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • TonyB

      That statement is simply not true. It actually is true of some Protestant denominations, who believe in "sola fida" (faith only) as the path to salvation. Catholics believe that you not only have to believe, but you also have to behave. It is not through faith along, but faith combined with good works. As the Bible says (paraphrasing), "it is not enough to say you believe in God, even the demons believe that! You must also combine faith with good works..."

      Also, if you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church you would know that Catholics believe that God can save any person He wants. Someone who is without faith but has great acts can be saved by God if He chooses to do so. It is not up to us to say who is or is not saved. We believe the Bible is a blueprint and that the safest and surest way to salvation is through believing, but it would be morally wrong for anyone to say that God will or will not do something. It is not up to us to decide.

      June 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
Advertisement
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.