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Unpacking report that Katie Holmes has rejoined Catholic Church
Actress Katie Holmes recently filed for divorce from actor Tom Cruise.
July 11th, 2012
06:27 PM ET

Unpacking report that Katie Holmes has rejoined Catholic Church

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor, CNN's Belief Blog

(CNN) - In the blizzard of reports surrounding Tom Cruise's recent split with Katie Holmes, this one stands out: After her years married to Scientologist Cruise, Holmes is said to be rejoining the Roman Catholic Church of her youth.

A report from the Huffington Post with the decisive headline "Katie Holmes Returns to Catholic Church" has been rattling around the Internet since Monday. But the Internet newspaper cites a lone unnamed member of the church choir, who claims Holmes has registered as a parishioner of the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York.

“Everyone is thrilled to have Katie join us,” the church member told Huffington Post reporter Naughty But Nice Rob. “She has not yet attended a service, but when she does she will be welcomed with open arms.”

“We have no comment regarding Katie Holmes in the context of reports of her becoming a parishioner of the Church St. Francis Xavier,” said Patrick Brewis, the church’s director of stewardship.

Brewis said the church has been flooded with calls and e-mails about the prospect of Holmes’ possible registration. He noted that regardless of who a parishioner or potential parishioner might be, the church doesn’t disclose that information.

“If Jane Smith or John Doe or Katie Holmes was a parishioner, we would not be sharing that information,” he said.

Holmes has likewise been mum since the recent news of her divorce, save a joint statement issued by representatives of the star couple.

"We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other's commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other's roles as parents," the statement read. It's unclear whether Holmes ever formally joined the Church of Scientology.

CNN's Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories

The pastor of Church of St. Francis Xavier, Father Joe Costantino, told the Daily Beast he was caught off-guard when reporters started calling about Holmes' alleged membership.

“I didn’t even know who she was,” Costantino told the site. He added that if she had registered or taken Communion there recently, “It’s news to me.”

Joseph Zwilling, the spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, couldn't confirm or deny that Holmes had joined the Church of St. Francis Xavier or any other Catholic church, saying that "if a person joined the parish, it’s done on the parish level.” Zwilling said he had not heard one way or the other from St. Francis Xavier's administrative offices.

Celebrities have bemoaned their lack of privacy when it comes to matters religious. "Next time I'm in church, please no photos," raps Kanye West in "Run this Town," a hit song he recorded with Rihanna and Jay-Z.

The Archdiocese of New York is no stranger to celebrity guests at its services, particularly at the famed St. Patrick's Cathedral, Zwilling said, but "we have not had any incidents with paparazzi or other people approaching (celebrities) at Mass. If they did they’d be asked to leave."

"Anyone who comes to Mass would be expected to follow the proper protocols," he said. "I think people understand and respect when you're in church, you don’t disturb them when they’re in a house of worship.”

Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was born in Hollywood and grew up going to St. Charles Catholic Church in North Hollywood. He remembered going to services with "Farrah Fawcett on one side of me, John Wayne's family on the other side of me and the Bob Hope family behind me."

Tamberg said he has had few, if any, incidents surrounding celebrities attending worship services.

"When they come through the doors of the church, people know who people are, but people are doing their own thing," he said. “I’ve never seen anyone ask for autographs over the years ... and I’ve been in position to see it a lot.”

Should Holmes decide to return to the Catholic Church, she could follow a similar script as Nicole Kidman, who was also once married to Cruise and was also raised Catholic.

Tamberg said Kidman has returned to the church since her divorce.

“Usually, what happens is, there’s still some ties to the church through your family,” he said. "My understanding with the Kidman story is, she was close to a priest her family had known their whole lives. That was helpful to her in picking up the pieces after the divorce."

Should Holmes decide to return to Catholicism, Tamberg said, it's a fairly easy process.

“You basically can pick it up where you left off,” he said, pointing to Jesus talking often in the Bible of rejoicing over wandering adherents returning to the fold.

"There’s no test you have to take. Once you’ve received the sacraments, those are a permanent mark," he said, citing the sacraments of Communion, baptism and confirmation.

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Even if a person has publicly renounced his or her faith, Tamberg said, returning would only be a matter of private counseling with a priest, though even that process is not formalized.

As the unnamed member of the Church of St. Francis Xavier and hordes of reporters wait for Holmes to attend a service in New York, they may want to consider that the parish has an online registration form that anyone can fill out.

In most parishes,  Zwilling noted, that's a form you have to fill out in person.

Brewis welcomed the attention paid to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, saying it is “striving to be a vibrant parishioner-driven community.” He added, “On the plus side, many people who hadn't heard about us and the extraordinary work we do have heard about us now.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (1,139 Responses)
  1. brown

    I want to taste Katie's orgasm ... mmmm!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  2. NoTheism

    "do you like it when people try to bring you out of what they consider to be delusions and ignorance"
    What I care about is sound arguments. I could be completely wrong about everything and if one day someone came along and told me WHY I was wrong about everything, and they offered proper justification for their reasoning, I would LOVE IT.
    On the other hand, you're right, perhaps Reality was mocking the the fable you're referring to (just like I am), but is it good reason for someone to get offended? I don't think so.. would you get mad if someone started calling gravity stupid? Do you not believe that gravity is true? Same difference.
    Your response reminds me of that that Muslims have when someone draws the image of Muhammad...

    July 12, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • NoTheism

      This was meant to be a reply to John Smith

      July 12, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • John Smith

      I think everyone here can agree that religion is slightly more personal to gravity. For those who are atheists or agnostic, think of faith as something equal if not greater in importance to loved ones in you lives. How would you feel if Reality had been mocking someone you loved? That is what it feels like for us. We are not asking you to prove us wrong because you can't just like we can't prove you wrong. Faith isn't composed of facts and answers, its walking blindly while trusting that someone is guiding you. If faith isn't for you then that's fine but don't ridicule us for having some. I've been raised Catholic and my faith has helped me get through a lot of tough times in my life and I honestly feel as though its had a positive effect on my life. I think that's enough of a reason for me to stick to it.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • tallulah13

      John, christians on this blog have told me that I'm evil, that I'm stupid, that I'm lazy, that I'm arrogant, that I'm going to suffer forever, that I'm blind, that I'm carnal (TM Heaven Scent), that I'm a liar, that I should be driven out of the United States, and a lot of other rather offensive things. If I can live with that sort of abuse, surely you can tolerate those people who mock your belief.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • NoTheism

      and what you keep saying is that there is no point in discussing... you're here defending your faith but all you do is keep falling back to "we can disagree and we should all get along". Fine, stop responding to my posts if you're going to bring anything substantive to the discussion. However, I will still respond to yours, for the sake of proper discussion etiquette.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  3. LogiK

    Obama 2012 – Stop the Republican SIth Lords from taking away Health Care. Stop Mitt's super Richie Rich Wallet from putting the smack down on the Middle Class. Stop the "Job Creator's" from out sourcing to India. (If you make over 250k please ignore this message- else pay attention else I call you an UBER Idiot with special McIdiot sauce that votes against their own goo.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  4. Father McKatiefondler

    Yo, baby, we were needin' some good skin flute players to lend support to our catchy choir tunes. Just have a seat over there with the bone-o-phone section.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  5. Louis

    I believe we should have more understanding for each other. Everyone is different and we shouldn't expect everyone to be similar in mind to us. Personally, I'm Catholic Christian and I believe everything that is stated by the Catholic Church. I believe in Sacred Tradition, The Eucharist, and Purgatory. This is my belief. I believe in God since God gives me an answer to the "Why" question. I believe that behind every action that takes place there is a meaning and that God is the one who provides that meaning. Again, this is my belief. This belief has helped me grow to become, in my mind, a better person. I try to tell others how Catholicism has made me happier and if they choose to become Catholics that is wonderful, yet if they don't, then that is also okay. It's my belief that people should be able to respectfully give forth their ideas about life to one another without being viciously hurt by the other person. We should be able to respect everyone's free will to choose what is best for them in life. Example, I might not agree with gay marriage and I might make my opinions known about how I don't believe those unions to be correct, yet if a person chooses that action then I shall respect their choice. Everyone deserves respect and we must not tear down others for not being like us. Everyone has a right to respect for their dignity. We should celebrate each other's differences! 😀

    July 12, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • NoTheism

      so, you don't actually care whether your beliefs are true?

      July 12, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • LogiK

      Wrong! You humans need an Overlord- you can't control yourselves- and you various belief systems (political and religious) are polar opposited. Only a strong being such as lord Xenu will unite you meat bags and bring a thousand years of peace to your planet! "All-In-Snack-Bar!"

      July 12, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • NoTheism

      " I believe in God since God gives me an answer to the "Why" question. I believe that behind every action that takes place there is a meaning and that God is the one who provides that meaning"
      That's called circular reasoning.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • LogiK

      or delusion...

      July 12, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • John Smith

      NoTheism, I think the point Louis is trying to make (who I applaud for standing firm with his faith) is that he's belief is different than yours and that's fine. We don't have to believe what you believe and you don't have to believe what we believe. But we can still get along. And its not circular reasoning, for those of us with faith, we believe that God created us with a purpose in mind and God is the answer to the "why" question in our lives. Why care for the poor? Because God told us to. Why care for the sick? Because God told us to. Why love one another? Because God told us to.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Louis

      I consider my beliefs to be true. I just believe that everyone has a right to belief or a right for lack of belief. I would be happy if everyone were Catholic, yet I respect different beliefs and I realize that life experiences lead people away from my personal belief.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • NoTheism

      "for those of us with faith, we believe that God created us with a purpose in mind and God is the answer to the "why" question"
      It is circular reasoning because you're explaining why you believe in a god, for which reason you give is because it (the god) give you reasons to... That is circular reasoning. Also, you are begging the question (another logical fallacy), does your god actually exist? You can have faith all you want, but it does not actually explain anything.
      I am not arguing against freedom of religion or belief or whatever, but I do reserve the right to present my opinion and have it contested on proper forums. This is a forum in which we can have these types of discussions. If you don't like it, you're in the wrong place.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Larry Bob

      "I believe everything that is stated by the Catholic Church" is incompatible with "if a person chooses that action (gay marriage) then I shall respect their choice."

      "I might not agree with gay marriage and I might make my opinions known about how I don't believe those unions to be correct" is incompatible with "Everyone has a right to respect for their dignity. We should celebrate each other's differences!" You are assaulting their dignity and differences when you do that.

      You hide anti-gay bigotry in your lofty sentiments. You are bigotted because your religion told you so. In the Middle Ages up to fairly recently, your church tortured thousands upon thousands to death for not believing exactly as they were told. Your church caused a number of wars. You are saying that if you had lived then, you would have been fine with that. And as Popes are infallible, which is part of everything that is stated by the Catholic Church, then those Pope ordered atrocities are still fine.

      Please try to apply some critical thinking. Remember that there is always a high-sounding morality behind most of the worst atrocities in history.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • tallulah13

      Thank you, Louis. I think that was an honest as.sessment of your belief. Strangely, I don't believe in god, because god DOESN'T provide answers to the "why". Belief in god provides comfort, but in my opinion real answers come for real data.

      I honestly don't care what others believe, as long as they don't use that belief to harm or discriminate against others. The second they do that, or try to enact laws that discriminate or harm, it becomes my business, and I will do whatever I can to prevent such injustice.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • TR6

      I should celebrate the different view on condoms that the catholic church has taken and which has caused hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Africans to needlessly die of AIDS?

      July 12, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  6. LogiK

    Our non existant Father that does not exist in Heaven or any where else – stupid be they name. You never were – you never are – and we dolts down here can't get along.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  7. Jessica

    I don't really care about this at all. But, what stands out to me is that the reporters name is "Naughty but Nice Rob"...

    July 12, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • LogiK

      lol

      July 12, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  8. LogiK

    When we stop believing in Magic Sky men of any flavor – then and only then will this planet move forward. Grow up people – Religion is make believe.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:54 am |
  9. NoTheism

    of course it's an easy process to 'return' to the catholic church, they need your money.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  10. Hello Kitty

    John Smith- good for you! I agree that people should not be bullied or insulted by others who have a different belief systems than they do. Even more condescending is "Reality's" moniker. "REALITY"- as if only he / she knows what "reality" is- and that any one who believes differently than he / she does is ignorant of reality. Give me a break. As for Smegma's comments- John is not a hypocrite for referring to "turn the other cheek" in his comment. His point is to allow for a respectful exchange of ideas. His choice to raise this point is not an example of him failing to "turn his cheek." An example of him failing to "turn his cheek" would have been if he personally attacked "REALITY" for not having the same belief system as he does, and if he had then implied that the reason "REALITY" did not share his beliefs is because he was stupid. That would be hypocrisy. Instead, he was merely saying "lets keep it civil, folks." I think that this request is acceptable to all belief systems- secular or otherwise, is it not?

    July 12, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • NoTheism

      not sure what you mean by civil, because I did not see anything in the original post that was 'uncivil'. You or John may not agree with it, but then we have to understand what the real issue is.
      Considering that John's response was, at least for the Christ babble, an argumentum ad populum, I am not sure whether it was a proper response at all to the Reality's post. On top of that, I have an issue not presenting my viewpoint simply because it may 'offend' someone. I think it is important to help people out of delusions and ignorance, for the sake of a better world.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • John Smith

      NoTheism, do you like it when people try to bring you out of what they consider to be delusions and ignorance? I'm not saying that we shouldn't talk about our beliefs, I just think that more can achieved using respectful dialogue. Remember the old saying, "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?" The fact is that Reality is mocking the Apostle's Creed, which is really important to many people. He or She could have gotten his/her point across without being so rude. One thing is to say I don't believe in Jesus as anything more than a man another is to call him a " a temple rabble-rouser" while mocking a prayer that is sacred to many people.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      John,

      The apostles creed is just reciting religious dogma that has no more basis in reality then a conflicting set of religious dogma. Saying it over and over does not make it true no matter how bad you want it to be. Stating something as truth when it is unreasonable to believe it is dangerous. Ridicule is sometimes the best response to what is ridiculous.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Reality

      From a search on "Jesus, rabble rouser": (4000 hits), The first five:

      "Philo may have overstated the case, but there is little to suggest that Pilate would have any serious reservations about executing a Jewish rabble-rouser such as Jesus. "

      The Trial of Jesus: An Account

      law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/jesus/jesusaccount.html

      Rome began appointing the high priests that served the Temple in Jerusalem. ..... serious reservations about executing a Jewish rabble-rouser such as Jesus.

      The Trial of Jesus: Key Figures – UMKC School of Law

      law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/jesus/jesuskeyfigures.html

      Caiaphas's motives in turning Jesus over to Pilate are a subject of speculation. ... Unlike other Temple priests, Caiaphas, as a high priest, lived in Jerusalem's ... any serious reservations about executing a Jewish rabble-rouser such as Jesus.

      The rabble rousers and St. Paul's Cathedral—what would Jesus do ...

      http://www.viewshound.com/.../the-rabble-rousers-and-st-pauls-cathedral-...

      Nov 11, 2011 – The rabble rousers and St. Paul's Cathedral—what would Jesus do? ... taken on the role of the Temple elite in the Christian Passion narrative.

      A New Testament Greek Commentary on Mark 1:40-45

      http://www.lectionarystudies.com/studyg/studyn/sunday6bgn.html

      This episode also establishes that from the outset of his mission to Israel, Jesus respects the temple, priesthood and law – Jesus is no rabble-rouser. 1:40 ...

      The Stations of the Cross – The Third Station: Jesus is Condemned ...

      http://www.patheos.com/.../the-third-station-jesus-is-condemned-by-the-san...

      Mar 27, 2012 – What To Do If Someone Sins Against You: The Teaching of Jesus · What Was the ... So the rabble-rouser, temple-destroyer, and all-around ...

      Jesus the Occupier? WWJD and OWS – Aaron Taylor | God's Politics ...

      sojo.net/blogs/2011/10/23/jesus-occupier-wwjd-and-ows

      Oct 23, 2011 – When Jesus cleansed the temple, he wasn't merely performing a religious act. ... would he be a rabble-rouser activist like he was at the temple, ..."

      July 12, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  11. Willowspring

    The post above was in response to REALITY and her or his very sad parody of the Apostle's creed.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  12. paganguy

    Could all these people go away, back to their old job at cooling soup at the lunch counter.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Paul

      Cooling soup?

      July 12, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  13. Paul

    You know what I find even more offensive? This is not directed against you, John, by the way, but at the discussion in general. What I find offensive is the number of people who don't follow the basic, radical, revolutionary teachings of Jesus and yet have the conceit to call themselves His followers. Virgin birth? Yes. Healing? Yes!! Resurrection??? Oh, yes!!! Feeding the poor? 73 times in the New Testament. Being Born again? One time. Follow me? Over one hundred times. Be thou not conformed to this world... a radical if ever I heard one. More Jesus, less religion.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  14. Louis

    Welcome back, Katie! May God bless you and your family!
    To everyone else here: Please, be kind to one another!

    July 12, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • adinfinitum7

      Changing cults Ms. Holmes??

      July 12, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Judy

      Too bad she couldn't bring Tom back with her.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  15. Arthur Smegma

    I bet Tom Cruise paid way more than he needed to so that Katie did not get on the stand and talk in detail about what Scientology really meant in their marriage, or even the public announcements by her lawyers.

    I wonder if that "harder for a rich man to get into heaven that a camel to go throughthe eye of a needle" think bothers her at all, or if she just get to ignore the parts she doesn't like, just like all the other Christians?

    July 12, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • pockets

      The catholic church is as bad as the "church" she just left. ALL religions are poison. Get them all off the planet and get some peace back into peoples lives. Anyone who believes in a sky-god should be embarassed at their ignorance.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Tachoman

      For Pockets,
      Tell me that when you find a strange lump on your neck and they tell you the bad news...
      Young people may claim to be atheist right now, but when death or disaster looms in the horizon, typically around the 50´s most turn back to religion if only to have the peace of mind nothing else can offer.
      That's a truth!

      July 12, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • NoTheism

      Tachoman, so you think that people's fear of the unknown justifies believing in and accepting celestial dictatorship or the ways of religious organizations that forward their agendas while taking advantage of billions of people?

      July 12, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Arthur Smegma

      Tacnoman, you are continuing the "no atheists in foxholes" lie. It's proven a lie. I know three people who were diagnosed with terminal cancer, and they did not become religious, despite a surprising number of Christian fear-mongers trying to terrorize them into converting with lies about hell.

      Your claim about people 50 and older becoming religious is unsupported by the studies that have been done. The evidence is that demographic really does not change their views readily. By that age, the irreligious stay that way for the most part, as the religious do.

      Your "truth" is a lie. You made it up.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:52 am |
  16. Chris

    She's not really any further from the nuthouse by doing a switcheroo between religions, but potayto potahto.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  17. Robert

    Good for you, Katie. Tom and his bunch of Scientology cultists are dangerous for you and your child. You go girl!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Father Bob Fondlebum

      Yeah! Just make sure you don't let your children ever be alone with any Catholic clergyman.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  18. kevgood

    good for her. now she can be normal again.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • serdich

      Religeous re not normal...

      July 12, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Paul

      No, it's not normal. At it's worst, it's "normal" and a country club church. At it's best, it's anything but normal, and is a radical, revolutionary way to live, not of this world, but with an eye on the next. Luke Chapter 12.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  19. Bob Limbob

    I wonder if Katie knows that the Catholic Church repeatedly banned non-clergy from possessing bibles, with harsh penalties.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Judy

      That's a lie. The Catholic Church never did such a thing.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Bob Limbob

      COUNCIL OF TOULOUSE – 1229 A.D Canon 14: "We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; unless anyone from motive of devotion should wish to have the Psalter or the Breviary for divine offices or the hours of the blessed Virgin; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books."

      THE COUNCIL OF TARRAGONA – 1234 A.D, second canon: "No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned lest, be he a cleric or a layman, he be suspected until he is cleared of all suspicion."

      There is lots more, but the Catholic Church spent centuries blocking lay people from having Bibles in any language other thatn Latin. They usually claimed that the Bible is impossible to translate, which is really odd considering Latin is not one of the original languages of the Bible, and if God's word is only possible in one language, then why woould infallible god choose one he knew would die in a couple centuries?

      July 12, 2012 at 3:18 am |
  20. Reality

    For Kate's eyes only,

    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)

    July 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • John Smith

      Its your right to believe what you want, but there is no need to impose your beliefs on other and to be so disrespectful to other people. Whether you like it or not, there are over 2 billion Christians on the planet that have some level of adoration or love for Jesus Christ as their savior and when you post something like this, trying to seem so much better than they are, all you do is discredit yourself as a human being. You criticize the Christian Church for imposing its beliefs on others, yet do the same. How does that make you any better? Maybe you should stop slandering the Christian faith and pay attention to the lesson regarding "turn the other cheek." All I'm saying is that I have no problem with you believing what you believe in because its every human being's intrinsic right to choose their own beliefs. However it is no one's right to insult another's believes. You know that what you wrote is offensive to many people, why bother it putting it up? Do you really think such a hateful message is going to change anyone's minds? All you are doing is contributing to the chasm that exists between people of faith and those without. Can we just all try to get along by respecting each other's beliefs? And refrain ourselves from insulting others?

      July 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Arthur Smegma

      John, your have achieved the ultimate in Christian hypocrisy for saying" there is no need to impose your beliefs on others."

      The chasms exist between the various faiths as well. Thank you for recognizing the inherent divisiveness of religion.

      How can you insist on "turning the other cheek" when your own post is the opposite of that?

      "it is no one's right to insult another's believes (sic)" You need to start with Christians when you say that. Christians murdered heretics, blasphemers, atheists, pagans and other non-conformists for centuries. Your own religion has a truly awful history in that regards. "Let he who is without sin" . . . oh nevermind.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Ted

      Wow – you are SO clever!

      July 12, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Guest

      So-requested. Bring 'em out if you've got 'em.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • serdich

      U spoke the truth and John Smith cant handle the truth.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • John Smith

      Arthur, when did I deny the horrors committed by the Christian Church? I could never and would never deny it. If you ask me there is nothing worse. Sure, there have been secular wars and of course, there have been secular tyrants responsible for heinous act. But nothing could be worse than such crimes committed at the hands of religious leaders. However from what I gather you are against imposing one's beliefs on others right? This is something that Christians did wrongly and is something that you don't agree with right? Then don't you think that if you recognize it as being wrong you be against it no matter who is imposing their beliefs, be it a Christian, a Muslim, an Agnostic, or an Atheist? Now to say that divisiveness is a religious condition is false. Divisiveness is a human condition. As humans we seek out those who don't conform to our definition of the norm and ostracize them. It could be religion, but it could also be (and has also been) ethnicity, culture, and even language. Now you criticized my post for being offensive and if it was I apologize I did not mean it to be. But my belief is this, religion is not going anywhere anytime soon. And neither is the lack of religion. If each side holds on to the past we will never be able to move forward. What I am asking is this, do you believe that if we respect each other's differences we can get along? You cannot deny that Reality's Post would be offensive to most Christians, is there any real need for it? Other than making someone feel insulted for what they believe in? Or do you feel that because of what SOME Christians (who are now dead) did hundreds of years ago and because of what SOME Christians are doing now ALL Christians should have to deal with such insults to their beliefs?

      July 12, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Paul

      Let me be the first to say I'm the biggest hypocrite that ever lived. I'm trying to tell people to be more like Jesus, when that's a thing that I could never, ever accomplish. At least not on my own. Are the police hypocrites when they tell people to obey the law and have a Thursday night poker night? Yet, I still want the police enforcing the law. The world is full of hypocrites: those wanting us all the be a better people.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Willowspring

      First of all, your name does not suit your message. Second, I feel very sorry for you. It is obvious you know the stories, but you have totally misconstrued what they mean. Sounds to me that this is the story of a "fallen away" Catholic or Christian, who is bitter. I hope others who are exposed to your message will pray with me for you.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • adinfinitum7

      You're nuts of course but check out the apostles Paul and John below.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Gordon

      I guess you forgot to mention that all your assertions are without proper proof.

      There was a man who did exactly that: Unearthing old historical artifacts trying to disprove Christianity, only to find the opposite was true: History only proved the validity of Jesus Christ, and he eventually became a Christian.

      Couple of things to ponder: Why would so-called witnesses insist on the resurrection even in the face of persecution and death? They were all cowards, as they ran away when Jesus was crucified. How did they change 180 degrees? What about all the ones persecuted wholesale by Romans? Why did the faith increase?

      No other faith, not even Islam, Buddhism, Scientology, etc. had such a horrible history and survived. Try that with other religions, and none of them will survive. There is something going on with the faith in Jesus Christ.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      John,

      Christians and Christianity have been imposing their beliefs on others for the last 2000 years, sometimes with the penalty of death, I am glad you agree that this is wrong. Contradicting a set of beliefs is not imposing anything on anyone, there is no threat or consequence if one does not agree. For it to be an imposition there would have to be at least a credible threat of a consequence for holding a contradictory position.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Arthur Smegma

      "When did I deny the horrors committed by the Christian Church?" Learn to read better. I said you need to start with your own religion when you say "No need to impose your beliefs on others", because they have a truly horrible history (including the present) of doing that.

      As to "imposing beliefs", you cannot show me anywhere that atheists have tried to get you to stop believing, or say a Pledge of Allegiance that asserts there is no god, or have "there is no god" printed on money.

      "Now to say that divisiveness is a religious condition is false." Nonsense. Divisiveness comes from having a belief that inherently says it is right and others are wrong. Your religion inherently states that all other beliefs are wrong and will result in eternal punishment, that gays are evil sinners, that women are inferior, and so on. All religions create those divisions. It's not a human condition; it's an ideological condition.

      "Religion is not going anywhere anytime soon." Nope. Fundamentalist Islam and scientology are not going away soon. That doesn't sound so great, does it?

      "Do you believe that if we respect each other's differences we can get along?" Interesting question with a lot of nuances, but in general, ask yourself if you can respect the fact that atheists have the right to not have their children indoctrinated with creationist lies, and that gays have the right as consenting adults to marry and be free of people like you telling them it is bad and they are going to hell? Or, put another way, most atheist would not care about religious people and what they believed if we weren't under such constant attack by religious people forcing their doctrines into politics and education, and by the abuse we get for just saying we don't believe.

      In other words, I don't believe Christians can do it, because I have yet to see one do it.

      "You cannot deny that Reality's Post would be offensive to most Christians, is there any real need for it?" I wasn't defendign Reality. She is a total dumbshit who can only cut and paste. I was debating your position, not supporting her. However, you must also admit that there are a great many posts made by Christians here that are highly offensive. Where was your indignation then? I don't see you speaking out on those.

      "Because of what SOME Christians (who are now dead) did hundreds of years ago and because of what SOME Christians are doing now ALL Christians should have to deal with such insults to their beliefs?" Interesting question again, though a bit hidden due to the fact you thought I was supporting Reality. I bet we would have a very interesting conversation were we face to face. I think the real question is whether or not religion has done more good or more evil. What is the balance? Is it a force for good now, or division? From our side, religion looks like a real negative. Can you provide examples where religion has done a good that offsets the evil of the inquisition or the Crusades or the many religious wars that followed Luther? Would the world be better off with no religion? That would be a good conversation.

      Oh, and religious people dish out the insults ina big way. No indignation there? Are you that partisan in your indignation?

      July 12, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • 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.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:08 am |
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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.