November 20th, 2012
04:38 PM ET

Church of England rejects female bishops by six votes

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN)– After decades of debate, the Church of England formally voted down draft legislation that would have allowed women to become bishops.

Debate on the draft legislation Tuesday spanned seven hours and saw more than 100 people voice support or opposition for the draft legislation.

At its General Synod meeting, despite the ardent support of the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, the measure failed to secure a two-thirds majority in all of the three voting bodies of the church, the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity.

At the General Synod, elected church leaders, both laity and clergy, meet at least twice annually to decide on everything from the governing rules of the church to worship practices to budgets.

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"The ministry of women priests," Welby, the current Bishop of Durham and archbishop-designate, told the Synod, "has been powerful in all areas of the church except as part of the episcopacy."

"It is time to finish the job and vote for this measure. But also the Church of England needs to show how to develop the mission of the church in a way that demonstrates that we can manage diversity of view without division; diversity in amity, not diversity in enmity," he said, according to a copy of his statement posted on the church's website.

During the debate, Jane Pattison, from the Diocese of Sheffield, voiced opposition to the measure, according to the Episcopal News Service. She told the assembly that it would “promote the loss of conservative evangelical and traditional catholic ministry in the Church of England. I suggest that the church cannot afford this loss. … England cannot afford this loss if we are serious about sharing the Gospel with the nation.”

In the Church of England women have been able to serve as priests since the early 1990s.  The draft legislation would have continued that service by "enabling a woman to be consecrated to the office of the bishop if she otherwise satisfies the requirements of Canon Law as to the persons who may be consecrated as bishops."

Had the measure passed, canon law for the church would also have been amended to allow for female bishops and the General Synod would have then had to send that on formally to the Queen of England as a "Petition to the Crown" for her to grant "Royal Assent and License" to make the change to the church canon.

Queen Elizabeth is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.  The two archbishops of the church, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York, along with 24 other bishops, have seats in Parliament in the House of Lords.  The Church of England is part of the global Anglican Communion.  The Church of England says 1.7 million people take part each month in services and four in 10 people in Brittain say they belong to the church.

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Before the results of the vote were read to the assembly, the members and the gallery were reminded by Archbishop of  York John Sentamu of "the long-standing custom of receiving the results of votes on controversial matters in silence."

The legislation titled "Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure" received broad support by the House of Bishops with 44 votes for, three against and two abstentions. The House of Clergy was similarly supportive with 148 in favor and 45 against. Both votes cleared the needed two-thirds majority.  But the 132 for and 74 against vote in the House of Laity came up six votes shy needed for the measure to pass.

The Bishop of Bristol said in a statement the vote was disastrous.

"Whilst I have never believed it necessary for anyone to leave the church on the basis of the measure before us today, others clearly took another view," the Rt. Rev. Mike Hill said in a statement posted by the Diocese of Bristol.

“It will be very difficult for those of us who have supported the ordination of women bishops to process our disappointment in the days ahead. My prayers are with the many people who are hurting, particularly women in our churches and those within and outside the church who are bemused and disillusioned by such a failure," Hill said.

The House of Bishops of the Church of England will hold an emergency session to consider the consequences of the vote on Wednesday morning according to a statement by the Church of England.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Anglican • Belief • Christianity • Women

soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. eddie too

    left to the finite limits of human intelligence, human beings have nothing certain to know or believe.

    only those who believe in the revelations of their Creator transcend the limitations of finite human knowledge, understanding and intelligence.

    only those who possess faith in the self-sacrifice of the Son of God on Calvary are able to access the knowledge, understanding and wisdom that defeats the despair created by ignorance and a belief in the concept that man can save himself.

    consequently, non-believers are forever consigned to a hopeless existence because no one, not them or anyone they read or contemplate can provide them with the hope found in the Cross of Christ.

    sadly, the non-believers are not even capable of understanding what they are missing.

    they deny their despair and fill their days with arrogance, lust, conceit, and the like.

    pray for the salvation of all souls and realize that salvation is only possible through the grace of Almighty God and the Sacrifice on the Cross of His only Son.

    November 21, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon


      November 21, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Which God?

      eddie too. Lool who is spewing the hate, lies and vitriol. Why is's a christian. No surprise there. After all, they lie, cheat, spread falshoods about a make-believe savior, and promise, yes promise that you will have everlasting life in the kingdom if you will believe in this unknowable It, called goD. What miserable lives they must lead to have to believe, have faith in something that they cannot see touch, or understand. They tell you to suspend thinking and logic so you can hear goD's voice. Yeah sure. Delusional.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  2. Jesus

    What is she doing out of the kitchen in the first place?

    November 21, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Bill Deacon


      November 21, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  3. Nate Higgaz

    Hey what up boyeee!! My name is Nate Higgaz and I be a racist! Have you met my friend Cate Hoons?? She be da bomb!! We team up to run da spoooks out of town!! What you thinkin?? All cool?? Partee down!!

    November 21, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Bill Deacon


      November 21, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  4. Denis Corder

    Jesus did not come to build churches on this earth. Neither did He command His disciples to build churches. Jesus came to save the lost, He came to take the sins of the world away, to make man free from sin, to reconcile us with God, to make you and me free from sin, to make us children of God who can live in utter holiness. Whenever Jesus healed somebody He said:”Go sin no more so that something more serious does not happen to you.” Our problem is sin.
    The church system is a wicked man made system. The fellowship of the believers is when those who love Jesus, who follow Him, when they come together, when they meet up, wherever it might be, in a house or on the street. That is the fellowship of the believers because they have got something to talk about, they love Jesus. There is nothing wrong with meeting in a building, calling that a house of prayer, getting together to pray.
    The first believers met in houses, they met wherever they came across each other, they didn't build churches, they didn't build tabernacles. We ourselves are the tabernacle of Christ. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, He does not live in buildings built with hands. He is spirit, He lives in those who follow Him, He abides in them by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit unites with our spirit and guides us into the will of God – it is a spiritual connection. It is not about physical things, buildings and assets on this earth.
    A Christian is not called to “come to church.” A disciple is an ordinary man, a normal man doing an ordinary job but he is living a godly life and his ear belongs to Jesus. He lives to please Jesus. Firstly he live righteously, holy and in close relationship with Jesus. He prays and he listens to the Holy Spirit that God puts inside of Him, in his heart. He lives to please Jesus, he prays and he testifies, he brings other people to Jesus. Its not about a church. That is a wicked parasite system made by people who want to make themselves a living by exploiting other people. Jesus never did that, His apostles worked. Paul worked with his own hands. He did not call us to be parasites. He called us to work. If a man does not work he cannot eat and if Jesus calls you to preach He will look after you but you don't need a church system. We have got to make disciples of Jesus, people who worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
    The Samaritan woman asked Jesus where they should worship, in Jerusalem or where? He said, “not here, not in Jerusalem but the time is coming that the true worshipers will worship God in Spirit and in truth,” EVERYWHERE, wherever they are! Why? Because they have the Spirit of God inside of them, they are led by the Spirit of God. Those who are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God and they follow Jesus wherever He goes. Where Jesus is there they will also be, because Jesus is in them. He is not in a church, wherever they come together it is the fellowship of the saints! Not in some building, that is the world's system that is satan's system, that is not God's system. Don't be deceived! You and I are the temple of the Holy Spirit, we are holy and Jesus lives in us and Jesus must be seen in us. And as Jesus walked this earth and manifested the will of God, so we must also be manifesting the will of God. Jesus must be seen in us, not in a church.
    May Jesus bless you.

    November 21, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Jesus

      I'm not real. I'm just a fairy tale. Sorry. 🙁

      November 21, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Amen Jesus!

      November 21, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  5. athiesm rules

    Hey bible thumpaz! Your priests are plump rump pumpers!! They be supa chumpaz!! Keep on pushin dat message!! We aint listenin!!

    November 21, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Bill Deacon


      November 21, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  6. Denis Corder

    Religious people will miss eternity because they are so busy with their religious practices that they ignore Jesus, the source of Life, the One who gives eternal life. They are busy with church, doctrines, glorifying people and themselves. They have no interest in Jesus Christ and in knowing Him.
    When Jesus came the first time the religious people also rejected Him, they were the ones who persecuted Him and had Him crucified, they did not believe. But those who were expecting Him, they got to know Him and they accepted Him. Today the very same thing will happen. The religious will perish in their sins because they reject Jesus. They will be reading their Bibles and quoting their scriptures but they will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven because they don't know Jesus. They don't have the Holy Spirit. They don't want the Holy Spirit. They occupy themselves with DEAD RELIGION.
    Do you know Jesus for real? Or are you just RELIGIOUS?
    May Jesus bless you.

    November 21, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Dionmirtjesu

      Actually, I was here first Dionysus then I morphed into Mithra and then everybody latched onto the Jesus myth. It was Paul that got all the characteristics together and got the whole scam going. Religion or just a belief in my last incarnation, Jesus, afraid you are out of luck; it is all delusion. Peace.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  7. Chad Like

    Bill Deacon
    Your church is conflidted in so mant ways on the subject of s*ex.
    1. Mankind's natural instinct to mate and reproduce and yet your dogma enforces celibacy that is not included in the bible. You will say it is an act that strengthens the faith just as some of your ilk think human suffering is a test from god.
    2. You maintain that life begins at conception (as soon as a fertilized cell splits into two, I assume) and yet you will not allow contraception to prevent conception in the first place. This despite up to 90% of the laity using contraception.
    3. Should the man not have the right to decide whether their unborn child is aborted, yes, as part of a mutual decision by the couple considering the circu*mstances. Should the woman have the right to demand not concieving in the first instance by refusing s*ex without contraception, would that be okay with the church.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Chad Like

      Sorry about the spelling, no time to proofread.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Is it wrong that I like to put things in my but? Does that make me weird?

      November 21, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Here's the catechism:

      1579 All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate "for the sake of the kingdom of heaven." 70 Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to "the affairs of the Lord," 71 they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church's minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God. 72

      So celibacy is not forced, it is a jewel of faith, entered into with joy and commitment to heavenly rewards.

      Secondly, Can you substantiate your claim to 90% of the laity using birth control. Answer: you cannot. Even if that were true, it would not negate the teaching of the Church that seex between married couples is essentially a procreative force, to be practiced sacramenially and remain open to live. Whether one person or one billion reject the teaching doesn't make it false.

      Thirdly, yes, a woman has the right to refuse seex with her husband and a husband who fulfills the second portion of the submission directive would honor that. In the event there is a block between couples that inhibits the free exchange of mutual comfort and affection, a flag should go off that the marriage needs attention to restore the bonds of trust and intimacy both parties deserve.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Whether one person or one billion reject the teaching doesn't make it false.

      The same could be said about evolution.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Chad Like

      Bill Deacon
      1. I will stick to the popular belief that celibacy was adopted to protect the wealth of the church by not allowing the priests to have children and bequeath their wealth to their offspring. The church does not enforce, intresting, what happens to a priest that defies the church, nothing?
      2. Perhaps, I have overstated and should have said birth control. Just google catholic use of birth control, you will find pages and pages to choose from.
      3. A friend of mine married into the Catholic faith and could not believe the advice given by the priest. His impression being that someone that has not had seex,?, was telling him how to act and how to bring up his children. The analogy he used was like going to someone who has never seen a golf club for golf lessons. Needless to say that although it took him some time he talked his wife out of the church and kept his children ffrom being brainwashed.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      The problem for people who reduce marriage to the dimension of only a seexual relationship is that they miss the part about sacrificial, sacramental, forgiving love. This is something that priest and the Church know a great deal about. It is indiicitave of our society that we have skewed so far into obsession with gratifying our lust that we cannot see this.

      Any catechist will tell you that if anyone tries to tell you something that does not conform to the catechism, choose the catechism. Priests can be wrong. It's unfortunate that A. your friend didn't understand what he was getting into when he married a Catholic and B. that she decided her relationship with him was worth more than her faith.

      Priest who break their vow of celibacy are guilty of the same sin as married people are who betray their spouse. Reconciliation is available for those who choose to repent. In the event there is no repentance, the covenant is broken and they should leave the priesthood.

      The Church will not conform to the world. Get used to it.

      November 21, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      false Bill Deacon. Thank you for all the homage but you may not realize that the Catholic Church has no issue against the science of evolution. Still I accept the compliment that my contributions to this board have incited you into mockery

      November 21, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      The claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use contraception: a media foul
      Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 02/17/2012

      The 98-percent figure first appeared in an April 2011 study written by Rachel K. Jones and Joerg Dreweke of the Guttmacher Instiitute, which is a non-profit that promotes reproductive health and had started as an arm of Planned Parenthood. (no conflict of interest there) The study is tiitled “Countering Conventional Wisdom: New Evidence on Religion and Contraceptive Use.”

      The study drew on data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth, which relied on in-person interviews with 7,356 females from the ages of 15 to 44.

      But while the study says that 98 percent of “seexually experienced Catholic women” have “ever used a contraceptive method other than natural planning,” the data shown in the report does not actually back up that claim. In fact, a supplementary table in the report, on page 8, even appears to undermine that statistic, since it shows that 11 percent of Catholic women currently using no method at all. That has led to criticism of the statistic. A more accurate rate of contiguous use of artificial contraception in the Catholic Church is probably 68% among females exposed to risk of unintended pregnancy

      November 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Chad Like

      The church will not conform to the world. Get used to it. Well that is what I am hoping, priests preaching and teaching to empty pews; if you refuse to adapt you will die off.
      Fake Bill Deacon, butt out.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Our own pope has said they Church will become smaller but more devout. I think it is am American mind set that bigger, better, faster, richer means "correct". Catholicism isn't a make me feel good about myself, emotional kind of religion. It is for grown ups. If you want a religion to bend to your whims, join the Episcopalians.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Chad lite,

      I have to give you a point here. In pre-Reformation times, it was not uncommon for various bishops to begin creating their own little fiefdoms by setting up heirs, relatives and political allies with positions within the Church. Martin Luther and John Calvin were notorious whistle blowers of these abuses One response to this corruption by the Papacy was to instigate the rule of celibacy as well as vows of poverty. This ensures that the Church does not fall into dynastic hands.

      Haters of the Church position this as the Church being greedy for money and jealous of the heirs of priests and bishops but it has served well to diminish the influence of money within the Church.

      November 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Jenna Jameson

      Those bishops sure liked my routine. Even some women do too, so I don't get why they don't include women. They can really make the "rituals" interesting. The silk dresses would make more sense on them too. Maybe they'd even like the hat left on.

      November 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  8. Michael

    I see a lot of blaming of the hierarchy of the church for this decision. The article points out that the bishops and the clergy were in favor of making the change. It was the laity - the person who sits in the pew - who did not want the change to go forward. The first words of the article - After decades of debate - point out that this was not a new issue. The leadership wanted to change. But when they saw that the laity, the customers or their faith, did not want the change, they smartly pulled the vote back.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  9. Kingdad

    Good God fearing men, women, families have been fleeing today's apostate Episcopal Church since the 70s.
    Today's exodus is just more of the same as this church flounders on the reef's of irrelevancy as the turn further and further away from Sacred scripture and Sacred Tradition both of which Peter and Paul held high as life giving examples to the Church.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Can you please show us in Jesus' words – not Paul or any of the other Epistles – where he says women may not be called to minister the Faith?

      November 21, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • zonablue

      Absolutely right. A church founded on the whim of a King who wanted to marry his concubine is exactly that...apostate. And it has been going down the tubes since its inception. All of the new age, politically correct diversity in the world isn't going to make things right.

      Unfortunately, this is the way of the world right now. And all the feminists blaming the men isn't going to change a thing.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • The Reverend Doctor

      The Catholic Church(western and eastern) do not allow female bishops. If the English church(not the world wide Anglican, the one in Africa and the third world) would, they can be assured that they would not be in apostolic succession and would be the same as a pentecostal church. The English church is free to become a pentecostal church. It is their decision.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Joe, can you name the women Jesus choose as Apostles?

      November 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  10. Jerry Brandt

    Jesus Christ was the God man who died on the cross. Did you get that? The God Man. It wasn't Jessica Christ it was Jesus Christ! Deal with it. Most men in Christendom would not submit to a woman Bishop unless they are weak and effeminate. What this means is that now the Episcopal Church in the USA Illegitimate bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will have to resign or the Epsicopal Church in the USA is not in compliance and may be put out of communion with the Church of England. Thank God!

    November 21, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      The Episcopal Church is part of the "Anglican Convention". The Church of England is part of that same Convention. Same with the independent Church of Ireland. At the same time, so is the "Anglican Church in America" (a distinctly separate body from the Episcopal Church). Some Churches within the Anglican Convention allow the consecration of women as Bishops, others do not. Nothing in the Anglican Convention prohibits the ordination or consecration of women.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Everyone knows that God hates ovaries.
      I mean, c'mon – a female bishop? What if she starts bleeding all over the dais becuase it's 'that time of the month'?
      A lo, the Lord spake:
      "Oh ye women of Isreal shall not but squirteth out cro.tch critters and vacuumeth the condo. Getteth thine a$$ in yon kitchen and maketh me a sammich. Thus sayeth the LORD. And no mustard this time."

      November 21, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • zonablue

      @ Joe from CT....okay....we get it. You are a flaming liberal from the People's Republic of CT who wants the Christian Church decimated in order to give you your version of watered-own, new age apostasy. Good for you. But all your 'weak sister' ranting isn't going to bring true believers down to your level. Nor will the demands of the female equality crowd. No one is forcing you to remain. Feel free to attend the Church of the Domineering LGBTs if you wish. Have a good confession.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  11. Cleombrotus

    I see, judging from the comments on this topic, that the hive is alive and well. Non-compliant thinking must be exterminated at all cost. We must all think alike. WE ARE THE BORG! RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

    November 21, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  12. AZsmitty, Arizona

    Church of England, Episcopalian world wide seems to have issues with the Founder of Christianity.......wasn't He asked about paying tribute to Rome? (Taxes) He asked for a coin from his inquisitioners (Pharasies) then asked them whose likeness was on the coin? Their reply was........Ceaser! He stated, render unto God the things that are Gods and to Ceaser the things that are Ceasers. So rather than prayerful consultation with their Founder, they voted! Had the vote been successful they would send it the Queens for her approval............Whoa! seems contradictory on all levels.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  13. Al

    Women should start their own religion where they are the dominate gender. Heck, just rewrite the Bible. It's been changed a zillion times already. It's due for another rewrite. You know that there are plenty of men out there that would be totally into it and would sign up.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Max

      The churches in America are already 75% women and run by women. Islam is a religion for men, that is why it is spreading so fast. Most men go to the church at the sport's bar because the church is too feminized.

      November 21, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  14. JWS

    It's a good decision. The Episcopalians embraced female bishops and it got them communion for pets and blessing services for stuffed animals. God help them.

    November 21, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  15. Chad Like

    You to can become an obnoxious troll just like Chad. Go to the Christian Apologietics and Research Ministry. This site operated by Matt Slick (slicker than most), shills religious books defending the christian delusion and provides apologetics classes for a fee, read scam. Don't have the time or intelligence to form your own opinion, not surprising, no problem. The site provides pre-formatted cut and paste arguements on numerous religious topics to use in chat rooms or blogs. For example they refer to 1 Tim 2:12 "but I do not allow a woman to teach or excecise authority over a man, but to remain quite".
    A typical strawman, so to all you woman teachers, police officers, doctors, judges, politicians, etc. be prepared to just deal with woman if this idea ever gained dominance, and shut the -- up when dealing wih men.

    November 21, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad's all right. We'll bring him along into the future with us. And who knows? Maybe he'll get over his God problem. Actually, I'm confident he will. He's most of the way there:

      What can we know of Chad's God? Does it speak to him? Does he converse with it? Does it tell him that it loves him and that he's a special creation billions of years in the making? Does it actually care if he ever knows how the Universe began, or if it began at all?

      November 21, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Chad Like

      Tom, Tom
      Alas, I fear you may be wrong, unless the Chad gives up his circular logic, I believe he will continue to proceed in diminishing circles untill he disappears up his own asz. A lost cause but I am woking on Bill Deacon to rip up his catechism and walk into the sunshine a free man and mind.

      November 21, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Rip up the catechism LOL. Thanks a lot, now I can start my day with a laugh.

      November 21, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Chad Like

      Morning Bill Deacon
      Can't blame me for making the effort. Any comment on the Timmy verse and how it applies in the modern world, say to a female Supreme Court Judge? Should her opinion on abortion, lets say, be of more import considering her gender? Should a female police officer be able to order a man to put his hands on the roof of the car so she can pat him down, a body search, for say a weapon?

      November 21, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I would say that if the state invests authority into a woman as a public official then she should be treated with all honor and respect for that position. She has no "special" place by virtue of her gender. Likewise, people that adhere to the long held teaching of male leadership in family and clergy are free to exercise their religious beliefs. Those folks statistically have lower divorce rates by the way and might have something of value to say regarding one of the largest blights on our modern society.

      I juxtapose the subordinate role of women in some religions (including my own) with the elevated position the state has granted women in regards to killing their own children without regard to the male parents wishes. If equality were really the issue, wouldn't men have the right to choose whether their unborn children should be aborted or not?

      November 21, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Which God?

      BD. You are nothing but a sperm donor. You do not create a thing. The woman's body does. If she doesn't want to carry, for what ever reason, you haven't a thing to say about it, nor does your goD. You may have done the dance but you aren't the one doing the "work" of creating. You are an idiot. Your answers are lame and inane. The catholic religion is founded on lies, extortion, molestation, murder of innocents and fear. Even on of your so-called popes was a muderer. His weapon of choice was poison.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I suspect that more than one pope may have been guilty of murder. But, thank you for supporting my claim that men are considered inferior, second class citizens by people such as yourself who promote a radical feminist agenda. which includes a pro-abortion stance. Your position regarding equality and the sanctiity of life is duly noted.

      November 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  16. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    What a waste of time!! And why is that?

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, male/female bishops, popes, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Reality

      Putting the kibosh/”google” on all religions in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • 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/reborn 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. "

      November 21, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Cleombrotus

      Reality, thoughts to consider:

      how did the second Passover celebration take place?
      Were those who claimed to be eye-witnesses to Christ's being alive after His crucifixion, more than 500 of them at the time of Paul's writing his epistle, lying?

      You see the difference between Christianity and ALL other belief systems is that, for the first time in human development and history, beliefs were based on historical and objective EXPERIENCE and not on subjective assumptions which could not be corroborated by an honest skeptic.

      This set the groundwork for rational thinking and observational annalysis that we now take for granted in the West.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Cleombrotus

      Allow me to amend my past sentence. It set the groundwork for rational thinking and observational analysis in the realm of metaphysics and religious thought. The Greeks had already compiled a system for rational evaluation but it lacked a means whereby transcendance and anything beyond the natural realm could be evaluated. Christ changed all that by adding His revelation and verifying it through His power to suspend the laws of nature.

      November 21, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Reality

      The 12 "sitings" of Jesus post-"resurrection".

      1) Mary Magdalene (Mark 16.9-11; John 20.11-18), Peter in Jerusalem (Luke 24.34; 1 Cor. 15.5), Jesus' brother (insider skeptic) James (1 Cor. 15.7). "And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any [man]; for they were afraid" (Mark 16.8). Some of the New Testament authors explicitly claimed to be eyewitnesses to Jesus' resurrection (and transfiguration). Peter said, "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Pet. 2.16). John also said, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched...we proclaim to you what we have seen and heard" (1 John 1.1,3).

      2) The other women at the tomb (Matthew 28.8-10).

      3) The two travelers on the road (Mark 16.12,13; Luke 24.13-34).

      4) Ten disciples behind closed doors (Mark 16.14; Luke 24.35-43; John 20.19-25).

      5) All the disciples, with Thomas, excluding Judas Iscariot (John 20.26-31; 1 Cor. 15.5).

      6) Seven disciples while fishing (John 21.1-14).

      7) Eleven disciples on the mountain (Matthew 28.16-20).

      8) A crowd of 500 "most of whom are still alive" at the time of Paul writing (1 Cor. 15.6). This may have been the same group as in Matt. 28.16: the rendezvous was to "to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them." Unlike the other accounts which were unexpected and by surprise, and to gather such a large number of people, this meeting was held outdoors. The women were told to tell the disciples to meet Jesus in Galilee as well. "And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted" (Matt. 28.17) may be a reference to many present, both believers and non-believers. Paul had firsthand contact with them. So it was not a legend. He knew some of the people had died in the interim, but most were still alive. He is saying in effect they are still around to be questioned. You can talk to some of the witnesses. He never could have made this challenge if this event had not occurred.

      9) "Then to all the apostles" (1 Cor. 15.7) which includes the Twelve plus all the other apostles.

      10) Jesus appeared to the disciples in Jerusalem (Luke 24.44-49).

      11) Those who watched Jesus ascend to heaven (Mark 16.19,20; Luke 24.50-53; Acts 1.3-8).

      12) Least of all Paul (outsider skeptic) with others present and as though he was not living in the proper time (1 Cor. 15.8-9; Gal. 1.13-16; Acts 9.1-8, 22.9, read all of chapters 22 and 26; 13.30-37; 1 Cor. 15.10-20; Gal. 2.1-10)."

      All of these "accounts" have been thoroughly analyzed by many contemporary NT scholars. Their conclusion: The passages fail rigorous historical testing i.e. required attestations, plagiarizing accounts, stratums, community thinking at the time.

      Some examples from Mark's gospel, the more reliable of the four:

      Mark 16.9-20 From Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 111-116, " The historic yield is nil." and http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb522.html

      Ditto for Mark 16: 8,

      With regards to any "thumptations" from John's gospel:

      And all of John's Gospel is of questionable historic value.

      To wit:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

      November 21, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Cleombrotus


      "All of these "accounts" have been thoroughly analyzed by many contemporary NT scholars. Their conclusion: The passages fail rigorous historical testing i.e. required attestations, plagiarizing accounts, stratums, community thinking at the time."

      Too funny. Contemporary NT scholars, huh? Don't you think that the time for debunking these eyewitnesses and their accounts would have been in the 1st century, rather than 2000 years later and by religiously hostile debunkers?
      Doesn't it occur to you to be inronic, to say the least, that many of these NT "scholars" are...guess what?...CLERGYMEN!

      Too, too funny.

      Nothing like drawing a conclusion and then seeking evidence FOR your conclusion, is there?

      November 21, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Bill Deacon


      November 21, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Reality

      Unfortunately there was no CNN to docu-ment the events of the bible. Historians therefore have to rely on doc-uments and archeology from the time period.

      Some recommended reading for those who choose to go outside the NT:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10.The Gnostic Jesus

      Some added results of said studies regarding the OT and Torah:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      There are additional recommended studies in case you want to finish your studies.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Cleombrotus

      OK, Reality, now that you have successfully debunked the Biblical myths and undermined the entire philosophical basis of Western Civilization for the last 21 centuries, now what?

      The fundamental questions of life: Origin, Meaning, Morality, and Destiny still need addressing. Who ya' gonna call? Ghostebusters?

      You neo-Pagans never seem to think about this do you? Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Loftus and all the rest , like you, are great at offering objections to another hypothesis, but to come up with a coherent and cogent altenative? Don't make me laugh.

      Enjoy your Post-modern hive, Reality. And as you get closer to your inevitable day of death, see if it gives you much comfort.

      November 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Reality

      Summarizing with a prayer:

      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

      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.

      (references used are available upon request)

      November 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Al Christian

      Reality - If I had to guess, you are the son or daughter of an Episcopal minister who abused you and your exhaustive narratives border on obsessive denial. Am I close? Try reading "The Way of All Flesh" by Samuel Butler. Which generation are you?

      November 23, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  17. Jesus

    They're just afraid that having a woman around might turn some of the clergy straight.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:55 am |
  18. EternalFlame

    Not content to be on the losing side of the gay marriage war, the Church of England has gone and offended most of the women in the U.K.

    Congrats to them on their continuing success in their attempts to render themselves irrelevant before the end of the decade.

    November 21, 2012 at 5:51 am |
    • E-flame

      These fruits be sinnaz and need to pay..send em a message sayin don't be gaaay! We gonna mess them up and punch em in da face...to their friends and family they be a big disgrace! Rummmmmp rangaz!! Them fruity gingaaaz! Dey is da faaaaagz!!

      We all live in a yellow submarine...yellow submarine...yellow submarine.

      November 21, 2012 at 7:14 am |
  19. doctore0

    Another nail in the CoF coffin. Religions of Abraham hate women

    November 21, 2012 at 4:56 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 21, 2012 at 4:41 am |
    • athiesm rules

      Go visit your buddy Ben....Ben Dover!! Suk it fool. Go pound sand!!

      November 21, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • HeavenSense

      Hello Prayerbot.

      November 21, 2012 at 1:34 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.