Pope opens a personal Twitter account
December 2nd, 2012
02:11 PM ET

Pope opens a personal Twitter account

By Eric Marrapodi and Ben Wedeman, CNN

[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

[twitter-follow screen_name='bencnn']

(CNN) - The Vatican revealed the new personal Twitter account for Pope Benedict XVI, @Pontifex, on Monday, meaning the leader of the global Catholic Church will officially join millions of people around the globe on the social media site.

The pope will answer a question about faith in his first tweet, slated for Wednesday, December 12, Vatican officials said. They said that anyone could send in a question via the hashtag #askpontifex or #B16. The Vatican said the initial tweets from the pope will come on Wednesdays in conjunction with his general audiences in Rome, but that the 140-character missals may become more frequent.

The formal announcement came in a press conference Monday morning at the Vatican with Catholic and Twitter officials.

"The Pope's presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena,” the church said in a written statement to reporters. The pope’s account on Twitter, the statement said, “can be seen as the 'tip of the iceberg' that is the Church's presence in the world of new media.”

A Vatican official told CNN the pope will be composing the tweets for the new account himself. For the first tweet from the account, the pope will also press the button to send the tweet himself, but after that others will send the tweets on his behalf.

In June 2011 the pope sent his first tweet from the Twitter account for the Vatican news site, @news_va_en, to launch the new site http://www.news.va. He wrote, “Dear friends, I just launched News.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”

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That signature had led some to guess that @BenedictusPPXVI would be the account name for the 85-year-old pope's personal account, although @Pope would have been fitting as well. (Benedictus PP XVI is the pontiff's signature in Latin, with the "PP" standing for papa, the Latin word for pope.)

With @Pontifex, which means "bridge builder" in Latin, the pope chose a handle with another name for the office he holds.

The details on the long-expected event were revealed at the press conference featuring Vatican officials, including spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi and Greg Burke, media adviser to the Secretariat of State, who were joined by Claire Díaz-Ortiz, who heads social innovation at Twitter. Burke is a relatively new addition to the Vatican staff, having been recruited away from the Fox News Channel, where he was Rome correspondent. Díaz-Ortiz has been influential in getting religious leaders to join the social networking site.

Other religious leaders have found great success with Twitter. The 140-character limit for tweets allows for short messages, perfect for small verses of scripture or inspiration.

The Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama), Rick Warren (@RickWarren), Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen), and scores of other religious leaders utilize the site to spread their messages.

A Twitter spokeswoman said that religious leaders “punch above their weight” on the social networking site.

“An average religious leader has a rate of about 1 RT for every 500 followers, while a musician on Twitter would get one RT for every 30,000 followers,” said spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz, referring to retweets.

“We see a very high level of engagement with religious and spiritual content: followers respond to these topics with replies, retweets, and clicks on links much more often than they do other subjects,” she added.

While Benedict is the first Catholic pope to take to Twitter, he isn’t the first twitterized pope. That honor goes to His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, the 118th pope of the Coptic Church of Egypt. But Pope Tawadros has around 6,300 Twitter followers; Benedict has tens of thousands on his first day out.

John Paul II, who preceded Benedict, was the first pontiff to use the Internet, and the 20th century saw a string of other milestones for popes using technology to reach the masses. Pope Pius XI made the first papal radio broadcast in 1931. His successor, Pope Piux XII made the first papal television appearance in 1946.

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

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said, "The initiative comes from the Pope's desire to utilize all opportunities for communication which technology offers and are characteristic in the world today," according to the semi-official newspaper of the Vatican, L'Osservatore Romano.

The paper reported that Celli went on to say the pope has stressed how God communicated with mankind through Jesus, who was a "communicator who addressed the people of his time, using their own language."

One outstanding question remains: What language will the pope use to tweet? When the Vatican sends out important documents, it often uses multiple languages to communicate with the billion-plus members of the Catholic Church. In addition to the English version, the Vatican news twitter feed also has Spanish, French and Italian versions. The appearance of eight pontifical accounts seems to suggest he will be tweeting in all eight languages.

The pope’s foray onto Twitter provoked us to ask “What would Jesus have tweeted?” by tweet. A few responses:

[tweet https://twitter.com/hana161616/status/275566671274594304%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/vmsalama/status/275562732114309120%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/DynaMoxie/status/275562850121023488%5D

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (665 Responses)
  1. Batman

    He needs technology to convey his messages....?

    December 3, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Yes – just after he proves his existence. Until then, he's just a myth.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Why doesn't God just pee in the snow?

      December 3, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      No snow in (much of) The Babble Belt. He could become a multimedia sensation by using snow in the north and sand or dirt in the south.

      December 3, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Sand dunes, mountains, dirt farms. So many places for the Almighty to drain the main vein.

      December 3, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Irrationally assuming their is an almighty, of course.

      December 3, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Of course.

      December 3, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • Babe

      0G, chill out, dude. I got my email notice to go pick up the story of the Atom you recommended. Lay back & try to wrap your head around other truths expressed in other than empirical terms.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Enjoy the book. In the meantime, I'll write how I want, when I want.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  2. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    Yawn. . .

    I'd be really impressed if some god and / or the jesus myth dude opened a twitter account, and it could be verified of course. Which causes me to wonder why no god has taken advantage of communications advances and direct communications with their cult members? Seems to me that the first one that does has a chance to dramatically increase their market share.

    December 3, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • Akira

      Lol, the larger churches aren't rich enough?
      Would you believe a randon text coming from your phone from no originating number, sender's name God?
      One would think they could update that old book, though.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Selene

      The moon has been available for eons as a billboard, visible world-wide on most nights of each month. Messages could be customized for each person's language and understanding. Stupid god.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      I wouldn't believe a message from some god but I bet there are many who would. I just tried to open a god related twitter account – looks like the obvious twitter names are already taken. Maybe this is a sign!

      December 3, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  3. Akira

    Hello? Is anyone still here?
    I brushed and flossed...showered...

    December 3, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • FreeFromTheism


      December 3, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      Some of us are here, waiting for No2 to expound upon more "knowledge" from his ancient book of mistaken physiology.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Akira

      Alrighty then.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Akira

      I can't draw a bead on No2...I'm wondering if Clown Dentist and Apple are correct, or if No2 has anything better argument than "dumb atheist".

      December 3, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Hey Akira, I am here. You wanna know my trick for lucid dreaming?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Akira

      Yes, Apple, I sure do!
      What is it?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Apple Bush


      It is not very convenient, but works with some practice. My technique is sleep deprivation. Stay up all night, then lay down to sleep. You know that little “buzzing” you get inside your head when you haven’t slept? Use that. As you are starting to fall asleep, allow that “vibration” to intensify to the maximum and then blend in to it. It is a little frightening at first.

      Once you are asleep you will realize it and then you can control your dream. Go where you wish, do what you want. Fly! Flying is the best part. It takes a lot concentration.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • Akira

      Should be relatively easy for me, as I'm sleep deprived a LOT, lol.
      I love the flying dreams! Haven't done it in a while, though.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Yeah, me either. I remember one of the best ones ever was flying along the beach. I had an ocean front condo at the time. I realized I was dreaming and jumped off the second story balcony and flew for a really long time along the beach. It certainly felt real.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:51 am |
  4. When you get to hell, you will have to face . . . Clown Dentist Satan!

    I am having trouble fathoming just how intensely stupid "No2Atheism" really is.

    December 3, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Satire? Seems real but hard to believe.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • When you get to hell, you will have to face . . . Clown Dentist Satan!

      I considered the possibility that he is a Poe also, but if he is, he's really good. His other arguments are textbook Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Trailer Parks

      December 3, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Well if he is a POE, well done. If not, he is very entertaining.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • Akira

      I don't know that she is a poe or not; whatever she is, she hasn't grasped the concept of sarcasm, and she has very poor reading comprehension skills.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  5. Really now

    @No2Atheism – you are really making a fool of yourself by saying the heart has anything to do with emotions. It's basically a function of the brain.

    December 3, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • No2Atheism

      So you brain hurts every time you are emotional hurt? LMAO....DUMB ATHEISTS AT IT'S BEST!!!

      December 3, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Why is the heart associated with the feeling 'love' when in fact it's the brain that is responsible for all emotions?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Apple Bush


      Even though emotions are centred in the brain, a strong rush of emotion such as fear, anger or love pumps adrenalin to the heart. This accelerates the heart beat. So, prior to the advancements in science, the heart was thought to be responsible for emotions by ignorant people such as yourself.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Really now

      Back in medeival time, when the brain was not understood, the heart was associated with emotion as such symptoms as sadness were felt as a tightening of the chest. But as that spooky evil science progressed, it was discovered that the brain is actually where the process occurs.

      You see, a person with an amputated limb will still feel pain in that absent limb – because pain only appears to occur in the limb. It actually is occuring in the brain.

      But thanks for insisting on the ridiculous. It really helps prove how ignorant religious people are. Guys like you are our best recruiters.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Apple Bush – LOL, so you tell others, I LOVE YOU WITH ALL OF MY BRAIN? WOW, SUCH DUMB ATHEISTS AT IT'S BEST!

      December 3, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Psychologists once maintained that emotions were purely mental expressions generated by the brain alone. We now know that this is not true — emotions have as much to do with the heart and body as they do with the brain. Of the bodily o r g a n s, the heart plays a particularly important role in our emotional experience. The experience of an emotion results from the brain, heart and body acting in concert.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Emotions and the heart
      Recent HeartMath studies define a critical link between the heart and brain. The heart is in a constant two-way dialogue with the brain — our emotions change the signals the brain sends to the heart and the heart responds in complex ways. However, we now know that the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. And the brain responds to the heart in many important ways. This research explains how the heart responds to emotional and mental reactions and why certain emotions stress the body and drain our energy. As we experience feelings like anger, frustration, anxiety and insecurity, our heart rhythm patterns become more erratic. These erratic patterns are sent to the emotional centers in the brain, which it recognizes as negative or stressful feelings. These signals create the actual feelings we experience in the heart area and the body. The erratic heart rhythms also block our ability to think clearly.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Conversely, HeartMath’s research shows that when we experience heart-felt emotions like love, care, appreciation and compassion, the heart produces a very different rhythm. In this case it is a smooth pattern that looks like gently rolling hills. Harmonious heart rhythms, which reflect positive emotions, are considered to be indicators of cardiovascular efficiency and nervous system balance. This lets the brain know that the heart feels good and often creates a gentle warm feeling in the area of the heart. Learning to shift out of stressful emotional reactions to these heartfelt emotions can have profound positive effects on the cardiovascular system and on our overall health. It is easy to see how our heart and emotions are linked and how we can shift our heart into a more efficient state by monitoring its rhythms.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Any physical manifestation (hear rate, persperation, etc.) is a direct result of brain activity.

      Carry on.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Apple Bush – The heart sends more signals to the brain then the brain does to the heart, carry on with your ignorance, it's as clear as crystal water.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Really now

      Oh you really are an idiot. You cut-and-paste a study that overtly says the brain controls the heart, and then say it doesn't.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Apple Bush

      No2Atheism, are you referring to the electrical impulses that stimulate heartbeat and send signals to the brain? Not the same thing.

      Carry on.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Akira

      And without a citation.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Akira

      Mea culpa: meant to say a link.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  6. Atheism is healthy for children and other living things

    Why does poppa needs a twitter ? Doesn't he has a direct line to god already ? Isn't the church's dogma that technology is the work of the deivil 😉

    December 3, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Atheism is the WORSE religion there is besides religion and is the worse thing to teach your children.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Apple Bush


      You have excellent grammar.

      Absence of religion is not religion and cannot be taught.

      Please carry on.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Apple Bush – Sorry, "pal" but I can't help you with the hindu stuff since I am not one.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Apple Bush

      hindu absurd ism ignorant.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  7. Apple Bush

    No2Atheism is mean and called me names.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      No2Atheism doesn't understand sarcasm. Your pal Apple Bush.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Apple Bush

      No2Atheism thinks that the heart muscle has emotions. Your pal, Apple Bush

      December 3, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Akira

      I know, Apple.
      Jesus has taken note.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • No2Atheism

      LOL, again, when you are emotionally hurt, it's your brain that hurts?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Apple Bush


      Ahhh....yes? Physical and emotional distress are manifest as "hurt" by the brain. Are you ok?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Apple Bush – Actually, I can see that all atheists have fallen on their head and hurt it. LOL

      December 3, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Apple Bush

      No2Atheism is ignorant hindu ism hind ism and does not believe in truth absolute GAWD. Your pal, Apple Bush

      December 3, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  8. Reality

    All the tweets in the world will not put the twit's church back together.

    Added details available upon request.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  9. CNN News Special Report

    Bad news today out of the Vatican as Pope Benedict XVI broke his hip while attempting his first tweet. It is as yet unclear why the leader of the Catholic Church was standing on his laptop.

    Apple Bush reporting.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • don

      >caring about the pope

      December 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Ex-Christian

      If only that were true...

      December 3, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  10. Akira

    I see the fine work of my AC fan friend at work here. I am amused.

    December 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Ok cool I can stop now. That "No2Atheism" person is a total dweeb.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      It is depressing writing about all the good work the lord does cuz he loves us so much.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Akira

      I can see where it would be tiring reporting on God's...er...loving ways, Apple, you bitter old b!tch.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Apple Nightmare – I see you changed your ID, what's the matter, can't handle the truth that hits you in the face?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Apple Bush


      'round these parts, folks just call me "one eye"

      December 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      NightMare – I call you a FOOL.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Akira

      Apple Bush is his handle; he changed it up, just as I suspect you do.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Apple Bush


      Why do you disriminate against atheists? Why do you hurt me with your words?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Akira

      Tsk, tsk, No; you're being a tad bit judgemental, aren't you?
      Isn't that a no-no?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Apple Bush – How can a dark and cold heart of an atheist be hurt? Atheists don't believe that the heart can feel anything?

      Just like you hate GOD and Christians, I hate your lies and that's all you've done and have made yourself look like a d u m b a s s.


      December 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Akira – This dumb atheists has spent all day judging God and you think I don't have the right to do the same?

      2 Peter 2 – 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.




      December 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Akira

      Since when does a person, whether they believe in God or not, not feel emotions?
      How absurd.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Akira – According to most atheists, the heart only pumps blood and can't feel anything....I wonder what your APE ancestors think about you closed minded atheists.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Apple Bush


      1. I don't believe in God, therefore I don't hate what cannot and does not exist.
      2. I don't hate Christians, I just think there are dumby dumb dumbs.

      You pal, Apple

      December 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Apple Bush NIGHTMARE – YET, like a DUMB FOOL, you spent all day blaming what doesn't even exist to you.....can you see how stupid you sound and made yourself look?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      No2Atheism, the heart has feelings? lol

      December 3, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Apple Bush – LOL, so when you are emotionally hurt, it's your brain that hurts? LMAO.....WOW, DUMB ATHEISTS AT IT'S BEST.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Akira

      Well, No, here's the crucial difference; Apple doesn't believe, and you do.
      He's not bound by the same beliefs you are; judge not, lest you be judged.
      Walk the path of righteousness, and all of that; turn the other cheek.
      Live by your Lord's words; anything else is just...hypocritical.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Akira – OH, apple bush may not be bound to my beliefs but she is bound alright, by her father Satan, whom she will also deny his existence. It's funny how you are trying to lecture me on God when you also deny Him....LOL, dumb closed minded atheists.!!

      December 3, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Akira

      –" According to most atheists, the heart only pumps blood and can’t feel anything….I wonder what your APE ancestors think about you closed minded atheists."

      1) Please tell me where I indicated anywhere that I've said I'm an atheist.
      2) Are you seriously trying to say that people who do not believe in God can't feel emotions? Love? Empathy? Puhleeze.
      You have a heart that pumps blood, also; you are aware of that, yes?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Akira – So, let me ask you, do you believe in God and Jesus Christ? Hey, I am only stating what atheists claim, just look at NIGHTMARE'S comment, she claims that the heart doesn't have any feelings.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Akira

      "It’s funny how you are trying to lecture me on God when you also deny Him….LOL, dumb closed minded atheists!!"
      Again, show me the post where I have explicitly stated what I believed...right now, I believe you're mad, bro.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Akira – I've been LMAO tonight, so how can I be mad, bro? Answer the question, do you or do you not believe in GOD?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Akira

      @No, I am not going to answer you, because you've already made base assumptions about me with absolutely no facts having been introduced into evidence by my posts; it appeared that you made your mind up as to what I am by your rather confrontational posts to me.
      Therefore, by jumping to conclusions, you have forfeited the right to have your question answered.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • No2Atheism

      Akira – No need for your answer, I already know you are either an atheist or agnostic.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Akira

      No, you know nothing of the sort.
      I talk to everyone; that should be obvious by now.
      I told you that you deserve no answer because of your preconceived notions of me.
      I am supposed to tell you anything about myself because you asked, after you have already made up your mind?
      I don't think so.
      What I see is that you have let some people get under your skin, and so you deemed it proper to attack anyone who joined the thread.
      You may want to re-think your strategy there, cupcake.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  11. GO_GOP

    Delighted to see this. We need HIS guidance above everything else. HE died for our sins. And we need HIM more than anything else in the USA, since this country seems to be overrunning with atheists who are the direct opposite of what our great country stands for.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Welcome to My Nightmare

      Our country stands for ignorance, superstition and stupidity? I disagree.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu pagan christian, Jesus is never mentioned as HE in book of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism called Bible, but he, bunch of hindu's creeps trying to justify, hinduism ,unjustifiable.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu pagan christian, Jesus is never mentioned as HE in book of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism called Bible, but he, bunch of hindu's ignorants trying to justify, hinduism ,unjustifiable.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      I sure hope you are not referring to this WOLF dressed in sheep clothing.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • hindu filthy cheese ism

      word fondu is based on Latin word dippity doo, hot gooey, chips, great, chip dip, to be in greatness, pita chip, to be creamy to both of them, fondu, a noun in yummy, fonduism, way of yumminess.

      Visit dippingisfun.com to learn about fonduism, deliciousnessity of fondu's, deliciousness to impose fonduism, veggie dipping on humanity by fonduism, cheese skin of truth absolute by dipper. Be a dipper, not a fondu, lactose intolerant like a fondu, double dipper.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Akira

      You're delighted to see the Pope has a Twitter account?
      Oh, and though he may look like he's on death's door, he's still alive and covering up many sins; I doubt he'll die for them.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Badda Bing

      The Pope died for our sins? Is tweeting that dangeroous?

      December 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  12. Brampt

    That golden cross melted, would feed many!!!

    December 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  13. SSampson

    Really – how important – I am SO glad that someone took the time to write a story about this. The Pope is SO relevant to the world today....

    Although figuring he was the guy that covered up major portions of the abuse... (When they called him Cardinal Ratzinger and in charge of the area) (hashtag)LockUpThePope – or (hashtag)PopeOnARope

    December 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Danielle

      Because he isn't relevent to you, you probably don't pay any attention to what he does; therefore you have NO IDEA if he is relevent or not. For Catholics the pope is a central leader in our faith – one of the only religions in the world to have a single, unifying leader over the entire faith – a shepherd over the flock. And since Catholiocism is one of the world's major religions, as well as a powerful force in social services throughout the world, the pope is MUCH more relevant that you realize.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  14. Veritas Lavinga

    Quite possibly the most important verse in the Bible: John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      From book of hindu Mithra ism, savior ism, no boundaries, every thing is permissible, end justifies the means, including hindu gay ism, filthy hind love ism. bunch of hinduism, crap.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Welcome to My Nightmare

      God shows his love for us every day.

      Birth defects
      Child molestation
      Child abuse
      Drunk Drivers killing teenagers

      Thanks God!

      December 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Welcome to My Nightmare – Instead of being a bitter women, why don't you go out and help those who are suffering in the world? What have you gain by accusing God with all of your lies. It is sin that brings a curse upon you and your household, so you are to blame for what the child goes through since you brought the curse upon them as well.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Welcome to My Nightmare


      God has you in his book. He has a plan for each of us. He knows when you will be born and when you will die. He is therefore responsible for all death, murder and destruction for all of history including every abortion ever performed, every r.a.p.e, every murder, every miscarriage, every atrocity. He is perfect. He is omniscient. He is omnipotent. So how could this not be so? It is God’s will.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      by choice of human hinduism, denial of truth absolute GOD, not by truth absolute GOD.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      NIGHTMARE, You are responsible for your sins, not God. He made a way of escape for your sins by giving his SON on the Cross of Calvary. He died for the murderer, rapists, child molester, LIARS, h o m o s e x u a l, etc. so we don't have to become one, but yet, many people, like you, rather live in darkness by doing some if not all, detestable things, but hey, you choose, heaven or hell, life or death, blessing or curses.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Welcome to My Nightmare

      A 10 day old infant newborn was killed when her mother, who was reportedly high on drugs, threw the baby into the washing machine where the baby died after going through an entire washing machine cleansing cycle.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Nightmare – So if you decide to kill your child, God is responsible for your own actions? How ignorant can you possibly get? If God is responsible for all children dying in the hands of their parents and/or adults, then we shouldn't hold any of them responsible and bring God to justice. Bring your case against God and arrest Him for children being KILLED in the hands of HUMANITY. Let me know how the case turned out, blind FOOL!

      December 2, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Akira

      Oooh, bold print. That's telling 'em.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Akira – Bold or not, the FOOL will always say there is no GOD and yet turn around and blame God for the evil deeds that humans do. OOH, LOOK AT ME, MY COMMENT IS B O L D!!!!

      December 2, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Welcome to My Nightmare


      There is no god. God is not responsible. That is the point hindu ignorant hind.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Akira

      Yes, your comment is in bold.
      Now drive the point home and type in all caps.
      That will surely change Welcome's mind.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      NightMare – Of course you are an atheist FOOL, yet, you spent all this time b!tching about a God that doesn't exist and what for, just of the rest of the world to see how STUPID you are.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Correction: "just for the rest of the world"

      December 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • No2Atheism


      December 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Reality

      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

      John 3:16 by the way is a single attestation in the NT and many contemporary NT scholars to include Professors Crossan, Borg, Ludemann and Fredriksen have concluded that it was not said by the historical Jesus. It was, they conclude, an addition to embellish the life of Jesus to gain converts/money to/for the cause.

      See added commentary at http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/350_Jesus_to_Nicodemus and in Professor Crossan's book, The Historical Jesus.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Akira

      I meant use all caps to Welcome, No; I can read the regular text just fine, thanks.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot


      Nothing from you, kid, that's for certain.

      (It seems that your "Holy Spirit" is on the blink)

      December 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  15. Colin

    There are some pretty fundamental objections to Catholicism that are hard to get around. Now before some believer rants back at me that I am evil, an “angry atheist”, or going to burn for all eternity in hell, please take the time to actually read and cogitate the objections. If you have a disagreement with a point I make, post it. However, if you only object to the fact that I said it, please understand that I do not buy into the whole “it is immoral to be skeptical of the Catholic religion” argument.

    1. At its most fundamental level, Catholicism requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,700,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,700,000,000 years for h.o.mo sapiens to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.

    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.

    Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.

    2. This ‘all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and spying on the approximately 7 billion human beings on planet Earth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers. He also keeps his telepathic eye on them when they are not praying, so as to know if they think bad thoughts (such as desiring their beautiful neighbor) so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.

    3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence, this god will then punish those who doubt him with an eternity burning in hell. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is have an honest, reasonable and rational disbelief in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.

    4. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages. For example, we know that at least three of the letters of St. Paul are forgeries and at least three more are highly questionable. Further we know that the myth of Jesus saying “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone” is a complete fabrication, added to the Gospel of “John” about a century later and Matthew and Luke are totally inconsistent of the story of Jesus’ birth. Those stories that comprise Catholic creed and that are not in the Bible, were completely fabricated by early Catholic theologians. For example, the doctrine of the Trinity was completely made up by Augustine in the Fifth Century. It does not even appear in the Bible.

    5. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including the virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

    6. The Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including genocide, murder, slavery, r.ape and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.

    7. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Catholicism does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent we reject Catholic morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – we just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.

    Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions. So is telling them it is “wrong to doubt.” This is probably why there is not one pa.ssage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant gullibility.

    8. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.

    9. The Catholic belief of saints and sainthood borders on lunacy. Dead people reading minds (or “hearing prayers” as they call it) from people on Earth and convincing God to perform miracles. The “miracles” are almost always medical recoveries in circu.mstances where the recovery is perfectly explicable by natural events and where there is social pressure on the church to declare the particular corpse a “saint.” Why is it that God will never cure amputees, or people who have lost eyes, or who have bad scars from burns, or diseases we cannot cure? If we were to draw two lists, those of the ailments God will cure and those he will not, it would coincide perfectly with those diseases medical science or the human body itself can cure and those it cannot. Don’t believe me? Try it.

    10. When backed into a corner, Catholicism admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. However, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that Bigfoot exists is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Catholic based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any gro.ping guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 359 degrees.

    Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Catholic “faith” is not belief in God. It is a mere hope for a god, a wish for a god, no more tangible than the hope for a good future and no more universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      what would you call truth absolute constant, science and every thing else can not exist without, please explain , than to spew hinduism, hypothesis to make a hindu , ignorant point.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • George

      Excellent read, Colin.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Too long to read, I just browsed a little and agree with some of the things that you said about Catholics. I am a non-Catholic Christians and if you want me to believe that there is no God, you better started putting DIVINE evidence together and bring your proof to those who do believe in God. If you don't, you will only make yourself look like a closed minded fool.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Akira

      So, No, Colin's comment was "too long to read", but you'll read the Bible? Oh, okay.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      Akira – God's word is much more real, interesting, and gives life, unlike your atheists fools, you are full of lies.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Ezo

      I'm not a Catholic, but I am a Christian (blame the Protestant Reformation if you must). Instead of me categorically questioning or rejecting all that you'e posted, let me ask you a few rhetorical questions:

      1. What evidence do you have to prove that God does not exist?
      2. How do you suppose the universe was created? By chance?
      3. Just because you have no tangible evidence of God's existence, does it make it
      4. Can you think of anything else that you have no tangible evidence of that you
      nonetheless believe is true?
      5. Do you consider your own existence – that is, if you indeed believe you do exist –
      to be a random occurrence in the universe?

      I submit that if you contemplate God's existence logically, then it would be reasonable to hypothesize that he/she is much more advanced than yourself. This would, thus, render you incapable of comprehending the universe on his/her level.

      My own beliefs come from within, and are not based on what any particular religion teaches, necessarily. This is not to say that I have not been influenced by what I've read or have been exposed to. However, I do submit to you that as children we have certain inherent knowledge. It is only when we are exposed to this world that we begin to gradually lose our connection with God. (Think back to your earliest years. Were you such a non-believer then or did you reinforce your beliefs over time, based on your environment?)

      We all are obviously exposed to external influences that guide our particular beliefs. That's human nature. However, be honest and ask yourself if you've put the same effort to understanding both sides of this age-old argument.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • FreeFromTheism

      Ezo, shifting the burden of proof.
      everyone is born atheist

      December 3, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  16. Brampt

    That golden cross melted, would feed many!

    December 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  17. Pravda

    I wonder if the Pope understands that the whole concept of the Pope, Vatican, and catholic priests are unbiblical, and minimize what Christ has already accomplished.

    December 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • No2Atheism


      December 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Akira

      As it was a Council of Catholics that decided what books to include in the Bible at Nicea, I am think they'd disagree.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  18. Pravda

    @Hindu Gayism = Filthy hind Blah Blah Blah....

    For the love of cookies learn some FREAKING English. Your disjointed random words mean nothing to us. Use Google Translate if you have to. But no one here knows what in the FREAKIN world you are trying to say...

    December 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • hindu filthy wax ism

      “Operation Bleach my Anus”, Ya, it was long before "wax my balls", metro sexual, is nothing more than a bi-sexual to find shoes with no socks of a sweater wrapped on shoulders, according to GQ teachings, GQ was taught "wax my balls" to 1000th generation of metro sexual men after Adam and Eve liked to swing in bible, straight men can’t bleach anus, wax all they want, they can never keep stubble perfect real meaning of "wax my balls", because nice bleached anus, smooth absolute anus, creator of polo and pressed blue jeans, kept it smooth and clean.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Pravda

      @hindu filthy fart ism

      Not you silly, I am talking about the other Hindu Filthy Loving weed smoking guy...

      You I can understand perfectly clear. 🙂

      December 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • hindu filthy doggie ism

      Closing window to awful sounds of crying babies Barking dogs ism, ambulance noise pollution ism, Nobody cares neighbor ism, open windows, crying babies emergency noise ism Damn fire trucks sirens louder ism in to neighbor one else on front of his main street, at last holidays fire trucks looked at HOME OFFICE and wailed and same was answered by HOME OFFICE, Damn fire trucks spewing water on ash, Damn fire trucks turned in to HOME OFFICE, and HOME OFFICE turned in to Damn fire trucks, ONE ON corner WAS NOT DAMN FIRE TRUCKS BUT HOME OFFICE, EVERY crying babies, puppy follower of crying babies Barking dogs ism, ambulance noise pollution ism making noises to as his Barking dogs, ambulance noise pollution man dog. Visit TurnOffTheNoise.com to learn crying babiesism, denial of noixe absolute chaos, by crying babies noise ism.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Pravda

      I see... I hear that there is penicillin for that now...

      December 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      Find some other excuse to justify you hinduism, absurdity, I like my own free style, not like your's, hindu gentile filthy salve style.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  19. Welcome to My Nightmare

    14-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Pravda

      Was that one of the Pope's Tweets???

      December 2, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Welcome to My Nightmare

      Yes. Re-tweeted.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Pravda

      The Taliban are less than dogs...

      December 2, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      And what does it have to do with this article?

      December 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  20. Bob

    Why doesn't he just tweet using the holy spirit??? Because he's a fraud, that's why. Wake up people! God is a fairy tale told to grown ups to make them behave. It's not even that good of a fairy tale. Look at the rate of success.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      God is truth absolute, essence of existence, proven by science, one has to be a hindu ignorant from hind, dark mind to deny existence of truth absolute GOD.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • hindu filthy fart ism

      Here it goes flatulence ism, absurdity of lactose intolerance, odiferous ism, Nation founded on spicy foods of truth Digestive disorders human food inequality being given toots from hind lysol scent variety to celebrate flatulence ism, digestive disorders, a violation of a healthy constitution, not of regularity, odiferous of the constipated, but of hindered by Irritable bowel syndrome of flatulence ism, runny ism called Montezuma revenge ism to celebrate hind, filth of flatulence ism, smelly ism.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Pravda

      Cats and dogs, living together!

      December 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Aud

      Insert snarky remarks from Bill Maher-loving socialist d*ckheads here...

      Wah wah wah... God is the enemy, Christians are the devil...

      Pick a new fight – start w/ the "brother" we're stuck w/ as a president...

      December 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      Aud, you stink like yesterday's diapers!

      December 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • No2Atheism

      I sure can't wait to see all the DIVINE evidence that you have gathered to prove that there is no GOD....oh wait, hmmm, you don't have evidence, so you LOSE!

      December 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Akira

      Aud, seriously???
      He won.
      Get over it.
      Pathetic bigot.

      December 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Mirosal

      @ No2 ... please show us your empirical, peer-reviewed, accepted evidence that there IS a "god". It isn't up to the Atheists to prove there isn't one. You make the claim of there being one, we just want to see your proof. Your claim, your responsibility. So, what do you have that's irrefutable?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      "I sure can't wait to see all the DIVINE evidence"

      Define DIVINE.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:29 am |
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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.