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Why did the Pope resign?
February 11th, 2013
02:26 PM ET

Why did the Pope resign?

By Eric Marrapodi CNN Belief Blog Editor
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(CNN)–The questions reverberated from the Vatican to every corner of the Catholic world and left a billion members scratching their heads over something not seen since 1415 - why is the pope resigning now?

Pope Benedict XVI, 85, said Monday that it was because of his age.

"I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," he read in Latin to a group of cardinals gathered to examine causes for canonization.

The pressures may well have been too much for him to bear. As pope he was the bishop of Rome, the head of a tiny country, and spiritual shepherd to a billion people.

'[I]n today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me," he continued in his statement.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican press office, told reporters there was no specific health crisis or disease that forced the pope to make the decision at this time.

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“The basic take is he is stable and could have gone on at a lower level for some time,” said John Allen, CNN's senior Vatican analyst. Allen pointed out there were no recent hospitalizations or public falls, and the pope likely "decided rather that he would pull the plug now instead of waiting for disaster.”

“Timing is the big shock. We simply had no indication this was coming," Allen said. "The Vatican quite honestly leaks like a sieve. There was no hint this was coming down the pike.”

At 78 when he became pope, he was not a young man and said at the time that he anticipated his papacy would be short.

Before becoming the pope, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had a quiet retirement in mind. He was serving Pope John Paul II as the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, the doctrinal watchdog for the church once called the Inquisition.

In that role, Benedict worked beside Pope John Paul II and watched up close as Parkinson's disease slowly ravaged his predecessor.

When Pope John Paul II died in 2005, Ratzinger was just two years from a forced retirement as a cardinal.

When he was elected by the College of Cardinals to be pope, he joined a line of men that stretched 2,000 years from Jesus' disciple Peter to today.

What is known about the pope’s medical history is scant: In 1991 he had a brain hemorrhage, but that did not prevent him from continuing his career. And in 2009 a fall led to a broken wrist. So his decision to leave his post while showing little sign of any ailment has opened the door to speculation.

"The sad suspicion is his mind is going," said Michael Sean Winters, a visiting fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America and a blogger for Distinctly Catholic at the National Catholic Reporter.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami said he thought the pope looked "frail" when he was in Cuba earlier this year. He walks with a cane and often could be seen struggling to move around the altar as he celebrated Mass.

“At 85 years old, in your 86th year, I think you’re entitled to walk with a cane," Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., said at a news conference. He was at the Vatican with the pope for much of October for a synod meeting. "He seemed not only very alert but full of energy,” Wuerl said.

"He presided at meeting after meeting after meeting, there was no doubt he was in full possession of his faculties. He would give talks to us without notes in front of him. I am younger than the pope and I wouldn’t have begun my remarks without notes," Wuerl said. "He had no problem at all speaking with great clarity.”

Allen, who was at an event with the pope with a visiting dignitary, recently said, “He was all there mentally.”

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Even if his mind remains sharp, the office brings with it a schedule that would exhaust men a quarter of the pope's age.

There are endless meetings at the Vatican with clergy, diplomats and heads of state. This year he completed hour-long meetings with every bishop in the United States, according to Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois.

“It’s a grueling and demanding schedule to keep up with,” Paprocki said.

As the pope, “there’s an expectation you’re going to be doing trans-Atlantic flights and his doctors have warned him against it the whole time," Winters said.

Last year alone the pope traveled to Mexico, Cuba, and Lebanon.

While the most plausible explanation for his resignation seems to be the most benign, there are other elements of scandal and mismanagement at the Vatican that may have also played a role.

“No one is going to say this was a well-managed papacy,” Winters said.

There were scandals that rocked both the church as a whole and the tightly knit community in Vatican City.

The child sex abuse scandal continued to plague the church globally even as strict reforms were put in place. A visible sign of the scandal at the coming conclave to select a new pope will be Cardinal Roger Mahoney, the former archbishop of Los Angeles, who was stripped of his public and administrative duties this month by his successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, for his role in covering up a child sex abuse scandal. A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles confirmed Mahoney will be attending the conclave.

Inside the walled compound of the Vatican City, the Vatican Bank is being investigated for noncompliance with European money laundering protections. The head of the bank left in disgrace.

The pope saw his own butler betray him by stealing documents from his desk and passing them to journalists, and internal battles erupt over alleged mismanagement.

On Sunday, the pope tweeted, "We must trust in the mighty power of God’s mercy. We are all sinners, but His grace transforms us and makes us new."

The mention of personal sin was not out of character with the Christian belief outlined in Paul's letter to the Romans that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

In his statement Monday he again turned to flaws, saying, "Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects."

Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said he expects a new pope will be in place in time for Easter.

The pope gave little indication of what his future might hold, where he would live and what life for a former pope might entail. He concluded his statement by saying, "I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer."

Full Coverage: The pope resigns

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (1,015 Responses)
  1. Holysmokeandmirrors

    For Valhalla's sake,

    Why is this such a big mystery? The man is old, frail, and in failing health. Why shouldn't he have the right to quit his job at some point? He was elected to his position of CEO of the Catholic Church by a bunch of guys wearing red beanies and red robes, the board of directors if you will. When was the last time we heard of the head of some other major corporation being forced to die in his corner office? I respect this man for knowing that he could not do the job anymore. Let the man retire in peace.

    I heard a woman being interviewed who said that he should not have "left office", because that is what god wants. How in Hades name does she pretend to know what god wants? Like she knows what Zeus is thinking! To that woman, I can only hope that her family makes her go to work until she expires in her place of employment.

    I wish the pope a happy retirement.

    February 12, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The Catholics believe the Pope is chosen by god and therefore they typically hold the office until they die.

      And the Pope can smoke a turd in hell.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • It is not nice

      And god can go with him.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • lol??

      Older women are to teach the younger women to love their hubbies and children. When the A&A's take over, the women tell their hubbies to take a hike and then proceed to kill the offspring.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  2. sam stone

    I got no problem with justice. I don't see eternal punishment for a finite "crime" to be justice. I see it as pettiness

    February 12, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • sam stone

      that was intented for topher

      February 12, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Akira

      Sam Stone, yeah, the Tigers got the better deal. I miss those days.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Science

      This is better topher biologically love is a survial tool.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Science

      No topher you do not need one (family) but biologically love is a survial tool.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  3. God

    I'm taking all your questions

    February 12, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • You are not nice

      You have been banished to hell forever !

      February 12, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  4. Jerry

    If we could ONLY get "The Bully-in-Chief" to be as honest and as realistic as the Pope. HE could retire (resign), live happily ever after, HE and Moochelle mooching of the Américan taxpayers. However, HE needs to take HIS butt kissers/"Benders Forward" (Senile Biden and Bobble Head Pelosi) with HIM.

    One can dream, NO?! Really too bad THIS MAN does not know what honesty and being realistic mean. Besides, that will be nightmarish for HIS dream of driving América into the ground.

    February 12, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • ellid

      That you call for the resignation of a decent, honest man who's presided over a remarkably clean administration surprises me. I assume you did the same when George W. Bush, who lied us into a war, was the puppet of a war profiteer masquerading as a vice president, and was instrumental in the outing of a covert agent? If not, why not?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Jerry,

      You can blame the republicans for not feilding a viable candidate. I do.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Akira

      LOL. LOL. LOL. Superb work of fiction!

      February 12, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  5. lol??

    Why did the pope cross the road?

    February 12, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Folderol

      To rape the little boy on the other side. Duh.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Science

      Forget family love is still a survial tool biologically.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  6. Topher

    Good morning, everyone! What shall we talk about today?

    February 12, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • midwest rail

      Spring training ?

      February 12, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • sam stone

      How about why you choose to believe in such a petty, vindictive pr1ck?

      February 12, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Topher

      Yeah! Pitchers and catchers reported today. Woo-hoo!

      February 12, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • sam stone

      How about discussing the point of evangelism if the future has already been determined?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • midwest rail

      I'll be going to more games this year, hopefully.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • CrossCountry

      Oh silly sam. Is too early for such deep thoughts.

      Lets talk pop tarts.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • sam stone

      The Tigers will be good again this year. I think that most Tigers fans expected more of Prince Fielder

      February 12, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • sam stone

      Cross Country: It is always too early for Gopher to discuss such things. That is why he runs like a coward when they are brought up

      February 12, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • CrossCountry

      Sam – again. you speak truth.

      (I said that with a strawberry pop tart in my mouth)

      February 12, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Topher

      No one has run away from anything.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • The Gang

      Fill in the spaces

      – – – – – – – topher.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • midwest rail

      I remain hopeful the White Sox will run away with their division this year.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Topher

      Midwest rail

      Same here.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • sam stone

      Okay, Topher...then answer the question. If the future has already been determined, what is the point of evangelism?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • sam stone

      midwest: today is the birthday of formed White Sox and Tigers player Chet Lemon

      February 12, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Topher

      Are there three Sox fans here?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • midwest rail

      Nice play in center defensively, better with the bat than most expected.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Topher

      Sam

      Just because the future is determined doesn't mean an atheist will just out-of-nowhere become born again. We must spread the Gospel, show them the truth of God so that they will repent and trust in the Savior.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Robert Brown

      sam stone,

      We are all predestined to be children of God. It is not his will that any perish, but he lets us choose. He could force us to believe, but in most cases does not. You don’t like that?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Dippy's sub

      If the future's already been determined, why bother playing the World Series?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • sam stone

      "Just because the future is determined doesn't mean an atheist will just out-of-nowhere become born again"

      If the future is determined, it means that nothing you can say or do will affect it

      February 12, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • sam stone

      "It is not his will that any perish, but he lets us choose"

      If it was not his will that any perish, why not forgive without this choice?

      Explain to me how free will is compatible with an omniscient god

      February 12, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Topher

      OK. But perhaps part of that predetermination is my witnessing to you on these boards so that you change your mind.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "If it was not his will that any perish, why not forgive without this choice?"

      Then He wouldn't be just. But He is, so He must punish lawbreakers.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Akira

      midwest rail: White Sox! YES!

      February 12, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • sam stone

      If the future is determined, nothing you can say will have any affect. If I am destined to accept Jesus as my savior, I will do so. If I am not, then your witnessing will not do a thing.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • sam stone

      You say he is just. I say he is a vindictivie, maniupulative bully

      February 12, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Topher

      If you are predestined to receive Christ's gift, then something will have been predestined to help you make that decision. Understand, I can't do anything but help you think about it. Only God can do the saving. Maybe it won't be me. Maybe it'll be something bad will happen to make you think about death, maybe it'll be a television program, maybe it'll be a pastor going door-to-door. I have no idea. But no matter what, it's your decision to make.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Akira

      Sam stone: Chet Lemon! OMG, I used to see him play at Comisky, when Harry Carey and Jimmy Piersol were announcing...saw Disco Demolition at Comisky, too...thanks for the memories!!! (I was, naturally, a precocious toddler at the time, lol!)

      February 12, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Live4Him

      @sam stone : Explain to me how free will is compatible with an omniscient god

      Imagine a four-block grid, with the horizonal axis being the selections for God and the vertical axis being the selections for a person. The grid below (using fixed fonts) depict the four-block grid. Only two possibilities exist – God and man say Yes or God and man say No. So, the answer is that God opens the door (i.e. Jesus), but man must exercise his free will and walk through that door. Since God created time, He knows every action that has occurred from the beginning to the end.

      . . . .God
      ..+----
      . | . . Y . N
      . | . +-+-+
      M | Y | X | – |
      A | . +-+-+
      N | N | – | X |
      . | . +-+-+

      February 12, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      Why do you think He's a bully?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • sam stone

      The other day, you described a scenario where god created adam and eve knowing they would introduce sin. The would then be "glorified" by punishing the unrepentant sinners or, he would be "glorified" by showing his largesse and showing people his mercy. This appears to indicate that all god is interested in is his own self glorification, and mankind are just toys he can use to achieve this goal

      February 12, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • sam stone

      akira: the tigers got him when they sent steve kemp over to the sox

      February 12, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Topher : If you are predestined to receive Christ's gift

      Are you Presbyterian?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Topher

      So you don't like justice?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • sam stone

      live4him: assume there are apparently two choices for an action....choice A and choice B. god knows i will choose B. god is omniscient and cannot be wrong. what is the chance i will choose A?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Topher

      I'm a fundamental Baptist.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • sam stone

      Akira: Overall, I think the Tigers got the better end of that dea

      February 12, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • sam stone

      i got no issue with justice. i do not see eternal punishment for a finite "crime" to be justice. i see it as petty vindictiveness

      February 12, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Live4Him

      @sam stone : assume there are apparently two choices for an action....choice A and choice B. god knows i will choose B. god is omniscient and cannot be wrong. what is the chance i will choose A?

      Do you realize that you're "omniscient" about all your past decisions? Think about this as a autobiography that you write on the last day of your life, where you've kept detailed records of every decision that you made. What chance is there that your past history will change?

      The same chance that you will have a different choice than God. God is at the beginning, middle and end of time. Any decision that you will make is already known to Him.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Topher : I'm a fundamental Baptist.

      About the same – Conservative Christian. However, you seem to indicate that you believe in predestination rather than free will. If so, why?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • sam stone

      since there is a strong cultural component to religious beliefs, and most folks adopt the religion of their culture, why should someone in a non christian culture care one way or another about jesus? and, does punishing people for following the religion they have been taught strike you are "just"?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Topher

      Depends on the crime, I suppose, on whether it's "finite."

      And yeah, it would be vindictive if I sent you to prison forever for stealing my wallet. But that's not the standard. The standard is God's ... someone who is holy and thus requires perfection.

      You've probably heard this before, but bear with me ... If you lie to a child, nothing will happen to you. If you lie to your wife, you'll be sleeping on the couch. If you lie to your boss, you'll be fired. If you lie to the president, you'll go to jail or even be killed. Notice the crime didn't change but the punishment did as the one against whom the crime was committed grew in stature. So how much so should a punishment be when the crime is against a holy God?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Live4Him

      @sam stone : i do not see eternal punishment for a finite "crime" to be justice. i see it as petty vindictiveness

      I think you're looking at it from the wrong perspective. Lets assume the following scenario:

      Person A cannot stand God, doesn't want to be in His presence, doesn't want to spend eternity with Him. Where should this person go to spend eternity? With God or Away from God? Either choice is bad for this person, but God respects his choice.

      If God is love, then seperation from love is ...

      February 12, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Topher

      Live4Him

      I believe the Bible teaches both. They're not mutually exclusive.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • sam stone

      "Do you realize that you're "omniscient" about all your past decisions?"

      No, I have forgotten many of my past decisions. For example, do you remember what you had for lunch August 17, 1996?

      "What chance is there that your past history will change?"

      All history is past history

      "The same chance that you will have a different choice than God. God is at the beginning, middle and end of time. Any decision that you will make is already known to Him."

      That is my point. Free will is inconsistent with an omniscient god.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "since there is a strong cultural component to religious beliefs, and most folks adopt the religion of their culture, why should someone in a non christian culture care one way or another about jesus?"

      They should care because Jesus Christ is the only one who offers forgiveness for sins. And maybe more importantly, He's the only one with the power to do so.

      "and, does punishing people for following the religion they have been taught strike you are "just"?"

      They don't need to be punished for that. They'll be punished for lying, stealing, lusting ...

      February 12, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • sam stone

      Live4Him: You are as-s-uming god is love. I don't see that the picture many christians paint of god to be one of a loving being. I see it as a jealous, petty pr1ck

      February 12, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • sam stone

      "They should care because Jesus Christ is the only one who offers forgiveness for sins. And maybe more importantly, He's the only one with the power to do so."

      Why do you feel they have any impetus to accept YOUR version of god over that of their parents and culture?

      And, do not give me this tripe that your god is the correct one.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Live4Him

      @sam stone : since there is a strong cultural component to religious beliefs, and most folks adopt the religion of their culture, why should someone in a non christian culture care one way or another about jesus? and, does punishing people for following the religion they have been taught strike you are "just"?

      You've got some good questions here. But, before I answer this, lets have a level set. Christianity is defined as the teachings of Christ. The religion of Catholicism, Protestantism, etc. is Christianity with cultural components (i.e. traditions). There is no reason for a person to be punished for rejecting these religions. However, Christ has taught us to "Love one another, as I have loved you" and "Love God with all your heart, mind and spirit. And love your neighbor as yourself." If a person rejects this love, then what place does does this person have in a place full of love? One rotten apple will spoil the barrel. It is best to throw out that one bad apple.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • sam stone

      "They'll be punished for lying, stealing, lusting ..."

      Which begs the question of why you feel that they have any reason (from their standpoint, not yours) to accept your version of god?

      Why do you not accept Vishnu?

      Why is eternal punishment for a finite "crime" just?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, you have not said one thing that has caused me to even think about converting to your christian death cult, or any other religion. I suspect this is the same for all non-believers, but do not know. As has been stated elsewhere, you, Chad, Bad Bob, John, Live4Him, Captain Azzhole, etc. are among the worst of your lord's missionaries, but at least you appear "nice" (although a better but perhaps cruel adjective might be "simple"). Now, how are you doing with proving your, or any god, exists?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • sam stone

      "There is no reason for a person to be punished for rejecting these religions"

      But there IS a reason for a person to be punished for rejecting yours?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "Why do you feel they have any impetus to accept YOUR version of god over that of their parents and culture?"

      They don't need to accept MY version of God. They need to figure out what the truth is. Again, Christ is the only one that can forgive sins. No other "god" even comes close to making the offer Christ does.

      "And, do not give me this tripe that your god is the correct one."

      Well of course Christ is the "correct" one. He's the only one that makes sense and is the only one that stands up to the criticisms, historicity and logic.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • sam stone

      "However, Christ has taught us to "Love one another, as I have loved you" and "Love God with all your heart, mind and spirit. And love your neighbor as yourself.""

      And you feel that these are unique to Christianity?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Live4Him

      @sam stone : do you remember what you had for lunch August 17, 1996?

      In my post, I postulated that you had a detailed record, so this issue was negated by that premise.

      @sam stone : All history is past history

      Exactly – Which means that someone who can see your future decisions as past history won't make erroneous decisions.

      @sam stone : You are as-s-uming god is love. I don't see that the picture many christians paint of god to be one of a loving being.

      Love is one of the attributes of God in the Bible. Think of His followers as a mirror – they reflect that love. Sometimes that reflection is nearly identical to Christ's love, while other times it is heavily distorted – to the point it is unrecognizable.

      @sam stone : I see it as a jealous, petty pr1ck

      But, is this the actual view or your distortion?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The truth is that Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag.
      It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag.
      This was not Stalin's plan at all.
      He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise and it grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him. But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes.
      He respects their free will.
      So if you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin.

      Sound familiar?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Robert

      ""since there is a strong cultural component to religious beliefs, and most folks adopt the religion of their culture, why should someone in a non christian culture care one way or another about jesus?"

      They should care because Jesus Christ is the only one who offers forgiveness for sins. And maybe more importantly, He's the only one with the power to do s"

      There are other gods that have done similar things. Look at Crucifixion Of Chrishna Of India, 1200 B.C. Among the sin-atoning Gods who condescended in ancient times to forsake the throne of heaven, and descend upon the plains of India, through human birth, to suffer and die for the sins and transgressions of the human race, the eighth Avatar, or Savior, may be considered the most important and the most exalted character, as he led the most conspicuous life, and commanded the most devout and the most universal homage. And while some of the other incarnate demigods were invested with only a limited measure of the infinite deityship, Chrishna, according to the teachings of their New Testament (the Ramazand), comprehended in himself "a full measure of the God-head bodily." The evidence of his having been crucified is as conclusive as any other sacrificial or sin-atoning God, whose name has been memorialized in history, or embalmed as a sacred idol in the memories of his devout worshipers.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Live4Him

      @sam stone : And you feel that these are unique to Christianity?

      Unique as a goal, no. Unique in its obtainability, yes.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • sam stone

      "Well of course Christ is the "correct" one. He's the only one that makes sense and is the only one that stands up to the criticisms, historicity and logic."

      He is the one that makes sense to YOU.

      In terms of logic, where does logic enter discussions of faith?

      How does "logic" tell you that man is a sinner?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Topher,

      Stealing a wallet is an action...your god punishes for thoughts. that is not just, that is being a dictator of the worst kind.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • sam stone

      "But, is this the actual view or your distortion?"

      The same could be asked of you

      February 12, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Topher

      HotAirAce

      "Topher, you have not said one thing that has caused me to even think about converting to your christian death cult, or any other religion. I suspect this is the same for all non-believers, but do not know"

      Sorry to hear that.

      "As has been stated elsewhere, you, Chad, Bad Bob, John, Live4Him, Captain Azzhole, etc. are among the worst of your lord's missionaries, but at least you appear "nice" (although a better but perhaps cruel adjective might be "simple")"

      I can't speak for those others as I don't know what they believe. Not sure why you think I'm a bad missionary. All I can do is give the gospel. What you do with that is up to you.

      "Now, how are you doing with proving your, or any god, exists?"

      I can't prove it to you. All I can do is present you with the truth.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God is most assuredly jealous!
      It is His primary attribute, laid bare in the first commandment.

      The standard interpretation of the God of Abraham is that He is
      1) Omnipotent – He is all-powerful
      2) Omniscient – He knows everything
      3) Omnipresent – He exists in all places and times simultaneously
      4) Anthropocentric – He is primarily concerned with Human beings, the predilect objects of Creation
      5) Anthropomorphic – He is like human beings because we are created in His image.

      These attributes combined indicate that God is intimately aware of, and concerned with, the lives of every single person that has ever and will ever exist.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • sam stone

      "Unique as a goal, no. Unique in its obtainability, yes."

      No. Loving your neighbor and loving (your view of) god are obtainable through many religious beliefs

      February 12, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • sam stone

      "All I can do is present you with the truth"

      All you can do is present us with your opinion, and present it as the truth

      February 12, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "How does "logic" tell you that man is a sinner?"

      I don't need to have read the Bible to know lying, stealing, lust, defying parents and murder are wrong. Morality is universal. It's not an opinion. So we need a moral law giver. And the Bible says God's laws are written on your heart.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, if you can't prove it, how do you it is the truth?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      So, if I'm a Christian and my heart and mind tell me that coveting my neighbors house is not immoral, then I can be assured it is not?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "All you can do is present us with your opinion."

      Fair enough. But that doesn't matter. It's still either true or it isn't.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Topher

      HotAirAce

      "Topher, if you can't prove it, how do you it is the truth?"

      The evidences for God are far more compelling than those against. And honestly, my conscience tells me it's true. It just makes sense.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Please itemize the evidence for and against and clearly explain why "god exists" is the sensible conclusion.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Topher

      Really-O?

      "So, if I'm a Christian and my heart and mind tell me that coveting my neighbors house is not immoral, then I can be assured it is not?"

      No. God clearly says it's a sin.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "The evidences for God are far more compelling than those against. And honestly, my conscience tells me it's true. It just makes sense."

      It makes no sense, you are self deluded.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Science

      Sorry topher heart is an organ nothing can be written on it.

      Peace

      February 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Topher

      HotAirAce

      "Please itemize the evidence for and against and clearly explain why "god exists" is the sensible conclusion."

      Too much to itemize. You can google it or head to the library. But I'll give you a few to get started.

      First, your conscience. It's screaming at you that there's a God. You know it even if you reject it.

      Creation. First, to have creation you must have a creator. Second, there just too much complexity and order for it to have come about by accident.

      Laws of Thermodynamics and entropy. These things prove there must have been a beginning to the universe and agree with what the Bible says.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Topher

      Science

      "Sorry topher heart is an organ nothing can be written on it."

      Really?! Where's Seth Meyers when you need him?

      February 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      so, topher, you equate all bad behavior to sin?

      February 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      "God clearly says it's a sin."

      No, Iron Age man said it was a sin.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The evidences for God are far more compelling than those against. And honestly, my conscience tells me it's true. It just makes sense."

      Such as?

      Also, there are people whose consciousnesses tell them that a different god is real. What makes you OBJECTIVELY correct?

      February 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Topher

      HotAirAce

      Also want to add the reliablility of the Bible.

      It is a reliable collection of historical docu.ments (meaning a great deal of it is provable by history and archaeology) ..

      Written by eyewitnesses (people who actually saw these things happen are the authors of the books) ...

      During the lifetime of other eyewitnesses (so if the authors lied or told stretchers, these other eyewitnesses would have called them on it and the spread of the Gospel would have been stopped in its tracks. It's an automatic baloney detector) ...

      Who claimed to experience supernatural events. (with the reliability built up from the previous statements you can believe the authors when they say they saw Jesus walk on water, heal the sick and rise from the grave.)

      February 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Science

      Topher biologically love is a survial tool for family.

      Peace

      Can not base god(s) on emotion

      February 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Topher

      sam stone

      "so, topher, you equate all bad behavior to sin?"

      Yes.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Topher

      Science

      "Topher biologically love is a survial tool for family."

      In your worldview, why should I want a family?

      February 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @sam stone : Loving your neighbor and loving (your view of) god are obtainable through many religious beliefs

      How? Other religions are based upon the assumption that your works can make you loving. However, as you work toward that goal, what you are doing is stroking the self-love (i.e. ego). When you compare yourself to others, you fail. Christianity teaches that we ALL fail – only grace can redeem our failures. Since only once has sufficient grace (i.e. no mistakes in His life), then only Christ can redeem us.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Science

      Grace is not tripping on own feet while chewing gum and walking.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Science

      Forget family and species dies off.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Topher

      Science

      "Forget family and species dies off."

      So what? You won't be there for it after you die. So again I ask, why, in your worldview, should I want a family?

      February 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • sam stone

      Live4Him: And you are stroking your ego by thinking you know the mind of god

      I am not a green stamp and I do not need redemption

      February 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Science

      No topher you do not need one (family) but biologically love is a survial tool.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Topher

      Science

      "No topher you do not need one (family) but biologically love is a survial tool."

      How?

      February 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Creation. First, to have creation you must have a creator. Second, there just too much complexity and order for it to have come about by accident."

      Assume that is the case. How does a creator by necessity indicate a "god"? It's as if you are saying "the universe is complex, therefore jesus died for your sins". It is a huge non sequitor

      February 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Sciemce

      Love is chemistry in the brain .

      February 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Science

      In physical cosmology, the Planck epoch (or Planck era) is the earliest period of time in the history of the universe, from zero to approximately 10−43 seconds

      Can find10 to 43 seconds.
      Peace
      Love is blind

      February 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Science

      Oops can't

      February 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, when I search for evidence of any god I always find lots of counter assertions. Why are they wrong and you are right? The Babble contains a few historical facts but there is not one true eye witness account of anything, and not a shred of evidence for any of the supernatural claims. Why do you believe things in the absence of evidence?

      February 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Topher

      Sciemce

      "Love is chemistry in the brain ."

      And? You still haven't answered the question.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Topher

      HotAirAce

      "Topher, when I search for evidence of any god I always find lots of counter assertions"

      Like what?

      "The Babble contains a few historical facts but there is not one true eye witness account of anything, and not a shred of evidence for any of the supernatural claims"

      How do you know there isn't an eyewitness?

      "Why do you believe things in the absence of evidence?"

      I don't think there is a lack of evidence.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Science

      When did god show up before the 0 or after the 43rd second topher?

      February 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Topher

      Science

      "When did god show up before the 0 or after the 43rd second topher?"

      So you're just going to ignore it? Dude, if you don't know, just say so.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Science

      Biologically however, from an evolutionary perspective, love can be viewed as a survival tool – a mechanism we have evolved to promote long-term relationships, mutual defence and parental support of children and to promote feelings of safety and security

      Now where is God dude

      February 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Topher

      Science

      "Biologically however, from an evolutionary perspective, love can be viewed as a survival tool – a mechanism we have evolved to promote long-term relationships, mutual defence and parental support of children and to promote feelings of safety and security"

      You still haven't answered why, in your worldview, I should want a family. Seems to me it would be a hindrance. I agree that family can be good, but that makes sense in a Biblical worldview. You have yet to demonstrate why it would be in yours.

      "Now where is God dude"

      God is right there waiting for you to repent and trust in Him.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Douglas

      Topher, you be the catcher, and I will be the pitcher.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Science

      You can soul is on bottom of your shoe can be repaired or replaced !

      No need to repent,

      Peace

      Glad you found it in that missing 43 seconds

      February 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Science

      oops yun can repent
      Have a nice day
      Peace

      February 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Topher

      Yeah, that's what I thought. So much for Science.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Topher.
      "I don't think there is a lack of evidence."

      So can you provide some?

      February 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Science

      Like that 43 second god(S) do you good to know that .

      I see you do not like science sorry not my loss.

      Peace

      Keep believing your myth.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  7. Carole

    I pray that the focus of all Christian Churches is not on the church itself but on Christ. I think the Catholic Church has forgotten Who it represents and it has failed to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many sit in the Catholic churches pews and have not learned the truth. They have learned about the sacraments, they have learned about catholicism and they have learned rote prayers that they can say without thinking and have become meaningless. What the Catholic Church has failed to teach their people is that it's NOT about religion it is about RELATIONSHIP! It is about having a real on going relationship with their savior Jesus Christ. He died so that there would not longer be a need for those sacraments. Jesus is the second covenant. He died for our sins so that we can have a relationship with God our Father. He died so that the Holy Spirit would be with us always – teaching us. The Curtain was torn and yet the Catholic Church behaves as if we need the high priest to perform the sacraments because we are separated from God. All we NEED is Jesus! He is the living sacrifice – thee ONLY high priest. No POPE, no Priest needed.

    February 12, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Bob

      Carole, how come your omnipotent creature couldn't do the saving job without all the silly dead guy on sticks Jesus hocus pocus, and how was that a sacrifice at all, when he ought to be able to just pop up a new son with less than a snap of his fingers, or even just monkey with time to make it unhappen?

      Or is your god not one of the "omnipotent" ones?...

      February 12, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Holysmokeandmirrors

      Carole,

      I think that the Jews, Muslims, and Hindus would disagree with you on needing Jesus. Furthermore, if you were born of parents who were members of one of the above mentioned religions, you wouldn't be giving much if any thought to the importance of Jesus in your life.

      There are exceptions to everything, but for the most part, one's religion is determined by their parents. You probably had Christian parents. Food for thought.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Holysmokeandmirrors

      Carole,

      You sound like you are pretty much up on the whole trinity thing. Please enlighten me. Is Christianity a monotheistic religion? Do you pray to God, to Jesus, or to some kind of spirit? Was Jesus a god, or just the son of god? Or was Jesus just god incognito? When Jesus was dying on the cross and asked his father to forgive man, was he talking to himself? I have yet to meet anyone who could give an understandable explanation on this.

      Please give it a go. Thanks.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  8. Original Phantom

    Making more time for young boys.

    February 12, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Ray B

      Would that be the US (government) education system you are referring to? The system that has a CURRENT abuse crisis ten times anything ever witnessed in the Church? Or, like the liberal media, does that get a free pass as you display your obvious hatred toward the Church?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Akira

      Please present evidence where the educational system has had the level of pedophilia that has been exhibited (and covered up) as the RCC. Thank you.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • ..

      Raybe baybee, like Fox and their jolly band of liars get a free pass from trashing people because they are so hysterically Christian, as they hop down the Murdoch path of journalistic "integrity?"

      February 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Here you go Akira:

      http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2010/apr/10040101

      February 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, @Ray,

      This study is talking about lifetime abuse. Across a year students spend 20-50 hours a week with teachers and other school personnel. On average the number of hours in actual contact with a Catholic priest accross the same population will be a fraction of an hour a week. I have no reason to believe the priests are any worse on average than teachers, but there isn't evidence here they are any better. And most significantly there is evidence that it was acceptable to cover up problems in the church much longer than was so inthe schools.

      February 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  9. The Pope's Picture Of Muhammad

    8=>(_|_)

    February 12, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • CrossCountry

      Oh look a happy face pointing towards a....wait a sec....

      Ooooo dirty birdy!!!! *snicker*

      February 12, 2013 at 10:09 am |
  10. Hahahahahahahaha

    I'll bet there's a lot of "s_cking up" going on right now (more than usual of course) by the cardinals!!!!!!!! Hahahahahah

    February 12, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  11. Hahahahahahahaha

    I'll bet there's a lot of "sucking up" (literally) going on right now (more than usual anyway) by the cardinals!!!!!! Hahahahahahhaha

    February 12, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  12. Ken from FL

    Can CNN stop trying to find ulterior, nefarious reasons for the Pope's resignation, please? The man is 85, in ill health, with a pacemaker, for crying out loud. CNN reminds me of a flock of vultures, trying to pick over the carrion.

    February 12, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Folderol

      The RCC is more like a flock of vultures than any media corporation. They literally feed off of death. Vultures. Rich vultures.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  13. Staszek

    John Paul II, May 18, 1920 – April 2 2005, 9pm
    Benedict XVI, April 16, 1927 – February 28, 2013, 8pm
    It looks like he chose to be just a little behind. Count.
    Staszek

    February 12, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  14. Carml

    Regardless of the immediate disclaimers to the contrary....this is one way to control the succession. Methinks they doth protest too loudly!

    February 12, 2013 at 8:23 am |
  15. Science

    Pope resigned because maybe

    Creation Story from Bible Does Not Work That Way !

    Peace

    February 12, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • lol??

      Your cremation awaits. Don't be late for the appointment.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Science

      Soon it will be done
      Peace

      February 12, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • ..

      lol??, your lobotomy was a complete success.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  16. Correctlycenter

    " For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man, Christ Jesus. He gave His life to puchase freedom for everyone." 1st Timothy 2: 5-6a...

    February 12, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • sam stone

      Wow, CorruptlyCenter: Nothing more convincing than a quote....nosireebob

      February 12, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  17. AvdBerg

    The church hierarchy refers to the Pope as 'Holy Father', while the Word of God teaches us to call no man your father upon the earth (Matthew 23:9). The Pope was never appointed by God but rather by men and a quick study of the Papal Office will confirm that it is not 'Holy' at all.

    For a better understanding of the history of the Papacy and the spirit the Pope serves we invite you to read the articles 'Papal Infallibility, Contradictions and Spiritual Blindness', 'The Mystery Babylon' and 'Popes and the Princes of This World', listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    Seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7)

    February 12, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • jle77

      Sounds stupid. – so you don't call your own father "father" either?

      February 12, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • TROLL ALERT

      This poster is a TROLL on this site, they are proven liars and are only here to sell their book and website for their cult.

      Click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  18. Science

    Resigned because the creations they made did not work, just like the creation story in the bible.

    February 12, 2013 at 7:48 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 12, 2013 at 7:36 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      February 12, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 12, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Religion is not healthy for children nor any living thing

      PRAYER is nothing more than "Wishful Thinking"! Prayer accomplishes absolutely NOTHING!
      Positive ACTION by benevolent people changes things! Only ACTIONs can change things. "Wishing" never accomplishes ANYTHING...

      February 12, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  20. motive

    The pope and the catholic church are 100% responsible for the destruction of childrens lives through se-xua-l abuse world wide. .. However these crimes against children also included threats from telling. Had these children had early intervention, many would have gone on to live normal lives. Instead, this pope and the entire catholic church denied these children help. Add to this.. The catholic church lobbies to stop laws that would expose pedophiles – all children abused denied no matter who abused.

    Many victims become mentally ill and others have committed suicide due to the abuses. Had it happened to anyone posting here and left to cope alone as a child,, the same would have likely happened to you.

    Based on victims across the world, over 50% of the cases were acts of pedophilia. A child victim of violent pedophilia will likely be traumatized past statutes, now denied by law. And because they are denied by law, they are not added to the count of abused children. Yet there was no way to come forward due to the mental damage caused. Yes, these are the laws that the catholic church fights to protect – laws that deny victims and protect the church and their pedos.

    And if people don't think some of the bishops are pedos,, they are. Myself and others have been abused by the very same bishops who lobby against contraceptives. Remember, bishops where once priests. The pope as well.

    February 12, 2013 at 7:35 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.