Colbert for pope? The surprising standards for the next Catholic leader
February 12th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Colbert for pope? The surprising standards for the next Catholic leader

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – With Pope Benedict XVI announcing his resignation on Monday, the leaders of the Catholic Church will soon meet to select the next person to lead the ever-changing church.

While it is likely that they will pick another voting member of the College of Cardinals - the 118 Catholic leaders younger than 80 will vote on who should lead the church - the standards for who can become pope are remarkably loose.

Any baptized man in good standing could be elected pope, according to canon law, a group of laws that guide the Catholic hierarchy. Women cannot be named pope because they are unable to become ordained priests in Catholicism.

So if the only standard is a baptized man in good standing with the church, there are millions of possible papal successors – including Speaker of the House John Boehner, rock star Bono and, yes, comedian Stephen Colbert.

The likelihood of that happening: not a chance.

“Oh I am a fan of Stephen Colbert,” laughed Charles J. Reid Jr., a professor of law at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. But “he doesn’t have a prayer.”

More likely selections, with admittedly less star power, run the gamut.

One name on the top of many lists is Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the former archbishop of Quebec and the head of the Catholic bishops worldwide. Some Catholics are angling for more Latin American representation in church leadership, and Ouellet taught school in Bogota, Colombia, early in his career.

“He has a credibility that can reach all corners of the church,” Reid said.

Other names include Peter Turkson, a cardinal from Ghana who would show the church is aiming to increase outreach to Africa, and Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan and a more traditional pick.

Though canon law doesn’t spell out the explicit qualifications that a pope needs, there are laws that do outline how the College of Cardinals could select someone who isn’t a bishop or a cardinal. In that case, the man selected pope would first have to be consecrated as a bishop before he was made pope.

According to Reid, the existence of these laws proves that if the Catholic leaders wanted to, they could select any Catholic male.

That, however, is extremely rare. The last time a noncardinal was elected pope was when Urban VI was elected to lead the church in 1379.

Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, said while the standards are relatively low, the pope’s job requires someone with a combination of skills.

“The pope has to be first of all someone who can effectively preach the Gospel; second, someone able to do so in a stunning variety of cultures, and a person who can, at the same time, run an international operation that cares for one billion persons,” Martin said. “Essentially, the cardinals are looking for someone who can combine the spiritual with the practical: in a word, a combination of St. Peter and Steve Jobs.”

In 1996, Pope Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, issued a decree with 92 guidelines for selecting a new pope. The rules outline everything from the size of the paper on which the cardinals can vote to where the election of the new pope should take place.

- CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Catholic Church • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (616 Responses)
  1. Skorpio

    The Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church consists of more than 20 Catholic churches, in full communion with the Roman rite church. In theory, ANY Catholic Eastern rite or Catholic Orthodox Patriarch could be elected as the new Pope. Perhaps an Arab Pope would trigger millions of new Muslim converts to Christianity and diminish world Islamic violence, terrorism and discrimination.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  2. capitalist

    standard for being pope: lie well and keep a secret well

    February 17, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  3. Sara Howells


    February 15, 2013 at 9:24 am |
  4. Reality

    Jesus and Christianity in the 21st century (some added reasons for the pope's abdication and why this lame duck will be one of the last popes)

    Jesus was an illiterate, dirty and sometimes sick (new book), Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple/magic preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus).

    An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% or less of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Too many pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, celibacy,atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    February 14, 2013 at 12:09 am |
  5. Mystyk

    God loves us all.

    February 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • God: a Barbie doll for the mind

      Mystyk's Barbie god is Invisible Huggy Jesus-Barbie

      February 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      If god loves us all, why does hell exist?

      February 14, 2013 at 4:05 am |
  6. Science

    Pope should come out of closet for lent and be honest about Adam and Eve.

    February 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  7. austin

    anyone who thinks that Adolf Hitler was a christian reveals that they do not believe in the authentic ministry of the Holy Spirit, or the authority of the scripture's forecast of false prophets, false religion (false Christianity), and antichrist deceivers.

    but you will not reflect on the reputation of Jesus Christ, the resurrected Lord, Messiah, and King of Heaven.

    for the life of the flesh is in the blood, and He has provided the atonement for evil, sin, on the altar of redemption.

    Thank you Jesus, testify in the heart of mankind of your presence . Let today be a day of salvation and mercy to all who will hear and repent. We need your faith Lord.

    February 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Alvin Plurp, Accordian King of Nazareth

      What a plethora of nincompoops we have today! Chad, Topher, austin, fred . . . it's the Dream Team Of Morons.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Wrong from your first sentence.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • TC

      Many people who call themselves Christains do not closely follow Christ. But they tarnish the name of Christianity all the same, and a great many are out and about in the world today, including on these forums.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      let today be the day nutters wake up from their god delusion.

      February 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Romnesia

      How about giving up your bullshit for lent?

      February 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Akira

      Anyone who denies that Hitler said he was a Christian is denying history.

      Anyone that says Hitler was recorded as being Christian is denying history.

      Anyone who fails to grasp this point is just arguing for argument's sake, and is being disingenuous.

      This has been point out to you, austin. That you continue to harp on this point is showing intellectual dishonesty.

      February 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Akira

      Corrected above post:

      Anyone that says Hitler wasn't recorded as being Christian is denying history.

      February 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • albert

      Then why did the Catholic church support Hitler?

      February 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  8. KMW

    The priest during Mass for Ash Wednesday told us to give something up for Lent. I have decided to give up CNN. Of course, that will not be hard to do. This is very insignificant reporting anyway. I will switch to Fox News which has a higher caliber of reporting and more interesting stories. Good bye. Amen. I hope you all have a blessed Easter.

    February 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      you might find this helpful:

      I'll start a new topic: Is sanctimony sinful?


      February 13, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Akira

      I hear Panama is very nice this time of year. Is it? Do tell, KMR.
      Please strive for humility in your life.
      You haven't exhibited any yet.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      If your faith is so imporatant, why not give up catholicism for lent?
      Think about it....you are supposed to give up things that are important to you, and what better way to test your faith than to give it up for your faith (lent).
      I'm not trying to be a smart a$$, I'm serious.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Akira

      It appears that perhaps KMW is a poe.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Lol, if you can say that Fox News has a higher caliber of reporting with a straight face, then you aren't interested in news to begin with. Enjoy your fantasies.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  9. Topher

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

    February 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      How about how you don't actually address points, or how you ignore certain people, justifying it by making back-handed comments about "uncivil discussion", yet never actually give examples of such when asked?

      February 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Topher

      There are some people, whom, if I were to say "Barack Obama is the president" would tell me I'm wrong and what an idiot I am to think that. They only want to bark and argue. It's just ridiculousness. And some who can't be respectful and change my name or change the word "Bible." I have no time for this nonsense and so I move on to other topics and people who want to have an adult conversation.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And can you give examples of who and when these things were done?

      February 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Topher

      Those people know who they are. I don't mind people disagreeing with me ... most on this site do ... but there's no reason not to be civil.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Or more importantly, can you point to where I've actually disputed a demonstrable fact just to argue?

      February 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Topher

      Nothing specific off the top of my head.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Then why do you consistently ignore when I call you on false information or logical inconsistencies in your posts? Why do you ignore when people actually ask you to provide the actual evidence for the assertions you make?

      February 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Topher

      See above.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      So because it's a fact to you, it therefore cannot be questioned, even though you say that everyone else should believe as you do? So in other words, anyone that questions your preconceived notions is therefore being uncivil because you don't like it, and you will ignore them?

      February 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Topher


      Well, a fact is a fact, it doesn't matter what you or I believe is true.

      And you can disagree with me. That's fine. Just don't call me names and we'll get along.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      And I didn't say anything about name calling. I asked why you ignore people when they ask you to actually demonstrate what you say is true.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Chuckles


      A fact only becomes a fact once you can prove its validity, until then it's just speculation.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Thomas D.

      You first response was a lie, Topher. A couple of them, actually. You are not challenged on facts, but on baseless opinions. You avoid far more than people who alter your name or the word "Bible."

      You are being dishonest.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Topher


      "A fact only becomes a fact once you can prove its validity, until then it's just speculation."

      Not quite true. Something can still be a fact (true) enen if we can't prove it to be so. But I get what you are saying.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Thomas D.

      @ Topher: "There are some people, whom, if I were to say "Barack Obama is the president" would tell me I'm wrong and what an idiot I am to think that." That is a lie. Nobody has ever challenged you on a demonstrable fact.

      @Topher: "They only want to bark and argue." That is a lie: they want to challenge your baseless opinions.

      @Topher: "It's just ridiculousness" That is a lie: they are disproving your baseless assertions.

      @Topher: "And some who can't be respectful and change my name or change the word "Bible." Some indeed get frustrated with your argument from assertion and argument from ignorance, and they do indeed mock you and your book. However, what you did in the first sentence above is effectively the same thing. So you have no claim to civility.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Hubert



      A thing that is indisputably the case

      Facts are necessarily true. Statements that happen to be true are not necessarily facts.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Topher


      What've you been up to, dude?

      February 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Hubert


      I'm back in school, working on my masters degree. At this very moment I'm procrastinating doing my homework.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Hmmm...I guess pointing out that my post wasn't answered counts as one of those "uncivil" things as well.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Akira

      Hubert, are you the same person that used to post a few months ago?
      I thought the spelling was Huebert, although I may be mistaken.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Topher


      You mean this one?

      "And I didn't say anything about name calling. I asked why you ignore people when they ask you to actually demonstrate what you say is true."

      I didn't say you said anything about name calling. But you do call names. You change mine. You change "Bible" and you demean me. And I don't ignore people who ask me to back myself up. I give references when appropriate ... but some just want to then complain about my sources.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Topher

      What are you getting your degree in, if you don't mind my asking.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Hubert


      Yeah it's me and my name was spelled Huebert. I decided to change the spelling. The original spelling was a typo that I just decided to run with.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Thomas D.

      When pointed out that Topher has lied, using the evidence of his own words, Topher . . . runs away.

      Topher lied, and he thinks the problem is everyone else. Topher runs away, and he thinks the problem is everyone else.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      And when have I changed your name? When I see someone lying, I will call them a liar. I will call people what they are. Just because you don't like doesn't mean anything. If you don't want to be called certain things, then don't be those things. I will fully own up to giving new names to the bible, and no one has yet been able to show how my names do not apply. If you can, then do so.
      You also have not actually addressed my original post, merely stuck onto the "you're a meanie" train. Why is that? Are you merely avoiding what I actually posted?

      February 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Hubert


      I don't mind. I'm getting an MBA. I need to make more money and this seems like the best way to do it. What about you? What is going on?

      February 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Topher

      "When pointed out that Topher has lied, using the evidence of his own words, Topher . . . runs away. "

      See? This is the kind of ridiculousness by some that I'm talking about. Nearly every day someone claims I've "run away" and yet here I am. I haven't run away from anything, though quite frankly statements like these hardly deserve my attention.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Clarence Darrow

      It's interesting to see that Mr. Topher gets worked up about what the Bible is called when it actually doesn't have a title. "Bible" is ancient Greek for "book." They named their book "book"? It's like going to 7-11 and buying generic beer, where there is nothing on the label but "Beer."

      February 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Topher


      "And when have I changed your name?"


      "When I see someone lying, I will call them a liar. I will call people what they are."

      Then demonstrate it. Me being called only a liar by you would be a relief.

      "I will fully own up to giving new names to the bible, and no one has yet been able to show how my names do not apply. If you can, then do so."

      Then call it the Bible because that's what it's called and out of respect to those that love it.

      "You also have not actually addressed my original post, merely stuck onto the "you're a meanie" train. Why is that? Are you merely avoiding what I actually posted?"

      Until you've demonstrated you're not a "meanie" you and I won't be discussing theology.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Topher



      "I don't mind. I'm getting an MBA. I need to make more money and this seems like the best way to do it."

      Wowza! Good luck. How much do you have left to go?

      "What about you? What is going on?"

      As you can see from this message board ... 😉

      Also, just adopted a new puppy.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Thomas D.

      Running away means avoiding the point raised, either by changing the subject or by ceasing to post. I gave you solid evidence that you lied, and you avoided the point and talked about running away instead, which was running away.

      If you don't want to be known as someone who runs away, then actually address the question at hand.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Hubert


      I just started the MBA so I have two more years. Congrats on the puppy. What breed is she/he? The wife and I want to get a German Shepard as soon as we get a house.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      So in other words, until I become a PC whipped little bitch that won't question your assertions, then I'll be able to question your assertions? Hilarious. I'm done with your ignorant bullshit Topher. Have fun with your stacked deck you dishonest zealot.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Saraswati


      I actually agree with Topher on that one. While I don't mind the occasional snap or mild insult flying around, the use of terms like "Babble" or name modifications just strike me as so incredibly juvenile that I try to avoid conversations with anyone who engages in such annoying behavior. It doesn't come out at the end of long debates when the players are frustrated, but is something I've seen people do in their first response as a silly attempt to diminish the other person right from the start.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Topher


      Black lab. She's only 7 weeks, so still pretty small.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Topher


      See? Name-calling. So very mature. Have a good one.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Thomas D.

      Usually it is the dog who runs away, but at Topher's place, it's Topher.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Any armchair psychologists have a clue why hawaii feels he's entiitled to an answer for every insulting question he ever asks?

      February 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Akira

      Ah! That explains it. I've wondered where you had gone off to; you've been missed.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      Actually, Bill, the reason people get that way with Topher is that he starts a theological debate, then when challenged on his rather dubious assertions, he runs away from answering challenges. He is very frustrating to debate with due to his remarkably disingenuous argumentation and his tendancy to avoid toough questions that he himself keeps asking for.

      Topher's refusal to debate honestly frustrates people, who start abusing him. Topher is the source of the disrespect he receives. He made his bed, and now he gets to lie in it (pun intended).

      February 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Cut the persecution "oh look I'm such a nice guy" bullshit out. You cannot address direct questions or points, and you're a dishonest coward. Pathetic comes to mind for you.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      Topher....if my FINAL choice is known to god, and god cannot be wrong, how does free will exist? You have danced around this before, and I do not doubt that you will do so again. you never answer a question directly. You are a coward, and a poor representative of Christianity.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Hubert


      I've been moving and starting school, and generally going through some hectic life changes. But things have calmed down now so I should be able to stop by belief blog relatively frequently. And it's nice to hear that I've been missed, I've definitely missed the community.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Oh I'm sooo sorry. I was unaware that asking people who think that all people need to believe as they do or face eternal torture from their "all-loving" god for evidence was so insulting. Forgive me for not taking your persecution complex into account.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Science

      Just remember topher education works best in public scools with out god !

      February 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Science

      Oops schools

      February 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And once again, when Topher is actually called to answer things directly, and shown how he hasn't he disappears, ignores, and will once again post back-handed comments about uncivil discussions when he has to leave for work. Showing, for another day, how much of a coward and a liar he is. He will leave with a feeling of smug self-satisfaction and delude himself into thinking he's "stuck it to the non-believers" again. Poor, sad, deluded fool.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • ME II

      While I understand your frustration and disgust at many of the tactics used on this blogs, personal attacks don't help. This kind of argument, or lack thereof, adds nothing:
      "...you're a dishonest coward. Pathetic comes to mind for you."

      That being said, you do seem to disregard some pertinent questions and valid arguments.

      February 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      Topher ran away again

      February 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @ME II

      I call it like I see it. If anyone were to challenge my assesment, this very thread will prove my case. If Topher want's to spout his idiocy without being challenged, then he is indeed a coward, and should probably just say the same bullshit at his church where people already agree with him and he won't be challenged.
      Oh I forgot, he want's that feeling of self-satisfaction everyday before work.
      I don't really see anything helping, because no matter what, Topher want's to be immune from answering any challenges to his assertions. Whether I were to give him an accurate assesment of his tactics, or I were to be polite, as long as anything is questioned, he will claim "uncivil discourse" and feed his persecution complex.

      February 13, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      Johnny: That's a surprise?

      February 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  10. KMW

    CNN just censored my comment about Ash Wednesday. You cannot tell me they tolerant of my religion (Roman Catholic). Happy Ash Wednesday to all Christians.

    February 13, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • LinCA


      You said, "CNN just censored my comment about Ash Wednesday."

      CNN uses WordPress blogs for their opinion pieces, and they use automated censoring that looks for words, or fragments of words, that are considered offensive. If your post doesn't show up, it most likely had a forbidden word in it.

      On the Belief Blog, repeat posts, even those that were previously censored and not displayed, will show a message stating that you posted it before.

      The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
            arse             as in Arsenal
            cock           as in cockatiel
            coon           as in cocoon
            cum             as in circumstance
            homo         as in homosexual
            rape         as in grape
            sex           as in homosexual
            spic         as in despicable
            tit               as in constitution or title
            vag           as in vague
            wonderful us

      To circumvent the filters you can break up the words by putting an extra character in, like: consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").

      February 13, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Posts containing 'naughty' words or word fragments including 'naughty' words are not posted.

      February 13, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • KMW


      I obviously have hit a nerve. To send such a long-winded reply must mean you are very, very upset. Have a lovely rest of the day.

      February 13, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • KMW


      I neglected to mention that your reply was printed. I think your theory is a bit off, don't you think?

      February 13, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Linca is correct, there is a word filter, as linca said.
      You will also notice that LinCA 's name is in blue...that means Linca is using a wordsmith account and not subject to the normal editor.
      If I try to type h0m0$exual...I must alter it for the h0m0 portion and the $ex portion...double whammy..

      February 13, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      LinCa can post those words becuase they have mad HTML skills, enabling them to get around the word filter.
      But the post is accurate!

      Do a test if you don't believe.
      You cannot post the phrase "The Consti/tution is a Docu/ment" becuase of the word fragements "t/it" and "c/um".

      February 13, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Choose the option to VIEW SOURCE in your web browser.
      You'll see hot LinCA coded their post to confuse the word filter.
      All the naughty words are broken up in the HTML code with ""

      The reply only seems long winded becuase it has been posted many, many times for lots of other commenters with a persecution complex.
      It's nothing personal – just CNN's word filter.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • ME II

      Hmm.... the persecution complex has reached new heights.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • KMW

      It is a sad state of affairs when people have to resort to profanity to make their points. They do not have a good command of the English language and this is why they have to resort to this kind of language. I love to write and find it extremely boring to have to read someone's vulgarity. I pity them and would suggest they take either English/writing courses.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You can report profanity as abuse by hitting the report abuse link on each response. Most of those comments get reviewed and deleted.
      You can't even use the word const!tutional because there is a t!t in it.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot


      Stuck in your priggishness, you just don't get it do you?

      LinCA's hints about tricky words which are flagged by the WordPress automatic filter is not just a flagrant display of cussing. Because of this filter we cannot (without html tricks) say, 'sho.oter' because it has 'ho.oter' within it; or 'sav.age' because it has 'v.ag' in it; or 'gr.apes' because it has 'r.ape' within it... and on an on throughout her list.

      You might thank her for taking the time to help you out with your perceived 'censoring' problem.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      "It is a sad state of affairs when people have to resort to profanity to make their points."

      Welcome to the internet. It may be the most eglatarian thing ever invented.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • KMW

      Frayed Knot,

      Let me break it to you gently. It is a matter of good taste which obviously you do not have. I pity you. You are only displaying your ignorance. Please do not respond with profanity as you will just prove my point.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Akira

      LinCA was trying to help you.
      Acting indignant about it implies you merely wanted to make some baseless complaint about being censored.
      It is not true, but if you care to persist in the notion that CNN is somehow persecuting Catholics, laid false by the 20 plus stories directly pertaining to Catholicism, that is up to you.
      Happy Ash Wenesday? That is a new salutation.
      Same to you.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • KMW


      II have just come from Mass as it is Ash Wednesday. The priest told us to forgive. I will start with you.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • ..

      KMW: and precisely what have I done to you, based on my post, that I need to be forgiven for?
      I hope you are giving up hubris for Lent.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Saraswati


      Please reread this whole thread. LinCA was just trying to help you out with an explanation and you seem to have misunderstood.

      February 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "I obviously have hit a nerve. To send such a long-winded reply must mean you are very, very upset."
      I'm not upset in the least. Why would I be upset with you running into problems with the word filter on this site?

      May I suggest that you reread my post above and try to understand what I'm telling you? Try not to read too far ahead, and try not to get distracted by the profanity, as it serves a purpose.

      You said, "Have a lovely rest of the day."
      Same to you.

      You said, "I neglected to mention that your reply was printed."
      Good. May I suggest you keep it handy for the next time you run into a problem with the censoring on this blog. It may help you find the problematic word fragment.

      You said, "I think your theory is a bit off, don't you think?"
      I know my "theory" is spot on. That you are unable to comprehend it is hardly my problem, don't you think?

      February 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      Clearly, KMW knows nothing of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not required when a wrong has not been done to you (as everyone in this thread has patiently tried to point out).

      The fact that KMW mentions that someone is angry, yet cannot see the reality that LinCa was trying to be of as sistance (as everyone in this thread has patiently tried to point out), and continues to act as if he/she has been wronged (with a self-righteous indignation...on Ash Wednesday), indicates the anger issue is internal.

      KMW, I want to thank you. I have not seen you post on this blog...but you also confirm for me, by your obstinance, that Christians/Catholics have nothing to offer the world despite all their claims.

      That you are too prideful to recognize that, in this thread, no one had it out for you, also confirms for me that your life has not been influenced by your God....clearly, you have been deeply influenced by your Church (when one considers the RCC's clas sic embittered arrogance).

      Perhaps you should head back to the chapel tomorrow for Ash Thursday and try again regarding the basic tennants of your scripture, and the rumored morality of your Church.

      February 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  11. KMW

    To all CNN readers.

    Today is Ash Wednesday. I wish you a wonderful Ash Wednesday. Remember to get your ashes as I intend to do so.

    February 13, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • End Religion

      Blow it out yer ash!

      February 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  12. KMW


    Could you please tell me who .. is? Are they reporting for you or are they just a regular reader? I find some of his/her comments very, very offensive and extremely anti-Catholic. Would you let them make negative comments about Jewish or Muslim religions? Those religions would never, ever tolerate the hateful, bigoted remarks that are directed toward my religion, the Roman Catholic Church. I would love a response from you CNN.

    February 13, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • LinCA


      Get a clue (I'd say "fucking clue", but I bet you'd be offended). You're on an unmoderated blog. If you take offense, you have the option to leave.

      February 13, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • KMW


      You are the lowest common denominator human beings walking the face of earth. I bet you are uneducated and ugly!!! You are a disgrace to the human race!!!

      February 13, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You'll get no response from CNN.
      This is a public message board on which anybody can say anything.
      If you've an issue wtih a particular comment, you can click the "Report Abuse" link.
      If enough others do the same, the post will be removed.
      There are plenty of jerks around here – and trust me, they're just as willing to spew vitriol about Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Atheists, or anybody else for that matter.
      Some folk revel in being sh1t disturbers.

      February 13, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • LinCA


      You said, "You are the lowest common denominator human beings walking the face of earth. I bet you are uneducated and ugly!!! You are a disgrace to the human race!!!"
      Why the hostility? Did I call you names? Did I say anything that wasn't true?

      Again, if you can't handle the comments, I suggest you don't scroll down this far.

      February 13, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • A Frayed Knot


      You are the quintessence of a hidebound, bone-headed simpleton.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      p.s. and your physiognomy is besmirched with fuliginosity.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot


      No supercilious retort from you?

      You t.itillate my risibility!

      February 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • ..

      I call out obvious assholes here. Answer your phone.

      February 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  13. lm

    Who will be the next Catholic leader? Seriously? According to the Bible and the First Commandment – God is supposed to be the Leader...of all the Christians. Just sayin...

    February 13, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  14. lol??

    First grade children" Johnny, I wannna be a fireman. Billy, I wanna be a janitor. Bobby, I wanna be a policeman. Stevie, I wanna be pope. Barrack, I wanna be prezidente. ".........OOooohhhh, ooooh.

    February 13, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • ..

      lol??: "I want to be an asshole" Congrats! You're there!

      February 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  15. Cat Holic

    Joe Paterno should have been pope if he was alive now. But God wisely removed him from contention.

    February 13, 2013 at 9:05 am |
  16. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    February 13, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  17. nigel6

    That only a male is eligible shows just how irrelevant the papacy is.

    February 13, 2013 at 2:08 am |
    • Jethro of Nazareth

      They don't want to alter the man-dresses.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • ..

      And if they allowed women to be ordained, there would be a significant drop in the priestly ritual rape of children.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:18 am |
    • I wonder


      Perhaps, but believe it or not, there are some quite loony women out there too.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:22 am |
    • Satan: the dyslexic Santa

      Actually, if they were to hire some smokin' hotties as priests and get them priest garments from Fredericks of Hollywood, any rumors of scorching hot priests molesting young men, well, the number of Catholics would double and there would be lines going out the door.

      They woldn't be good Catholics, but as long as they paid, the Vatican would be okay with it.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:24 am |
  18. Guest

    It is sad that religious bigots are using this momentous occasion for hate rhetoric.
    There are good & bad people in every type of group.
    No particular group has a monopoly of users who take advantage of others.
    Hate speech is simply wrong & the people who do it are sicker than those they mock or deride.
    Spouting insults as if it was still a hundred years earlier, when there were actual laws codifying discrimination against Catholics is just as bad as pulling on white hoods, totally disgusting.
    IMHO that behavior undermines any claim of intelligence or superiority by that person
    This is a time for intelligent questions about something that has not happened before in our lifetimes.
    Now.... Does anyone know of a prospective candidate they did not name in the article? What do you know about them? Why would you consider they are a prospect? Are there any Americans that would be considered?
    Discussion is a good way to learn, so let's start one.

    February 13, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • End Religion

      Colbert seems like a good choice, you idiot.

      February 13, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • ..

      Pompous little shit, aren't you, Peabody?

      February 13, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • Guest

      When you resort to insults that means you lack the ability to have an intelligent dialog, Hmmm. Colbert may very well be a good choice; but I was asking seriously if there are other good choices, for the sake of having a discussion among the adults. It is a pity you respond this way (sigh).

      February 13, 2013 at 2:28 am |
  19. Terrible_Ted

    So many comments from the atheist side, on this article. The greatest deception, Satan pulled over on mankind, was convincing people that he doesn't exsist.

    February 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Sammy Z

      And what did Jesus do?

      February 13, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Check


      Is English not your first language?
      Are you in the 5th grade?

      Those conditions could perhaps allow you a bit of leeway for sounding nearly illiterate; but your fantasy is ridiculous in any case.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      KANG: We have no devil, Kirk. But we understand the habits of yours.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • Hubert
      February 13, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Satan: the dyslexic Santa

      I just love Christians. Satan and demons and hell, oh my!

      And they believe it! That's what just amazes me. They actually believe it.

      February 13, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  20. montyross

    really? nambla loves the colbert, wheres the change?

    February 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • ..

      Wha.....? Were you dropped a lot as a baby? Do you even know who Stephen Colbert IS?

      February 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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.