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February 18th, 2013
09:55 AM ET

Could Pope Benedict be put on trial?

(CNN)–Pope Benedict XVI's resignation brings calls for his prosecution. CNN's Nic Robertson investigates the claims.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Courts • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (327 Responses)
  1. simplyput

    If anyone thinks this retirement isn't partially due to the attempted rewriting of the nativity, they are naive.

    February 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      I truly enjoy the arrogance and hubris of people like Live4Him, Chad, and Topher who claim that 99.9999% of the trained expert scientists in their fields are wrong, and that they, with absolutely no scientific background, training, or experience, are dead sure they are right.

      It's very funny stuff!

      February 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  2. EX catholic

    Are you kidding me? Really, really people who can be so dense? He is already on Trial!

    Now, earthly Authorities, Governments and Legal Systems will no try him for IDOLATRY but God will. Because IDOLATRY is a SIN, it is NOT a Religion. Idolatry carries with it and within itself many other well known Sins, Perversions and consequences.

    February 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Ex catholic,
      "earthly Authorities...will no try him for IDOLATRY but God will."

      What is your verified evidence that this will happen?

      (hint: quotes about the fantasies and supersti-tions of old Middle Eastern Hebrew men will not suffice)

      February 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • TROLL ALERT

      AvdBerg 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 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  3. justice

    only the naive will believe this pope did anything to help victims and families. The man's a con artist as the bishops and cardinals are. How else could they have built so much wealth, robbing and conniving. Watch their priests hang around nursing homes trying to convince those near death to donate some of the children's inheritance to them.

    February 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  4. justice

    the pope did nothing to help victims. Remember cardinal law?? He protected hi. Also protected the other priests. Once in a while when a community was caught angry at a pedo priest, they cut deals with the priest. They 'defrocked', not cut retirement or removed the priest from children. And how many did the pope defrock? almost none by comparison the volumes of abuse.

    February 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  5. justice

    the worst crimes were the cover ups by the pope, cardinals and bishops. Many lives destroyed, some children later committed suicide.

    I hope they prosecute the pope, bishops and cardinals.

    February 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  6. bryan

    i blame the Romans, i mean what have they ever done for us?

    February 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • G to the T

      Aqueducts?

      February 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  7. Mark

    Obviously
    Faith is the admission that you have absolutely nbo evidence at all for what you believe

    That won't get you any closer to truth, though.

    February 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • now now now

      Do you have faith you will see tomorrow?

      February 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • gotta start somewhere

      Start at FAITH

      February 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      actually it will, if you reject baseless claims as being "true" you will be in a better position to try and determine what is indeed true.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Actually

      Gotta start at facts. Faith is starting at pure fantasy then developing shields against all contrary evidence.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "Do you have faith you will see tomorrow?"

      No, I have fact that tomorrow will occur based on millions upon millions of previous days experienced by this planet. I expect to see tomorrow myself but I have no "faith" that I will for anything could happen to me to prevent it like a car crash or unknown illness as it is preventing tens of thousands of people who are alive right now but will not be tomorrow morning.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • now now now

      Have you seen a toddler taking his first steps? It has never walked before, it does not really know what it is to stand on his own feet. He starts out in faith by making that leap of faith in standing up first.. then taking the next step to walk.

      Faith is like that, YOU and only YOU can make that leap of faith and trust in God. There are millions who have made that leap of faith in God and so can you!!!

      February 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      No faith required, for two reasons.

      1. He/she sees other humans standing and walking, and it is in his/her genetic make-up to walk. No faith required.

      2. You are committing the Fallacy of Equivocation. Two separate definitions of "faith", and the religious version does not fit the child.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • LinCA

      @now now now

      You said, "Have you seen a toddler taking his first steps? It has never walked before, it does not really know what it is to stand on his own feet. He starts out in faith by making that leap of faith in standing up first.. then taking the next step to walk."
      Bullshit. It has nothing to do with faith. A toddler has no concept of faith. It simply sees its parents do it, and is encourage by its parents to do walk.

      You said, "Faith is like that, YOU and only YOU can make that leap of faith and trust in God."
      To keep faith requires one to remain blissfully ignorant. The only reason people believe in gods is because they are indoctrinated to do so. Gods are only different from the Tooth Fairy in that a belief in the Tooth Fairy is discouraged after a child runs out of teeth to trade.

      You said, "There are millions who have made that leap of faith in God and so can you!!!"
      There are millions who have shed the infantile beliefs in imaginary beings, but I somehow doubt you will be able to.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • now now now

      Faith is simply Faith, whether it is a child making that first leap of faith and learn to walk or someone making that leap of faith to trust in God.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • now now now

      LinCA a child is encourage by its parent and an adult like you can be encouraged by a believer like me 🙂

      February 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • LinCA

      @now now now

      You said, "Faith is simply Faith, whether it is a child making that first leap of faith and learn to walk or someone making that leap of faith to trust in God."
      If you are not interested in finding out what really goes on, you can take everything on faith. Faith is simple. No thinking required.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      now now now,

      The toddler is given demostrable evidence that walking on 2 feet is a reality for almost everyone he is around. You are conflating 2 different definitions of "faith". "Evidentiary faith" and "religious faith" in claims are not the same. You are using a common tactic to confuse the issue.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • LinCA

      @now now now

      You said, "child is encourage by its parent and an adult like you can be encouraged by a believer like me"
      I've been encourage by people far smarter than you, yet I shed my infantile beliefs before my age reached double digits. And just like I can't imagine ever believing in the Easter Bunny again, I can't see a belief in gods being very likely.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      "now now now" uses the fallacies of equivocation and false analogy. If what he is saying is true, why must he resort to fallacies?

      February 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • now now now

      The toddler has evidence, it has none, it has never learnt to balance itself on its OWN feet. It really does not know what it feels like and unless it makes that leap of faith to stand up it will never learn to walk... it can be encouraged...but it has to have faith and make that first step on its own. Belief in God is just like that you need to take that first step, people can encourage you but it has to come from within YOU.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Johnny Guitar

      Do you somehow think that repeating fallacies make them true? That the fallacy of Argument from Assertion.

      You have a lot of fallacies on your lips.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • now now now

      JG, I can only encourage you to take that leap of faith, trust in God. Honestly go watch a toddler take his first steps...

      Please do not commit the fallacy of willful blindness.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The toddler has evidence that people walk on their feet, again you are being dishonest in yur argument. Just because the toddler has not done it before does not mean the toddler has no "evidence" that it can be done. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries, if you continue your dishonesty I shall taunt you a second time.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  8. Mark

    Alias, you just espoused a belief. congrats.

    February 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Mark

      Step 1. Shed infantile beliefs. Check.
      Step 2. Use "Reply" function.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  9. darlene

    Does anyone understand and know God??!!

    February 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Alias

      Now you have to tell me which God.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Not in a way that anyone can actually demonstrat, everything else is just a claim.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Altered States

      Not really – except for me. Hah!
      One of the biggest jokes in the Bible is the Book of Revelation. After nearly 2,000 years of study, I don't know of anyone who understands it. So, what is the "Revelation"? "Revelation jumps all over the place in time and reference. Sure, there are those who "claim" to know the interpretation of this book and have written voluminous commentaries on the book, but when it comes "down to it", they really don't know, and are guessing most of the way. So, what good is it and why is it in the Canon?

      At the time of its' writing, few people knew how to read, much less understand what John was writing. So, when claims are made within its' pages that, "all these things must shortly come to pass" and, "every eye shall see the coming of the Son of Man", I'm a little befuddled with these two statements – as anyone would be who is honest with themselves.

      And, is there any wonder why the Pope and his Cardinals, as well as everyone else who is lower down on the "food chain" who works for the RCC sound and act crazy? When they try to attach a literal interpretation to stories like, Noah and the Ark, Jonah and the Great Fish, Adam and Eve and the Serpent in The Garden of Eden, it makes you wonder what planet they are living on. I guess, that's why they keep themselves "locked up" inside their own little enclaves like, the Vatican, old stone castles from the Middle Ages, and various "retreats". Because, on the "street" this crap just doesn't sell.

      February 18, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
  10. darlene

    Does anyone understand God??!!

    February 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Alias

      Any decent sociologist does.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Altered States

      darlene; I thought I just answered that question. Please read the following:

      Not really – except for me. Hah!
      One of the biggest jokes in the Bible is the Book of Revelation. After nearly 2,000 years of study, I don't know of anyone who understands it. So, what is the "Revelation"? "Revelation jumps all over the place in time and reference. Sure, there are those who "claim" to know the interpretation of this book and have written voluminous commentaries on the book, but when it comes "down to it", they really don't know, and are guessing most of the way. So, what good is it and why is it in the Canon?

      At the time of its' writing, few people knew how to read, much less understand what John was writing. So, when claims are made within its' pages that, "all these things must shortly come to pass" and, "every eye shall see the coming of the Son of Man", I'm a little befuddled with these two statements – as anyone would be who is honest with themselves.

      And, is there any wonder why the Pope and his Cardinals, as well as everyone else who is lower down on the "food chain" who works for the RCC sound and act crazy? When they try to attach a literal interpretation to stories like, Noah and the Ark, Jonah and the Great Fish, Adam and Eve and the Serpent in The Garden of Eden, it makes you wonder what planet they are living on. I guess, that's why they keep themselves "locked up" inside their own little enclaves like, the Vatican, old stone castles from the Middle Ages, and various "retreats". Because, on the "street" this crap just doesn't sell.

      February 18, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  11. Mark

    Debate all you want.

    Selfish and selfless are polar opposites.
    Selfish serves only the self while excluding everyone else. Selfless excludes the self entirely.
    Belief serves only the self. Truth serves everyone without regard to the self.
    Belief and truth are polar opposites.

    February 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Obviously

      Faith is the admission that you have absolutely nbo evidence at all for what you believe.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Alias

      I can use the truth to serve my own interests.
      Your arguement fails.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Belief and truth are polar opposites."

      Mark,

      That is a false dicotomy. "Beliefs" can be "true" though not necessarily. The opposite of "true" is "not true".

      February 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Fortunately, we don't live on the poles.

      We live in the middle.

      February 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  12. M.A.D

    Vatican always preferred dead Popes over retired ones, so no charges can be brought against them in court of local or international laws. Smart eeh!

    February 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  13. Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

    It would be fitting to crucify the pope

    February 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Mr Everyman

      Your case of severe mental illness is the object of prayer. A psychiatrist may also be helpful.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Alias

      I do have a soft spot for poetic justice, but unless it was alter boys doing the crucifying I can't support it.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  14. Mr Everyman

    As long as the Pope stays within the 108 acre Vatican, he has sanctuary or diplomatic immunity. If charges are brought to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Pope might be captured like a war crimes fugitive and brought in for trial. He has to have a valid violation of international law brought against him. I do not see how that is possible.

    February 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • .

      He's staying within the confines of Vatican City, where he will be protected. Even with an ICC arrest warrent, as long as he stays there, he's protected.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      There is no where on earth that he will be protected from his guilt, his shame and his knowledge as the leader of the Catholic Church that all their doctrines have been based on lies and deceipt for centuries. He cannot run from the fact that he is a mere human, no better than anyone else, and should not have abused his position of power to conceal the per.verts and pedophiles his Church cherished for so long.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • RCC Hierarchy

      Would probably make sure he doen't get brought to justice. No, not that cup you holiness, the other one!!!

      February 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Obviously

      The supposedly holiest man on the planet needs a sanctuary to hide from prosecution from his crimes? Well doesn't that say it all.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  15. Bootyfunk

    the head child molester retires. what a coward. for protecting child molesters over their abused victims... if there was a christian god, would there be any doubt the pope would burn in hell for that evil? how can this organization even pretend to be good when the protect the worst monsters in the world? in fact, they employ them.

    February 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Zingo

      Considering how Christians constantly violate so many of their own rules, I can only think that heaven is empty if the Christian god actually exists. But there is no chance of that.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      let's not forget how the pope/catholic church has helped spread AIDs/HIV, especially in africa, asia and south america, by telling people NOT to use condoms - it's a sin. sure, he tells them not to have pre-marital s.ex too, but not too many 20-year-olds are going to listen to that. they'll listen when he says don't use condoms though - good job on helping to spread disease world-wide, pope!

      February 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  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 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  17. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Not in the U.S., our wonderful Pres. Bush gave him immunity.

    February 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • ..

      What's hilarious is that Bush can't leave the US because of a warrant for HIS arrest for crimes against humanity.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    February 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Throwing a coin in a fountain and making a wish changes things

      February 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "What happens when the same number of people pray for something as pray against it? How does God decide whose prayer to answer? Does the total number of people praying for or against something matter? How about the righteousness of the supplicants? Are positive prayers answered more frequently than negative ones? Does God take the positive ones and Satan the negative? Does the intensity of the praying have any effect on the outcome? Does the length of time one devotes to praying have any effect on the frequency with which one's prayers are answered? Do the words and phrases used in the prayer - either positive or negative - have any bearing on the success rate? Does the nature of the thing or things prayed for have any bearing on the prayer's success rate - either positive or negative prayers? Why or why not??" Robert A. Baker, "Prayer Wars" Skeptical Briefs..

      February 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions cause change; prayer wastes valuable time.

      unclasp your hands, get up off your knees, think for yourself, go outside and put those hands to use helping your brothers and sisters.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Chris

      Exactly. How many atheist homeless shelters are there? Hospitals? Soup kitchens? Schools? National and international aid organizations to help the poor, sick, downtrodden? Most of these were and are founded almost exclusively by Christians. The non-praying folks don't seem to be the ones taking much action, but rather those who pray.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • End Religion

      Chris, nip this in the bud and go look into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Largest charity. Atheist. You know the drill.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  19. just wondering

    The handle is just wondering and I'm still just wondering how an author can plagiarize his own works?

    February 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • You are a thief

      You did not invent the original "war is not healthy for children and other living things" slogan in 1967, you deluded nincompoop, and it doesn't matter which handle you lie under; we know it's the same tangle-brained nut.

      You are just so astoundingly dishonest. Now lie to us again about atheists being liars. Don't forget to change handles again.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • just wondering

      How do you know that?

      February 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • just wondering

      Wrong opinion is not proof.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      hahaha, you got called out!

      February 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • You are a thief

      Are you crazy enough to think you arethe person who invented "war is not healthy for children and other living things?" Are you lying about it, or are you genuinely insane enough to claim other people's work as your own?

      You may as well say you were the first man on the moon.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • just wondering

      Still no proof?
      Are you crazy enough to think that I am not?
      Looks like like your false accusation and you loose.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • clarity

      Speaking of plagiarism, did you know that the gospel stories look so oddly like earlier pagan stories that the best the early Christian apologists could come up with as an excuse was that the devil had committed plagiarism by anticipation; diabolical mimicry; that is he planned in advance the earlier fake stories to occur before the real stories. okee dokeel; wink wink.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      clarity, good point (and direction change!)

      want to read about the garden of eden before the bible stole the story? check out the epic of gilgamesh.
      the jesus myth is based on earlier fables too. read about mitra, dionysus, horus and others.

      nothing original...

      February 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Just wanderin
      You are not Lorraine Schneider, who died November 6, 1972. She created the slogan, and you are not her. Theif.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • ..

      It was written by WOMEN, and the women are DEAD, you fucking dishonest cunt.

      February 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • just wondering

      The slogan/poster was a compilation from a session including many of us and many ideas back in the day. Nice try on the bogus proof though.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • You are a thief

      You are just so dishonest it is truly hilarious. A Christian liar who accuses all atheists of lying.

      You crack me up!

      February 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • ..

      Uh, no it wasn't, and no you didn't...pick up a book once in a while...oh, maybe like a fucking biography.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      just lying
      The poster and the logo were created by Lorraine Schneider.
      The rest of the organization was a compilation of ideas, but that one idea, poster and logo were all Lorraine Scneider, and since she's been dead for forty years, you are a liar.

      February 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • just wondering

      You can be wrong if you want to be.

      February 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You certainly are proof of that, just stupid.

      February 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  20. M.A.D

    yes, but if he ever comes of out Vatican, which I doubt.

    February 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
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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.