March 4th, 2013
10:27 AM ET

Cardinals meet Monday; could set date to elect new pope

From Richard Allen Greene and Mark Morgenstein, CNN

Rome (CNN) - The process of picking a new pope was one step closer to starting on Monday, as more than 140 Catholic cardinals began a meeting at the Vatican.

The cardinals gathered on Monday morning, but haven't yet decided when the conclave to select Pope Benedict XVI's successor will start, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters.

"It's on the table, but no decision has been reached," Lombardi said.

The General Congregations meeting is a key step before the conclave, when all cardinals under age 80 meet at the Vatican to vote for the next pope.

Lombardi said 142 cardinals attended Monday morning's session. Of that group, 103 were cardinal electors who will choose the next pope. Twelve cardinal electors have not yet arrived in Rome, but were expected to arrive later Monday and Tuesday, he said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 8, 2013 at 7:43 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!

      March 8, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie.

      March 8, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  2. clarity

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill were not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    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.

    March 7, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • midwest rail

      Interesting that when believers spam with bible verses, they are called out loudly – this is no different.

      March 7, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  3. Austin

    I don't bluff. I have an email that does not have my last name or address involved. What are you gonna do hack my email? Tom Tom, why you up here top thread? You call me a Poe and back down . I have anonymous email. So whatever dude, you talk about psychosis, and I laugh, because when I had the cat vision I was scratching ,y head and wondering about my own self haha, Then they were revolving around scripture and started catching on and opening up. But I write emmdown, so I can have my own clarity and not b.s.

    March 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • .

      What in the hell are you babbling about, Austin? As you can see, Tom Tom isn't even ON this blog...right now, psychotic is exactly how you appear. And no one wants your email address. Nobody.

      March 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Wow. This is almost like Congress. They are meeting to determine when they will have a meeting.

    Realistically, they are looking at the fact that a number of Cardinals will not be attending because of the negative publicity associated with them. There will always be the question "Did so-and-so vote for the guy who won or for someone else?" So by staying away from the Conclave, there will be a little less controversy over their positions.

    March 5, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  5. End Religion

    Will they also choose new curtains, shutters and bedding during the meeting? Do they help the new Pope pick out his new dresses and spangled slippers?

    March 5, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • ronvan

      QUIT being so sarcastic! BUT, it does bring up some interesting questions. Bottom line, for me, is who cares?

      March 6, 2013 at 6:32 am |
  6. ronvan

    It is easy to "demand" proof when you know none can be provided! Once again I say, "faith & beleif"! BOTH sides can use these two words to expouse their opinion. I DO beleive and have faith in my God and savior! However, I do not forget the fact that ALL religious books have been written, re written, stories embellished, changed, ommitted, etc., by humans, and that, as we all know, are not perfect! Interpretation by those writting, during their time in history, can be far different than what we "see" and interpret today. Is there ANY religion that does not have skeletons in the closet? Is there ANY religious book (s) that lay claim to be the "one & only, original"? WHY are there so many on going scandals in religions, IF they are teaching the "true" religion? As in history, religion, will continue to be argued over until all of us are long gone!

    March 5, 2013 at 6:40 am |
  7. Faithful59

    If I want to know about a historic event, I want to speak to someone who was there. If that is not possible, I want to hear from someone who alive at the time or close to it. The extant manuscripts of the writings of the 1st century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus include references to Jesus and the origins of Christianity.[1][2] Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to Jesus in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18.[1][3] and an account of Jesus's death as presided over by Pilot.

    Almost all modern scholars consider the reference in Book 18, Chapter 5, 2 of the Antiquities to the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist to also be authentic.[9][10][11]

    March 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  8. Bootyfunk

    going to the Vatican is like going to the Ren. Faire, except the people really really believe they're living in the Dark Ages.

    March 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Felix Sinclair

      At least you can see b00bs at the Renaissance Fair.

      March 6, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  9. Bootyfunk

    must be difficult to pick the next head child molester.

    March 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • sam

      I thought god ultimately picked him, what's all this election nonsense?

      March 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      then god chose wrong last time.

      March 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • sam

      So much for being infallible.

      Oh wait....

      March 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Chris

      Oh bottyfunk, pick the next child.., ooooh that sooo funny. My gosh how many hours did you sit back to think that one up my boy?

      March 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  10. Matt

    Yay! This idiotic religious foundation gets to vote in another quack as its chieftain!

    March 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • AB

      CC, what about the things we don't see?

      March 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  11. Reality

    What a waste of time, money and server space as the papacy has no historical or theological foundation.

    Did this simple preacher man, an illiterate rabbi at best, establish a church? No he did not based on the lack of historical and theological proof e.g. "Thou art Peter" (Matt 16: 18-19) passage only appears in one gospel and therefore its lacks any attestation verification.

    Matthew, whomever he was, should therefore be considered a part founder/"necessary accessory" of the Catholic Church, as was Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James his brother, Mary Magdelene, Mary, Joseph and another father if you believe the mamzer stories, the Apostles and Pilate. It was a team effort with Pilate being the strangest "necessary accessory".

    See also http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb073.html and Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 197-198, " The passage (Matt 16: 18) was put into the mouth of Jesus by Peter himself or his followers and subsequently predated by Matthew into the life of Jesus. It is inauthentic."

    March 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      I believe the bible is an accurate historical account of the people of Israel and the surrounding nations. Folks won't question their world history book editors, but they will question God. It is OK though, the LORD Who created all things we see, is in charge whether people acknowledge Him or not...

      March 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot


      The Bible is a book which includes *some* history of primitive Hebrew culture, and *some* good advice for practical, beneficial human behavior; but mostly it is a compilation of ancient Middle Eastern historical fiction, myth, legend, superst.ition and fantasy.

      The NT is a collection of the writings of various 1st century evangelists who were promoting their new offshoot religion.

      There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings and events in that book.

      March 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bible is full of inaccuracies. it mixes history with myth. for instance, there is no evidence of a huge exodus of jews from isreal. and people do question history - but there's evidence/proof to back up claims. the bible has zero evidence, zero proof. people questions history books all the time - you just have to have evidence to back up your claim. that's the big difference with the bible. no evidence, just silly children's stories. there are talking donkeys and talking snakes in the bible. also unicorns, dragons and satyrs. and you believe that drivel?

      there is no god, whether you believe in him or not. your invisible sky fairy is going away - education and the internet are killing him. goodbye, sky fairy.

      March 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "the bible has zero evidence, zero proof."

      Careful with those absolutes, mostly because you are incorrect.

      March 4, 2013 at 4:55 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.