Humble pope has complicated past
Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio draws the cross on the forehead of a parishioner on Ash Wednesday in Buenos Aires.
March 15th, 2013
11:50 AM ET

Humble pope has complicated past

(CNN) - Pope Francis is being painted as a humble and simple man, but his past is tinged with controversy surrounding topics as sensitive as gay marriage and political atrocities.

Questions linger about Francis' actions during the nation's dark days: the so-called Dirty War, when Argentina was ruled by dictators. The gay marriage issue came to the forefront during Francis' political fight with Argentina's president.

The conservative pontiff may hold firm on some issues, experts say, but he may be flexible on others.

"If you think that (Francis) isn't going to change anything, you're wrong," said Gustavo Girard, a retired doctor who knew Francis during his early years in the priesthood. "But is he going to approve of gay marriage tomorrow? No."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Argentina • Catholic Church • Pope • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (548 Responses)
  1. His panic

    They are in a state of total Panic, he's panicking!

    March 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      Who.......................Chad / Rachel

      March 19, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      Who..........................Douglas / pervert alert / Answerman?

      March 19, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • ******************

      Who...........................Topher / Austin ?

      March 19, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


      March 19, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      rapture on is way on be nice

      March 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


      March 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
  2. creight frazee

    up to I looked at the draft which had said $7400, I accept that my mother in law was like they say realy erning money part time at there computar.. there moms best frend started doing this less than eight months and just now repaid the morgage on their mini mansion and bought Renault 4. I went here........... BIT40. ℂOℳ

    March 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  3. sam strickland

    The new mafia chief has been elected.ON with the roman taliban and uterine control FOREVER.

    March 18, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  4. Doc Vestibule

    He's a complicated man and noone understands him but his woma... oh wait.
    That Pope is a bad mutha...

    March 18, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  5. EX catholic

    They all have an Idolater's past! The name of this blog ought to be change to the RCC Blog!

    March 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  6. Jorge

    Hey lady hold my cup, hell with pope hood, I am going to kiss you here, and ask right here WILL YOU MARRY ME?

    March 17, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  7. Reality

    Dear Abrahamics like Francis I ,

    Bringing you into the 21st century:

    o "Abrahamics" like yourself believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    March 17, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • The real Tom

      Does Reality ever shut up?

      March 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  8. %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    On this thread read chad was a poe .

    Chad are you a POE ???

    March 17, 2013 at 7:02 am |
    • End Religion

      in English: cat, hat; in French, chad's a poe. It really is quite obvious, don't you know?

      March 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      Hearing from the poe himself would be NICE ?

      March 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  9. The real Chad

    In demon-inspired hindu pointillism dreams of cats, dead and otherwise, homosexual coitus, and dried fruit, Borde-Guth-Vilenkin (best understood in the context of Tinker-Evers-Chance) comes at last, AT LONG LAST, with distinct, well-defined, sounds of dripping water and other signs of the One True Cross. Biblical exegesis: not hind Gradualism, but Punctuated Equilibrium, and nail-punctured hands, point (not hind pointillism) into the minds of the very best scientists of our age to show the very thing that they are truly terrified of THOUGH THEY DO NOT SAY IT even quietly to themselves when they are alone with thoughts so much like my own (they do not admit it). The Beginning and the crabbed signature of the God of Israel. And The Son that Also Rises.

    March 16, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Baphomet

      Pure genius satire. I clap for you mam/sir.

      March 17, 2013 at 12:08 am |
  10. Correctlycenter

    Atheists need the fiction of evolution and long winded scientific nonsense, and you tube drama to spread their lies. Christians rely on the absolute truth contained in God's word...

    March 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • clarity

      Actually, I don't need either one. All that is necessary is a critical look at the evidence and lack thereof surrounding the core claims of Christianity.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • End Religion

      The bible is complete fiction. Your god doesn't exist.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      You appear to have a disdain for "scientific nonsense" and yet you use the internet; I'll wager that you use a cellphone, watch TV, use GPS, drive a car, have flown in a plane, etc. etc. So it's only the science that disproves your superstitions that you really have a problem with.

      March 16, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Hilarious. CC, you're a hoot.

      Do you drive a car? Use a washing machine? A phone?

      I suppose you think the Higgs boson is just "nonsense", too, don't you, you simpleton?

      March 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • genetic brain


      March 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • lol??

      Are the boson safe?? Don't ferget the bison story.

      March 16, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • lol??

      Did the bison need catalytic converters?? You coulda helped em keep warm and not drag all that fur around. They coulda ate less and saved the planet.

      March 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • der

      no we worship science especially because it divorces us from God. what do you mean bison? i thought they were nearly extinct.

      March 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • ..

      You make no fucking sense whatsoever, lol??. Is English not your native language?

      March 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Satan's can opener

      You wouldn't know truth, absolute or otherwise, if it bit you in the a.ss.

      March 18, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  11. End Religion

    Christian fundamentalists claim Loch Ness Monster is evidence against Evolution. Seriously.

    March 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • clarity

      omg – that's too much. but one time, maybe it was you End – posted the video of the very prehistoric-looking fish/shark and I started wondering if there might be a related fresh-water version of that thing that people actually saw out there; lol.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • lol??

      Would you say that it was fundamental when Lazarus walked out of his tomb?? Now there's some fast evolutin'!! Standard Christian doctrine. Were y'all born yesterday??

      March 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • clarity

      Remember lol??, that's in the part of the Christian story that no one has been able to verify yet to date.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      I think that's "science" who keeps posting the prehistoric fish video.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • clarity

      I guess a trout is a kind of a salmon. I thought I had stumbled onto something here.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Funny – nice find. They may not all believe in Nessie, but it generally takes some similar mental gymnastics to pull off the young earth world view.

      March 18, 2013 at 8:49 am |
  12. clarity

    I love it! lol. Best Answer chosen by voters on Yahoo Answers to the question:

    "Did Jesus, Paul and St. Peter really exist?"

    Best Answer – Chosen by Voters (between lines below):

    The biblical Jesus was a composit, fictional character created by the writers from the stories of several real historical persons being put together to create the composit biblical Jesus. The legendary King Arthur and Robin Hood characters were created the same way. The first century Jewish historians Josephus and Philo of Alexandria traveled throughout Palestine in the first century and wrote about many false messiahs and miracle workers including John the Baptist and James the Just, but NEVER wrote about the biblical Jesus. The closest "evidence" comes from the Talmud story of a Jesus, son of Panther (Yeshu ben Pantera) who was arrested by the Sanhedrin, tried and convicted of sorcery and leading the Jewish people astray, and then sentenced to death by stoning. After being executed on the eve of the Passover his body was displayed by being hanged on a tree. The Book of Acts tells about the biblical Jesus being hanged on a tree and then later tells of his followers taking his body down from a tree. It is quite likely that the story of Jesus, son of Pantera was combined with other stories to create the biblical Jesus. BTW, the tombstone for Pantera is now located in a museum in Germany.

    Shimon/Peter may or may not have existed. Archaeologists found a tomb on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem with his name, but no positive evidence to make a connection.

    The first evidence of Saul/Paul came from the first new testament written by Marcion of Sinope in 140 CE about someone called Isu Chrestos. That first new testament had one gospel called the Euangelion and 10 epistles supposedly from Saul/Paul.

    P.S. Archaeological evidence has revealed that Nazareth was NOT a small Jewish village in the early first century, but was instead a Roman military camp, so there could not have been any Jesus of Nazareth, unless he was somehow connected with the Roman military.

    Now the first thing that struck me about this was this was this claim about Josephus not writing about biblical Jesus. Obviously Josephus or whoever tampered with Josephus did write about a Jesus, but I guess this responder is saying there was nothing in what Josephus said that would indicate that it was the Biblical Jesus. That is still odd to me because I thought Josephus (or whoever tampered with Josephus) wrote about Jesus' death. But I am surprised this is the answer with the best score on there. There were not many replies.

    March 16, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • lol??

      C'mon Clare, you know about Roman hands.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • clarity

      Well you know everywhere you turn with the core story and go outward from it, there seems to be just as much claim of tampering with writings as there is for the claims of the writings themselves.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  13. herbie

    herbie must be a legend the way tom tom holds him in awe even though no one named herbie posts.

    March 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • AB

      There is no Herbie.

      March 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • herbie

      Which makes tom tom all the more desperately odd doesn't it. I already knew there was no herbie.

      March 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Methinks thou doth protest too much.

      Herbie is a case of arrested development. He is mad as hell that his god didn't give him any more brain power than a catfish.

      He posts under dozens of names. One can always spot the idiot–just find the most asinine, poorly written post in any article. That's herbie. Of course, he'll say it's not him. Who'd admit to being that moronic?

      March 17, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi prayerbot.

      March 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      Amen! Atheism/humanism/totalitarianism/communism leads to evil. Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, many of the Roman Emperors hated Christians and replaced God with themselves and became tyranical murderers. No matter what ridiculous godless, vulgar you tube nonsense and arrogant posts you contend with here, know that God loves you and always provides for the righteous...

      March 16, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • AB

      God kills babies and puppies.

      March 16, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • 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 17, 2013 at 10:21 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 17, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  15. Bootyfunk

    i was hoping for a black lesbian pope.

    March 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Two out of three is not bad. . .

      March 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
  16. SAAB

    more your follow 2000-year-old books, more your destroy yourself. Plain and simple.

    March 16, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • lol??

      Right, after a half mil years of trollin' you finally figured out what a book is. Yer at the pinnacle. However Pipe sayz to use latex where yer at.

      March 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • ..

      Go drown yourself, ya Las Vegas skank.

      March 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • lol??

      EEEeewww, Mack the Shank is back in town.

      March 16, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • .

      How sad that after a half a million troll posts lol?? hasn't grasped basic spelling and syntax yet.

      March 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  17. Correctlycenter

    Psalm 8:9: " O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is Your name throughout the earth!"

    Thank you LORD for all blessings, provision, love, mercy, forgiveness and grace!

    March 16, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • 404 Error

      Message undeliverable. Ent'ity unknown/unverifiable.

      March 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • AB

      And fuck you Lord for all grief, pain and suffering.

      March 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • clarity

      Lol@ 404 Error.

      March 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Time for me to go, but remember, I'll be back later under a different name.

    March 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • .

      Stolen, of course. Go kill yourself. Please.

      March 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  19. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son


    So much for clarity.

    March 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not my post. Poor little troll. All butthurt.

      March 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    The CNN Belief Blog fvcktards are incapable of accepting their ongoing slide into irrelevancy.

    Down, down, down they go. 40 responses here, 60 there... Gurgle, gurgle, schlooop. It used to take two flushes to send 'em down. Anyone remember the good ol' days of two, three and four thousand postings to a story?

    Now there lucky to get one or two hundred.

    March 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Troll, you are so stupid. No one is fooled by your post. Anyone who's read here for more than a week knows damn well that I don't fvck up "their" and "there." Go get your GED before you pull your stunt again, dummy.

      March 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, this blog is still better than This Just In, Tom, Tom. That one used to have MUCH more traffic than it does now. I used to comment there a lot. There is a person who has made it his stated goal to close down the comment sections of CNN blogs. He's well on his way to making that happen.

      March 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • clarity

      Yeah – it was pretty obvious someone stole your handle again Tom.

      March 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Akira

      And this fucking shit is exactly why these blogs are the pits. Happy, you little asshole?

      March 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The Belief Blog needs to post a story along the lines of "New Cowardly War Mongering Pope is really a Flaming Flamenco Cross Dresser"

      5,000 responses guaranteed.

      March 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Must be a case of arrested development. The toddler troll is all upset because it lost the argument and got pwnd.

      Based on the sh!tty writing, it's just another herbie wannabe under yet another name.

      Gutless wonder.

      March 16, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Let's all watch the angry atheists practice their righteous indignation.

      March 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      cusscusscuss (why these blogs are the pits) cusscuss

      Yep. That's why they are, alrighty.

      March 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • herbie

      there is no herbie

      March 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Sure there is. You just change your name. You can't even disguise your sh!tty writing. You've had so many names here everyone's forgotten who you were, mostly because what you say is so forgettable.

      March 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6
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.