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My Faith: Why I’m going back to church for Good Friday
Brian Spadora chose son William's middle name: Ignatius, after the saint.
March 28th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My Faith: Why I’m going back to church for Good Friday

Editor’s note: Brian Spadora lives and writes in New Jersey, where he attends Seton Hall University School of Law. Follow him on Twitter at @brianspadora.

By Brian Spadora, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Like many Catholics my age, I am Catholic in name only. I went to Mass every week as a kid and attended a Jesuit high school and college. My wife and I married in a Catholic church, and both of our children were baptized. But I haven’t been a churchgoer since I became too old for my mother to coerce me into a pew.

I haven’t even made the effort to attend Mass twice a year like “Christmas and Easter Catholics.” For my entire adult life, my Catholic faith has been a sort of cultural vestige, like the Italian, Irish and Slovak ethnic heritage from which I’m generations removed.

Despite this, this month I decided I am returning to the church. This turn of events is not quite as miraculous as the multiplication of loaves and fishes, but it’s pretty surprising. It began, innocently enough, with a half-serious promise to my devout Catholic mother.

When Pope Benedict XVI announced last month that he would step down from the papacy on February 28, I emailed my mother, “If they choose a Jesuit pope, I promise to go to Mass at least once every month.”

My irreligious lifestyle felt safe. There had never been a Jesuit pope, and the oddsmakers didn’t include any Jesuits among their favorites to succeed Pope Benedict. I didn’t give the promise too much thought; it was somewhere between wishful thinking and “when pigs fly.”

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Then, along with the rest of the world, I heard the announcement that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became Pope Francis, the 266th pope – and the first Jesuit.

I was in the car when I heard the news, and I literally cheered aloud. While I had long ago left the church behind, my regard for the Jesuit order never wavered.

The elevation of a Jesuit to the papacy is enough to do what years of prodding by my own mother couldn’t.

I owe nearly everything I value in my life to Jesuit education. I entered St. Peter’s Preparatory School in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1990 as a rambunctious 14-year-old with authority issues. My four years there upended all my conceptions of religion. St. Peter’s, or “the Prep” as we alums call it, taught me how to be an adult, a friend and a Christian. The Jesuits taught me how to love.

During my junior year, a group of friends and I participated in the school’s retreat program. We spent a weekend with faculty retreat leaders in an old house on the Jersey shore, cooking meals together, laughing and praying. We spoke openly about our joys and our pain, as well. We learned that each of us carried within him a burden that could be lightened only by friendship. Our retreat leaders didn’t need to tell us that relieving the burdens of others was the purpose of Christianity. Instead, they lived that example.

Where my previous religious education had prescribed belief, my Jesuit education encouraged thought. Religion was no longer something that stipulated obedience but a practice that demanded action. The Jesuit leadership of the Prep encouraged us students to be, in the words of former Jesuit Superior General Father Pedro Arrupe, “men for others.”

We were fortunate to attend a school like the Prep, and it wasn’t enough to study hard and get good grades. We had an obligation – to ourselves and to God – to serve one another and our communities. The relationships I made during those years remain the strongest in my life, including with my wife, whom I met when we were 17, while she attended the Prep’s sister school.

This teaching was firmly in line with the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus, as the Jesuits are formally known, in 1540. St. Ignatius had been a Basque soldier, as well as something of a ladies’ man, until his conversion while convalescing after a cannonball shattered his leg. In his writings, most notably in his “Spiritual Exercises,” St. Ignatius espoused a theology based on loving deeds rather than loving thoughts or words. St. Ignatius calls us not merely to worship Christ but to imitate him.

As a teenager, I naturally fell far short of the standard my Jesuit teachers had called me to, and I continue to fall short as an adult.

I grew alienated from the church due to what I perceive to be inflexibility on issues like contraception, homosexuality and the role of women in the church, but I continued to look to the example of service the Jesuits set through institutions like the Jesuit Refugee Service.

In times of crisis, I’ve turned to contemporary Jesuit writers, particularly Father James Martin. Although I left the church, the Jesuits never left me.

I’ve remained close to the Prep and the Jesuits whose instruction was so valuable to me. When my son, William, was baptized in 2008, the ceremony was held in the Prep’s chapel. The school’s president, Father Robert Reiser, once my teacher and now a treasured friend, was the priest. My closest high school friend, Michael Zakhar, was the godfather. My wife, Tara, and I chose William’s first name together, but she allowed me to choose his middle name: Ignatius.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Now there is no longer the church I left and the Jesuits I embrace but a church led by a Jesuit.

I know the church won’t transform immediately into the type of institution I’d like it to me. It would be unreasonable and selfish for me to expect otherwise.

As a cardinal, Francis expressed conservative views like his opposition to adoptions by homosexuals, a view with which I disagree assiduously. On the other hand, he admonished an audience of Argentinian priests for forgetting the church’s obligations to society’s most vulnerable.

“Jesus teaches us another way,” he said. “Go out. Go out and share your testimony; go out and interact with your brothers; go out and share; go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.”

Francis seems intent on refocusing the church toward its duties to serve those in need.

So on Good Friday, I’ll be returning to the church with hope that Francis’ example will inspire me - and Catholics in general - as his fellow Jesuits have always inspired me.

I’m keeping my word to my mother and returning to Mass, where I will pray for the strength to follow the example of St. Ignatius, loving others not in word only but in deed.

The opinions expressed are solely those of Brian Spadora.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (652 Responses)
  1. Good Friday

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDkuxEIcpdI&w=640&h=360]

    March 29, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  2. Good Friday

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=360]

    March 29, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  3. HeavenScent

    Happy Good Friday everyone.The day we celebrate the burning of David Koresh. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until David returns.

    March 29, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  4. Reality

    Why all should give their religion the boot:

    Again, facing the Truth:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    March 29, 2013 at 8:23 am |
  5. Reality

    Why I will never return to Christianity:

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    p.4

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    March 29, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • cyprian2

      I always find it interesting,"Reality",how those of your ilk put such faith in the claims and speculations of supposedly educated so-called"scholars"like Crossan,as though his pronouncements are the be-all and end-all of the matter!! Now,in my long years of studying the Christian faith,a wise old theologian whom I respect far more than John Dominic Crossan told me this:"Just because someone has a string of alphabets behind their names doesn't mean they know what they're talking about.They could just be an educated fool"–I've never forgotten that;it has served me well over the years as I've sifted through the various attacks leveled against the Christian faith,both ancient(Celsus)and modern(Dawkins).Mull on those words,and reflect,my friend.You may have been well-versed in"Christianity",or some version thereof,but my question is:How well-aquainted were you with the Risen Christ of the true Christian Faith? One is not a Christian because one says he(or she)is;one is a Christian because one is made so by being born again.Period.I offer you this challenge,"Reality":Prove the origin of The Church WITHOUT The Resurrection,and Mr.Crossan and all those of his ilk will be proven right without a doubt.As they say in the secular/humanist world,"good luck with that".

      March 29, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Reality

      “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today

      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

      It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions

      March 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  6. Hey God

    Why is this Friday gooder than any other Friday? I mean Friday is my favorite day, happy hour and usually the day I got lucky. Even if your 5th day was fowl and fishy I still think all Fridays are swell, TGIF.

    March 29, 2013 at 7:36 am |
    • Prehistoric shark captured on film

      Fishy Fishy

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mneDhOtVEQw&w=640&h=360]

      March 29, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Hey God

      Why create that ugly monster on Friday? Or Asian Carp for that matter, what the hell were you thinking? I am going back to Dionysus until the wine runs out, then switch to the FSM for the spaghetti and beer. I am pretty fickle when it comes to imaginary deities.

      March 29, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Science

      To all creationists do you have a Y

      Human Y Chromosome Much Older

      Than Previously Thought

      Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

      March 29, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  7. Realist

    ********************************************************
    ********************************************************

    ...... The Christian god emanates from the ... EVILbible.com (please visit this website)

    ...... So thank goodness that the Christian ... GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit this website)

    March 29, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  8. Science

    Please share when you go to mass on good Friday and Easter mass......................thanks

    Scientists say they've found a "God particle"

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57574247/scientists-say-theyve-found-a-god-particle/

    Peace

    March 29, 2013 at 7:17 am |
  9. Colin

    Dear Brian and other Christians:

    There are some pretty fundamental objections to Christianity that are hard to get around. Now before some believer rants back at me that I am evil, an “angry atheist”, or going to burn for all eternity in hell, please take the time to actually read and cogitate the objections.

    If you have a disagreement with a point I make, post it. However, if you only object to the fact that I said it, please understand that I do not buy into the whole “it is immoral to be skeptical of the Christian religion” nonsense.

    1. At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.

    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.

    Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.

    2. This ‘all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and spying on the approximately 7 billion human beings on planet Earth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers. He also keeps his telepathic eye on them when they are not praying, so as to know if they think bad thoughts (such as coveting their neighbor) so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.

    3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence, this god will then punish those who doubt him with an eternity burning in hell. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is harbor an honest, reasonable and rational disbelieve in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.

    4. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages.

    5. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

    6. The Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including, genocide, murder, slavery, r.ape and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.

    7. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Christianity does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent we reject Christian morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – we just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.

    Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions. So is telling them it is “wrong to doubt.” This is probably why there is not one passage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant gullibility.

    8. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.

    9. When backed into a corner, Christianity admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. However, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that pixies exist is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Christian based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 359 degrees.

    Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Faith is not belief in a god. It is a mere hope for a god, a wish for a god, no more substantial than the hope for a good future and no more universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

    March 29, 2013 at 6:46 am |
    • cyprian2

      Hey"Colin",what does this long,incoherent,ill-informed rant have to do with the original post? Do you know how many times in the long history of Biblical Theology we've heard these same boring,asinine questions and uneducated assertions over and over again,ad nauseum? Give it a rest,people!! You don't want answers,you want arguments;you're chasing your tails like puppies! These questions and ill thought-out claims have been answered by scholars both secular and religious far more educated than you'll ever be,"Colin";you just don't accept the answers.At least be honest enough to admit that. I mean,even after over 25 years of study,I'm amazed that these same juvenile questions keep coming up! No,"Colin",it's not..."Immoral to be sceptical of the Christian religion"...as you put it;it's just immoral to actually think you are qualified to define it.

      March 29, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • Bill

      Says the guy who can't actually answer any of Colin's questions.

      March 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 29, 2013 at 6:13 am |
    • Science

      Easter is also bad for the teeth ?

      March 29, 2013 at 8:03 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 29, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Jesus, please stop using the word LIAR (especially in the all caps) every one of the thousands of times you post this exact same thing. It just makes you look stupid.

      March 29, 2013 at 9:12 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 29, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • guest

      I certiantly agreee with Science, but Easter is paganistic, not Biblcal.and all the things that go along with it, including lent and hot cross buns. This is not the only thing that is paganistic that Christians practice, Christmas comes from paganism as does halloween, not to mention Sunday worship. There is not one verse in the Bible to suport any of these things, not even Sunday worship. Christians almost always say the apostles changed the Sabbath to Sunday, if so–where is that text? Don't bother with Acts 20:7. Just because Paul met with the people on the first day of the week and broke bread with them did not mean that, that was a holy day. And don't go to Ephesians 2:15, ,because if yo wll read carefully it was the law of ordances that was nailed to the cross, not the Ten Commandments, and if you think the Sabbath was only part of the ordances then perhaps you had better go back and read Exodus 20:8-11, it is right in the heart of the Ten Comandments. If you think the Sabbath was only for the Jews then reread Genesis:2-3 and answer the question: what does it mean that God "blessed the seventh day and sactified it...". If you think the Sabbath was not observed before the Ten Comandments was given to Moses then perhaps you it would be well to go over the account in Exodus 16 where the Israelites were given mana and how they were instructed not to gather it on the Sabbath–six weeks before the Ten Comandments were given to Moses. No, Sunday worship is paganistic, it originated with the early Greek Christian converts that didn't want to be connected with Jews and the Roman persecution of the Jews so they started to worship on Sunday, a pagan day to worship the Sun god, so as no to be noticed.
      Make up your mind, do you want to be a Christian or a pagan-Christian? Do you want to be like the Jews before the Babylon captivity who were always wanting to mix pagan worship with the worship of God?

      March 29, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  11. Apple Bush

    Brian Spadora = Dumb ass

    March 29, 2013 at 5:04 am |
    • brianspadora

      Dad, I thought we agreed you wouldn't comment publicly on my writing!

      March 29, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    "I grew alienated from the church due to what I perceive to be inflexibility on issues like contraception, homosexuality and the role of women in the church" These things have not changed. It's best to stay away until they do. Even if they do change, it won't be because the Church is a democracy of believers. The Church will go on dictating a moral system that you will be expected to take on entirely, and support, though no one will ever ask you to contribute to its formation.

    March 29, 2013 at 4:27 am |
  13. Bootyfunk

    you know to take Zeus, Ra or Odin seriously would be silly. take the next step. realize the Christian god is just as silly as any other. think for yourself - it's not overrated.

    March 29, 2013 at 4:11 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      You know that to take a faceless blogname borne by a person of questionable moral and spiritual judgement is sillier than believing in a god, right?
      I love u as myself

      March 29, 2013 at 7:24 am |
    • Bill

      "I love u as myself"

      I think you are a dick.

      March 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • The real Tom

      That is an insult to di cks everywhere. Take it back.

      March 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  14. Chick-a-dee

    Welcome back, Brian.

    March 29, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • Honey Hush

      Chik
      As soon as his young son is old enough to start asking questions about the unbelievable stories the boy learns at church, Brian will probably be out the door again, no matter what Brian's mama wants. Teaching scary fairy tales to young children is a form of abuse.

      March 29, 2013 at 7:45 am |
  15. Joe

    Hey Brian, what you have taken on is a committment of the most difficult kind. This won't be easy for you But even if things get really bad and you think you have completely lost all your faith, just keep going to Mass each week. It'll all come back with a bit of patience and hanging around. And Chesterton was right, those damn hounds just keep nipping at our heels.

    March 29, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Don't get too excited Joe, going back to the Catholic church led me to being an apostate and an atheist.

      March 29, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Cheesemaker
      I think it was just a matter of leaning. He leans towards spirituality more than religiosity so he'll be alright!

      March 29, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Atheist, Me?

      Spirituality has no basis in reality, so what you are arguing is for living in delusion...

      I noticed you abandoned the conversation yesterday after I responded to your accusation.

      March 29, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  16. Service announcement

    Conditioning and indoctrination are hard to overcome. It takes years, and occasional relapses like he is undergoing are common.

    Catholicism, like many destructive addictions, can be overcome.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • History Channel's "The Bible" Parts 3 & 4 - In Under 11 Minutes!

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTRn28iZD_g&w=640&h=360]

      March 29, 2013 at 7:10 am |
  17. LOL

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PF6O9g6kYE&w=640&h=360]

    March 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • LOL

      Actually it is terribly sad that the children in this video are being force-fed all this bullshit.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Austin

      3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

      4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

      5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

      6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

      7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

      2peter 3

      The uniformitarianism theory was prophecied by Peter before Horton and Lyell proposed it in the 1800 s. This is a form of plagiarism, and they did not cite the book of 2 Peter chapter 3 as using his null hypothesis. How scientifically respectable is that? Will any respect for the prophecy be given?

      No , because if you are not saved by sovereign election, you are unable to honor God.

      That is why you should beg for faith,, so your kids don't go to hell either .

      March 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Yeah Right

      God is such a terrorist.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Chilipepper

      Loved how the banana inspired awe, when IT"S JUST A SEED POD TO PROPAGATE MOR BANANA TREES.....ROTFLMAO!

      March 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  18. Kenneth

    I have no problem with the Jesuits. I attended Loyola University Chicago, where I received an exemplary education.
    I also have no problem with Francis I. He seems to be sincere in his simplicity and humble attiitude.
    like the author, I have the same issues he does with the RCC. We shall see what we shall see.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  19. Bob1god

    I'll be on the internet for the dead Jew on a stick sales!

    March 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  20. Kev

    Good for him. Aspiring to devote to service can be a very uplifting experience and like his Jesuit mentors a good example can greatly effect someone else's life.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • End Religion

      Devoting a life to religion is a waste. If you want to do people some good, be nice to them and keep them away from religion.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Kev

      Apparently for some people religion is a good way to bring out the nice in them, or in other words their devotion to doing their best to follow the teaching and example of someone so admirable such as Jesus of Nazareth, believing to be the Christ, I would say is a good thing. Although we all on our own fall short in really becoming like Jesus, still that doesn't mean that we should never try. Religion can be a means to improve ourselves, improve our behavior, improve how we treat each other. If religion can be such a means to accomplish these goals, then I do not believe that it should be just done away.

      March 29, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Kev
      Thats very insightful! Thanks

      March 29, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • brianspadora

      Thanks for the kind words.

      March 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
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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.