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March 28th, 2013
01:25 PM ET

Why is the pope washing prisoners’ feet?

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor
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(CNN) — In ancient times, when roads were bad and footwear was worse, the washing of a guest's feet was a required sign of hospitality. Today when someone comes to your home, you’re more likely to offer to take their coat and bring them a beverage rather then have the help fetch a basin to refresh their worn feet.

The gesture of a servant's washing a newly arrived guest’s feet is sprinkled throughout the Jewish and Christian scriptures. That the characters in question were respectable, hospitable, and well off would have been culturally recognizable to earlier readers. In the Christian tradition, one story of feet washing entirely changed the paradigm.

In the Biblical accounts of the Easter story, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on a donkey to adoring crowds. Just a few days later he gathers his 12 disciples for what would be their Last Supper before he was crucified.

According to the Gospel of John, after everyone has reclined at table before the meal, Jesus, dressed as a servant, washes their feet. The disciple Peter recoils at the sight of his master taking on the role of a servant.

Jesus then explains to them, “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:15 NRSV)

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Christians have carried on this practice of role reversal for the past two millennia, particularly during Holy Week. On Holy Thursday believers commemorate the Last Supper, where after he washed the disciples' feet, Jesus went on to institute the practice of Communion – breaking bread to symbolize the sacrifice of his body for his followers to atone for their sins, the core of Christian belief.

Thursday in Rome, Pope Francis continued a long papal tradition when he participated in the foot-washing rite.

In a radical departure from tradition, Francis said Holy Thursday Mass not at the ornately appointed Basilica of St. John Lateran, but in a small chapel with nearly 50 teenage boys and girls at Casal del Marmo Penitential Institute for Minors, a juvenile detention center. The 76-year-old leader of a more than 1 billion Catholics called up 12 of the young inmates from different nationalities and “diverse religious confessions,” according to the Vatican. Among the group of twelve were two women and two Muslims.

He stooped down before them, one by one, with a basin of water and washed their feet.

Then Pope Benedict washes the feet of clergy.

This is the continuation of a personal custom; when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, he famously washed the feet of AIDS patients and drug addicts.

Those who know him are not surprised that on Holy Thursday he looks to the poor and marginalized.

“Really, what he’s doing is very much in character,” said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, who has served as a Vatican spokesman during the papal transition.

Rosica said the timing of the election also factored into why the new pope selected a prison over a cathedral.

“Technically, he couldn’t celebrate the Mass at St. John Lateran because he hasn’t yet taken possession of the cathedral.” But it is a fair assumption that had he wanted to have Mass there, it would have happened.

For several years Rosica lived in the Middle East, where foot-washing is still done, "and it’s the lowliest person in the house who does that as a sign of great respect.”

“There’s something extremely intimate about that, when you’re touching someone’s feet,” he said.

Rosica said that with the ceremony, the pope is applying biblical texts to concrete actions.

Pia de Solenni, an ethicist and moral theologian, said the significance of Jesus Christ washing the disciples' feet resounds over the centuries: “At that time and now there’s that sense of hierarchy, or that clergy are set apart, that they’re somehow preferred. What Jesus is teaching and what I think is the authentic understanding of the priesthood in the Catholic Church is that the priest - your teacher, your leader - is first and foremost a servant,” she said.

“That’s really turning the worldly understanding of who a leader is upside down.”

The ceremony for the young prisoners is another in a growing list change brought by Francis. After his election this month, he refused the papal limo and rode the bus with the other cardinals.

On Tuesday the Vatican announced Francis had opted to stay in room 201 at Case Santa Marta, the Vatican guest house, instead of moving into the palatial papal apartment.

For his inaugural Mass and again on Palm Sunday, he opted for an open-air "popemobile," foregoing the safety-glass-enclosed version that became the vehicle of choice for public processions following an assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.

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The changes have, in part, led to overflow crowds for the new pope’s public appearances and headaches for his security detail; he has shown he is willing to break out of the bubble to greet the faithful and kiss seemingly every baby in sight.

“He’s making a very special place for the poor, the disenfranchised,” Rosica said. “He’s kind of taken the world by storm by the symbols and the signals he’s given."

Monsignor Kevin Irwin, a professor at the Catholic University of America, told CNN from Rome that foot-washing "has always been - for priests, bishops and popes throughout the centuries - a role reversal. That is to say, those who are marginalized become center stage and the one who is usually center stage washes their feet."

Irwin said Francis’ choice to wash prisoners' feet fits in with a broader narrative of the new pope’s journey. Whereas his predecessor, Benedict, came to the papacy by way of the scholarly library and high Vatican offices (Rosica called him "the Mozart of theologians") Francis “has a pastor’s heart."

“In that sense he’s probably more of a journeyman than he is a highly accomplished scholar," Irwin said. "In the process we’ll all get on board with the journeyman." And journeymen, he said, "make the world work.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Jesus • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (358 Responses)
  1. Reality

    John 13: 1-17 (Jesus washes the feet of the disciples). But did he? Said passage is a single attestation found no where else in the NT making historically nil by rigorous modern day standards.

    Actually, all of John's Gospel is of questionable historic value.

    To wit:

    From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

    "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

    "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

    "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

    "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

    March 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Lycidas

      And none of that blabber takes away a thing about the lesson about the washing of another person's feet now does it?

      March 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually it does as it subjects the washer to unsanitary conditions. Tis like dipping your fingers in "holy" water fonts which are one of the great concentrates of cold viruses.

      March 29, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Saraswati

      I would definitely say that given what we know about disease these kinds of activities, including sharing a cup (which anyone with a raging cold sore can do) should be eliminated. The ritual of foot washing doesn't have meaning in todays society, at least not the meaning it once had. If the pope or anyone else wants to help and show their humility before others there are some great modern equivalents. I mentioned earlier that cleaning someone's bathroom would be a good modern version, and no doubt appreciated by a lot more people than having a strange man wash their feet.

      March 29, 2013 at 8:16 am |
  2. End Religion

    Why? Because the Pope digs medieval superstîtious bullshît and today he felt like doing some marketing for his company.

    March 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Mavent

      Why is it that atheists are always such enormous d-bags?

      March 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Yeah ER...Mavent is right

      Leave it to the christians to be enormous d-bags like normal.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Mavent – yet another example of Christ's love for us to ponder.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      medieval? Got a chronology problem ER?

      March 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • End Religion

      Bill, no, but we do know for a fact you have problems with definitions. it's a shame in this day and age you choose to be willfully ignorant.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Why is it that atheists are always such enormous d-bags?"

      Mavent, it seems that way sometimes when people speak the truth. I'm doing you a favour, you just don't know it.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Billy I am actually surprised you do not think this is a media conspiracy to make the RCC and Franky look bad.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • davidpun

      So End Religion. You speak the truth? So how exactly do we determine if a statement is true? I'm keen to apply that criterion to what you've been saying.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • MikeArg

      I respect somebody who has other beliefs. I respect an honest, humble and laborious search for truth, wherever the path may lead her/him.
      What really makes people show disrespectful and not used to civilized/scholarly discussion is when they go into news forums talking about the catholic faith, christianity, judaism etc. and start insulting with a very proud and selfish tone, and in obvious bad faith. This is inconceivable.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • End Wewigion

      So sowwwwwyyyyyy 🙁

      March 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  3. Obviously

    So he picks youth prisoners feet to play with? Is against gays? Sounds familiar.

    March 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  4. Lycidas

    Considering the background of the ritual, most ppl should at the very least admire that a person of his power in his profession doing something that is considered humbling.

    March 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      It isn't humbling, it's marketing. If he really felt this were something worth doing he wouldn't need the elaborate getup and a throng of followers and camera people. He'd go out unannounced by himself in a Tshirt and jeans and wash anyone and everyone's feet until his fingers puckered up.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Darlene Buckingham

      End Religion is right – if the Pope was humble he would wear sack cloth and go among the poor unnoticed doing the work of God. This is shameless PR marketing.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • ME II

      Some take pride in being humble.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Sherlock

      Buckingham and Religion, he can't go out in sack cloth, he is the flipping pope! Before all of his movements became televised, he was washing feet, living in a humble apartment in the middle of slums, cooking his own food, and taking the bus. He didn't ask to be elected, but he is going against tradition when he sees a better way to do it.

      Who are you to judge someone else's humility meter? Am I to suppose that you go out in sackcloth and wash people's feet without a televised spectacle? If so, great. If not, shut up.

      March 28, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Sherlock

      Of course he asked to be elected. It's fool talk to believe anything differently. He might really live his humility schtick but you don't get to be pope by sticking in back and washing others cardinals feet the whole time.

      March 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @End Religion- "It isn't humbling, it's marketing. If he really felt this were something worth doing he wouldn't need the elaborate getup and a throng of followers and camera people. He'd go out unannounced by himself in a Tshirt and jeans and wash anyone and everyone's feet until his fingers puckered up."

      And your evidence of what The Pope really thinks about this is....what?

      I'm sorry but I think you are letting your opinions about the RCC cloud what you actually know about this guy. Hey, you could be correct but there is no way for you to prove it. The fact is that he is washing ppl's feet as the leader of the RCC. One could argue that it makes more sense for him to be dressed up because it shows that even the highest should be humble.

      March 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Skalamoosh

      I keep seeing this term "marketing" for his company.
      Sure, he knows this will be seen worldwide, marketing is just a term for the product being shown to the consumer-
      What is wrong with him knowing this will be seen and demonstrating love and what is good? Someone in the world needs to step up and be an example and leader to follow. The hate being shown by both sides of this political hot issue we have right now shows the need for leadership

      March 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  5. Quest ion

    Good question! Why is he doing that? Please explain if you can.

    March 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • TV_1

      God came in human form to serve us; he asks us to follow in His example. Like the article says – role reversal.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Quest ion

      TV_1

      So then the pope is "usually" in the center stage?

      Why are prisoners "marginalized?

      Are they fellow believers of the pope?

      March 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Quest ion

      TV_1

      Have you done that? Since you said "us" in your response.

      Did Jesus washed the feet of prisoners?

      Were the apostles prisoners or have they committed any crime?

      March 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • TV_1

      I don't know.

      I'm not Catholic. But at my church we often do something similar to this – washing other people's feet as a symbol of our desire to serve.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Mavent

      Reading apparently isn't your strong-point.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • TV_1

      ~~Have you done that? Since you said "us" in your response.
      No. I think feet are gross.

      ~~Did Jesus washed the feet of prisoners?
      I don't think there is any record of that.

      ~~Were the apostles prisoners or have they committed any crime?
      No – I don't think they committed any serious crime.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Quest ion

      TV_1

      OK, I see your point and know of the practice, done that at church. Not catholic either.

      However this does not resembles at all what Jesus did, neither what Paul mentions in Rom. 10:15 or 1st Ti. 5:10. The apostles were not delinquents nor law breaker criminals. Nor are the saints.

      These are more close to what Paul wrote about in Rom. 3:15-18

      3:15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
      3:16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
      3:17 and the way of peace they do not know."
      3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

      March 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • EX catholic

      This a charade a mockery of what Jesus did. He thinks he is THE Vicar of the Christ, but is nothing more than an Idolater and IDOLATRY IS SIN NOT RELIGION. And of course those prisoners are in fact fellow believers and followers of the Idolatrous RCC.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • TV_1

      I believe Christ washed the feet of his disciples as a reminder that they were called to serve others.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • neoritter

      @TV_1 – Some of the disciples were part of marganilized groups. Matthew was a tax collector, tax collectors were considered outcasts in Jewish society during that time. In his calling of Matthew, the Pharises criticized Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus replied, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2:17

      March 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • TV_1

      Yea, Jesus seemed more concerned about those outside of the status quo...
      ...if he returned today you might find him among atheists and hemosoxuals.

      March 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  6. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    The washing of the feet – covered here:

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/424715/march-25-2013/election-of-pope-francis

    5:00 minutes in.

    "some hooligan bambino jacks a stereo and he's getting his feet washed by the pope. He's getting a 'mani-popey'."

    March 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  7. ME II

    @Bill Deacon,
    ". I agree, logical impossibility in the realm of human kind."

    Is God capable of logical contradiction now?

    March 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      ME II
      Bill has gotten very paranoid, I believe he has made a list, checks it twice, to see who is naughty or nice, much like L4H, so do not expect a reply. I am quite sure I am on the naughty list, so proud.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Me II let me ask a question; Do you suppose there are things which you do not understand which may appear illogical to you? Or something everyday ordinary that would appear illogical to a man from say 100 or 1000 years ago? Why would you expect an infinite being to limit his expression of self to anything less than the fulfillment of his potential?

      March 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      Sorry for posting in the wrong place, it was unintentional.

      "Do you suppose there are things which you do not understand which may appear illogical to you?"
      Appear illogical? I may be unable to explain things or may appear not to make sense, but my understanding was that it was God's nature, supposedly, to not violate the laws of logic, e.g. contradiction. Whether that is because "God is logic" or God simply is unable, is irrelevant at this point.
      Omnipotence and denial of ones exists seems contradictory, as does "fully man and fully god", as does some concepts of "trinity".

      "Or something everyday ordinary that would appear illogical to a man from say 100 or 1000 years ago?"
      I would class this as explainable, not illogical. Unless you mean experiencing 2 = 3 or 2 != 2, which would be illogical.

      "Why would you expect an infinite being to limit his expression of self to anything less than the fulfillment of his potential?"
      Is your God capable of violating basic rules of logic, e.g. Indent.ity or contradiction?

      March 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • ME II

      I would class this as [un]explainable, not illogical.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  8. SAAB

    I think Pope Jorge just missed the boat, "when roads were bad and footwear was worse, the washing of a guest's feet was a required sign of hospitality. "; here prisoners are locked up in 10X10, hardly walk or they rest whole day, I wonder what Jorge was thinking when he picked prisoners to wash feet?

    March 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  9. Eddie Vanmeer

    My ex had afoot fetish too, I miss her.

    March 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      There are things you can do to improve your aim.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  10. Bootyfunk

    lol. a guy wearing robes that cost thousands of dollars is washing someone's feet to show how humble he is.

    March 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  11. becca

    My mother-in-law big, big, follower of the Catholic faith, has always quietly despised me because I was married/divorced prior to marrying her baby boy. One time, while she was staying w/us, she was having a lot of pain in her feet. Not sure what moved me, but I went and got the Tiger Balm, sat at the foot end of her on the couch, and just gently started to work on her feet. She was speechless, and very, very, appreciative. She said I healed her. I was really enacting the whole Jesus ritual in my own heart and mind. I do not think she got the parallel, or, if she did, she did not say anything. Strange.

    March 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sounds as if she got it and was perhaps chagrined at her previous behavior towards you. If she repented and treated you differently going forward, I would say you did, in fact, facilitate a healing.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Billy do you wash and kiss feet, your own don't count?

      March 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      becca, you showed your mother-in-law the ultimate act of love.

      God Bless you.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I have washed and had washed. Do you have any idea which is easier? If not, I recommend trying both for the experience.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Soak In Epsom salts from time to time so did the ex- wife but, Billy, I do not know what Epsom salts taste like!

      March 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      The ultimate act of love is washing feet? You people are so nutty....

      March 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • rocketscientist

      I'd rather be a compassionate nut than a bitter and hate-filled bigot.

      Dr. H

      March 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  12. Even the RCC

    is not dumb enough to show him washing and kissing genitals on camera.

    March 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  13. Kon Kal

    He is following the bible. A humble gesture as Jesus preformed himself. Love Pope Francis and what he stands for.
    The poor atheist just hate the fact he's a good man. So funny, would we expect anything else from them?

    March 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

      Isaiah 5:20

      Amen.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  14. meifumado

    I want to see them wash some homeless persons feet, Not feet that im sure were washed before the wash.

    March 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      John 13:14-15

      14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.
      15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

      The ultimate action from our Savior, Jesus Christ, washing the sins of man through the act of Love.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Kon Kal

      So prisoners aren't good enough? Need not comment as stupidity speaks for itself.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Just another example that non-believers don't know anything about love and how Jesus brought His truth to the world.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • from the article..

      "...he famously washed the feet of AIDS patients and drug addicts."

      March 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I wash my cats' feet. It's all part of the carnal ritual.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • MikeArg

      You want to see it? Do it yourself! Nobody prevents you from doing that. The Pope is setting the example so that we can also be servants to our brothers. This is not a TV show, this is a life being lived and an example for each and every one of us.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • MikeArg

      What is more, this very afternoon, you can go and see how far your love for the weakest and the poorest goes!

      March 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  15. Akira

    Wash: perhaps. Kiss: no.

    March 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • meifumado

      Is it a kiss or a deep sniff?

      March 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Akira

      Ew! Lol, yuck!

      March 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  16. William Demuth

    This "Propoganda Pope" is a trip and a half

    This is pathetic!!

    Even my son see's right thru this nonesense!

    Humility? From a man who claims to be closer to the ruler of time space and dimension than any living mortal?

    I hope he dies soon.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • ..

      You're an ugly, mean spirited man, demuth. You are raising an ugly, mean spirited kid, too. Hope nobody writes to you in prison.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Kon Kal

      You have a son? Now that is beyond scary.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • davidpun

      "Even your son"? Judging by your intellectual posts, I have to wonder exactly what your son is like. Evidently you don't think very highly of him.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, the irony of a dead head wishing death upon another.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I wash my dead cats' feet before my dinner.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  17. Paul

    Most likely he just has a foot fetish.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So he is a pedophille and a podiaphille!!

      (I believe the correct term is laticiphiliac, but it may have been changed. All the old schooll deviances are so "normal" now)

      March 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • ..

      Inasmuch as demuth thinks all men are pedophiles, somebody should take his kid away before he tries to fuck him.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  18. Jill

    Bill Deacon, phhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttt. Prevaricate your tooth fixtures more often. Therein, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

    So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

    Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

    Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

    Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

    And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • davidpun

      Jill, when you are quoting Richard Dawkins you are supposed to acknowledge your source.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Pam

      Better way for the pope to spend his time than trying to cover up criminal priests like the last guy did. But he'll be doing the latter soon too.

      it's always the same deal with religious folk: show some marketable humble or charitable stuff to pull the sheep in and rake in some dollars to pay for the lavish robes, and provide something to use as a red herring to keep people from focusing in on the nasty bits and priest crimes. And shroud the whole thing in mysticism and even use a language that most of the flock don't know. There you have the RCC and many other churches in a nutshell.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  19. The Demon Deacon

    Bill Deacon
    Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Specos empor, beware you may think Bill is selling love and salvation but it is really blind obedience to dogma and the hierarchy of the RCC, resist.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  20. Bill Deacon

    “That a good man may have his back to the wall is no more than we knew already; but that God could have his back to the wall is a boast for all insurgents for ever. Christianity is the only religion on earth that has felt that omnipotence made God incomplete. Christianity alone has felt that God, to be wholly God, must have been a rebel as well as a king. Alone of all creeds, Christianity has added courage to the virtues of the Creator. For the only courage worth calling courage must necessarily mean that the soul passes a breaking point–and does not break. In this indeed I approach a matter more dark and awful than it is easy to discuss; and I apologize in advance if any of my phrases fall wrong or seem irreverent touching a matter which the greatest saints and thinkers have justly feared to approach. But in that terrific tale of the Passion there is a distinct emotional suggestion that the author of all things (in some unthinkable way) went not only through agony, but through doubt. It is written, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." No; but the Lord thy God may tempt Himself; and it seems as if this was what happened in Gethsemane. In a garden Satan tempted man: and in a garden God tempted God. He passed in some superhuman manner through our human horror of pessimism. When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay, (the matter grows too difficult for human speech,) but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.”

    Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith) (1994-05-01). Orthodoxy (pp. 134-135). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Jill

      Bill Deacon, phhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttt. Prevaricate your tooth fixtures more often. Therein, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

      Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • ME II

      An omnipotent god that can deny his own existence and survive, goes right along with all the other logical impossibilities attributed to a god that cannot be illogical.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Washing feet is a nice photo op, but for me seeing Franky throw open the doors to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and allowing anyone that wants to see the secret doc-uments. Now that would be reform.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Hilarious. You attack me and all I did was post Chesterton who is perhaps the preeminent Christian intellect of our time.

      ME II. I agree, logical impossibility in the realm of human kind.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • The demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal troll. Attack you , why not? The same way that you attacked the media that was reporting news not favourable to your view but than lap up the favorable press when the news is good, hypocrite.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • davidpun

      Jill said "Prevaricate your tooth fixtures more often"
      Are you sure you didn't mean "torturous hypocrite of an extreme favorite" or perhaps"unremote ratty favorite of a toxic super-hero"

      March 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • davidpun

      Don't be surprised. CNN is where all these atheist trolls love to hang out. Thats why CNN just has two different letters ...a C and an N ... They were struggling with the three different letters in GOD...

      March 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • davidpun

      To Demon Deacon: "Franky throw open the doors to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and allowing anyone that wants to see the secret doc-uments. Now that would be reform."
      Hey don't try to fool us. You just want an excuse to look at the pictures of all the little boys and then blame the Vatican.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I thought CNN stood for Carnal Nature of the Nonbelievers.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      davidpun
      Top picture. Looks like the guys have placed their hands in protective mode, if you know what I mean. Are you saying that they didn't destroy the pictures and videos, dumb and dumber!

      March 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • God

      davidpun, jill is talking in tongues after having a religious experience over the Pope's ritual with the juvenile delinquents.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • davidpun

      To God: She's certainly doing something with her tongue, but I will not speculate further.

      March 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • davidpun

      To Demon Deacon:
      "Looks like the guys have placed their hands in protective mode,"
      I've got to admit ...you've definitely got a point there.

      March 28, 2013 at 5:41 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.