June 13th, 2013
02:15 PM ET

The pope said what? Six stunners from Francis

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) –Pope Francis has challenged his flock of 1 billion Catholics not to be “starched Christians” who chat about theology over tea.

He’s been taking his own advice.

Since his election in March, Francis has delivered sharp and unscripted remarks on everything from homosexuality to atheism to his unlikely election to the seat of St. Peter.

Anyone who bet the 76-year-old Jesuit from Argentina would become Supreme Pontiff likely won a lot of dough, Francis joked on Sunday.

We’re wagering this pope’s got a few more surprises up the sleeves of his white cassock.

Meanwhile, here are six eye-openers Francis has uttered thus far.

1) There’s a “gay lobby” inside the Vatican

Meeting with Catholic leaders from his native Latin America and the Caribbean on Sunday, the pope said that there’s a lot of holy people in the Curia, Catholicism’s Rome-based bureaucracy.

But there is also a “stream of corruption,” Francis said, including a “gay lobby.”

"We need to see what we can do," he added, somewhat cryptically.

Only the pope knows exactly what he means. The Vatican has clammed up, refusing to explain.

Catholic experts believe Francis was referring to a secret dossier presented to his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI that investigated a series of embarrassing leaks from Vatican insiders to Italian journalists.

The dossier referred to a Vatican network of sexually active gay clergy who might have been subject to blackmail, according to Italian reports.

2) All atheists go to heaven?

During a homily in Rome on May 22, Francis said that God redeems everyone – not just Christians, but atheists, as well.

“We must meet one another doing good,” the pope said. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

So, was the pope saying that people can go to heaven, even if they don’t believe in God?

Probably not, say church experts.

Catholicism has long held that salvation is open to everyone – but with a really big caveat. If you know about the church and don’t become a member, the door to heaven is likely closed, a Catholic spokesman later clarified.

Many American atheists say they appreciated the olive branch from the pope, however unclear his remarks may have been.

3) “I didn’t want to be pope”

Meeting with Catholic students from Italy and Albania on June 7, Francis ditched his “boring” speech and instead took questions from the children.

A little redhead in a blue scarf elicited laughter by bluntly asking, “Francis, why did you want to become pope?”

“I didn’t,” Francis answered. In fact, “a person who wants to become pope doesn’t love himself. And God doesn’t bless him,” the pontiff said.

4) Sleepy prayers

In May, the pope shared intimate details about his spiritual life with a crowd of 200,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Every day, Francis said, he prays at an altar before he goes to bed. On occasion, the sandman arrives before the end of his prayers, the pope said.

“Sometimes I doze off, the fatigue of the day makes you fall asleep, but God understands,” Francis said.

5) Christians should mind their own beeswax

In some of his sharpest comments as pope, Francis criticized Christian busybodies in May.

“We all chat in church,” the pope said. “As Christians we chat.

“It is as if we want to put each other down,” Francis continued. “Instead of growing, one makes the other feel small while I feel great. That will not do.”

Gossip, the pope said, is like honey. It tastes sweet at first, but large doses deliver stomach aches.

6) Throwing food away is stealing from the poor

The first Latin American pope has made fighting poverty a top priority of his papacy. Scarcely a speech or homily ends without a mention of the homeless and disabled.

On June 5, Francis lambasted a “culture of waste” in which consumerism trumps compassion, people become just another disposable object, and little care is given to those who need help.

“This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition. ” Francis said.

“We should all remember, however, that throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the poor, the hungry.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (1,006 Responses)
  1. http://borderhomes.com/news1.html

    (Akron Normal Health and wellbeing Devices information release) The Board of Administrators of Akron Normal Health and wellbeing Technique immediately named Thomas L. "Tim" Stover, MD, MBA, since the System's new President and Chief Govt Officer immediately after former President and CEO Vincent J. McCorkle resigned.
    http://borderhomes.com/news1.html http://borderhomes.com/news1.html

    November 25, 2013 at 5:05 am |
  2. Bob

    As usual, the lamestream media is twisting what the Pope said. He does not support gays and lesbians...just wants to review the topic and come up with a solution. One utter of a word and the media twists it out of proportion. I pray this Pope is as great as John Paul II.

    September 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  3. dave1543

    This pope Francis sounds like a confused person. He said he didn't want to be pope and he shouldn't be.

    September 22, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • dave1543

      He is a poor excuse for antichrist.

      September 22, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  4. Steve Finnell


    Is it possible to be saved without having your sins forgiven? Was Saul saved by faith alone before his sins were forgiven?

    If Saul was saved on the road to Damascus, then he was saved without having his sins forgiven.

    Saul believed in Jesus on the road Damascus, but his sins were forgiven three days later in Damascus
    Act 9:1-19......9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank....

    Saul sins were forgiven in Damascus, three days later, not on the road to Damascus.
    Acts 22:1-16.....10 And I said, 'What shall I do Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.'.......16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins,calling on His name!

    Saul was not saved by faith only. Saul was saved by believing and being baptized in water.

    Jesus did not establish faith only salvation on the road to Damascus. Jesus confirmed what He already had said "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved"... (Mark 16:16)

    You cannot be saved unless your sins have been forgiven.

    In order to support the doctrine of faith only men have offered many reasons why the Scriptures cannot be trusted.
    1. The Bible is not the inerrant word of God, it has many errors and contradictions.
    2. You have to be a Greek scholar to understand the Bible. If you understand the original Greek language, then you would know water baptism is not essential for forgiveness of sins.
    3. You need to use extra-Biblical writings to understand the plan of salvation.
    4. The Bible has been mistranslated, therefore men are saved by faith only and not the way it is presented in the Bible.

    If God is not smart enough to give men an accurate translation of His plan for salvation and Christian living, then why would anyone trust in Him for salvation or for anything else.

    God has given us His plan of salvation in many translations, in different languages. You do not have to know Greek.You do not have to have a Greek dictionary. You do have to be Greek. If men had to be able to read and understand original Greek to understand the Bible, then all Bibles would be in Greek.


    Men are not saved by faith only and there is no verse of Scripture that states men are saved by faith only. Men are saved by faith, but not by faith only.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>>>steve finnell a christian view

    August 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • John 11:25&26

      Any man who believes in me, though he were dead, shall live. Anyone who lives and believes in me will have eternal life.

      September 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  5. Rhaj - Haja Raza

    So... if I understand, the other day, Catholics are told to be open to (or to accept) the Atheists, and now the Gay (and LBT I assume) : we are all human.

    But on the other hand, they are told to "evangelize"...

    that's fair enough... if they accept that the Atheist can also "unevangelize"..

    July 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  6. mxbxr

    People who trash other people because of what they believe are evil. Whether you believe humanity is a gift from God or Nature surely we can agree we should treat one another with love and respect.

    July 3, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Randy

      You can't trash someone because of their beliefs? You gotta be kidding. What did you think of Hilter's beliefs? Some people need to be trashed. 99% of the worlds real problems can be hung around the neck of religion.

      September 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  7. Books of Creationism and Intelligent Design are banned from public schools

    Because children deserve genuine scientific knowledge not religious nonsense.

    June 29, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Science

      lLfe is a blast when it is the truth........not some crap coming from the pope and the bible about Adam and his bone.

      Science Daily: Your source for the latest research news and science breakthroughs – updated daily

      Origin of Life News


      June 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • DWN

      Evolution is a logical theory. The problem is that there is no evidence for it. Even Darwin said that it could be proven false if missing links weren't found. None have. Evolutionists have huge problems explaining the geologic column. Uniformitarianism and gradualism can't explain it. Evolutionists have turned to attacking those who point out the problems. In the pre-Cambrian explosion, species show up pretty much as they are today. Evolution states that the original organism were small and then evolve to larger. The reality is that we don't have giant sloths today now do we? Yet they existed in the past. We don't have giant bison or megalodon sharks today, be we did in the past. Ice cores have accidentally stumbled across planes from WWII buried in the ice in Greenland. Yet they were found at depths with would indicate they are thousand of years old. Did ancient man have airplanes exactly like we had 70 years ago? No. Evolution can't admit its mistakes and must therefore attack others. Dinosaurs have been found with intact skin. Their eggs have occasionally found with intact membranes. Evolution is doesn't have a leg to stand on and they know it so they take their clubs and bash creationists over the head. That is the same "survival of the fittest" mentality that led to Nietzsche and then Hitler. I expect to be mercilessly ridiculed for this post. I can take it, they can't, they will throw a snit. of course Darwin and Creationists knew nothing of genetics in his time. No explanation has ever been given how a DNA molecule can go from very short to very long. Natural selection has wiped out 99% of humanity. Yet evolution is supposed to lead to greater diversity. Their twisted solution is to blame man for rapidly accelerating extinctions. I love the George Carlin comedy routine saying that "The Earth is Fine!" It totally destroys the panic stricken mindset. God rest his bitter atheistic sole. Although to be more honest, he did say he started to worship the sun near the end of his life.

      July 6, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • DWN

      I notice and obvious error in the above post, 99% of species have been wiped out in the past, not 99% of humanity, he he. Obviously. I suppose I could go on and on about how Islam and the catholic church wiped out at least 100 million Christians, Jews, and Hindus between the two of them, but that's a fresh topic.

      July 6, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Truth

      Be sure to tell God that when you Him; and look HIm in the eye when you do it. I doubt you will though...

      July 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  8. waddayamean?

    whenever you see this kind of proselitism it's about money soon we will see them asking fees to spread the **truth** kinda many other crap loser catcher movement around.

    June 27, 2013 at 12:32 am |
  9. Gerry Bell

    Holy Books are not books of science. They consist of statements of promise of eternal life after death with the caveat of believer behave or face hellish consequences. Unfortunately, none of these books of faith are in total and absolute agreement with each other. This is where great fault lies.

    June 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  10. OT rebellion

    You taught them well. At least 4 out of the 9 got it right. Sadly, 2 of yours were led astray 🙁

    June 26, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  11. Jacob

    #6 is something that is taught by the Christian Faith from the beginning. Modernists have forgotten such a fact.

    "Not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft"
    St. John Chrysostom

    June 26, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  12. Science

    Hey Christians/chatholics.............the bible is a JOKE or BS..........will the pope be good and say no fairy in the sky needed?

    A Conversation with Richard Dawkins and John Huddlestun (College of Charleston


    Primate fossil believed to be world's oldest discovered in China


    June 26, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • Jacob

      The Bible isn't BS. It's not meant to be taken literally. If you "intellectuals" are too stupid to figure that one out, I wonder who is the truly deluded.

      June 26, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Science

      Strong religious convictions are no excuse for misrepresenting research

      The faithful can live how they choose, but not dictate to others


      Like WASP said HAPPY DAYS !

      Jesus wept' or tears of joy? Faithful react to gay marriage rulings

      By Daniel Burke, CNN



      June 27, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Science

      Hey Jacoby

      Or this cult.

      What a joke below !!!



      June 27, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  13. Canista

    Seriously.... does the pope wear underwear or is it all hanging loose down there?

    June 25, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Langolier

      So many punch lines..so little time

      June 26, 2013 at 5:53 am |
    • Mari

      of course he wears clothes underneath, live any other father or bishop. they wear regular clothes underneath.

      June 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  14. Science

    What a joke below !...............that damn matrix !


    June 24, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  15. LIGHT

    Do you know why the US forces are there in the Middle east region?

    Do you know why they are talking too much about the NEW Middle east?

    Do you know why events are running very fast in the Middle east area?

    Because the Christ will come back again in the Middle east area ( where he born) and where the final battle will take place.

    So the antichrist is preparing the stage for that by sending his forces (US forces) to fight Muslims and the Christ (his killer)
    When he comes back.

    So in the media all Muslims must be terrorists and must be killers to make it easy to convince peoples to fight them.

    The media will show the antichrist as the hero who came to save the mankind.

    The antichrist succeeded in making people forget about him.

    But he is there planning for the final battle.

    June 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Science

      Hey light and doogie ................. and the supreme court is going to rule when ?

      That se-x deal and love ?

      Face it: Monogamy is unnatural

      By Meghan Laslocky, Special to CNN

      updated 11:02 AM EDT, Fri June 21, 2013


      June 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • jc

      Really ?

      July 12, 2013 at 12:03 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things'

    June 22, 2013 at 6:27 am |
    • Science

      NOVA: Finding Life Beyond Earth ..............old one for you ASS HAT !


      June 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  17. EX catholic

    Enough with this IDOLATER and all other previous Idolaters. IDOLATRY is not Religion.

    June 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  18. EX catholic

    I can't care less about what the freak said! He is just an IDOLATER and the leader of the biggest crowd of Idolaters the world has ever seen.

    June 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • I wonder

      And what do you do now?

      June 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • ME II

      @EX Catholic,
      Are you claiming that my replica of the Golden Soy (vegan golden calf) did not create the universe?

      June 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  19. How to be a successful atheist?

    Drop 'Hate' bombs
    I hate you Christians, I hate God, I hate prayers.

    Drop 'Cuss' bombs
    F u christians, f ur belief, f ur self, there is no God

    Drop the 'Crude' bomb
    You idiot, moron, imbecile, stupid God believer

    June 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Stated and refuted previously. Fail.

      June 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Zz_Xx

      The refutation was telling it disappeared, eh? 😉

      June 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • How to be a successful troll

      Read the post of 2:44.

      June 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • How to be a successful Christian

      Show Grace.

      Show Hope.

      Show Love

      Now, which is more difficult, being a successful atheist or Christian?

      June 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • How to be a successful Christian

      "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried"

      G K Chesterton

      June 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • By your definition

      Out of the thousands of christians I've met in my life 2 or 3 were successful

      June 20, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      I don't know about being successful in whatever way you might be meaning, but for me being happy is my sucess.

      June 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Just pointing out the obvious

      @How to be a successful atheist?

      "I hate God"

      "there is no God"

      How can you hate something (that by your own admission ) you believe does not exist?

      Pretty much sums up your unintelligible post.

      June 22, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Wow,"successful atheist"! What kind of drugs are YOU on,dog??

      June 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  20. prophet

    this pope is a moron and misleading people the same as all chritianity, they keep people from knowing the real Names of Our Saviour which would actually help people but the catholic system is a deception and they are sons of the adversary.

    June 19, 2013 at 9:21 am |
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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.