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July 2nd, 2013
02:55 PM ET

Vatican: Pope John Paul II close to sainthood

By Hada Messia and Brian Todd, CNN

Rome (CNN) - The Catholic Church is on the verge of declaring late Pope John Paul II a saint, a Vatican source familiar with the process told CNN on Tuesday.

The committee that considers candidates for sainthood voted Tuesday to credit the late pope with a second miracle, the source said, asking not to be named discussing internal Vatican deliberations.

It is not clear which of several miracles under consideration would be credited to the late pope. Pope Francis must now sign off on the decision before it is official.

John Paul was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005, and was essentially the first rock star pontiff – drawing vast crowds as he criss-crossed the globe.

At his funeral, thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square chanted "Santo Subito" - Sainthood Now!

The Polish-born pope was fast-tracked to beatification when he died in 2005, and became "the blessed" John Paul II barely six years after his death - the fastest beatification in centuries.

"For an institution that typically thinks in centuries, this is remarkably quick," said CNN Vatican analyst John Allen.

There are essentially three steps to becoming a Catholic saint after death.

First, the title "venerable" is formally given by the pope to someone judged to have exhibited "heroic virtues." Secondly, a miracle must be attributed to the deceased person's intervention. Canonization – or sainthood – requires a second attributed miracle.

In 2010, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI approved John Paul's first reported miracle: a French nun cured of Parkinson's disease.

Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, a nun whose order prayed to the pope after he died, said she was cured of the disease, an ailment that also afflicted John Paul.

The second miracle reportedly occurred in Costa Rica, where a woman said she recovered from a severe brain injury thanks to the intervention of John Paul, Vatican sources told Allen.

Patrick Kelly, executive director of the Blessed John Paul II Shrine in Washington, explained the church's process for investigating reported miracles.

"A team of doctors first examine the miracle. Secondly, the team of theologians look at the miracles and then they discuss amongst themselves the legitimacy and all the facts surrounding the miracles," he said.

The record for the fastest canonization is modern times is St. Jose-Maria Escriva, the Spanish-born founder of Opus Dei, a Catholic order of laypeople and saints dedicated to finding God in daily life. Escriva was made a saint 27 years after his death.

John Paul could shatter that record.

But there are critics who say, not so fast on canonization.

Despite being beloved, John Paul didn't live up to expectations at a crucial moment in the church's history, as sexual abuse scandals involving thousands of Catholic priests erupted across the world, critics say.

In the United States alone, nearly 17,000 people have come forward with abuse claims and the church has paid $2.6 billion in settlements, therapy bills, lawyers fees and expenses related to removing priests from ministry, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Eight American dioceses have declared bankruptcy as a result of sexual abuse claims against its priests.

"The rap against John Paul in terms of the sex abuse scandals is basically that this stuff metasticized during his papacy - and he didn't respond adequately to it," said Allen.

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl defended the late pope, saying "his ministry was so clearly a ministry for everyone."

"Now when you're presiding over a worldwide church with over a billion members, surely there are going to be things that happen over which you don't have a lot of control - or maybe no control," Wuerl said.

In any case, the cardinal and other Catholic leaders say the measure of a saint is not the list of accomplishments or setbacks – but how holy the person was.

CNN's Daniel Burke contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (685 Responses)
  1. Knight's Who Say...

    "Your comment is awaiting moderation."

    NEE!NEE!NEE!

    July 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  2. Catholic4ever

    John Paul II please pray for this sinner!

    July 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • 404 Error

      Message undeliverable. Ent'ity, John Paul II, is not found.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • be honest

      good one 404

      July 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      So a Saint is something like a proxy server between you and God?

      July 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Not trying to be mean... but honestly, didn't you feel a little foolish after you typed this?

      July 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • sam

      Is he praying from heaven? I don't know, maybe ask the current pope to pray?

      July 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Alison Tschains

      Maybe saints can pray from anywhere? I'm not sure how this works. Does he get a notification that he's been made a saint?

      July 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • WASP

      @4ever: but my prayer was answered.............................he's not on this world anymore; our children are safe.

      see how prayer works. XD

      July 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Who are you typing to? Johnny is quite dead

      July 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  3. Thought Purification

    if you call it miracle then he did perform one by walk out without being charged for Church abuses and cover ups !!

    July 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  4. be honest

    catholic voodoo at work

    July 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Bondye

      Voodoo is real, mon....don't mess with voodoo.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  5. *

    (why the heck is *this* (just posted to AE) "awaiting moderation"?)

    AE:
    " Ask God to reveal God's self to you in a way that you can understand."

    And if the 'answer' comes back that it is NOT the "God" of Abraham & Israel (nor any others conjured up by people)... what then?

    Keep trying, until it agrees with YOU, AE??!

    July 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • AE

      1 John 3:21-22

      Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

      James 4:2-3

      When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • AE

      *, try to pray selflessly.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AE
      But of Olórin that tale does not speak; for though he loved the Elves, he walked among them unseen, or in form as one of them, and they did not know whence came the fair visions or the promptings of wisdom that he put into their hearts. In later days he was the friend of all the Children of Ilúvatar, and took pity on their sorrows; and those who listened to him awoke from despair and put away the imaginations of darkness." – Page 31

      How does this scripture fit in with yours? Both are from men's imaginations, what makes one more valid than the other other than your own imagination?

      July 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • *

      *

      Listen, AE, I prayed mightily for over 50 years, until I had to finally admit that there is no-one out there.

      You are certainly free to believe whatever you wish, but you are full of beans if you proclaim that you have the truth, Truth, or TRUTH (as you all are so fond of saying).

      July 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • AE

      "Both are from men's imaginations, what makes one more valid than the other other than your own imagination?"

      Olórin has not revealed himself as being real to me.

      Jesus Christ has.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm |

    • real Tom has a point. What if there is a God, the only God that exists, and it is in no way related to the God of Israel. If it reveals itself to you will you worship it? Suppose it doesn't care if you worship it or not. What then?

      July 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Ae
      So your answer is:
      Yes...in my imagination.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • AE

      Spirit.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • *

      AE,
      "Olórin has not revealed himself as being real to me.
      Jesus Christ has."

      Well then, "Jesus" is not an equal-opportunity Revealer. I'll bet you feel real special, huh?

      July 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Darn, they are booting my comments off without review. All I said was

      real Tom has a point. What if there is a God, the only God that exists, and it is in no way related to the God of Israel. If it reveals itself to you will you worship it? Suppose it doesn't care if you worship it or not. What then?

      July 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • AE

      I feel loved. And compelled to share that love with others.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • The Other One

      I feel obliged to tell you that the love you want to share is based on things that probably are not real.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AE
      So do I, and so do all social animals. No gods required for that, nor any gods evident in it.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • AE

      Richard, what is your definition of love?

      July 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • WASP

      @AE: MATTHEW 6:5-7
      -5 And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward.
      – 6 But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.
      -7 But when you pray, use not vain repeti/tions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. …

      SO STFU. 🙂

      July 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • AE

      "Never cease praying. Give thanks upon all occasions; this is what God expects of you all in Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the utterances of the Spirit, "

      July 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • AE

      I don't think I'm praying in a way that Jesus forbids...

      ...I'm answering a question asked of me about prayer. 🙂

      July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • WASP

      @AE: are you in a public forum? are you not praying quietly in your closet, yet out preaching to others from your "soapbox"? i think it said PRAYER, didn't say whether you were asked or not, it just said NO.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • AE

      I'm having a discussion on prayer with Richard and *

      And you came in and posted a Bible verse and told me to "STFU"
      (Are you a crazy fundie Christian? You are acting like one)

      July 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • WASP

      @AE: nah just bored. XD

      July 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • WASP

      @AE: you know my grandmother had a saying about prayer......................wise woman.

      she would say " pray in one hand and poop in the other; see which one gets filled up faster." XD

      July 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • derp

      Spirit = Imagination

      July 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • AE

      I just share what I hear God tell me.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • AE

      she would say " pray in one hand and poop in the other; see which one gets filled up faster." XD

      "Faith without works is dead". You need action, too.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • A E

      Can you hear gods voice?

      July 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      AE

      I hear Jesus talking to me.
      ------------–

      Craaaaaaaaaawwwaaaazyyyyyyy

      July 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AE
      That question reminds me of another uber believer that always got shot down with that tactic since his question was alsways answered, but not in the way that would triogger the response he had prepared.
      What purpose for the debate could the answer to the question provide. We see all social animals exhibit all of the same emotions we do, so what my definition is is moot.
      If you have ever watched a troup of elephants, it is obvious love, a mother chimp with her newborn, etc, etc. etc.
      So why don't you just get to the point instead of trying to bait me with such an obvious attempt to trick me with an answer, when you haven't even shown what you are going to use the answer for.
      I have been on several debate teams, so trying such an obvious tactic will get you nowhere.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      "I have been on several debate teams"
      ...................................
      Nerd

      July 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  6. Wendy

    At any point in time did that list of questions come to your consciousness as perhaps misrepresentational or insensitive?

    July 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Wendy

      That question was for Colin...reply function malfunction.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I'm sure that every person who has been told they believe in myths or are liars thinks the person informing them of such is misrepresenting their beliefs or are insensitive but that does not invalidate the basic message. Too bad for the RCC cult and its members in this case. You/they believe in unsupported craziness, unless of course you can produce evidence to the contrary.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

    • I wonder if there are points in time.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "shtooping" – Now THAT was funny...

      July 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I love this, I want to try it:

      Catholic Church: Excuse me, did you know that having seexual relations with with people of the same gender is a leading indicator of depression, alcoholism and exposes you to a greater risk of contact with the AIDS virus?

      Gay man: Why do you have to be such a stone age zombie bigot?

      July 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "did you know that having seexual relations with with people of the same gender is a leading indicator of depression, alcoholism and exposes you to a greater risk of contact with the AIDS virus?"

      Did you know that the leading cause of a gay person to be depressed is because they were born attracted to a certain gender and because of that they have been chastised, bullied, abused, told they are evil, going to heII and are an abomination, all for just being who they were born. As for STD's there is NO evidence that being gay increases your risk of catching an STD, there are statistics for promiscuity and certain types of s e x that increase the risks of bleeding and thus risk of transmission is higher. However, no such data exists for monogamous gay couples.

      And I don't think your comment is insensitive, it's just false.

      July 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I think Bill's comment was insensitive because he knew (or intuitlited) some of what Just the facts Ma'am demonstrated. I also think Bill willfully engages in confirmation bias much more readily when it comes to his dogma than when it comes to say.....making a big purchase.

      July 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  7. JJ

    LOL..wow the pedophile infested RCC has the greatest scam in history and a billion duped deluded imbeciles suckered who then infect their own offspring with the virus and the madness continues from generation to generation. Disgusting.

    July 3, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • be honest

      yep.. and that pope denied children needed help. What a bunch of scu-ms in the catholick church.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  8. Robert Schrecengost

    Yes, make this pedophile a saint! He protected the largest gay boy pedophile cult's members for most of his life, so he deserves 'sainthood!'

    July 3, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    I've always found the Catholic idea of Patron Saints to be extremely strange.
    Have you ever read Gulliver's Travels? In the land of Laputa, if one wishes to get the attention of the King, one must first engage his flapper – someone whose job it is to jiggle the King's ear with a bladder on a stick.
    In the Catholic world, the Saints are God's flappers.
    For example, if you can't get into your car, God is more likely to remind of that you left you keys in the bathroom if you engage Saint Zita first. As the Patron Saint of Lost Keys, she can communicate your prayer better than you can yourself.

    Why would an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent deity need prayer secretaries?

    July 3, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • William Demuth

      Translation

      God appears to be marginally literate.

      He had been using Google Translate but didn't like the results

      July 3, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • William Demuth

      If Gods Godhood fails him, does that make him Omniimpotent?

      July 3, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @William
      "Omniimpotent" is my new favourite adjective for God.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      My uber-cathoic mother prays to St Anthony any time she loses something and she is convinced that it works every time. And ive noticed that this is how it works. First, you lose somehting. THen you pray to St Anthony to help you find it. Then you look all over the house for 45 minutes. Then it magically appears! Haleluha!

      July 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Religionis BS
      Have your mother try praying to St Anthony to not lose things in the first place. I bet you that she will still go through the same routine.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  10. Colin

    This is a question I regularly put on my students' end of term exams.

    Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition from those below. For the one you choose, please say why it stands out to you as more ludicrous than the rest of the supernatural material Catholics believe and give an example of a non-Catholic belief which is just as unsupported.

    (a) Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.

    (b) When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.

    (c) You can pray to a dead person for something. This dead person will then ask God to fulfill your wish. If this happens twice, this dead person becomes a saint.

    (d) A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed.

    July 3, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • .

      "Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition"

      Wonder who you stole this from? Because no teacher worth anything would start a academic question with such obvious negative bias as this.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Polly

      Whatever you believe about God and religion is certainly not helping you improve as a person.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Colin

      But, pointing out that it is a supersti.tion is the very point of the exercise.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: "no teacher" seems to me it depends upon what the subject of the class, course or program was. Re: singling out catholics, I bet Colin has a similar question for several cults.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Colin

      Hot Air Ace. I do indeed. The idea is to make them think objectively and critically about the supernatural and not to regard "religious views" as some kind of subset of superst.itious views that should be immune to scrutiny. Once the penetrating light of skepticism and reason is shone upon religious views, they almost always collapse in a heap.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Bikkie

      I'm glad nobody knows what my beliefs actually are. People like you prove a point, if you put your beliefs out there evidently the world feels that destroying you about them is a fine hobby to have.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • My Dog is a Jealous Dog

      My favorite is that god obviously is male and has a Y chromosome – otherwise Jesus would have been female.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • HotAirAce

      As they say, you are preaching to the converted! I look forward to seeing other examples. What is the name of the course?

      July 3, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Colin

      It is hard for me to pick a favorite because so many of them are straight out of the Dark Ages, but I love the myth of hell and a devil who wants to collect souls (for no apparent reason) and an "all loving" God who would inflict a barbaric, eternal punishment upon people for doing nothing more than being skeptical of a being who withheld all evidence of his existence in the first place.

      Really, really childish stuff.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Bikkie

      Yes but jealous dog the diety in his question gave birth to himself so obviously it is either a multi gendered diety or he is complaining about the pantheists as well. I'd like to know where the course is too and what school?

      July 3, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Colin

      An Introduction to Atheism.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • .

      How can you teach non-belief?
      If atheism can't be considered a "faith" then how can it be considered something that can be studied? It's non-belief for crying out loud, there should be very little to study unless you look at the saints, pardon I mean scientists, of the non-religion.

      I can see the exam now: What do you believe?
      Student: Nothing
      A+ and you may grab your credit hours and enjoy the rest of the semester.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • AE

      Your list says a lot more about you than it does Catholics.

      Especially the part about where you understand prayer as some kind of means to fulfill our selfish desires.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Wendy

      That is funny. I want a job teaching people not to believe in leprechauns. It's not enough not to believe in them you have to write an essay explaining why they aren't there.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Unfortunately we have lived with superst!tions as if they are reality for centuries and parents continue to abuse their children by indoctrinating them into religious cults from, if not before, birth, so it is necessary to show them how silly these beliefs are as part of them understanding atheism. And of course, atheism is not about believing in nothing – it is simply the belief that there are no supernatural beings.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • AE

      Do you flunk Christians in your "class". Is this an online school you teach at?

      (a) Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.

      On the night before Jesus Christ was betrayed, tortured and left to die hanging on a cross he met and ate with His disciples. He asked them to continue to meet and eat and drink in remembrance to Him.

      Our Lord asks us to do this. So we do.

      No 'hocus pocus' no 'church' and no 'Sunday morning' required.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • AE

      God uses ordinary things, like bread and juice.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • AE

      (b) When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.

      I pray for God to give me the power to carry out His will. God's will, not mine be done. If it is God's will for me to not pass my test, so be it.

      I pray to God to soften the heart of the teacher that wrote this biased test. God, if it is your will, give this man Colin an open-mind.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      AE, re: prayer for selfish reasons, it is to be expected that us heathens may not fully understand your or each cult's practices but please explain why all cult members don't understand the correct use, and (non) efficacy, of prayer.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • AE

      (d) A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed.

      Human being's selfish desires separate them from the will of God. Jesus Christ know the way to God. And you can, too.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • AE

      @ HotAirAce

      How to pray (suggested by AE):

      Get on your knees. Be open-minded to the fact that there is a power in the universe that loves you. Ask God to reveal God's self to you in a way that you can understand. Continue to pray like this, and be honest with God. This may not be just a one time thing you do.

      Be humble.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      AE, I didn't ask about how to pray, especially as I believe there is no one listening. My question was why do so many believers pray for selfish reasons? Similar to why do so many believers have so many abortions? Why don't cult members understand their own rituals and follow their own rules?

      July 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Deist

      AE:
      " Ask God to reveal God's self to you in a way that you can understand."

      And if the 'answer' comes back that it is NOT the "God" of Abraham & Israel (nor any others conjured up by people)... what then?

      Keep trying, until it agrees with YOU, AE??!

      July 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • AE

      – why do so many believers pray for selfish reasons?

      Because human beings are selfish creatures.

      – Similar to why do so many believers have so many abortions?

      I think out of fear.

      – Why don't cult members understand their own rituals and follow their own rules?

      I'm not in a cult, so I don't know.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "That is funny. I want a job teaching people not to believe in leprechauns. It's not enough not to believe in them you have to write an essay explaining why they aren't there."

      This would be so true if the number of people who believed in leprechauns rivaled those who believe in an invisible man in the sky...

      What were those numbers again? Oh yeah, just 5 billion people or so that believe in the invisible fairies vs um, who believes leprechauns are real? Anyone? Anyone?...

      I do agree that it is sad that we need classes like this to explain to people why ignoring climate data and instead believing in invisible fairys to rescue mankind may not be the best of retirement plans...

      July 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Especially the part about where you understand prayer as some kind of means to fulfill our selfish desires."

      Prayer is ALWAYS some kind of means to fulfill their selfish desires. Just claiming to approach the creator of a universe we are just barely scratching the surface of and claiming that you can talk to him and he listens and gives you comfort IS their selfish desire. They want to feel important and there is nothing that makes you feel more important than believing you can communicate with an eternal all powerful deity.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • AE

      @Just the Facts Ma'am...

      What do you do to feel important? Or are you different from everybody else in the world?

      July 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Just the facts,

      Communicating with God is actually a very humbling experience.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I start by loving myself, if I didn't I would not be able to love and appreciate others. After that you really no longer need other peoples approval or acceptance or validation. I like who I am and i'm fine with the lifespan I was given, I do not need an eternity of anything to make me feel complete.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • AE

      This life span you were given... who or what gave it to you?

      July 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Together, we deliver.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Colin

      My course involves a number of segments

      1. Why do we, as a species, believe in things which we would otherwise dismiss as nonsense, simply because those beliefs are called “religion.”

      2. A short history of the three major monotheist religions.

      3. A look at the Bible, how it was written, compiled, translated and interpreted down through the Centuries. I focus more on Judeo-Christianity than other religions as it is the faith most relevant to my students’ lives.

      4. A look at the Universe and Earth, their size, how they formed and their natural history.

      5. Critical thinking and rational thought.

      6. The difference between religion and morality.

      7. Is religion an overall good or bad thing for mankind?

      July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Communicating with God is actually a very humbling experience."

      Right. How can it be humbling to say "Dear God, please listen to my suplications and let me do not my will but your will, and please protect me and my family and those I love..." while outside there are innocent women and children around the globe suffering disease, hunger and abuse. How is it humble to claim you have the inside track on a reality that you say will reward you for your lowly humble life with an eternity of bliss in the creator of the universes presence. Humble? I think not.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • AE

      We actually learn about and discuss those things in my church, too.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "who or what gave it to you?"

      Life, time and unforseen occurence have given us a multltude of things to enjoy and I try to take advantage of that every day. Love life, be happy, don't hurt yourself or others, if you do then you are showing you do not appreciate what you have. It's pretty simple and requires no Gods.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • ME II

      @AE
      "This life span you were given... who or what gave it to you?"

      I would assume his/her parents.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • WASP

      @AE: ". God, if it is your will, give this man Colin an open-mind."

      hmmmmm i think GOD'S WILL would negate our FREE WILL, correct?
      so which is it? do we have the ability to freely choose our own lives or do we dance to you god of gaps?
      if it's GOD'S WILL, then he can make you dash your child's head against the stones outside your home and what are you to stop him?

      i have free will and do as i like without asking some "GOD" if it is his will that i do something otherwise nothing would ever get done.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • AE

      Life + time + unforeseen occurrences = God

      July 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • ME II

      @AE
      "Life + time + unforeseen occurrences = God"

      Do you perhaps mean?
      unknown = God

      July 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: life span, don't know. That doesn't mean some god did it, especially as you don't have a single fact to prove the existence of any god.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • AE

      HotAirAce,

      You don't have evidence for God.

      I do.

      Or else I wouldn't believe in God.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • ME II

      @AE,
      ... such as?

      July 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • WASP

      @AE: "You don't have evidence for God.

      I do."

      please provide proof so that it may be tested; and please don't say "faith or my bible" because neither are testible nor count as proof.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Colin

      AE – and what is this "evidence?" If it is voices in your head or a warm fuzzy feeling you get, I would point out that many, mnay people hear voices or otherwise "experience" what they think is a god. Hindus experience Shiva, Vishnu or Krishna, Muslims experience Allah and ancient Romans experienced Apollo, NEptune or Zeu communicating with them.

      The internal, subjective experience a person has is evidence of nothing, no matter how convincing the voice or experience may be to the person hearing or having it.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Ken

      AE
      That would be the same kind of "evidence" that believers in reincarnation, or believers in some other god have, right?

      July 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • AE

      You both demand evidence while at the very same time insisting that I am wrong?

      I don't think you are willing to try and understand.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      AE, you are correct, I do not, despite having asked your alleged god (I was raised in the christian cult) and numerous believers numerous times. The only logical conclusion I could come to is that there is none.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Ken

      AE
      No, it's you I don't think is trying to understand. If we line you up with the people who believe in having past lives and those who believe in some other god, we can see no difference in conviction and sincerity. What's more, none of you have any better "evidence" supporting your side. So, considering the incompatibility of these beliefs, isn't it fair to conclude that either most of them are false, or all of them, and that the available "evidence" cannot determine which is the case if judged impartially?

      July 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Colin

      AE – "I don't think you are willing to try and understand". Now, now, stop trying to avoid the issue. Give us your evidence. I see this pattern so often with Christians, you ask for evidence and they try and run from the question. Ok AE, no running, no hiding. Your evidence please.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • AE

      Do you really want to know God?

      Or do you just want a way to prove yourself right?

      July 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "We actually learn about and discuss those things in my church, too."

      Church Version:

      1. Why do we, as a species, believe in things which we would otherwise dismiss as nonsense, simply because those beliefs are called “religion.” Because our God is real, those other Gods are just make believe...

      2. A short history of the three major monotheist religions. – Short history, Jesus is King, all other religions can svck it.

      3. A look at the Bible, how it was written, compiled, translated and interpreted down through the Centuries. I focus more on Judeo-Christianity than other religions as it is the faith most relevant to my students’ lives. – We Christians just focus on the anti-gay parts where people we don't like get tortured and we get to go to happy land. The rest of Christs lessons are just to difficult to understand, I mean, good samaritan? Rich man not entering Gods kingdom? Nah, way to hard to help other and give away our wealth, we like collecting that wealth and making shows of our oppulence in our churches...

      4. A look at the Universe and Earth, their size, how they formed and their natural history. – We look but since our God can do anything we don't care what the evidence says, God made the 14 billion year old universe in a week about 9000 years ago...

      5. Critical thinking and rational thought. – Cratical thinking, as in theocratical... and irrational thought which is the only way you can believe in invisible things.

      6. The difference between religion and morality. what difference?

      7. Is religion an overall good or bad thing for mankind? Well ours is of course, those other guys are from Satan...

      July 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • WASP

      @AE: here is my evidence for NO GOD(S).

      everything is created from energy.
      energy CAN NOT be created nor destroyed.
      energy acts on the principle of attraction, thus creating atoms etc etc etc
      the 5 laws of the universe are in direct response to energy's interactions.
      energy/matter conversion can happen without disturbing the ultimate level of energy in the universe. same energy in your body will be the same amount of energy if i tosse dyou into an atom smasher.

      seeing energy CAN NOT be created nor destroyed that clearly shows the universe is a closed system with only one possible amount of energy; 100% thus indicating that the universe is in a stable state. if anything was capable of tampering with said system it would become unstable and thus POP out of exsistance.

      SUMMARY: that hypothesis i just showed can be tested by minds as great if not greater than my own to be FACT. this in turn shows that seeing the universe is a stable system that maintains 100% energy regardless of what state that energy may be in, it doesn't require a "creator" as it has always been "created" the universe is a never ending curcuit.

      and the best thing is "dark energy" doesn't refute my stance, it actually upholds it.

      July 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Colin

      AE- you made the comment you have evidence for the existence of your God and I (and three others) asked you what that evidence is. Since then, you have been avoiding answering. So, for the sixth time, what evidence do you have for the existence of your god?

      July 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Dave

      AE

      What empirical evidence do you have?

      July 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Observer

      WASP,

      As sound as your theories may be, you still haven't answerered the one question that neither believers nor atheists can answer:

      Where did it all come from?

      July 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • AE

      And I don't think you really want to know God.

      You and 3 others asking for evidence of God on a "CNN Belief Blog" message board is evidence to me that there is something missing in your life that you are searching for.

      You are looking for God.

      July 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Joey

      So AE thinks that Colin is searching for god, and AE has the evidence to prove that god is real, but is unwilling to share it with Colin despite the fact that AE seems to think that people without god are missing out on something. If I had evidence to prove that god was real I would share it with anyone who asked. Why won't you, AE?

      July 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AE
      "you are looking for god"
      Incorrect. I am looking for what is there, not what I believe is there. If it turns out that there is a god, I serioulsy doubt it would be the god that the bible describes, since none of that story makes sense.

      I have studied many religions, philosophies, many sciences and ideas, those that include the notion of a god, those that don't. I am looking for what is REALlY there. It would take a great deal of understanding of many of the above topics to explain what my beliefs are, but there is a HUGE difference between belief and truth. It is a fundimental lie when believers state that their truth is truth, it is belief it is the truth, not truth, again HUGE difference.

      July 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • AE

      "everything is created from energy.
      energy CAN NOT be created nor destroyed."

      It is possible for a being to exist outside your understanding of “energy”?

      I think so.

      A real God does not have to operate within “WASP’s” understanding of the universe.

      My God created that energy.

      July 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "My God created that energy."

      And MY God created your God, so there.

      July 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • AE

      Why won't you, AE?

      If Colin honestly asks about knowing God I can help him.

      But if he just wants to prove that he is right, I can't.

      God has proved himself as real to me.

      And what God has shown me is greater than what Colin talks about.

      There is more to life than meets the eye. Be open to that idea.

      I suggest you humbly ask God to reveal Himself to you in a way you can understand.

      July 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "If Colin honestly asks about knowing God I can help him. But if he just wants to prove that he is right, I can't."

      So AE says if you want to believe in God then you have to believe in him really hard, have some serious faith, and want it really bad, then God will reveal himself to you... by letting you feel like your belief is believable even when its totally unbelievable. That is apparently how God works. I guess my ex-pastor was right when he said "God works in mysterious ways," because that is not only mysterious, it's totally nuts.

      July 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • AE

      @Ma'am

      Help me understand this:

      "I start by loving myself, if I didn't I would not be able to love and appreciate others."

      I really am failing to see how you live this way.

      Instead of changing my words or answering Colin's questions like how you (and only you) imagine a "Church" would answer them...

      ...can you make a statement that demonstrates love and appreciation of others?

      July 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      "I am looking for what is there, not what I believe is there. If it turns out that there is a god, I seriously doubt it would be the god that the bible describes, since none of that story makes sense."

      That fellow with the mushroom-shaped head gets it.

      July 4, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • HotAirAce

      And AE continues to fail at providing the evidence he claimed he has, The secret handshake circle jerk-off continues. I can only conclude AE is a mentally ill lying delusional.

      July 4, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  11. Colin

    You have to love the Catholic Church when it comes to preserving Dark Ages superst.itions. I think the whole nonsense about saints and sainthood is my favorite in a very, very rich field of supernatural hocus-pocus believed by Catholics.

    The idea is that you pray to a dead person to ask them for something. This dead person then speaks to the Catholic god. The Catholic god then intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to answer the prayer. Thus, a person who otherwise would have Parkinson’s Disease is “cured.” If this happens twice, the dead person can be declared a saint through a bureaucratic church process.

    Now, a dose of reality. The “miracles” nowadays are always medical miracles. They usually involve “miraculous” cures, but of course, none of the cures are really miraculous. No amputee ever, ever had a limb re-grow, no person who lost an eye had their sigh restored etc. The “miracles” always, 100% of the time, lurk in that area of medical uncertainty where either a positive or negative outcome is possible. A positive outcome is declared a "miracle."

    For example, the “miracle” proclaimed to put Mother Theresa on the path to sainthood (a cured cancer) has been totally discredited by the husband of the person supposedly cured, by journalists who investigated the matter and by the doctors who supposedly declared the medical condition uncurable.

    Likewise, a “miracle” attributed to México’s favorite Saint, Juan Diego, has been likewise discredited by sources within the church itself for the remarkable reason that Juan Diego quite possibly never existed!

    So, let me make a prediction. The next 1000 saints declared by the Catholic Church will be declared on the basis of medical "miracles" that are easilly explained by medical science. No arms , legs or eyes will regrow. No voice from heaven will be heard. God will not cause a bush to burn or the skies to part. All "miracles" will be nothing more that stories spun up out of medical uncertainty by credulous and enthusiastic church investigators and fed to gullible, stupid or ill educated Catholics.

    This is a bet I would happily put my net worth on!!

    July 3, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      " gullible, stupid or ill educated Catholics." What other kinds are there?

      July 3, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Mentally ill.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • G to the T

      Just the Facts – that's easy... "Ex"! 🙂

      July 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  12. Guster

    The whole idea of a saint is silly. But so is the whole Christian religion.

    July 3, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  13. Soulcatcher

    You can say a lot of bad things about the Catholic Church, but you can't deny that Pope John Paul was a servant of God. His job wasn't to stop sin, but spread Jesus' Message to love God. He set a standard for others to follow. I'd rather live in the world he wished for and strived for than the world all you haters apparently want.

    July 3, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "but you can't deny that Pope John Paul was a servant of God"
      Yes I can.
      Until it is shown that god exists, I can deny it.
      He was a servant of men.

      July 3, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, I think the man served the catholic church and nothing else. I think that he swept the pedophile issue under a rug so it wouldn't stain his church (backfire!), and I think he did his best to preserve outdated dogma that is proven to be harmful - the suppression of birth control and the use of condoms. He was more concerned with preserving his church than with helping humanity. Which to be fair, was his job.

      I get why catholics love him. He put a nice little old man face on their religion. But people who are less concerned about the catholic church and more concerned about humanity do not share this blind affection.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And a protector of child abusers. In any other setting, it is highly likely that he and his successor, The Rat, would have faced criminal charges.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  14. show me

    I'll believe in miracles when I see someone regrow an arm or leg. Until then, miracles are make-believe.

    July 3, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  15. MTS

    No matter what we all say or think, the bottom line is the Church will be here long after we are gone, they will give Sainthoods to those that they deem deserving no matter what others think annd life will go on. I am not a Catholic, but I look at it from the prespective that in the Totality of JPII time as the Pope he did as much good as he allowed to happen around him. His Church is no different than the oli companys and there misdeeds and the auto industry or any other large corporation. No matter how clean the one at the top is, if you dig deep you will find the dirty and crap.

    July 3, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  16. derp

    This is the guy who was in charge for most of the pedophilia scandal and cover up.

    Great, let's make him a saint.

    That is all you need to know about the catholic church.

    July 3, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Alias

      By making him a Saint they are trying to deny the magnitude of the abuse.
      If I hadn't already left the church, I would be going now.

      July 3, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Alias, were you ever confirmed?

      July 3, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  17. SuperDave

    Saint Pedophilia the First.
    How can such a morally corrupt so called "religion" have sop may people fooled?

    July 3, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Bill G

      Valid question. Most people are pretty stupid and gullible, and go wherever their flock goes.

      July 3, 2013 at 10:09 am |
  18. Zarloc

    Could this be a great way to enjoy a July morning or what?

    July 3, 2013 at 9:19 am |
  19. show me

    I'll believe in miracles when I see someone regrow an arm or leg. Until then, miracles are hogwash.

    July 3, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  20. Zarloc

    Close to being forgotten and who cares anyway?

    July 3, 2013 at 9:16 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.