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July 28th, 2013
08:56 AM ET

What we learned about Pope Francis in Brazil

By John L. Allen Jr., CNN

Rio de Janeiro (CNN) - We didn’t need Pope Francis’ trip to Brazil this week to grasp that the new pontiff, who’s set a tone of simplicity and love for ordinary people, is a hit.

Polls around the world show approval ratings that would be the envy of any politician or celebrity, while vast crowds show up in Rome for even his most routine activities.

What Brazil confirmed, perhaps, is that his act plays as well on the road as at home.

During his week in Brazil for World Youth Day, an international Catholic event, mob scenes erupted everywhere Francis went, despite cold temperatures and driving rain for much of the week.

On Monday, frenzied admirers almost hijacked his motorcade. On Wednesday a group of nuns shrieked and rushed the pope like teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert, and on Thursday  he drew more than a million young people to a worship service on Rio’s Copacabana Beach. A Saturday prayer service drew 3 million people, according to organizers.

At one point, Francis greeted 30,000 young Argentines in town for World Youth Day, a gathering that turned this city into a virtual Argentinian colony. Given the fierce national rivalry between the two countries, one local pundit said that under any other circumstances, the presence of so many screaming Argentines in the streets of Rio would have been considered an act of war.

Beyond that, here are four things we learned about Pope Francis from his week in Brazil:

A sedate charisma

Francis was elected at 76, so he doesn’t exude the animal magnetism of the early John Paul II, the last pope to command this kind of popular affection.

Elected at 58, John Paul delivered dramatic gestures like the actor he once was. For instance, he would kiss the ground of whatever country he was visiting, something Francis didn’t do. John Paul would clap and stomp his feet during musical numbers, and at night he would pop out the window of his residence to tell jokes and boom out one-liners.

Francis has a more sedate charisma, allowing his smile, his genuine delight in meeting people, and his homespun wisdom to do the work.

During a visit to a Rio slum, for instance, he said the poor are often the most generous folk, quoting a Latin American proverb: “You can always add more water to the beans.”

Francis may be a rock star, in other words, but not the “pump up the volume” sort. Think Simon and Garfunkel, not the Rolling Stones – or maybe Taylor Swift, not Lady Gaga.

He’s changed the storyline

If proof were needed of how much Francis has changed the storyline about the Catholic Church, consider that he’d been in the global spotlight for five days by the time Friday night rolled around, and no one had even raised the Church’s child sexual abuse scandals until he did so himself.

Speaking at the end of a procession recalling Jesus’ carrying of the Cross, Francis said Jesus is united with all who suffer, including those who “have lost their faith in the church, or even in God, because of the lack of consistency of Christians and ministers of the gospel.”

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, a veteran of the Church’s struggles with the abuse scandals who was in Rio for the pope’s visit, said the scandals were “an aspect” of what Francis had in mind.

The veiled reference was a reminder of how much the scandals have hurt the Church. Yet the fact that they didn’t cloud Francis’ trip, as they likely would have for a different pope, was also a lesson in how much Francis has given the Church a new lease on life.

A savvy politician

Heading into the trip, there was fear that Brazil’s massive street protests in June might reignite. Aside from a few scattered incidents, that didn’t happen, and Francis seemed to navigate artfully though the political shoals.

The “Pope of the Poor” repeatedly called for greater attention to the needy, and on several occasions applauded the thirst for justice among young people.

During his visit to a Rio slum, he said that no “pacification” campaign can succeed without addressing the social conditions that breed misery – an indirect slap at recent crackdowns on violence in the slums by local police.

At the same time, Francis didn’t embarrass his hosts. He was gracious with Brazil’s embattled president, Dilma Rousseff. He dropped by Rio de Janeiro’s city palace on Thursday to pray over the flags for the 2016 Olympics, meaning that organizers can literally claim a papal blessing against complaints that splashy events such as the Olympics and the World Cup are a waste of money.

In the end, Francis offered a little something for everyone, without blurring his central message expressed in the slum visit: “The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need.”

Energizer Bunny of a Pope

Finally, we learned that despite his advanced age, Francis has a seemingly boundless reserve of energy.

Even before he left Rome, he had trimmed the two days of rest planned for Benedict XVI to one, adding a 150-mile outing to Aparecida, Brazil, on Wednesday to visit a famed Marian shrine, and later in the day stopping by a Rio hospital that treats alcohol and drug addicts.

On the plane en route to Brazil, he stood for an hour to chat with each journalist covering the trip, then spent the rest of the flight talking to his Vatican aides and making notes. A spokesman said nap time had been planned for the pope, but he never used it.

Even on his alleged day off on Tuesday, Francis kept at it. He held a business meeting with a cardinal from Honduras, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who’s in charge of a new council of eight cardinals from around the world helping the pope with Vatican reform.

At one stage, a Vatican spokesman confessed, “I’m happy we’re halfway through, because if [the trip] were any longer I’d be destroyed.”

Despite the grueling pace, Francis seemed as fresh at the end as at the beginning. Nor will things slow down anytime soon, since he’s already announced that he won’t take the usual papal break in August, but will stay on the job in Rome.

The “Energizer bunny” aspect of his personality should serve Francis well, because his bravura performance in Brazil notwithstanding, the Vatican is not going to reform itself.

John L. Allen Jr. is CNN’s senior Vatican analyst and senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Brazil • Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (493 Responses)
  1. OctoberOhio

    This comment will swim in the abyss....but bottom line....the pope goes where the money is....

    July 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Denny259

      Oh man, what do you believe in ...

      July 28, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  2. HotAirAce

    Did we learn that Pope-A-Dope has ordered the RCC everywhere to immediately turn over all information about pedophile priests and their protectors to civilian authorities? If not, then we did not learn anything of significance and we now know all that we need to know. That is, he is just another in a long line of lying charlatan shamans whose first priority is to protect the RCC cult and to preserve christian mythology at any cost. F' him!

    July 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Let me call you a taxi HA Ace...

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5dwksSbD34&w=640&h=360]

      July 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  3. theinexperiencedyouth

    Reblogged this on uggggh.

    July 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
  4. McBob79

    I would say it shows one thing for sure... he can draw people. I dare say no other human being can draw that many people to one location. It speaks volumes about who he is, the reach of the Catholic church and I believe the fact that religion is not dead as the media and secularists would have you believe. Religions simply need strong leaders, a simple, strong message and utmost integrity.

    July 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

      EXCELLENT post McBob – one of the best! God bless you.

      July 28, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A good Sunday to you McBob79

      I would deduce that the RCC's Pope is more charismatic for him to be levied a religiously righteous man of Godly intents... His rock star popularity with South American crowds shows people's charisma and they are so charmed by the Pope's amorous devotion to tending to the flock's adherence towards peaceful assemblage. My shoes are off for this Pope's desires for ministering towards the amorous tempest of the mobs without any bitterness ensuing... If only this world could stand behind someone willfully wanting to break the bonds of social hierarchies that put distances between the people who are poor and those who hold much of the wealth then our world would not suffer from issues like social injustice and moral uncertainties and civil disparagements... One may and can and should dream of better things to come instead of always indulging in negative arousals that lead nowhere and hinder the more positive aspects of the more liberal minded contours around personal freedoms becoming the garnishments of moralizing scruples etchings...

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L23tsYZDYfE&w=640&h=360]

      July 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A good Sunday to you McBob79

      I would deduce that the RCC's Pope is more charismatic and to be levied a religiously righteous man of Godly intents... His rock star popularity with South American crowds shows people's charisma in that they are so charmed by the Pope's amorous devotion to tending to the flock's adherence towards peaceful assemblage.

      My shoes are off for this Pope's desires for ministering towards the amorous tempest of the crowdss without any bitterness ensuing... If only this world could stand behind someone willfully wanting to break the bondages of complicated social hierarchies that put distances between the people who are poor and those who hold much of the wealth then our world would not suffer from issues like social injustice and moral uncertainties and civil disparagements...

      One may and can and should dream of better things to come instead of always indulging in negative arousals that lead nowhere and hinder the more positive aspects of the liberal minded contours around personal freedoms becoming the garnishments of moralizing scruples etchings...

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L23tsYZDYfE&w=640&h=360]

      July 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Answer

      Look at the way that a piece of meteorite fallen from the sky can gather so many other delusional people in the Middle East.

      A piece of rock having greater authority than a human being and it's holy to those tools. That 'rock' has you and your 'pope' by the numbers.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  5. lionlylamb

    Sired Observer...

    Shakespeare is a friendly sort but alas many know him not... A penny will no longer leverage open the skirted valor's seminaries of sequenced womanhood any more than of manhood's lamenting wayward vices... Keeping everyone's chastity as being held sacred is an elusive affair ever stoically to be and become the ravenous wolf's gainfulness...

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYGvKc7Q1PU&w=640&h=360]

    July 28, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  6. BillofRightsforever

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    Where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master,
    grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
    to be understood, as to understand;
    to be loved, as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive.
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
    Amen.

    July 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Dank

      oops

      July 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Death springs eternal and hope rivals with eternities,
      Last hopes are ever the best bets for amnesty's chest.
      Give then hope unto those who cannot yet find it,
      Cherish always those leastwise cherished/
      The days do ever shorten one's Life,
      Forevermore and never to again be so lived.
      Remain ever vigilantly faithful to God's hopefulness way,
      Never give up in seeing Him one day.

      July 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X_2IdybTV0&w=640&h=360]

      July 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

      What a lovely post. Thank you Bill and Peace be with you.

      July 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  7. John Homs

    I am not a Catholic. I am not a Christian. I am not a member of a religious organization. I am not a deist. I do not believe I have a soul. I do not believe in any of the god creatures proposed by man. I am morally just. I am happy. I help people and act friendly everywhere I go.

    Therefore Catholicism assures me that I will burn in torment in hell for eternity. No recourse, I am damned.

    NICE THOUGHTS! HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE 🙂

    July 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Denny259

      No, you will not burn in hell if you really live your life as you said. You will be judged by your deeds.

      July 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • AlexvonOrm

      I think you should not participate unless you can follow up the conversation or if you do not know the bible.... I do not belong to any congregation fyi but Jesus do not say that or his disciples. If you firmly believe in what you believe, you will be judged against those standards. The problem is that we all have a poor record of even sticking to our own standards...

      July 28, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

      "No-one can come to the Father except through Me." – Jesus Christ

      "My kingdom is not of THIS world." – Jesus Christ

      "Unless you have the faith of children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" – Jesus Christ

      For those who deliberately and wilfully REJECT God and Jesus, and CHOOSE to refuse His gift of faith and eternal happiness, Jesus told us that on Judgement day God will say "Depart from Me ye cursed into the everlasting fire."

      WE choose Heaven or Hell – God doesn't make that decision for us. HE loves us ALL and wants ALL of us to be with Him.
      Don't blame God.

      July 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
      • tallulah13

        And there you go. Your religion says that good, decent people will suffer for all eternity for the crime of not worshiping your god and your messiah. Exactly what the original poster said.

        Your god is kind of a dick.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • henry

          U have got to check your facts...just coz roman catholic church is rulling more than 2.5 billion people? 1.3 official catholic people are under their brainwashing spell and islam was started bby them for their own reasons...why can people be so naive and not ask questions why this happened rather than just believe in something evil...why do we have to follow the fallen angels? why cant we live a life that jesus came to warn us about...all gods come from the fallen angels including hinduism...so there u go...u have 3 major religions directly in control of the fallen angels....they have been active right from the end of destruction of Atlantis....and they have a plan to wipe out 3/4th of the population of the earth to easy control the rest...and like how jesus said, if he delays his second coming than not a single soul will be left...US, Russia and major countries have all built bunkers for themselves to hide, what have u got? I am not being overly religious here but open your eyes and check why jesus said in John 9 44 about devils children on earth...they are the fallen angels who still are...

          July 29, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  8. Billy12

    God Bless Pope Francis! The Catholic Church has millions of volunteers/clergy all over the world providing shelter, food, clothing, to the poorest of nations, and also has some of the best hospitals in the US! Haters can't stand the fact that this man is reviving the Church in the spirit of service and peace, and people are taking notice!

    July 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Young Billy12...

      All your said words are finely good deeds but what goodness can be furthered along if none are being educated and given opportunities to learn a meaningful trade..? Clothing and feeding and boarding requires little faith while teaching and educating the knowledge less flocks demands of the faithful much work to do and be done...

      July 28, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Grateful Catholic

      Billy12, yes, but there's always hope, even for the haters. St. Paul persecuted the early Church. And look at St. Peter, he denied 3 times even knowing Jesus. And St. Augustine, he didn't exactly lead a saintly life in his early years. But God's grace can overcome any obstacle. As someone else on these forums has reminded us (several times), prayer changes things 🙂

      July 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • julian

      Well said Bill12. Very inspirational pope and millions are noticing. Love the pope, love my religion!

      July 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

      Absolutely! He's the face of what Catholics already knew, but we need a reminder from time to time and BOY does this wonderful Pope give us a reminder.

      AND he's not going to let up on governments who ignore the poor! Which hopefully will galvanize them into action to generate jobs
      What I really like about the Holy Father is his nipping off the Pope mobile every 5 minutes to go into slum houses and meet with the families. HE offers the poorest of the poor DIGNITY!

      July 28, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  9. Mark

    A lot of people have so many bad things to say about the catholic church and the pope...if the catholic church and the pope aren't your idea of faith, so be it! GOD is not always in a religion or a white cape...go volunteer with cancer children, work with the homeless or volunteer with old people?

    July 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Sam Galt

      Exactly! Go out there and help someone, help yourself, become better! BE A GOOD PERSON! (not a false god puppet)

      Don't spend your days dreaming of a magical deity that doesn't exist. Remember, if Orangutan's had gods, their gods would be almost human 🙂

      July 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

        I promised myself I wouldn't but to he!! with it.....................YOU really are a whining, snivelling little nobody who can't BEAR to see a truly good man who sees God's face in everyone, especially the very poor!
        If he met YOU today he'd shake your hand or give you a hug because THAT'S the kind of humility and goodness HE has. If you had one iota of HIS goodness maybe you'd STOP thinking about your dull, boring self and brighten up a bit!

        You are a sick, twisted creature.

        July 28, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  10. agentmisfit

    People on here spewing vile things, always negative, no matter what ANYONE does. These hate trolls should do us all a favor and turn off your computer and go to sleep or better yet actually be a part of some sort of solution and quit being a part of the problem. I think Pope Francis is doing a tremendous job and he is a vast improvement over Benedict.

    July 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

      Thanks for being the voice of reason! I think Pope Benedict is a Theologian and 'thinker' but his heart was in the right place.

      His integrity showed in his decision to resign. But Pope Francis is truly a man of the people who loves people – and we LOVE him right back. God bless him.

      July 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  11. lionlylamb

    Vincent is a song for those intelligent enough to knowingly understand such implied sanctities...

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

    July 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Bringtherain

      you are the devil

      July 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • lionlylamb

        Such ways are those whose falsehoods weaken one's soulful spirit... I can only share with you Bringtherain my words,,, Nothing more and humbly less than what you care in offerings abundances...

        July 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Shakespeare is a friendly sort but alas many know him not... A penny will no longer leverage open the skirted valor's seminaries of sequenced womanhood any more than of manhood's lamenting wayward vices... Keeping everyone's chastity as being held sacred is an elusive affair ever stoically to be and become the ravenous wolf's gainfulness...

      Though there be critical ones thinking among the topmost branches of civilizations trees of disparagement offerings: the rooted labyrinths of reasoned deducing ways offers little minded goodness to be availed unto the soulless seekers whose only wisdom is found within travesty's demonic exuberances laying ever wastefully towards all graven worded reconciliations that the demonic do behest against many a Holy Believer in and of God's most unrighteous beneficiaries as being an unholy divider in search of disenfranchised souls to devour and chew upon...

      The gullibility's pragmatists are relationally transcribed be they overtly religious and even of the mundanely inverted against anything religious... The ever hardening of bitterness offerings runs ever continuously upon the mainstreamed religious waters unending motions... For without believer’s sanctifications who would be the beneficiaries witnesses..? Does not a cold-heart seek ever the warmth of another's heartfelt wondering ways..?

      Assuredly does not truth come from the readings of the word and knowing of each and all words understandable meanings..? Where then does truth remain standing if meanings cannot be as meaning felt devotional understandings..? Do not many people stop thinking becoming themselves as mindless beasts ever to be herded here to there and made to eat this thing and drink of the other thing..?

      Toward my belief system, religion is a personal belief and should not be a sociable consideration... Anyone's beliefs upon religious conjuring séances should be held personally and not be centered by any socialism of the religiously clairvoyant which tends to conjure their weekly seminary séances upon the weakly enamored folks ever forsaking the doctrines oaths… Emotionalisms are where religious circles are deemed rented and the renters pay steeply for a yarn’s worth... Therefore keep one's faith separated from religious teamsters who take and never give their folded flocks any causally rational explanations as to why there are reportedly many more of God's many sons then what Christendom so potentially claims there to be…

      I am affirmed full of faithfulness in there being a God who has born many godly sons even Satan himself who must have been so handsome, the rest of God's sons saw Satan's beauty and they all fell down at Satan's feet for he was so handsome... Nowadays we creatures of the mists do no more exemplify many of God's first born sons and have taken sides against God's many sons and we have named Jesus as God's first born which I no longer stand up to believe anymore. Jesus if anything was God's last son to be born and bore by a human woman which makes Jesus out to be a half-breed. C'mon God! Tell us all your truths in all of your first born sons being so born when Chaos once did rule supremely..!

      God so loves all His Creations be they great and even quite small for they are all made found by God's loving wisdom...

      July 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • .

        LL is the belief blog pseudo intellect, their poor writing skills demonstrates this fact. Don't bother reading, just laugh and move on.

        July 29, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  12. BigSir

    Whats the pope's job description again?

    July 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Bringtherain

      Protestants will burn eternal in hell

      July 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • agentmisfit

        sad and uniformed.

        July 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Bringtherain

          Protestants are the anti Christ, you all suck the westboro churchs teet

          July 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • BillofRightsforever

        Protestants have every right to worship their faith just as Jews, Muslims and Catholics. We all worship the same God and there is only one God. I pray that God forgives the bigoted, ignorant and hateful for they know not what they speak. I pray they find peace and happiness in their lives.

        July 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Goddess Dakini

          You can be very happy and lead a great life helping people WITHOUT GOD. (and to be perfectly clear there, it should read without an imaginary god). All of the basis for your entire belief system is false and ego-driven. You are only thinking about yourself. You're overweight aren't you? Have a sweet tooth for the good stuff? Try learning and understanding about this world more instead of daydreaming about the fake one you hope to rejoice in one day with a figment of your imagination.

          July 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • K

        So the devil's only reason to exist is to "eat" the non-believers and barbeque outside the apostle's caves when they fast?

        July 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  13. Chenzerino

    Well, we know he thinks he's in charge of a fake place called Purgatory.

    July 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Bringtherain

      Protestants are the anti christ

      July 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  14. Dave - Phx

    The Catholic church is responsible for more death and carnage on this earth than any other religion. You worship a puppet and should repent for your sins.

    July 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Bruce

      Except for last century Dave. Where irreligious regimes killed more people than in all the religious wars combined up to that point. Secularism today keeps it under wraps.

      Just kill the unborn and elderly. No one will ever know...

      July 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • V

      Ha, humanity is to blame for violence...and for religion. Faith is a personal and you are forgoing a meaningful spiritual relationship just because you believe what your skateboarding buddy Flip is erroneously preaching to you.

      July 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • agentmisfit

      Your protestant faith came from Catholicism and your Holy Bible was put together by the Catholic church. Learn your history, pick up a book and educate yourself.

      July 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Bringtherain

      Protestants are lead by the devil and perform black rituals

      July 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  15. Vinny

    He's useless. He goes around in a dress waving and giving speeches. He does Jack sh- to improve anyone's quality of life.

    July 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Bringtherain

      Protestants will burn in hell and be consumed by the devil

      July 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Billy12

      @Vinny-what an idiotic statement! The Catholic Church has millions of volunteers/clergy all over the world providing shelter, food, clothing, to the poorest of nations, and also has some of the best hospitals in the US! Do some reading bro.

      July 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • agentmisfit

      Pope Francis is the leader of the Catholic church, if you don't think he does "jack sh-t" to improve anyone's life you need to pick up a book or google how much the church does for not only it's people, but for other faiths and non-believers. Food banks, hospitals, disaster relief, etc etc.

      July 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • V

      It's called inspiration. It is the most that any man can hope to achieve. This man is trying to inspire people to love each other and help the poor. What are you trying to inspire? Trying to inspire us to hate him for it?

      July 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • V

      It's called inspiration. It is the most that any man can hope to achieve. This man is trying to inspire people to love each other and help the poor. What are you trying to inspire? Trying to inspire us to hate him for it? Trying to inspire as many replies to your comment as possible so you can feel good about yourself? Well, you got me to do it....good job. Now go take a nap.

      July 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  16. BillofRightsforever

    It's sad to see the criticisms and jokes made of the Pope and the Catholic faith from people that know so little or nothing about it. In this country of ours that was founded with the freedom of religion, it really isn't okay to be so hateful, ignorant and disrespectful of the Catholic faith because it is painful to many of us Catholic Americans that practice and love our faith. Just know American Catholics have fought and died for our country and for your freedoms and rights throughout history. Catholics give to their communities and help the poor not just in our country but throughout the world. Catholics don't riot, are taught not to judge other faiths and taught not to criticize others for their secular life. We can forgive the few that spread their hate, ignorance and misery with their posts we just pray they find some happiness in their lives.

    July 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • SillyWilly

      Sorry, couldn't disagree with your thoughts more. What you seem to not be able to understand is that – – – your "god" isn't real. Doesn't exist. It was made up. So any monotheist or polytheist for that matter, is delusional and mildly psychotic. Thanks.

      July 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • BillofRightsforever

        I respect your right to be misinformed and forgive you for spreading hate and ignorance. I also pray you respect our faith and you find peace and happiness.

        July 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Sam Galt

      I want my life to have more meaning.
      I want to be happy.
      I want eternal life.
      I want gods love.
      I want...I want...I want...
      How can I get all of this for ME. Oh, really, just accept Jehsus into my heart and go and worshiple every week. FUN! sign me up...thanks 🙂

      {SLAPS FOREHEAD 7X}

      July 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  17. Perry Tanko

    U.S. charities maybe shouldn't be taxed, but churches should be.

    July 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  18. shark123

    THE NEW SON OF GOD JESUS BROTHER HE WILL TAKE EVERYONE TO HEAVEN LOLOLO

    July 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.