Pope to G-20: Keep your armies out of Syria
Pope Francis devoted much of his weekly speech on September 4 in Rome to the Syrian conflict.
September 5th, 2013
12:04 PM ET

Pope to G-20: Keep your armies out of Syria

By Daniel BurkeCNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Pope Francis on Thursday wrote to the G-20 leaders, saying that military intervention in Syria would be "futile" and urging them to seek a diplomatic solution instead.

"To the leaders present, to each and every one," Francis wrote in a public letter, "I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution."

The pope's letter was addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is hosting the G-20 meeting, where the Syrian conflict is expected to take center stage.

Francis has condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria and called for a day of prayer and fasting on Sept. 7 to press for peace in Syria.

He also chided the international community for letting "one-sided interests" prevent them from finding a solution.

But while lamenting the "senseless massacre unfolding" in Syria, he has also rejected calls for a military strike against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also urged President Obama and Congress not to use military force in Syria.

"A central moral question is: Will more or less lives and livelihoods be destroyed by military intervention?" Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Bishop Richard Pates, who represent the bishops, wrote to Congress on Thursday.

"Instead of employing armed force," the bishops continued,"in this situation our nation, working with the international community, should direct all of its energies urgently and tirelessly toward dialogue and negotiation."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Foreign policy • Pope Francis • Syria

soundoff (589 Responses)
  1. What if Putin is correct?

    If a nation threatens an imminent attack on another nation, shouldn't the nation about to be attacked strike first instead of waiting to be hit? Iran already claims to have Hezbollah inside the USA waiting orders to strike. Does that mean we can expect a terrorist attack HERE in the USA? Or did they think they could just fire some tomahawks and sail off into the sunset?

    September 6, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  2. davcer

    How does attacking Syria help stop the slaughter ? Are we going to murder 1000 Syrians to "make a point". Is that enough ? Is 10,000 too many ? Is there a quota on women and children ?
    We should go after those who used WMD in Iraq. Babies are being born deformed – no eyes or limbs.
    What about the murder of protesters and the jailing of doctors who offered medical aid to demonstrators in Bahrain.
    We have a serious problem in the US with the main stream media. They report what the government tells them to. There is a lot happening in the world that you won't know unless you watch the foreign news.
    This whole thing about Syria reminds me of a rabid dog.
    Remember the "freedom fighters" we helped out in Afghanistan years ago. That didn't turn out so well. Does anyone think that we have done any good in Iraq ? – which has become a terrorist training nation. Reports are that 10 – 20 thousand Al Qaeda FROM IRAQ are fighting in Syria. That never would have happened before "shock and awe". We have really helped Afghanistan – they are now making a fortune as the world's number one producer of opium.
    So ... how is that raining death and destruction on the poor Syrian people is going to help anything ?

    September 6, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Reality

      Why you ask. To keep Islam and its koranic-driven terror and horror in check: (along with other sources of terror and horror)

      To wit:

      Our War on Terror and Horror:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and horror)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      27) Boston Marathon
      horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life.
      Continued below:

      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      – Ditto for Abu Yahya al-Libi on June 5, 2012

      September 6, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  3. What if Putin is correct?

    And how about that John McCain reprimanding that puppet stooge Brian Kilmeade on FauxNews? Saying "allahu akbar" is NOT the same as a Christian saying "thank God". O's muslim brotherhood pals stood there chanting "allahu akbar" and taking pictures and cell phone video as they carved that priest's head of and then set it on his back with a knife. If you have the guts to watch it, go and watch that video-this is the Al Qaida pals that Obama, McCain, and Lindsey Graham support. We are now the Air Force and Navy of Al Qaida.

    September 6, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • What if Putin is correct?

      sorry, should've said, "carved his head OFF" but furthermore, the only reason they're cutting Christian's heads off and burning their churches is because they don't have any Jews to kill and synagogues to burn-yet.

      September 6, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  4. What if Putin is correct?

    Will Obama be so gung-ho to bomb his muslim brotherhood pals because it was THEY who used the sarin to provoke an international response? Will he bomb THEM?

    September 6, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      he's turned into Barack Bush!!!

      September 6, 2013 at 10:31 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        All anyone can do is make the best decisions that they can with the information that they have. No, it's never perfect, but its all we can do.

        September 6, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • davcer

      The government of Syria is under attack by terrorists. So we are going to help the terrorists.
      We have to stop going around the world killing people !!! Just because we are the BEST at murdering innocent civilians doesn't mean we have to !!!
      Think about the last 30 years or so. Who else has invaded and occupied far away lands ? The only one I can think of is Russia going into Afghanistan, but they share a border (like we do with Mexico) and there problems with opium and muslim extremists crossing the border with Russia. We have a military presence in Mexico and South America on the same basis – drugs and illegal immigration.
      Did we do the right thing in Iraq ? When we got to Afghanistan bin Laden (also our boy – we helped fund and arm him) was already gone but we stayed 10 more years.
      Somebody needs to stand up in Congress and say: "ENOUGH – just STOP it !!!"

      September 6, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  5. Lawrence of Arabia

    What a nightmare... My wife told me last night that Russian warships are moving to the area, I have read that Iran has threatened the US if they should strike in Syria, the government has used chemical weapons, and the rebels are slaughtering Christians... I'm worried that the President of the US feels that he is obligated to do something because of his own words last year about a "red line."

    Talk about a no-win scenario... If we go into Syria, we could be facing a war with Russia, Iran, and Syria, and all of them would be determined to target Israel as well as any US targets, but if we don't do something, Syrians will continue to slaughter each other... I know people have claimed that the US is arrogant to get itself involved in this situation, but can we really be arrogant if all we want is to stop the fighting?

    I just don't know...

    September 6, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Vattikkan

      "the government has used chemical weapons"

      Chemical weapons were used, it's not clear who used it–the rebels or Assad?

      September 6, 2013 at 10:12 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        My appologies if I assumed. Suffice it to say, whatever action that America could take, none have welcome outcomes.

        September 6, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • Vattikkan

          We are superior both intellectually and militarily, we should strive to use our intellectual power to get these people to come to a peaceful solution in the interest of their own people, in the interest of the region and in the interests of humanity at large.

          September 6, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Intellectually superior?
          Well, aren't we full of ourselves.

          September 6, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • Vattikkan

          It is not being full or oneself, it's the truth, we have the best 'think tanks' let's use it!

          September 6, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Zombie God

          Rumor has it the "think tanks" were moved to India

          September 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      What happens if our President appologizes for his hard stance with the "red line" comment, and we tend to issues within our own borders? We might lose face a bit, but could the situation in Syria actually resolve itself? Other nations never did much to help us out during our own civil war, but we sorted things out rather well.

      September 6, 2013 at 10:20 am |
      • Vattikkan

        It is Rule 74. of the Customary IHL that prohibits the use of Chemical Weapons, call it red line or whatever.

        September 6, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • The best thing a Christian can do is

          1) Pray for the region, that peace will prevail in the hearts and minds of those who act out in anger,

          2) Pray for the President, as he makes decisions,

          3) Join the Pope in fasting and praying for peace.

          September 6, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          What if the people of Israel pray to God for the Arabs in Syria to be wiped out?
          As The Chosen People, wouldn't their prayers trump any Christian prayers for peace?

          September 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
        • Johnny

          As if people in the Middle East haven't been praying for peace for centuries.

          September 6, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The US has overtly and covertly supported brutal dictatorships in the MIddle East with no pangs of conscience whatsoever.
      The world is justifiably skeptical of any claims of peaceful or humanitarian motives when it comes to US interventions in foreign affairs, especially in the Middle East.

      September 6, 2013 at 10:22 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Ain't that the truth... I suppose that's the root of the "arrogant" comments directed at the US that I keep reading about.

        I'll tell you what, as far as I'm concerned, as long as there are problems within our own borders (and there are many), we've got no business in the affaris of other nations.

        September 6, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      and your god could stop all of this with a click of his fingers if he wanted to ... but he doesn't ...

      September 6, 2013 at 10:28 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Chief, I was voicing actual concerns, and you immediately want to take a cheap shot?
        I'll respond, but I am in no mood to get into yet another theological debate. I'm burnt out for the moment, OK? Be civil or go somewhere where arguments are expected, like Congress.

        The answer is that since God is Sovereign, (meaning that God, by His own will did freely, and unchangeable ordain whatsoever comes to pass, but neither is God the author of sin, nor does he do violence to the will of the creature, nor is the liberty or contingency of secondary causes taken away, but rather established) He must be using this conflict in Syria to His glory. But that doesn't mean that we immediately know how that is...

        OK, I've stated my position, and I'm not debating it today. If you want to get involved in a theologican discussion, I suggest you go to http://www.gty.org and present your views on those forums.

        September 6, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          not a cheap shot at all. it's a big question that Christians always answer by retreating into mysticism. pitiful.

          and this is the belief blog, not the war blog or the congress blog. think before you post.

          September 6, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Exactly. You're an atheist. You have no beliefs. Your epitaph will read: "Here lies an atheist, all dressed up, and nowhere to go." So since you have no beliefs, why do you post on a belief blog?

          September 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • Observer

          Lawrence of Arabia

          "You're an atheist. You have no beliefs."

          Atheists BELIEVE there are no gods.

          September 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • IKYABWAI

          Lawrence of Arabia:
          "Your epitaph will read: "Here lies an atheist, all dressed up, and nowhere to go.""

          The same epitaph applies to believers...

          September 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • Johnny

          AS an atheist I have lots of beliefs, however, belief in god is not one of them.

          September 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  6. Doc Vestibule

    Of course they're going to take Syria.
    If there's oil to be had, the Western World considers it theirs.
    In 1944, the Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement was signed, dividing Middle Eastern oil between the United States and Britain.
    As FDR said to a British Ambassador: "Persian oil …is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it’s ours."
    Is it any wonder that Syrians are mistrustful of Western interventions?
    1949: US helps overthrowi the elected government of Syria and establishes a military dictatorship under Colonel Za'im
    1958: U.S. to dispatch 70 naval vessels, hundreds of aircraft and 14,000 Marines to Lebanon to preserve "stability" after Syria and Egypt merge into the "United Arab Republic," the overthrow of the pro-U.S. King Feisal II in Iraq .
    Between July 1957 and October 1958, the Egyptian and Syrian governments and media announced the uncovering of what appear to be at least eight separate conspiracies to overthrow one or the other government.
    1967: With U.S. weapons and support, Israeli military seizes Syria's Golan Heights in the "Six Days War"
    1973: The U.S. rushes $2.2 billion in emergency military aid to Israel after Egypt and Syria attack to regain Golan Heights

    September 6, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Syrian oil reserves are about 10% of Nigerian reserves, and about 1% of Saudi reserves. This is worth fighting for?

      September 6, 2013 at 9:36 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        It is worth it to keep Syria as a strategic launching point in the region.
        America will take any advantage it can in that area.
        Sadaam was considered a valuable ally not very long ago.
        He was a brutal, dicatatorial, murderous, genocidal madman back then as well. It was only when he began to threaten US oil interests that he became a bad guy.
        The US has furthered its oil interests by intervening in Haiti, Guatemala, Panama, Grenada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba, The Domincan Republic, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and pretty well anywhere else with oil.
        Once a military presence is established in a given area, the US never leaves.
        Why do you think there are still so many bases in Germany and Ja/pan?

        September 6, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    If I had the power to bring peace to the world I would.

    What sort of a sadistic monster do you all worship if he has the power to let us all live in peace but he chooses not to. He chooses to look down on all this misery and torment and pain and he is either not doing anything to stop it, or he is actually actively causing all this horror to happen.

    and you worship this?!?!

    September 6, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  8. Make peace not war!

    "A central moral question is: Will more or less lives and livelihoods be destroyed by military intervention?"

    -Every human being ought to consider the answer to this question and must make decisions with a clear conscience.

    September 6, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Jones Rivera

      Yes, it is a question of morals, but it also needs a diplomatic solution.

      "in this situation our nation, working with the international community, should direct all of its energies urgently and tirelessly toward dialogue and negotiation."

      Negotiation needs to take place between Assad and the rebels, who is championing this cause???

      September 6, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  9. Fabio

    -Evolution is totally welcome by Catholics... The difference is that for a christian all does not stop there but there is a project and incommensurable value in it, that makes, again, the difference to consider yourself and love ones just civilized monkeys or to consider your self and loved one much more.
    – Every one is born atheist...mmmm... every one is actually born unable of doing anything.. this is why we teach to other people and why universities and schools exist..
    – if some people (that at present are around the 10% of the world population) start to believe in something else.. this is still believing and is just believing in the work of mainstream philosophers

    September 6, 2013 at 4:36 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Incapable of using the reply button??? The term Atheist only refers to a disbelief in gods, so yes everyone is born that way, beliefs are taught over time. Our education system is not always enough to teach and convince children that evolution is the correct information, not if they have been brainwashed so severely by their parents that it is false.
      You use the term civilized monkey very loosely. We are not monkey's, we share a common ancestor-how hard is that to comprehend? I can't think of any Atheist who would ever refer to human's as such but the better portion of Atheists understand the facts of evolution.
      You also failed to comprehend what I was saying in regards to those numbers. Those numbers are changing on a regular basis. You will see that 90% go down, change takes time but it is happening and for the betterment of our species.

      September 6, 2013 at 4:56 am |
      • Fabio

        – ahahah .. cool down .. the reply button was disabled because there were too many nested comments....didn't you know?
        – so,again: when we came to life...well we just come to life, so it's pretty normal that we cannot understand philosophy, theology, justice, how to manage anger ... and if you want I can go on with many other examples... It's pretty obvious... But it is interesting to underline if you want, that most if not all of the ancient populations (Maya, ancient egypt, and so on) started 'spontaneously' to believe in some God . So.. if you want to refer to our nature, this is just another clue that there is something inside the human being pushing him towards the search of God
        – ok we are not civilized monkeys.. we just share a common ancestor you said... (I got your point don't worry 😉 ... so what? I already told you in a previous post (did you read it right?) that evolution is perfectly accepted by Christians.. Taken for granted that, the POINT remains (again), the difference between the idea of another human being as an evoluted, civilized monkey, Vs the idea of person as something of immeasurable value, the kind of persons. for example that you can find in the best poems, literature and arts in general,.
        – the last point of your reply was funny: you say that we are gradually evolving and differentiating from monkeys: ok I already know that.. isn't this,again, evolution? somethings that have always happens and that is ,again ,perfectly welcome by Christians? I hope one day that we will also able to fly

        September 7, 2013 at 5:17 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "to consider yourself and love ones just civilized monkeys "

      We're not monkeys.
      But we are apes. Monkeya are distant cousins on the evolutionary tree. Much closer related to us are chimps, gorillas and orangutans...the great apes. But even these are far removed from early homonids.

      September 6, 2013 at 6:38 am |
      • What if Putin is correct?

        Hey Steve, What do you think of the Russian comment about the West(and we all know who that is) being a "monkey with a hand grenade"?

        September 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Fabio

        OK. We are apes

        September 7, 2013 at 5:19 am |
  10. Jeff

    When a western action takes out a terrorist or two and a civilian, maybe even a child, the Muslim world goes bananas. But when a Muslim dictator kills hundreds of civilians including scores of children using an internationally unacceptable weapon of mass destruction, the Muslim world does pretty much nothing. This speaks volumes about their culture, morals and respect for humanity.

    September 6, 2013 at 3:56 am |
    • Francisco

      The Pope has authority over the biggest BS story ever told. I wouldn't expect results for his actions from his followers or from any of his invisable friends.

      September 6, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • JoeM

      Your comment is true, but not appropriate in this discussion.

      September 6, 2013 at 4:17 am |
  11. pleaseignoreme

    the pope has the authority to issue a holy decree to instruct all catholics in America to boycott Obama's war on Syria. All army officers who are catholics must not partake in this unholy act of murder. Grant a plenary indulgence to all who obey, received the Eucharist and contributed according to their means towards the poor.

    September 6, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Realize that the pope has no actual authority. Ignoe him when you want. Vrtually all American Catholics do.

      September 6, 2013 at 2:37 am |
      • pleaseignoreme

        the holy father is the visible authority on earth regarding all moral/religious issues. He guides the holy catholic church to light a path for the world.

        September 6, 2013 at 2:46 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          He is those things only to people who believe he is those things. Even people who believe suspend that belief with few qualms when it is inconvenient to what they want to do.

          September 6, 2013 at 2:51 am |
        • pleaseignoreme

          I am sure Tom is partially correct in his observation, but if the Pope does speak using his authority with a decree (ex cathedra), most if not all of the catholics in America I am sure will obey. Added the advantage of a remission of sins, and even a release of souls from Purgatory each time a faithful rejects Obama's orders on this war.

          September 6, 2013 at 3:11 am |
      • pleaseignoreme

        "You are Peter (the Holy Father), and upon this Rock (the Holy Father) I will build my Church (Holy Catholic Church). Whatever you allow on earth will be allowed in heaven. Whatever you disallow on earth shall be disallowed in heaven. Not even the gates of hell shall prevail against you (the Holy Father)

        September 6, 2013 at 2:51 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Something someone is said to have said?

          September 6, 2013 at 3:01 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Why this on earth / in heaven setup? Wouldn't it have been more efficient and impressive if Pope-A-Dope could directly affect things on earth?

          September 6, 2013 at 3:20 am |
      • Marcia C

        Don't feed the trolls. Use your brain and read the username.

        September 6, 2013 at 3:27 am |
        • cx

          Right, a troll is a troll. Be it in your side or the other.

          September 6, 2013 at 4:02 am |
      • Fabio

        Hopefully only virtually

        September 6, 2013 at 3:35 am |
    • Eben

      And this is precisely why many people don't trust Catholics. I happen to agree with Pope Francis that Western nations should not involve themselves in Syria's civil war, but it was the exercise of this kind of power over Catholics that turned much of Europe against the Catholic Church. I'm more than happy to see the rest of the world follow suit, but it would be naive of the Church to think they could issue such a decree and not suffer severe consequences. But Pope Francis, and those around him, are not naive, so no such decree will be forthcoming.

      September 6, 2013 at 3:29 am |
      • Fabio

        @Eben: mmmm.. I don't understand why you call it exercise of power. I just think that in democracy the Pope can talk to other people and "write letters" ...or he should stay in silence? Or is this actually.. exercise of power by some states and other powers over the Pope and catholics...? An by the way a lot of people are still catholics. Western countries took with the years a different position over religion just because other thinkers (eg: Cartesio ) managed to do that. And we have to see if what those mainstream thinkers brought to us is indeed... better, human and true..

        September 6, 2013 at 4:14 am |
        • truthprevails1

          When it comes to matters like this the pope may be entitled to his opinion, just like everyone else is but in the grand scheme of it, his opinion should not be taken as authority.

          September 6, 2013 at 5:37 am |
    • truthprevails1

      "All army officers who are catholics must not partake in this unholy act of murder"

      If they are ordered to go to war, they obey their orders...not the pope, not god. They don't have to agree with what they are going to war about, they signed up for their position, their religion takes a back seat here...as it should with any other job out there.

      September 6, 2013 at 4:08 am |
      • pleaseignoreme


        September 6, 2013 at 5:13 am |
        • truthprevails1

          So you think the pope and your imaginary friend are above the army officers duties in a Secular country? You can't seriously be that stupid!

          September 6, 2013 at 5:34 am |
      • davcer

        Your job should NEVER take a back seat to morals and principles.

        September 6, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • truthprevails1

          You should leave your religion at the door when you walk in to work. You're not paid for your beliefs, you're paid to do a job.

          September 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
      • Fabio

        ...right. so did the Nazi for example

        September 7, 2013 at 5:21 am |
  12. children of Israel

    Daniel 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. *Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    September 6, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Who invited him, anyway?

      September 6, 2013 at 2:35 am |
  13. Kent

    The pope is not qualified to be commenting on this or indeed anything of actual substance. When we need an expert on imaginary friends then he can weigh in with his "knowledge".

    September 6, 2013 at 1:49 am |
    • Fabio

      Those "imaginary friends" are what makes the difference between considering you and your loved ones a civilized monkey Vs the intuition that you and you loved one actually are a lot more. And at the same time those "imaginary" friends as you name them, are what makes the difference between considering other people as "means of production and consumers" vs persons

      September 6, 2013 at 3:33 am |
      • Jeff

        In most "civilized" countries people who talk to imaginary friends, hear voices or believe in messages of no legitimate origin are considered dangerous and undeserving to be amongst the general public.

        September 6, 2013 at 3:50 am |
        • Fabio

          ahah yes. The term "imaginary" actually was not used by me, I have a different opinion. Second I think that a lot of people also in western countries, believe in some "imaginary friends" maybe using different names . Third: I love most of what "civilization" brought but not all. Considering myself a civilized monkey or love as just chemical reactions and interactions... I think this is not evolution. It is just philosophy brought by some other people before us. I don't think that for example abortions practices are an "evolution". And the "civilized countries" are often also the countries that own and consume most of the world resources and work to keep other countries in their poor situation (by the way: statistics are not accurate regarding this subject but it seems that almost 90% of the people in the world are believers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism)

          September 6, 2013 at 4:03 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Apparently you have no comprehension of evolution. Learn the facts before denying it and looking like a moron.

        September 6, 2013 at 4:10 am |
        • Fabio

          @truthprevails1: sure 🙂 which are the facts?

          September 6, 2013 at 4:16 am |
        • truthprevails1

          The fact that you're using the term 'civilized monkey' speaks little for you. We share a common ancestor, evolution is a process proven correct by science. 96% of our DNA is shared with chimps. It does not matter if one denies it, it is still the accepted beginnings of our species and all other species.
          As for your thing about there not being many Atheists, everyone is an Atheist to a certain degree and everyone is born as one. Belief is taught. The number of people admitting to disbelief is on a steady incline. People are starting to realize there simply is not need for a god or religion-what religion offers can be found in other places now.

          September 6, 2013 at 4:24 am |
  14. children of Israel

    Christianity and Islam are being bundled together to be burned (Revelation 21:8) Dan shall be a serpent by the way against the religious. Salvation is for the Israelites our Father is the God of Jacob. (Obadiah 1:18)

    September 6, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • HotAirAce

      And the point of the preceding jibberish was?

      September 6, 2013 at 1:34 am |
  15. tallulah13

    I think most reasonable people would prefer a peaceful solution. However, there is nothing reasonable about a leader killing innocent noncombatants with chemical weapons. People used to say about the Holocaust 'never again'. It appears the world has a pathetically short memory.

    September 6, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • HotAirAce

      While I agree that action is needed to end the killing of innocents, I don't want my country (Canada) directly involved. It is sick that the UN is paralyzed by the Security Council and third world countries. The USA and Obama are in a no-win situation.

      September 6, 2013 at 1:30 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Harper doesn't seem to inclined to go thankfully.

        September 6, 2013 at 4:15 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Without going in to Syria and attempting to stop them, can there be a peaceful solution? I've heard people call this the New Holocaust, rather frightening considering we should be further ahead than this by now.

      September 6, 2013 at 4:27 am |
  16. steve1949

    It looks as if the Pope is the only one with any sense. Stay out of Syria.

    September 6, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  17. children of Israel

    The God of Jacob rules and his people are coming together as one. The world is shut up. Judah is Jacob son (Genesis 37:26) and Christ is from the tribe of Judah *Hebrews 7:14*

    September 6, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Are you capable of thinking for yourself?

      September 6, 2013 at 4:32 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.