September 19th, 2013
11:01 AM ET

Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

By Eric Marrapodi and Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief'][twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Pope Francis said the church has the right to express its opinions but not to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, expanding on explosive comments he made in July about not judging homosexuals.

In a wide-ranging interview published Thursday, the pope also said that women must play a key role in church decisions and brushed off critics who say he should be more vocal about fighting abortion and gay marriage.

Moreover, if the church fails to find a "new balance" between its spiritual and political missions, the pope warned, its moral foundation will "fall like a house of cards."

The interview, released by Jesuit magazines in several different languages and 16 countries on Thursday, offers perhaps the most expansive and in-depth view of Francis' vision for the Roman Catholic Church.

The pope's comments don't break with Catholic doctrine or policy, but instead show a shift in approach, moving from censure to engagement.

Elected in March with the expectation that he would try to reform the Vatican, an institution that many observers say is riven by corruption and turf wars, Francis said his first mission is to change the church's "attitude."

"The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things," the pope said, "in small-minded rules."

"The people of God want pastors," Francis continued, "not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials."

MORE ON CNN: New interview shows why the pope is so beloved 

The interview was conducted by the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit journal based in Rome, over three meetings this August at Francis' apartment in Rome.

The pope approved the transcript in Italian, according to America magazine, a Jesuit journal based in New York that initiated the interview and supervised its translation into English.

Advance copies of the interview were provided to several news organizations, including CNN.

Jesuits from around the world submitted questions to Spadaro. Francis answered them with the frankness that has become a hallmark of his young papacy.

To begin the interview, Spadoro bluntly asks, "Who is Jorge Mario Bergolio?" - Francis's name before he was elected pope.

"I am a sinner," the pope answers. "This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”

The pope didn't mention any particular sins, and Catholic theology holds that all humans are sinners, a consequence of Adam and Eve's original transgression. Still, a pope describing himself foremost as "sinner" is striking.

MORE ON CNN: The pope said what? Six stunners from Francis

Offering new glimpses of his personal life, Francis said he prays at the dentist's office and felt trapped in the Vatican's traditional papal apartments. (He moved to a smaller one in a nearby building.) He has a taste for tragic artists and Italian films and keeps the will of his beloved grandmother in his prayerbook.

But it was the pope's vision for the church's future  - painted in broad strokes - that's sure to rile or inspire Catholics, depending on which side of the church they sit.

Here are some highlights:

On Women

In July, Francis said, emphatically, that the "door is closed," on women's ordination, a statement that disappointed many Catholic liberals.

But that doesn't mean the church should consider women secondary or inferior, Francis said. "The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions," he told Spadora.

Francis also called on Catholics to think hard about the function of women in the church.

"Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed," the pope said. "The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role."

On Homosexuality 

When Francis was a bishop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he received letters from gays and lesbians who said they were "socially wounded" by the church, he said.

"But the church does not want to do this," Francis said in the interview.

The pope then recalled his comments in July, when he told the media aboard a flight to Rome, "Who am I to judge" gay people?

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

"By saying this, I said what the catechism says," the pope told Spadaro. The catechism, the Catholic Church's book of official doctrine, condemns homosexual acts, but says gays and lesbians "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity."

"Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person."

Francis said that someone once asked him if he "approved" of homosexuality.

"I replied with another question," he said. "`Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being."

Abortion, gay marriage and contraception 

Some American Catholics grumble that Francis has been largely silent on signature Catholic political issues.

"I’m a little bit disappointed in Pope Francis that he hasn’t, at least that I’m aware of, said much about unborn children, about abortion, and many people have noticed that," Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, said earlier this month.

Francis said that he's aware of the criticism, but he is not going to change.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," he told his Jesuit interviewer. "I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that."

But the pope said the church's teachings on those issue are clear, and he clearly believes in those teachings, so what else is there to say?

"It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time," Francis said.

False prophets and quick decisions

Only false prophets claim to have all the answers, Francis said.

"The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt," he said. "You must leave room for the Lord."

But church leaders, including himself, haven't always practiced humility, the pope admitted.

Many of the bad decisions he made while leading Catholics in Argentina came about because of  his "authoritarianism and quick manner of making decisions," the pope said.

That won't happen again, Francis said, as he begins to steer the church in a new direction.

He didn't offer an exact course, but he said change will come. Sooner or later.

"Many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time," he said. "I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Gay rights • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,625 Responses)
  1. wasserball

    I pee every day.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  2. Mike

    This Pope sided with Russia on the Syrian/Iran affair and CNN Media Empire does not like it, so the first thing to do is to slander and dis-credit .. EVEN the POPE, the Pope is not safe from these vampires )

    September 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • doobzz

      All the pope did was talk to himself for a while and skip his snacks for a day.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Ryan

      What are you talking about? This article isn't slandeiring the Pope in any way. It is just stating his position on things. Especially since his views are a bit radical compared to most. There is always someone like you to try and stir the pot because you dont know how to interpret basic language.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Cunning Stunts

      Don't like the message,
      shoot the messenger.

      September 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  3. meee

    We have a great Pope! Thank you, Pope, for your service!!

    September 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • WOW!!

      yes,, the cover ups were brilliant. Children denied help.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  4. Bill Deacon

    Folks, I am delighted to announce my engagement to HeavenSent...She said YES! Thank you all so much for bringing us together.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • !

      @fake Bill Deacon,

      stop being childish!

      September 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  5. Matthew

    Because the Pope inst spewing out hate speech like the rest of the churches of the world he has changed his view or he isn't doing his job? You people need to really look at what it means to be a catholic. Your job is not to JUDGE, that only god can do. If you live your life free of sin and repent for the sins you do commit then that's all you have to do to be a good catholic. It is not your job to step on the views and religions of other but to try and make them see the light, and what better way to show them engagement instead of hostility.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • OKfine

      Only up to a god to judge. Just shut the courts down retire the judges and leave it up to some mythical god. Sorry but you are delusional; well that is my judgement anyway.

      September 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  6. RF

    Not a catholic but the more i read from Francis the more i like him.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • WOW!!

      yes,, he contributed to the cover ups of child abuse..

      such a wonderful piece of cr-ap

      September 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    If God is powerful enough to create the universe, don't you think he'd have a more foolproof way of getting his exact message across to future generations than this endlessly translated, edited, confused, modified, twisted, corrupted book of stories that is changed by religious power brokers to suit each generation?

    Wouldn't god's word be carved on the moon, unchangeable and for all to see? Wouldn't it be spoken unchanged by a species of animal? Wouldn't it be written microscopically on every stone or every tree? Wouldn't there be some space age material that had god's voice recorded, uncorrupted over the centuries and there for everyone to hear.

    Wouldn't there be parts of God's word that reflect computers or artificial intelligence or DNA or modern medicine or future medicine or electricity or space travel to other parts of this amazing universe he created? Wouldn't there be talk of gender and race equality? Wouldn't there be talk of Asia and Australia and the Americas and Europe and Africa?

    Instead the bible is limited to horses and carts and herbs and grain and swords and shields and misogyny and racism and slavery all set in the deserts of the middle east. The Bible is so obviously a product of bronze age man, you must be in denial to even argue that it is the word of god. There may or may not be a god or gods, but this book of bronze age voodoo and oppression has nothing to do with him, her or them.

    And stop it with this "not the word of god but words inspired by god" cop out. That just means it was written by greedy, evil men who got their way by claiming that god told them to do something. That's a self serving scam that should be scorned, especially by anyone claiming to love an omnipotent god. That scam is an abomination and an insult to your god ... as is the bible!

    September 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • richunix

      Is God willing to prevent evil, but is not able?
      Then he is not omnipotent.

      Is he able, but not willing?
      Then he is malevolent.

      Is he both able and willing?
      Then whence cometh evil?

      Is he neither able nor willing?
      Then why is he called GOD?

      -Epicurus 33 CE

      September 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • Maranatha

        The Light shines in the Darkness – but the Darkness has not Comprehended it.

        - The Apostle John, the one whom Jesus loved.

        September 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Trevor

      The definition of self-centered arrogance...

      September 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • Joe

        I would call it the definition of intelligence.

        September 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • stillwaiting aka Basho1644

      Excellent. Couldn't have said it any better myself. I'm still waiting for any shred of evidence for this "god". Fortunately, these unsubstantiated supernatural beliefs, and their believers, are on their evolutionary way out, though (not surprisingly) it may take a while, yet. In the meantime, it's astounding that they get the respect that they do ...

      September 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • ready1923

        He's GOD...why should he have to explain or prove himself to you?

        September 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          because he apparently wants to make demands of us or else. You kind of need to prove you once and for all you exist in that instance.

          September 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
      • Creole

        Haven't seen God yet? Wow! You my friend must be blind as a bat! Look at yourself in the mirror.....and you'll see God! Look at everyone around you...,,, and you'll see HIM! Look at the Sun( with sunglasses of course ) and you'll see HIM!!!! He is EVERYWHERE! Wherever there is LOVE, KINDNESS, COMPASSION , you better believe is there; you are not looking hard enough for you ARE created as HIS image; look no further my friend .

        September 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
        • Joey

          All I see when I look at the sun is a big ball of Hydrogen with a little Helium thrown in.

          September 20, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Joe

      I just stood up and applauded.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Fred

      I do agree with you on following a “corrupted text”, but disagree on God not putting up the “rules” on the moon, DNA ect. The rules are there and have ALWAYS been there. We can clearly see what happens when we disturb the world around us. “He”, “IT” or “SHE” gave us the intelligence to see the cause and effect, both positive and negative for our actions. We also have the freedom to decide what we do, sometimes, well most of the time, not seeing what was written for us to do.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • GayChristian

      Well stated!!!!

      September 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Amanda

      Very well stated!! I've always said that if there was a god and it angered him when people don't believe in him (so much so that he will punish their eternal soul for it) than he'd make a better effort to show his existence. Even the tiniest shred of evidence would be enough to ponder upon, but there has been nothing, ever, besides the written word of man.
      I've been told that god will only make himself apparent to you once you "accept" him and begin to believe in him... But unfortunately, I am smarter than that. If I have to believe in something blindly before it evidently exists, that's called a delusion.

      September 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Jesus Loves You

      You are playing god and even trying to challenge and minimize God Himself.

      God is a God of objectivity, design and purpose but He gave humans free will to choose between right and wrong. Man is contaminated with sin and sin separates us from God. The wages of sin is death. You claiming more intelligent will eventually die of your sin.

      God sent His Son to die for our sins in our behalf. It is offered a free gift. Whoever accepts this truth that Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead and accept Him as Savior and Lord will have eternal life.

      Jesus is coming soon and He will restore back things in order but those who rejected Him will be separated. Your time in this world is short. You may die today as you do not know. While you have time, I advise you to read the Book Of John. But before you read His Words, try to examine yourself, challenge HIm, ask Him to reveal Himself to you.

      As humans we cannot put God in our pockets or just want Him to be what we want of Him. He is an Eternal Holy God, you will be consumed in His presence because you are unclean as I myself but when you would be born again in His Family, Jesus will be your mediator between God.

      Doom to the one who argues with the potter
      as if he were just another clay pot
      Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?”
      or “Your work has no handles”?

      God is the potter and we are just clay.

      September 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Kevin

      It was pretty much the way you described it, i.e., God's Word and presence all around and in everything, in the beginning. Our first parents rejected it still. As a result we could no longer know God the same way. Same thing happened to the Hebrews in the exodus from Egypt. God was before their eyes a pillar of fire to protect them and then actually parted the sea. A week later they rejected him.
      Point is God could stand in front of you or me or anyone and prove His existence. The first time we got tempted, we'd forget and reject Him again. Says something about human nature and intelligence to me.

      September 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  8. TruthandConsequence

    The Pope is letting more sun shine without changing the length of the day. As the article suggests, nothing has changed except the tone. This Pope seems genuinely interested in building a greater dialogue with the issues of the day and his detractors seem firmly stuck in old mockery.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • richunix

      I'm not a christian, but I do like this Pope.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  9. JL

    Great to see the humility in Pope Francis. You can tell he "gets it." I hope all leaders in the Catholic Church follow suit. How many times did Jesus warn about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees? If you focus on the rules of men and parade around as if you are holy, you are not spreading the gospel, you are impeding it.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • WOW!!

      they do follow suit.. After all, the cover ups of child abuse worked well

      September 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  10. Brampt

    The church is dying and will die...all the blood the church spilled has to be accounted for!

    September 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • JCCCC

      The church's been around since JC walked the earth, you'll die way before the church dies.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • Brampt

        The Catholic Church appeared 400 years after Jesus walked on earth and according to the bible it's destruction is imminent, God has judgment coming upon her...probably we will still be around!!

        September 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Beatrice

          Good comment. Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth( Revelation chapter 17 and 18) Rev.18:5. Her sins has massed together clear up to the heavens and God has called her acts of injustices to mind"

          September 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  11. Ehwoma

    Pope is nothing but a MORON. What is judge, is it very obvious that pope doesn't reason from his brain or line with the Bible which he suppose to reason from, but he is reasoning from his anus. Wake up people, Jesus Christ when was on earth do not please people with KIND word or what they want to hear, but use God's Word the Bible to reveal the TRUTH of God's Word. If man and woman leaving together has not legalizes their, why are we fighting for man and man marriage to be legalize? I strongly believe that pope is a GAY

    September 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      The Pope isn't a_moron, he's a genius... The_morons are the ones who worship him.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Dippy's assistant

      Jesus! Go away.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Drew

      English please

      September 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  12. whatisgoingon

    Stupid Pope. The only person who can communicate directly with God. And he doesn't even ask God, "God, should we arrest all Gays?" Then God will give him a Yes or No answer and then we would finally know what God's opinion on the matter is.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Cunning Stunts

      Listen up twinky.
      Jesus said the way to god is through your heart.
      Why do we need a pope ?
      Pass the money plate.

      September 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  13. GayChristian

    Why would an omnipotent God "sanction" a book filled with numerous inconsistencies. If the Bible is truly the word of God as so many people claim, don't you think He could see into the future and see all of the confusion that it has caused, even among Christians. The Bible is not fully the inspired word of God, but that of man as it was written 70-100 years after the death of Jesus based on hearsay. Jesus was a good man, but nothing more.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG


      September 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • TruthandConsequence

      Then, you are not a Christian. The sine qua non of Christianity is to accept and believe in full faith as the New Testament testifies – that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • GayChristian

        I am a questioning Christian...not an ignorant one!

        September 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

      He's omniscient and omnipotent. So, he can change or interfere in anything he wishes; yet, if he already knew what was to be, how can he have the power to change it? Therefore, he can not be both; so if he knows everything he can not be all powerful and change anything he wishes, and if he's all powerful, he does not know everything and is lead to make mistakes in the things he changes. Therefore fallable either way. Uh-oh.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Tim

      you can't just say Jesus was a good man, nothing more. He was either one of three things. A lunatic, a liar, or the true son of god.. He claimed to be the Son, this we know to be true. If he was a lunatic, and claimed to be the son of god, how then could you say he was a good guy. If he was a liar, and claimed to be the son of god, how then could you say he was a good guy. If he was the true son of god, and claimed to be the true son of god, THEN you can say he was a good guy.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • GayChristian

        And we know this how?...since we werent there....

        September 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Jesus Loves You

      Time after time the Bible is the Supreme Word of God, authentic, accurate, powerful, eternal and change lives. As Jesus said that heaven and earth will pass away but His Words will never pass away.

      Your opinion or my opinion do not matter with the authenticity of His Words. Trust me, long time you will be gone and forgotten, the Eternal Word of God will stay and will remain true.

      As humans we just want to pick and choose what we want to believe to match and justify our lifestyle instead of fully surrendering our lives to the Savior.

      September 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • GayChristian

        Again, if the Bible is so accurate, why all the confusion amongst Christians on the how to interpret it. The Bible condoned slavery....Christians, for the most part, are uneducated people who let others dictate to them what to believe and how to live. You were given a mind and ability to reason, yet you choose not to think, but follow. I feel sorry for you all. I hope when you get to "your heaven" that your next door neighbor flies a rainbow flag in their yard. As Forrest Gump says "Stupid is as Stupid does".

        September 19, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Jesus Loves You

          When one becomes born-again Christian. He needs to grow in the Word of God. The same thing with the body, the body needs food, our spirit needs God's words. As you continually seek Him God will lead you through. There may be some minor differences but the core message is the same. It becomes hard for one to fully understand and know the Word of God if we start just to pick and choose words that we want to justify ourselves. God sees the heart, our eagerness of searching and following Him? Are you really true in seeking Him?

          September 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Mark

      If you really want to understand the catholic church, and the spirit behind it, visit be4thefire.com. Check out the Vatican exposed link, and all other videos as your heart desires. Remember, the same spirit that built the Vatican is working through this Pope. Watch the videos, and decide for yourself if the Pope is spreading false doctrine that will lead people into Hell.

      September 20, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  14. Todd

    I would generally agree with those comments, and gays have to make their own decisions on their ultimate destiny. The same can be said for the other side, gays should not be interfering with church views or trying to shape what is acceptable or not acceptable. People have to decide for themselves right and wrong.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • doobzz

      "and gays have to make their own decisions on their ultimate destiny."

      As do pedophile priests and those who protect them.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  15. Time For You To Grow Up...

    Morality is doing what's right no matter what you're told...

    Religion is doing what you're told, no matter what's right.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • JoePeterson

      And simple ideas come from simple minds......

      September 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • Time For You To Grow Up...

        And simple minds believe in talking snakes...

        September 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • troubadour913

      Interesting formulation.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Bill J

      This is an interesting point, but who defines Morality? Are there any moral absolutes? Or do people each get to define what is right and wrong to them? What you are saying is that your definition of Morality is what is right? What if I disagree with you, am I them immoral? You will quickly see this is a real dilemma.
      The answer can be found in the Bible.. God sets the ultimate law (His law) and as human beings with sin we all fall short of this standard. That is why we all need forgiveness by the saving work of Christ on the cross. That is the gospel message of the bible- not to follow a pope or another person version of morality, but rather to follow Christ.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  16. Bill Deacon

    Jesus vs. Buddha

    Both went to their temples at the age of twelve, where they are said to have astonished all with their wisdom. Both supposedly fasted in solitude for a long time: Buddha for forty–seven days and Jesus for forty. Both wandered to a fig tree at the conclusion of their fasts. Both were about the same age when they began their public ministry:

    “When he [Buddha] went again to the garden he saw a monk who was calm, tranquil, self–possessed, serene, and dignified. The prince, determined to become such a monk, was led to make the great renunciation. At the time he was twenty–nine years of age… “Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age.” (Luke 3:23). Both were tempted by the “devil” at the beginning of their ministry: To Buddha, he said: “Go not forth to adopt a religious life but return to your kingdom, and in seven days you shall become emperor of the world, riding over the four continents.” To Jesus, he said: “All these [kingdoms of the world] I will give you, if you fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9). Buddha answered the “devil”: “Get you away from me.”

    Jesus responded: “…begone, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10). Both strove to establish a kingdom of heaven on earth. According to the Somadeva (a Buddhist holy book), a Buddhist ascetic’s eye once offended him, so he plucked it out and cast it away. Jesus said: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out, and throw it away;.” (Matthew 5:29).

    September 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • richunix

      Originally is not a Christian trait

      September 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Christians, what have we learned so far?

      Throw in Krishna, Odysseus, Romulus and Dionysus. Did we look at Heracles?

      Predate Jesus. Jesus was FICTIONAL.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • localdeli

        Most historians, who may or may not be religious, agree that the historical Jesus existed. Now you may doubt his divinity, but to just wish his ever existing away isn't going to happen. After all, he remains the pivotal figure in Western civilization.

        September 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • n2it

      Nice comparison. Dionysus would be yet another.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • OKfine

      Hey BD, do you think the gay lobby at the Vatican got to Francis and told him to butt out, so to speak?
      PS: I thought you once said that the papal apartment in the Vatican was a small spartan space and yet francis found himself los in it and moved out, care to clarify or were you full of BS in the first instance.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • buddha

      your point is?

      September 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • stillwaiting aka Basho1644

      More religious claptrap. It's quite telling that here's an apparent Christian attempting to rescue his failing "faith" via a comparison with Buddhism, which is most emphatically NOT a religion in the theistic sense of the word. There is absolutely NO DEITY in Buddhism, and the Buddha was NOT trying to "establish a kingdom of heaven on earth" - he was trying to raise people's awareness, to awaken to the reality of what is.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  17. cert_is_good

    Pope confesses "He is a sinner"... What's the next revelation that the Pope is an Arab terrorist born OUT OF WELOCK.. and they call Christianity a religion...disgusting..

    September 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • sensibility

      It is the belief of every Christian that every human is a sinner, as we're all born sinners.

      How is it disgusting for the Pope to admit this? He is still human.

      September 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • p.j.

      What's welock? And why is it okay for you to bash the Christian Religion? You can't even be troubled to read the entire article (where it explains about Christians identifying themselves as sinners). Why

      September 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  18. Wow the original

    I guess I hacked others off as well, someone steps in using my original screen name and trolls.. what a pathetic person, desperate to have my words not taken serious.

    September 19, 2013 at 12:30 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.