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September 21st, 2013
11:41 AM ET

Can Pope Francis make his vision a reality?

By John L. Allen Jr., CNN

ROME (CNN) - Pope Francis has sketched a vision of a Catholic Church that’s more welcoming – to women, to homosexuals, to divorced and remarried believers, to pretty much everybody –- and less invested in the culture wars.

In a now famous interview published Thursday, the pope said he knows some militants want him to toss around more fire and brimstone. But he insists that Catholic positions on hot-button issues such as abortion and gay marriage are already well known, and anyway, “Ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”

None of that implies a change in church teaching, but it does suggest a fairly serious shift in tone. The question now becomes, is this just the pope talking? Or is he capable of bringing the rest of the church along with him?

Despite the mythology of Roman Catholicism as a top-down monolith, the truth is that it’s actually one of the most decentralized institutions on Earth.

There are only about 3,000 personnel in the Vatican directing the affairs of a church that counts 1.2 billion members, which means that Rome doesn’t have the manpower to micromanage anything but exceptional cases.

Probably 90% of the decisions that matter – what pastor will be assigned to which parish, or what tithes will be used for –- are made at the local level.

Popes trying to steer this colossus in a new direction, therefore, need middle managers as well as the rank and file to pull in the same direction, and experience suggests they don’t always fall in line.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

Pope John Paul II, nearly 27 years, exhorted the church to be more evangelical, more daring about taking its message to the streets, and while he unleashed powerful new energies – think about World Youth Days, for instance – that missionary aspiration still remains a work in progress.

Similarly, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI desired a church more appreciative of tradition and more focused on its core identity, and again most observers would say the end result over eight difficult years was a mixed bag.

If Francis is to bring the Catholic Church into line with his more pastoral and compassionate vision, two fronts seem especially critical.

First is personnel. Nothing a pope does to shape culture in the church is more important than naming the roughly 5,100 bishops of the world, who set the tone in their own backyards.

A new papal direction may be invigorating, but if people don’t pick up the same vibe from their local bishops and pastors, over time it will only seem like sound and fury signifying little.

To date Francis hasn’t made many flagship picks except for his own successor in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but he’ll have to do so soon, since archbishops in critical locales such as Madrid, Cologne and Chicago are all older than 75, the normal retirement age.

Popes typically rely on their nuncios, or ambassadors, around the world to recommend new bishops.

In June, Francis gave his nuncios their marching orders, saying he wants bishops who are “close to the people, fathers and brothers” as well as “gentle, patient and merciful.” He also said they shouldn’t have “the psychology of princes.”

How well he spots talent to fit that profile will help determine whether his dream of moving past what he called “a church of small-minded rules” becomes reality.

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

The other key test is structural reform, beginning in the Vatican and radiating outward, perhaps especially on financial transparency and the fight against child sexual abuse.

Scandals in those areas have plagued the Vatican and the wider church in recent years, making it difficult for many people to see Catholicism as a vehicle for compassion.

Francis has set up three commissions to ponder reform, including a body of eight cardinals from around the world set to hold its first meeting in Rome from October 1-3.

If those groups don’t deliver significant recommendations, which are embraced and implemented by the pope, once again his rhetoric about reforming the church may ring hollow.

Popes play many roles, including prophet and CEO. Francis has delivered a stunning debut as the church’s voice of conscience and spiritual guide; now he has to get down to the brass tacks of management to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Leaders • Pope Francis

soundoff (2,596 Responses)
  1. Penelope Garcia

    Gays and pro-abortionists say they don't care what the Church says.

    But they're always complaining that the Church doesn't approve their lifestyle.......hmmm..interesting.

    September 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      because it's not what you say, it's what you do. you try to change the laws to mirror biblical law. interesting, huh?

      September 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • JeffinDallas

      There is no such thing as a pro-abortionist. Your hysteria has been noted and dismissed as trollish behavior.
      If you don't understand the difference between wanting full civil rights granted to everyone, take a civics class. You sound very uneducated.

      September 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The church wants its dogma supported in legislation...so I do care in the big picture. Other wise I don't.

      September 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • AtheistareMorons

      @ Penelope Garcia

      You won't find to many people supporting your claims, they will either call you a bigot or a troll. Trust me i know what i'm talking about. I've been called a bigot or a troll myself many times. That is what atheists do when cornered with an embarrassing question.

      September 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        Cornered? That's a laugh. I asked you a question about why you think God will punish me for creating me in his image and you ignored it.

        September 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "I've been called a bigot or a troll myself many times."

        If the shoe fits....

        September 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • AtheistareMorons

        Hit a nerve atheist? lol

        September 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • questions

          There is usually no real reasoning with a christian... they have a rule book they play by called the Bible. Now you all need to understand that christians believe that the Bible is word for word, infallible, truth from their God. How do they know that it is the word of God and that it is infallible? Well the Bible tells them so. Think about it, just how do you debate someone with that logic. It goes hand in hand with the commercial with the "French Model" He has to be one.. because it said so on the internet... and the internet is not allowed to post lies.. and we found this information out... on the internet.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          The bible was written by men and i agree, do you? But neither you or i can prove or disprove the existence of God.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          What facts? The only facts here i see is those who believe the bible was written by the hand of God himself and Atheists who think men are capable of creating a perfect world out of imperfect human beings that we are. We as human beings are not good a judging and ruling over others. All we can do is accepting ourselves for who we are. As long as it is done in a moral way.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        AtheistareMorons you will never accept the facts in the world. You will just ignore the facts because you don't want to face the reality that you are wrong. Keep up the act troll.

        September 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          Sorry i put my answer to you in the wrong post, my answer to you is the one just above.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  2. John Henson

    Smell like WHAT? They already smell pretty bad. Have you noticed the jail time and the lawsuits?

    September 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Billy

      True. Prisons are chock full of Xtians these days.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • Irony

        So are the abortion clinics.

        September 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • AtheistareMorons

      Prisons are also full of gay activities going on in there. Aren't you supporters of gays? Or do you simply starting to love the xthians? You can't have both, at least not when you're an atheist.

      September 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        So you are saying that my cousin who is gay is a criminal and should be put in jail because of it?

        September 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          You misread what i have said. That is not what i said at all. Read again.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        prisons are full of g.ay activities? lol. that made me laugh. you're reasoning is childlike.

        September 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        AtheistareMorons I know what you said and it is a lame attempt to try and paint gays as criminals. You are going to try and deny it but it is quite obvious that you are trying to make it also seem that being gay is a choice, when it is not. My cousin has been gay since he was born. I suggest you lay off the dumb religious groups that try to pin gay marriage as immoral.

        September 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          FREEDOM again you're wrong. I was not painting gays as criminals at all. All i was trying to point out is you atheists are supporting gays but are hating religious people. Therefor there are a lot of h o m o s e x u a l activities going on in prisons. The question was, why do you support gays while christians heteros are supposedly the only ones filling prisons. If you support gays you will have to support those christians bi- s e x u a l s as well, am i wrong?

          September 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          AtheistareMorons you are quite a troll. Individuals committing those acts in prisons are not gay. They aren't using their @#$@; they are using whatever is around them to punish the victim. I suggest you actually look into it.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          FREEDOM if you really think they are doing this to punish another prisoner and not enjoying h o m o s e x u a l behaviors then you are wrong. You have much to learn and you must be very young and naive.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          AtheistareMorons I served as a correctional officer for over 10 years. It is quite obvious I know more about the subject then you do.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          If you are what you say you are then you're either are a very naive person or simply stupid. Or maybe both.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          AtheistareMorons stop taking your little Westboro Church book as the truth. I have seen them use the same questioning only to have failed. You are just another one that has failed and has not even looked at the truth of what is occurring in prisons.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          Everyone knows whats going on in prison but you. No one need a PhD to know this.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          AtheistareMorons you are one speculative and dumb troll. When something like that occurs in prison IT DOESN'T AUTOMATICALLY MEAN THE INDIVIDUAL WHO COMMITTED THE ACT IS GAY. Get a @#%@#ing education.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          AtheistareMorons doesn't seem to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I think you're dealing with an adolescent here. Writing skills are at a fifth-grade level at best, and makes totally unrealistic jumps to conclusions.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          Since when a man enjoying other men is not gay? I would say you're the adolescent one.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • questions

        With our simplistic answers and belief that all answers are contained in your precious bible, it must be an easy life. Just walking through the daisy fields with an answer at your fingertips.. and if you can't find one, you fall to your knee's and pray.. and suddenly you feel better...even if your prayer wasn't answered.. because that didn't matter.. it just meant God has a better plan then what you prayed for.. and that's ok.. because .. did you know that everyone who goes to prison goes in straight and walks out gay? See, further proof that being gay is a choice.. YAY me!!!

        September 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  3. Kenman

    Yes, this pope certainly has the smell of his sheep! What a disgrace!

    September 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • JT

      LOL...I can't believe he would be so bold as to call his deluded followers "sheep". When I call them that they get all pissy.

      September 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  4. Lionly Lamb

    God is condemning the crowds of the amassed and in condemnations massing there are the condemners maneuvering the crowds be it for or against the issues of the days' longevity countenances... God's will to so be done is not the arbitrary will of the amassed... Separatists whose individualism can never be uniformly indemnified are the keys to universalizing normality over the amassed musings of the faltered commonwealth segregationists due historically plagued socialistic prohibitions...

    The people need authoritative countenances within a world made full of the dismally profane redundancies of prohibition capitalists... Help therefore one another in closeness gatherings rather then standing apart and away from the mandatory frothing of wanton erroneous issues leading nowhere... Unify the Unions around Hemp and Cannabis tradesmen and tradeswomen...

    Don't allow todays' medicinal and industrial usages of Hemp and Cannabis Plants to take the back seat allowing anti-Hemp socialists' selfish autonomies driving humanisms' needs for crude oil and all its carcinogens and toxins...

    Real eyes
    Realize
    Real lies

    September 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      Uh oh, he threw up his word salad again. Clean-up on page 8, stat!

      September 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  5. Dan Dennett on consciousness

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn9a6_nycng&w=640&h=360]

    September 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  6. Bag Boy

    Like when I hear the sound of feet slapping on the runway
    Like a small bird pretty while it's crapping on the new day

    September 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  7. tony

    god is responsible for one of mans greatest inventions.

    Two collection plates on an axle.

    September 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      Cover your breath
      Alter your speech

      September 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  8. Bag Boy

    You are proselytizing alone
    Listening to the voice with your ears
    You have regurgitated the tone
    Now sat in your tract for many years
    Picked up from dead things that you licked
    It's a feedback loop you can't evict
    Cover your breath
    Cover your teeth

    September 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  9. worknman24hours

    Little will happen.

    The true leadership of the Catholic church will not allow wholesale change-ever.

    September 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      She had some beauty and manners but you look like a bug
      Migrations of their type are such good planners and not smug

      September 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Little will happen soon. Great change takes great time for acceptance.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  10. tony

    Religion is evolving –
    From a god in every tree and pond of pre-historic man,
    to hundreds of the scattered early city civilizations
    to the dozens of the greeks and Romans
    to the handful of pre-Jehova Israel
    to the main 3 or so today, god, allah , etc.,
    to none in the very near future, perhaps after WW III

    September 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the internet and fact-checking are killing religion.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Irony

      Better check with the hindi. They still have a lot more than three.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • tony

        Nope they swapped them for Silicon Valley work visas and phone support businesses

        September 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      Polish your speech
      Cover your breath

      September 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  11. Monk

    2cnd cor

    11:14

    14 And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. 15 It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. But their end shall be according to their works.

    September 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      Polish your teeth
      Alter your breath

      September 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • tony

      Golly, that explains Everything!

      September 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  12. Bootyfunk

    it's good to see the pope moving away from the cruelty of the bible. the bible says g.ays are abomination and to be put to death. i'm glad the pope realizes the bible is not inerrant and that some of the orders therein are evil.

    anyone actually living by the bible would be among the world's worst serial killer/mass murderers ever to have lived.

    September 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Joe

      IRAN doing the Lords work.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • AtheistareMorons

      The bible is wrong when it says gays are an abomination and to kill them, but supporting a behavior such as this one is also bad.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        Why? Why is supporting gay marriage wrong and immoral?

        September 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        It is not a behavior though, it is natural, meaning they were born gay. It happens in nature in other species as well.

        September 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          If being born gay is true, why do the prisoners in prisons who were born heteros turned out to be gay, is it by choices or where they born gay on the first place?

          September 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • questions

          You are annoying to say the least. I have the feeling all your post are just an attempt to draw attention to the YouTube... you are like one of those people who post about their aunt making $17,600 a week... If you had made maybe 5 or 6 comments, maybe you could be taken serious.. but the fact that you have replied to just about every other post shows you are nothing but an attention seeking troll.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          AtheistsareMorons you want compare murderers, rapists, pedophiles, assaulters, and such to regular people who are gay? Get a clue.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          Not at all, my question makes sense. and therefor deserve an answer.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          AtheistareMorons you seem to have been watching way to much TV.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          @questions – Never pass up an opportunity to say two things at once; a general comment and link to a very interesting talk by Mr. Tyson on how religion comes in at the end of our knowledge.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          Is there anyone in here with a logical answer to my question or not?

          September 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          AtheistareMorons you are watching way to much TV. Your question is mute because what you are trying to state rarely happens.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Webster

          moot, not mute - look it up...

          September 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • Ask a stupid question....

          AAM
          If you asked an intelligent question, you might get an intelligent answer. Here's a hint. h0m0$exual behavior does not necessarily mean one is h0m0$exual. Now try some critical thinking and see if you can come up with an answer. You may have to wait a few years until you graduate from Junior High to really get a grasp on it.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          From what you're saying is gays are both born that way and by choices at the same time. Or do you simply accept the fact that some are born that way and others by choices? If so then are you ready to support that there are two categories of pedophiles, gay pedophiles with same gender preference and hetero pedophile with opposite gender preference?

          September 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          AtheistareMoron pedophiles are pedophiles idiot.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Ask a stupid question....

          AAM
          Is it possible for you to ask an intelligent question?
          Is critical thinking so difficult for you?

          September 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          Critical thinking? You can't even answer my question properly. You are thinking one direction only and dispose the other. And you're calling yourself as a critical thinker? You obviously have a one track mind.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • Ask a stupid question....

          AAM
          If you posed a proper question, I could try to provide a proper answer, but you haven't posed a proper intelligent question. You jumped to a conclusion about what I said that clearly indicated you do not understand at all.

          Why don't you start small, have a grown-up help you by forming a question properly, without wild speculation.
          Can you do that?

          September 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          For a critical thinker i would say you failed miserably. The question was simple, with the proven facts i gave, i simply asked were they born that way or is it by choices that they are gay?

          September 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • Ask a stupid question....

          Aam
          People are born gay.
          There are times when people will engage in a h0m0$exual act, but that does not mean they are gay. People do have the ability to over-ride their instincts, and $exual attraction is an instinct.
          If a person with a very strong $ex drive goes to prison and there are no members of the opposite $ex, that individual may get $ex from a same-$ex partner, but that does not have any bearing on the $exual orientation of the individual.

          Understand there is a difference between the $ex acts, and the $exual orientation of an individual.

          For someone who insults an entire group of people with every post, you aren't too bright, are you?

          September 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          So you're saying that a man enjoying having $ex with another man is not gay? I agree that the person can be Bi but when you have a prison full of men, being Bi don't leave you with many choices. It bring the whole thing to preferences and choices. Why don't you want to consider that the so called concept of being born that way could be a wrong conclusion. But being gay by choice could very be the reality. Talking about not being too bright, you should at yourself in the mirror, you're not even capable of being open to two theories in which one of them is the right answer. You only take as a fact what you've been told, you're not even capable of having a real look into this possibility. Turn the switch ON and ask yourself this very question, are they really being born that way or do they chose to be gay.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
        • Ask a stupid question....

          Aam
          I knew you would not understand the concept. Please consult an adult who can help you.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          Funny how atheists go around and avoids to answer a question that could shake their whole atheism world.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • Ask a stupid question....

          Odd how trolls like going around saying things about atheists that have nothing to do with not beliieving in gods.

          What does h0m0$exuality have to do with not believing in gods?

          Please continue to respond, you really are showing how incredibly ignorant you are.

          As if you have some sort of victory, you are gloating at the fact that you cannot understand the concept your question deals with.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          I never said that gay people don't believe in God, some are and some don't just like it is for hetero people. Don't try to clean yourself up after being brought down in the mud. Since you are trying very hard to nail me, here's how i will put it with you. Can one of us prove or disprove the existence of God? I need proven facts, facts that you went in other dimensions and all and that you haven't found God anywhere, or show me a recorded video evidence that shows how the universe came to be. I can't prove the existence of God and i can't prove how the universe came to be, i can only bring up a few theories but that's all. it 's not conclusive. But since you're an atheist and the beholder of the truth, please show me your proof. Show me a brain scan of a gay person where it says that this gay person is telling you the truth that he was born that way and is not being gay by choice.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • Observer

          AtheistareMorons,

          Millions of gays say they were born that way. Please list your skills as a mind-reader to prove you can read their minds and know they are lying.

          Has you s3xual orientation changed since you were born? When did you decide to be hetero? Did you consider all alternatives?

          September 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        • Ask a stupid question....

          You think that I am in the mud?

          Just look at the last post. It is so incoherent It isn't funny.
          You think you brought me down into YOUR mud, hilarious.
          Why do I need to try to prove or disprove the existance of a god, and how is that supposed to relate to gay people again?

          No one can or has shown there to be any gods, nor have they conclusively shown there are not. I fail to see your point for bringing that up, since it is so far off topic.

          Then you claim I am an atheist and have all the answers, the "beholder of the truth". I never said that, and that is just pure silliness on your part...the strawman you are trying to use.

          I don't have access to a brain scan that you demand, but if you do your own research (again back to that critical thinking of which you have proven you do not possess) You will find many, many case studies showing that $exual orientation is part of the biological processes covered by howmones and is not a choice at all. The idea that it is choice is only put forward by people trying to deny reality, and THEY are the ones with no evidence.

          Please keep it going, you are showing the world just how ridiculous some people get with wild unfounded beliefs and half understandings of basic principles.

          Are you doing research for some 6th grade assignment?

          September 22, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Commenter

          "I need proven facts, facts that you went in other dimensions and all and that you haven't found God anywhere..."

          Certainly you know that that's a logical impossibility - how would one know when they had looked *everywhere*.

          In the event that something has been neither proven nor disproven, the default stance is to withhold belief until such time as one or the other occurs... but then it would be knowledge and not simply belief.

          You are free to believe whatever you wish - just don't claim it as fact.

          September 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • California Granny

          Observer:
          "Millions of gays say they were born that way."

          Gays are learning things about themselves too. Many years ago I was voicing my antipathy for same s.ex relations when a fairly brazen and hostile "out" lesbian told me... and I quote... "Don't knock it until you've tried it!"

          September 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  13. Monk

    Meddling

    Jesus said his followers would stand apart from others-Be no part of the world-This man is far from that...The ones who stand apart knock on your doors Preaching the KIngdom as the only hope for mankind as Jesus did.follow Gods word the Bible and adhere to its principles in thier daily lives...dont fight in wars keeping with Jesus command to love one another

    math 24:14

    14?And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.

    mATH 28:19

    . 19?Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20?teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded YOU. And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”

    John 15

    19?If YOU were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because YOU are no part of the world, but I have chosen YOU out of the world, on this account the world hates YOU.

    John 13:35
    35?By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.

    tHE the clergy blessed the efforts to kill fellow humans on both sideS of many conflicts–if your not blind..you can see who this scripture points to.. CERTAINTLY

    IN SHARP CONTRAST..

    THE “HARLOT”
    An “image” of the symbolic “wild beast,” an international organization for peace and security, now known as the United Nations, has been set up, its membership being comprised of the chief political powers of earth making up the political “wild beast.” Its “ten horns” represent all the national rulers therein. This “image,” also called a “scarlet-colored wild beast,” is ridden by the “harlot” “Babylon the Great,” the world empire of false religion. She is shown directing this “wild beast” toward total war against the “Lamb,” Jesus Christ, and his Kingdom interests in the earth. False religion has had a strong influence in directing the political rulers against Jehovah’s witnesses, and they have been bitterly persecuted. “Babylon the Great’s” powerful influence makes her a religious “empire” over the earth’s political organization, as the Bible says: “And the woman whom you saw means the great city that has a kingdom over the kings of the earth.”—Rev. 17:1-3, 5, 13, 14, 18.
    How does the end of the entire false religious system come? The Bible answers: “The ten horns that you saw [all the national rulers], and the [scarlet-colored] wild beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire.”—Rev. 17:16.
    What prompts them to act, since they have not done so even though they see the churches meddling in political matters? Jehovah God himself. “For God put it into their hearts to carry out his thought, even to carry out their one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast, until the words of God will have been accomplished.”—Rev. 17:17.
    False religion’s end will therefore come with surprising suddenness, while she is thinking, “I sit a queen, and I am no widow, and I shall never see mourning.” But God says: “That is why in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong.”—Rev. 18:7, 8.

    September 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      I had a bad reaction to your public hobby writings
      I get no satisfaction from your very recent sightings

      September 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Hear This

      Monk,

      Nonsense fantasy.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Luke 12:37-38
      37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
      38 "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

      47 And that slave, who knew his lord's will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes;
      48 but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required:

      jesus supports slavery.... not exactly a good example of high ethics.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Lord Toronaga

        That's not what this passage says. Jesus says do a good job no matter what. If your do you "employer will treat you well". Back then the entire world was based on slavery. It was said in context.

        September 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Lady Bathory

          Ah the old "context" non sequiter. Bullshit. If the OT is irrelevant today, drop all of the "gay" references, because Jesus never said one word about it, mmmmkay?

          September 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • my reply

          That's right, Jesus was a servant and came to serve people so they will know God is love. We should also serve God by living in obedience to God out of love and showing love to other people

          September 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          Well that's interesting. Then why didn't Jesus say just that, instead of the difficult reading of the passage, which should have never have used whipping as an example for what you are proposing. Why does the word of God have to be interpreted when it can be so plainly said?

          September 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • Bob Bales

        This does not indicate that Jesus supports slavery. He used situations that were common in that day as illustrations.

        September 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          when you recommend beating disobedient slaves - you endorse slavery. sorry.

          you wouldn't use something for a positive example unless you agreed with it.

          September 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          Oh, my, come now. Using a cruelty to convey a message of working hard. This from Jesus! Work hard! Is that not enough?

          September 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Lady Bathory

          We probably should drop everything that refers to the situations back then. Such as the things we know now that are true about gay people now that couldn't have been known then, due to the primitive nature of science. Think that'll happen?

          September 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          @Lady Bathory – I think it will come in time, but it will not go away everywhere. That kind of hatred will find refuge for quite some time, but the realities that people experience on a day-to-day basis are the things that are driving this change. People are using reason, and the Church is having to evolve (or die). Just look at the Republican party and how they've used bigotry to "get out the vote."

          September 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Bob Bales

          Jesus stated the fact that in the society of the time, people beat disobedient slaves. He did not recommend it.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I find that both god and Christians are only loving to those who will agree to think like they do. You should see what god does to the people who don't agree with him and repeat a magic spell with words to that effect.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • Bob Bales

        What does God "do to" people who sin and don't repent? He dispenses justice. Are you saying that dispensing justice is inconsistent with being loving?

        September 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  14. Marihot Tobing

    The Pope is not the last prophet !!

    September 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      Cover your breath
      Polish your speech

      September 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  15. Doris

    Troll: "as long as those who believe in God respect those who doesn't"

    Illiterate rambling in this mode of communication deserves no respect.

    September 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you should respect the person, but you don't have to respect silly or cruel ideas.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      So disappointed I was that I had made small talk with you
      I'm not feeling your buzz I only smell your crock of stew

      September 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • Sheesh

        Shut up already, Apple Bush. You haven't been funny in a while. Give it a fucking long time.

        September 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Bag Boy

          Sheesh, Alter your speech. Polish your teeth.

          September 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          I think Apple Bush left weeks ago.

          September 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  16. crownedinoil

    this evil man is truly the antichrist as prophesied in the bible...He is preaching what all the evil people want to hear.. its ok to be gay and kill babies!! You mr pope will burn in hell

    September 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      It is ok to be gay, but I do have a problem with abortion, but that is a woman's choice.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • UncleM

      Barking mad. There is a dog!

      September 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  17. Edward

    Always remember to follow the biblical teachings of loving thy neighbor. Accept the wisdom and creation of God upon yourself. For to judge your fellow man is to judge "Gods creation" and to judge God himself and ultimately will lead to your own judgement in the end. Don't be lead by the darkness of hatred and by others false messages. This applies to all of mankind, atheist, Muslim, Christian, gay, straight, black, white, Latino, Asian, native American, man, woman, child, and the all of everyone else.

    September 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      That's interesting – so is the message against gays one of those tricks that should be discarded? What about the treatment of women? I'm just saying, step inside of Southern Baptist churches and that's what you'll find.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • questions

        this dude is nothing but a spammer... engaging with banter in order to draw attention to his You tube... stop feeding him and for gawd sake, don't look at his You Tube.. it will only make him feel validated.

        September 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • Edward

        We can only strive to be fully aware and recognize all of the injustices and disheartening changes man creates to pervert the true word of God and ultimately the word of our own humanity and not be ourselves lead into others deception, bigotry, hatred, and prejudism. Some churches have created a following of false teachings and try to control it's followers with contempt and fear toward others. This is an agenda and not the true word of God. Because of this it has pushed more people away from the church than it has attracted. It can be a very sad world, but we must lift ourselves up and be optimistic not only for ourselves, but for all our fellow mankind and womanhood.

        September 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          As an atheist, I like and agree with a lot of what you have written there. I recognize that was a difficult thing to say – my hat is off to you.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you don't need a god to be a good person. you really don't.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  18. Bag Boy

    sweet smelling flowers roam the sidewalks
    while big bellied dandelions platoon;

    the spring rains are falling a funny tune at the expense
    of a funny man;

    stepping on and off the curb, looking a bit bored;
    eyes up and shoes flexed for the sprint

    suddenly bright sun elbows its way between two clouds;
    a funny man flaps his ready feat into a small puddle and smiles

    September 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  19. Vic

    Jesus Christ took away the sin of the world and brought us eternal life and reconciliation with God the Father by atoning for our sins on the Holy Cross, descending to hell and defeating death, and then rising again from the dead on the third day.

    Adam brought sin into the world, with sin came death and separation from God. Then God reduced man to mortal, expelled him from his presence, and imposed this cursed life realm on him to endure. That's what we are going through right now.

    The Law came through Moses to show man that he is a sinner and needs God for redemption, and foretelling of the eventual coming of the Savior Messiah. The Law was the shadow of the Savior Messiah.

    Jesus Christ, the Savior Messiah, is the "Atoning Sacrifice" that relieved man from the aforementioned wages of death. Salvation is a "Free Gift," an "Unmerited Favor." There should have been no "Doctrine of Atonement" after that. That is the problem with the RCC from the beginning. That's the source of the conflicts among people regarding Christianity all along.

    Since the "Dispensation of Grace," the Christian Church should have been preaching the "Message of Salvation" and NOT a "Doctrine of Atonement." The "Message of Salvation" invites people to "Faith" in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior to be saved, and NOT the "Mosaic Law." The "Message of Salvation" is the "Good News" of Jesus Christ, that is all summed up in John 3:16,17 and Ephesians 2:8,9.

    September 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Ok...but where's your proof? That's an awful lot to abide by with no proof.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      Cover your breath
      Cover your teeth

      September 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      there is no good proof that jesus lived at all. in fact, the evidence suggests his story is not original, but plagiarized from several other religions/mythologies.

      aside from that, jesus promoted slavery. he said to beat disobedient slaves "with many stripes." not exactly someone i would look to as a teacher of good morals.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Bag Boy

        Cover your breath
        Polish your speech

        September 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • Bob Bales

        If Jesus never lived, why did people who would have known that He didn't willing go to their deaths for saying that He did?

        Jesus did not command that slaves be beaten. He illustrated His point by saying what a master would do to a slave in the society of the day

        September 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • Observer

        Bob Bales

        "Jesus did not command that slaves be beaten"

        Right. Neither did his father, who just supported the beating of the slaves.

        September 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • Bob Bales

        There is no reason to believe that Jesus or His Father supported the beating of slaves. Or are you saying that Paul taught the opposite of Jesus? (Ephesians 6:9).

        September 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • crownedinoil

      whats your point?

      September 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        What is your question, and to whom?

        September 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • questions

          this guy is a troll, stop engaging with him, he is only trying to promote his you tube. let him die

          September 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  20. mandy

    Accept one another should not be a task. I still have faith in humanity.

    September 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      Cover your breath. Polish your teeth.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      @Mandy – but learning to overcome the hatred that has been taught is a task.

      September 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        religious brainwashing is always hard to break.

        September 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          Any kind of brainwashing is hard to break ... political, economic, environmental, etc.

          September 22, 2013 at 2:21 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.