September 21st, 2013
11:41 AM ET

Can Pope Francis make his vision a reality?

By John L. Allen Jr., CNN

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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. Lionly Lamb

    Crude oils and all their byproducts have become carcinogenic toxins ever more propagated into the world as being tolerably enabled by much of the social establishments whose ineptness understandings care not to fathom in an all out understanding regarding the carcinogenic toxicities' ever growing health issues of illnesses, sickness and diseases found out to be increasingly resonating from possible crude oils' climbing usages

    Humanities ever consuming needs for energy enriched electrical and electronic needs will never decrease unless the natural orders for human reproduction have plateaued and/or reached its zenith whether it be a naturally occurring or unnatural occurring reasoning...

    September 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  2. Hell and destruction are never full

    Jesus shows up after 6 kingdoms of man and establishes His Kingdom.

    September 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Doris

      Well of course they had to make the new story fit with the old story the best they could. They were far from perfect in that task, though. A lot of splintering.

      September 22, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Topher

      6 kingdoms?

      September 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
      • Hell and destruction are never full

        Egypt was the first.

        Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

        That identifies fake Jerusalem.

        September 22, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  3. Hell and destruction are never full

    Whatsa matter socies?? It's a gubmint CHURCH. Obamaites should understand that.

    September 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Jeff in Houston

      There is no government church. Plase stop lying. God doesn't like that.

      September 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • Hell and destruction are never full

        Denial of history is a DEAD END.

        September 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Doris

          Never upgrading from a cave is a dead-end.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • Jeff in Houston

          Please stop lying about things because you don't understand how they work. I am not in denial. The dead end is your narrow mindset concerning His word and the role it plays in today's Christianity. Government hasn't a thing to do with it. Please read the Consti.tution for more on that.
          Just please stop lying. As I said before, God doesn't like that. Refer to the Ten Commandments on bearing false witness. Thank you.

          September 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          Jeff, please stop beating yer wife.

          September 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          Jeff, when you beat her you are beating yasef. Two are one flesh. Get it??

          September 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Doris

          Beating his wife?? That's your schtick, Hell and the dusty cave.

          September 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • Jeff in Houston

          Lying is not a good thing, Hell. You should stop slandering and bearing false witness against people. God doesn't like that.

          September 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
  4. klingstreet108

    The Pope does NOT speak on behalf of God. We can expect someone speaking on God's behalf to speak the message of Scripture. We can expect someone speaking on God's behalf to be noncontradictory in regards to the Bible. The Pope, along with the Catholic system, does not believe in the Gospel as revealed in Scripture. The Pope, along with many other well-intentioned, worldly, and moral people should not be viewed as God-sent authorities.

    September 22, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Doris

      And of course there is nothing more proper than the "Word" from the 40,000+ sects of insanity. (eyeroll)

      "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." (Thomas Jefferson)

      September 22, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • klingstreet108

        Which of the 40,000+ sects do you espouse? Perhaps you're atheist, agnostic, or a follower of Jefferson? He made an excellent case for the freedoms America was founded upon in the rest of his "Notes on the State of VA." Would you make him your god or just piece together snippets of what pleases you and call that a "belief"?

        September 22, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
        • Doris

          I am an agnostic (mainstream) atheist, so obviously I would not make Jefferson or anyone else a god, nor would I dream up one to keep me company. Jefferson, whatever his belief, like Madison, were able to see that freedoms could not be implemented without a price – price to keep people of different faiths from stepping on each others' toes as they exercised their freedom. Hence the wall of separation.

          My quote from Jefferson is to show how angered he was by the Christian sects that were feuding with each other at the time – in his (and Madison's) home state and other states. So what has happened since that complaint about lack of uniformity? Further splintering with people still adamantly claiming they know the will of their god and that other Christians are just wrong.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  5. Yankee Doodle

    If you aren't going to follow Christian doctrine then label yourself some other religion. I'm sick of all the half-hearts out there crying "I'm gay why can't the church just accept gays?". Why on earth do you as a gay person want to be a part of a religion that is explicitly against you in their religious text? As for the churches giving it an endorsement you are pathetic. What are you going to condone next? Sleeping with your neighbor's wife? A family member? You either believe the rules came from God or you don't.

    September 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Doris

      Rubbish being that many even large segments of the 40,000 sects of insanity are very accepting and non-judgmental of gays. Conflcted: yes. Your side of the story is the only one: not by a long shot.

      September 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Doris

      Rubbish being that many even large segments of the 40,000 sects of insanity are very accepting and non-judgmental of gays. Conflicted: yes. Your side of the story is the only one: not by a long shot.

      September 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • klingstreet108

      I too find it surprising that people living in clear violation of God's clear revelation wish to be part of His church. They have no business coming into it and trying to reinterpret His Word to fit a wicked lifestyle. All of us, me included, need to repent of our sin and turn to Jesus Christ on His grounds or get out of His church.

      September 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • Doris

        "in clear violation of God's clear revelation" LOL

        There is nothing clear about it. Each person may think it's clear. But let's see, what did we wind up with...
        oh yeah.. the over 40,000+ sects of insanity that agree on very little – especially those issues that some would call "violations".

        September 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • klingstreet108

          I don't think mocking God's Bible is the way you want to go. It both confirms its clarity and condemns your cynicism. You need to repent of the sin you love and turn to Jesus Christ to save your soul.

          September 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
        • Doris

          Prove your God and then I'll think about mockery.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:32 am |
        • A grasp of the obvious would really help you

          Your proof of the Bible is that people mock it? You are stunningly unclear on the concept of proof.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:43 am |
        • Doris

          Who are you replying to, grasp?

          September 23, 2013 at 12:47 am |
        • A grasp of the obvious would really help klinger

          Klinger. His post absurdly claims that mockery proves the bible.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:56 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          klingstreet108 – "confirms its clarity" Rather, "mockery" underlines what it so clearly is: a collection of works brought together because they seem in some way to be on the same themes and to support each other, but with no essential truths for people to find in it, try as they might. Religion compels people to find something in it that they can surrender themselves to and defend against all reason. They do so in thousands of different ways because, again, there is nothing essentially true about it.

          September 23, 2013 at 1:04 am |
        • Doris

          Ah yes, grasp and so true, Tom.

          September 23, 2013 at 1:32 am |
    • Douglas

      Excellent point,

      In Matthew 19 Jesus speaks clearly and without hesitation regarding the definition of marriage.
      Jesus' definition is one man and one woman.
      Jesus describes those who will be celibate and unmarried (eunuchs) and describes those as people born that way,
      (self-declared LGBTQ for example), others made that way by man ( an accident, castration, neutering or some ailment which eliminates the possibility of normal coitus), or those who serve God as a vocation, such as priests, monks or nuns.
      Many LGBTQ today are demanding that the rules be changed to accommodate their wishes.

      Unfortunately, under the terms of the Christian religion, as outlined in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible,
      this is for all intents and purposes, impossible.

      Jesus said NOTHING about hurting or hating LGBTQ, he expects us to love and respect them as our neighbors, but
      he also demands obedience from LGBTQ and straight alike in terms of living our lives according to HIS will.

      September 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • Doris

        LOL – Douglas is just in time to prove my point above. But let's let Tommy J say it one more time:

        "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

        September 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • Jade

        Chapter and verse where Jesus ever said one word on gays. Not your conjecture, not your interpretation of Mathew 19, but the clear, concise words of Jesus saying anything, EVER, about gay people.

        September 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Sara

      If you define a Christian as someone who buys into the bible 100%' sure. But Christianity was around and growing long before a few men threw the bible together. Exactly what Christianity is is up for debate.

      September 23, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  6. zito

    This Pope has good intentions , but He is 2000 years late. 🙁

    September 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  7. Felix Sinclair

    "This pope's statements are an outrage! What's the point of having religious faith if you don't get to feel superior to others and condemn them for violating arbitrary rules?" – ranting weirdos that need others to do their thinking for them

    September 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  8. Yankee Doodle

    What is he? The anti-christ?

    September 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Doris

      Well many Lutherans think that by default anyway. There just one of the 40,000 sects of insanity – didn't cha know?

      September 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • Doris

        They're just...

        September 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  9. Lainie11

    The Pope's change – well, he must have taken some lessons from Obama.

    September 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  10. Lionly Lamb


    September 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  11. KenX

    this pope is a breath of fresh air. can't recall a spiritual leader reflecting Christ's spirit more genuinely. prayers & hopes with him.

    September 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  12. Sorensen

    Pope Francis is the best breath of fresh air ever in the catholic church. Probably 50% of the old, corrupt farts in the church
    now hate him. So he will have very little if any real impact.
    He should also hire a new food/drink taster!!

    September 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • nom de guerre

      increasingly this pope, grows into peter the roman. why do all evil prophecies find a way to be fulfilled

      September 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
      • Jade

        His name is Francis, and you reaching to fulfill some prophecy by St. Malachi is absurd. The Church, and this world, will go on for many years yet.

        September 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  13. Mike Payne

    YOU DON'T SEE Gay People shooting up Shopping Malls ( Kenya ), or Blowing Up Churches ( Pakistan ).

    EXACTLY WHAT is the definition of "Abomination".

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

      You don't see Methodists or Baptists shooting up malls either...so what is the point? Besides, some of those shababers may well be gay...how would we know?

      September 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
      • Doris

        Christians and Muslims alike in Africa commit atrocities on gays. Get over yourself.

        September 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          On the other hand gays are spreading A I D S world wide. Don't tell me it's not true, just a couple weeks ago one gay men infected more than 300 people by himself alone.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Billy


          And Hitler thought himself the perfect Christian. It's quite something all the trouble he went through to spread Christianity properly throughout the world.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          That brings it down to prove that both groups of people believers and unbelievers are not better than the other one, is it?

          September 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • Chewey


          Way to lie. Hitler thought NO such thing. I suggest you go do some reading. Hitler moved quickly have the catholic church removed from Germany when he took power. Nice try though making stuff up.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Tord

          You asshole moron, you know good and goddamn well that heteros spread AIDS more than gays, but you won't let your ugly, bigoted sould digest that because you would much rather bask in your ignorance. Shut uop, you tedious liing sack of shit.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • Jeff in Houston

          Chewey and AtheistareMorons: Stop lying. God doesn't like that

          September 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Ben

          It is quite possible that Hitler thought he was doing God's work from his various declarations. Whether or not he thought himself to be a truer Christian than others is certainly debatable as is his actions against any one particular church. Billy's point is obvious – why judge a group against the actions of just one/

          September 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Abomination = Catholic Church

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

        Those spreading A I D S are not better.

        September 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Observer

          Gays and heteros are spreading AIDS. Your comment was pointless.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

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

          The shoe fits....

          September 22, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • sgreco

      Curiously enough, the SAME book of the bible that calls gay (MEN) abominations, also calls shellfish and shrimp abominations

      But you dont see radical christians picketing outside Red Lobster!

      September 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • nom de guerre

        an ignorant comment posted on the internet is a crime against humanity. educate yourself before trying to educate others. age should come with wisdom, apparently it doesn't in every case.

        September 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  14. Dan Dennett on the mind


    September 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  15. CNNhatesfreespeech

    The pope is the shepherd of fire.

    September 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Doris

      Really? I'd like to see that. Maybe he'll try out on America's Got Talent..

      September 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  16. Burbank

    Interesting that the church is becoming so gay-friendly while still treating women as second class humans who are told they have no rights to choose whether to become pregnant or not. It really makes me wonder about the Pope's own persuasion in that department...

    Meanwhile women are still unequal, not allowed to become priestesses. In the dysfuntional chauvinism that is the Catholic church, they are thought to be nothing more than baby machines to refill the quickly dwindling membership. Nothing more than mothers that will brainwash their innocents to continue the mysogynistic tradition.

    Baby machines producing ever more innocents that are meant to keep the golden coffers of the Vatican filled with ever more gold. Gold that is not given back to the families that are brainwashed into having more children than they can afford to feed and raise properly, thus commiting child abuse.

    The Church does not care, they have been master abusers of children themselves for eons. I know, I was one of these children. Still a very evil religion and this new pope-speak is only lipstick on a pig. Look beneath the gay-friendly talk and this religion is still a filthy, stinking pig.

    Catholicism needs to die out and I hope the rapidly dwindling membership continues at an ever increasing rate. This gay-friendly pope-speak is far too little, too late; and the deliberately told BIG LIE contiues. MARY WAS NEVER A VIRGIN. That was a political decision made at the Council of Nicea in order to control and oppress women. People are finally starting to think for themselves and beginning to wake up to the con job at last!

    September 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Thomas Nichols

      The pope is doing a great job in marking the beginning of the end of the Roman Catholic religion. Next year he intends to change the name of the religion to Church of the gay parade. And this all because he has a limp dick and fondly remembers the days a young boy could suck him dry.

      September 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • Jeff in Houston

        Please stop lying, Thomas. God doesn't like that. He doesn't like bigots, either.

        September 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  17. Mark in Atlanta

    Love St. Francis. Love this Pope.

    September 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  18. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Fear Me,
    says the Lord of hosts.
    For I, the Lord, do not change.
    Malachi 3:5-7

    Jesus *said to him,
    I am the way, and the truth,
    and the life;
    no one comes to the Father
    but through Me.
    John 14:6

    NOT through the Roman Catholic Church
    unless Jesus Christ is a bold faced liar

    September 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • questions

      When we get to Oz, the Wizard will give you a new brain. The Wizard will grant all your wishes, all you have to do is believe in him and then click your heels three times, say I wanna go home, I wanna to home.. and then suddenly everything will go back to black and white and you will be home with your dog.

      September 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Mark in Atlanta

      Good to see some people are still focused on how to keep people out.

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

      You lost me when you mentioned texas. You must be one of those flat-earthers, world is only 6000 years old, fundamentalist word for word Neanderthal knuckle draggers. You are backwards and obsolete, and your lack of change and ability to move the human species forward is unfortunate. This new pope is a trained scientist (+1) and his visions are truly 'loving' in the biblical sense (if you're into that). It is a welcome change.

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

      Yes and Amen.

      September 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • jazzmanjimmy

      You simply misstate the Catholic position. Christ is the chief or primary intercessor. We are all, including the church, secondary intercessors. We can affect in a positive way a person's salvation. You can go at it alone if you wish, but by writing your letter you are trying to in a sense intercede for others, although erroneously. Otherwise why right the letter. We are not spiritual orphans. We have our human family and the church to aid us. Otherwise, why would you offer up prayers to God for others?

      September 22, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  19. Kenman

    Yes, this pope certainly has taken on the smell of his sheep! Disgraceful! If sins cannot be judged, his role is no longer necessary!

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

      i was taught only he without sin cast the 1st stone. god and jesus are the judges. not humans. let god deal with the issues and humans can quit judging others like they themselfs havent sinned before.

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

        Typical misdirection! We are not to judge the person's heart and certainly not their soul! But, if we were forbidden to judge sin, we would be have to be mindless fools and ignorant of God's Word and incapable of free will to receive God's grace.

        Just as our govt. has the authority in God's scheme to judge criminal actions, we have the responsibility to judge sin or we would be a lawless society.

        It is entirely the providence of only God to judge the person, that is what you've confused for a laissez faire philosophy that has allowed our culture to decline so, saying no one should judge another's ACTIONS!

        September 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          We are not good at judging, people are imperfect and have created an imperfect world. No living human beings is perfect or good enough to judge others. If someone think he is then he's a person with a mental illness. But a person with a good common sense can only give his or their opinion, and that is all we are capable of.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Doris

          And what is sin? Who's interpretation of "the Word" should anyone trust, being that any one of the 40,000 sects are often so different from one another? How did anyone learn about what is supposedly objectively "from God"? If you learned about it from a book or from someone else who learned about it from someone else. How can any opinion among men be purely objective ("from God")? You think yourself an authority on the matter. Guess again.

          "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." (Thomas Jefferson)

          September 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • Doris

          To complete one sentence from my post above:

          If you learned about it from a book or from someone else who learned about it from someone else, then it cannot be purely objective.

          September 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          @ Doris

          Were these atrocities made by God himself or was it done by those who believed they were interpreting the right things God asked them to do? Is the bible written by men or Gods hand? Which one is at fault God or men?

          September 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • Doris

          I'm pretty sure that Jefferson was less an atheist than I. That being said, I believe he would have put the responsibility squarely in man's hand. Deists of that day generally did not believe that the creator God played an active role in people's lives. Many of them also did not believe in the divinity of Christ nor the Bible even if they attended service and thought it to be useful in some way. You would have to prove the existence of God before I could honestly answer a question where God was one of the possible answers.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          @ Doris

          I guess i asked too many question for you to answer. I will only go with one question, was those atrocities made by hand of God himself or were they done by the hands of men?

          September 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Doris

          I assume you meant "were those atrocities made . . ."

          You would have to prove the existence of God before I could honestly answer a question where God was one of the possible answers. So what do we know beyond our wonderings so far?

          September 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • AtheistareMorons

          If i have to prove the existence of God then you will to prove me that those atrocities were made by men who believed in God existed. If those atrocities were done by men who believed they were doing the work of God then the elimination of the existence of God also eliminates the conclusive evidence that those were done by religious people. Both you and i know that the churches did killed a lot of people as well as atheists leaders in the past. So neither you or i can prove or disprove the existence God.

          September 22, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Observer


          The Bible says that God torturously drowned EVERY child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth.

          You can tell us what their sins were to warrant this, right?

          September 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
        • Doris

          "So neither you or i can prove or disprove the existence God."

          I would agree. I think it's highly unlikely that the Abrahamic God exists being that man cannot prove nor demonstrate any alleged objective "truth" without resorting to subjective means, but I suppose in some way (crazy to me) it's possible.

          September 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Bonnie

      I think you mean sins being assessed. Yes, we are to assess the obedience or disobedience to Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ, not only for our own protection but also to save the person who is falling or fading away from God. "If your brother commits a sin, give him a rebuke, and IF he repents, forgive him. Spoken by Jesus Christ at Luke 17:3.
      The church has completely left God and we will all stand by and watch the inevitable implosion, while desperately begging people to get out of the church and back into Jesus' teachings in the Bible-

      September 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I assess Jesus to be a poor moral teacher and not divine.

        September 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • KenX

        so, the people who are authoritarian like Luke 17:3. others, "judge not..." and "as you have done to the least of these..."

        September 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  20. Lionly Lamb

    God is not condemning the crowds of the amassed yet in bitter social condemnations massing there are the bitter 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 seldom ever be uniformly indemnified are the pocketed keys to universalizing normality over the amassed musings of the faltered commonwealth segregationists due historically plagued socialistic prohibitions...

    September 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      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 than 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...

      September 22, 2013 at 3:13 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.