Ex-pope breaks silence, denies cover up
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, left, greets Pope Francis during a March meeting at the Vatican gardens.
September 24th, 2013
02:05 PM ET

Ex-pope breaks silence, denies cover up

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Retired Pope Benedict XVI says he never tried to cover up the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, breaking his post-retirement silence to address one of the greatest threats to his legacy as a church leader.

In a lengthy letter published in La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, the former pope answered theological and moral arguments from Piergiorgio Odifreddi, an Italian atheist and mathematician who had written about Benedict in 2011.

Earlier this month, La Repubblica also published a letter to its atheist editor from Pope Francis, Benedict's successor.

Since his retirement on February 28, Benedict has mostly stayed out of the public eye, living in a converted monastery behind St. Peter's Basilica and keeping his promise to steer clear - at least publicly - of church business.

Benedict's new letter, coming on the heels of Francis' blockbuster interview published last week, makes for a remarkable week for papal communication. Most modern popes have been fairly inaccessible - to the media, at least.

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

In Benedict's letter, published Tuesday, the former pope said: "As far as you mentioning the moral abuse of minors by priests, I can only, as you know, acknowledge it with profound consternation. But I never tried to cover up these things."

Benedict, who now has the title "pope emeritus," also said that even though sociologists have determined that the percentage of priests accused of abusing minors is not markedly higher than other professions, that's "not reassuring" for the church.

Critics answer that it's the not just the crimes but the coverups that made the church's response to sexual abuse so scandalous.

"Over a clerical career that lasted more than six decades, we can’t think of a single child-molesting bishop, priest, nun, brother or seminarian that Benedict ever exposed," said Barbara Dorris of the U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Before he was elected pope, Benedict, formerly known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which assumed responsibility for handling priest abuse cases late in his career.

As pope, he issued revised guidelines in 2010 making it easier to remove abusive priests from the ministry, apologized for the "shame" the scandal brought on the church and met with victims, including in the United States in 2008.

Critics like SNAP dismissed those moves as too little, too late.

In the United States alone, nearly 17,000 people have come forward with abuse claims, and the church has paid $2.6 billion in settlements, therapy bills, lawyers' fees and expenses related to removing priests from the ministry, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

MORE ON CNN: Can Pope Francis make his vision a reality?

In Tuesday's letter, and on past occasions, Benedict has decried the "filth" of sexual abuse in the church. But, the emeritus pope said, it is not "specific to Catholicism." He also chided Odifreddi for neglecting the good the church has done.

"If you do not remain silent about evil in the Church, we must not, however, be silenced even by the great shining path of goodness and purity, which Christian faith has traced through the centuries," Benedict said.

Pope Francis said in April, in one of his first statements as pope, that the church must take "decisive action" regarding cases of child sexual abuse and protecting children.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Crime • Media • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Rape • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (2,421 Responses)
  1. Robert Brown

    I had the thought this morning, “where is the center of the universe?” After reading for a few minutes, I was discouraged. This appears to be kind of complicated so if anyone understands this and can explain it in simple terms, please share. Thanks. By the way, I read the balloon analogy and the cosmological principle.

    September 27, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You are the center of your Universe, Robert. From moment to moment you construct your world from sensory information, things you know, things you believe, and things you remember, things you imagine and guess, and bits and pieces that are more-or-less hard-wired in you. You create the closest thing to reality you will ever experience.

      September 27, 2013 at 8:50 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        The center of the universe is wherever my wife is at any particular moment... however, my grandson causes weird fluctuations in the space time continuum...

        September 27, 2013 at 8:54 am |
        • lol??

          Tattoo sayz, "......................... You create the closest thing to reality you will ever experience................." You wanna be like LET's evil twin twin and like the most low?? Sounds like a social disease with symp-toms and transmission like a PTSD STD.

          September 27, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Funny thing .... I was thinking the same thing myself this morning.

      September 27, 2013 at 9:07 am |
      • Apple Bush

        A blind worm is not concerned about rainbows.

        September 27, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Sorry Neil, did not mean that as a reply.

          btw, loves me some Neil.

          September 27, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • guest

      For there to be a center there must be an edge. Maybe there are no edges; perhaps there is no center.

      September 27, 2013 at 9:14 am |
      • Alias


        September 27, 2013 at 9:46 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Does a balloon have a center?

        September 27, 2013 at 10:27 am |
        • guest

          of course a ballon (I presume you mean an inflated ballone) has a center; you may not be able to see, feel or pin point it, but it does have a center.

          September 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • G to the T

        As I understand the concept – the universe is considered "finite but boundless". So it appears Homer may have been right when he postulated a donut shaped universe!

        September 27, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Some possibilities I can't fully imagine, too complex. However, the idea of a "bubble" or balloon folding back on itself makes sense to me and I can imagine so right now, I will go with that.

      September 27, 2013 at 9:29 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Just to finish the thought, there is no center. Just and expanding balloon.

        September 27, 2013 at 9:37 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Brane theory would suggest that there might be center and would also explain spontaneous creation like the big bang. Two universes "touching".

          September 27, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Robert Brown, thank you for a good topic. This blog has been a bit stagnant.

      September 27, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      MY CHILD, do not let the fine-sounding and subtle words of men deceive you. For the kingdom of heaven consists not in talk but in virtue. Attend, rather, to My words which enkindle the heart and enlighten the mind, which excite contrition and abound in manifold consolations. Never read them for the purpose of appearing more learned or more wise. Apply yourself to mortifying your vices, for this will benefit you more than your understanding of many difficult questions.

      Though you shall have read and learned many things, it will always be necessary for you to return to this one principle: I am He who teaches man knowledge, and to the little ones I give a clearer understanding than can be taught by man. He to whom I speak will soon be wise and his soul will profit. But woe to those who inquire of men about many curious things, and care very little about the way they serve Me.

      Thomas A'Kempis the Imitation of Christ

      September 27, 2013 at 10:04 am |
      • OK fine

        I guess you do not read the comments of Topher and Live4Him, they put a lie to your cut and paste post.

        September 27, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • bostontola

        With that philosophy, how can you distinguish someone who is deceiving from someone who understands something you don't but isn't deceiving? Or are all things you don't understand unworthy of others to study?

        September 27, 2013 at 10:18 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Oh that's easy!
          If it isn't in the Bible and/or the Catechism, then it is deception.

          September 27, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • Robert Brown


        Thanks for sharing. That was really good. It so happens I was talking to a fellow the other day, discussing bible commentary and such. I told him that I do read bible commentary and it has expanded my knowledge of the word of God, especially concerning the historical context of certain books, but when it comes down to it, the bible is extremely interesting all by itself. A person in the spirit can be inspired to think, speak, and write thousands of words from just a phrase and readers or hearers in the spirit can be impressed in many different ways by those words. It speaks to me and you and millions of others, where we are, when we need it. The living word is alive.

        September 27, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "the living word is alive"
          I hereby present you with and give to you this week's "Certificate of Redundancy Certificate"

          September 27, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • OK fine

          Or as Simon says, Paul that is, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. A very christian malady.

          September 27, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Robert Brown


          Thanks, and I don't know if it matters, but that was on purpose.

          September 27, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • Douglas

          "The living word is alive."

          Amen, brother!


          September 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • Gosh

        I hope BD has his pointy hat on when he began "MY CHILD"

        September 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  2. bostontola

    I used to think religious extremists (evolution deniers, climate change deniers, etc.) were at war with science and scientists, but they are at war with reality. There are bloggers here that actually said that humans aren't mammals or primates.

    I wouldn't care if people want to live in such a kooky bubble, isolated from reality, but we are leaving the US dominated century and are entering a new century that will likely present stiff competi.tion from emerging nations. To successfully compete, we will need as many of our people at peak capability, not hobbled by an inability to view the world clearly.

    September 27, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There are people here who don't believe that the Earth's poles have a predictable light/dark pattern, nor do they believe that counting the rings of a tree is an accurate means of determine its age.
      Anything that hints at invalidating their mythical worldview is immediately dismissed.

      I can understand how the mind can ignore even incontrovertible evidence when said evidence risks the coherence of one's worldview. When my partner peed on a stick and a little plus sign appeared, I saw it as a minus and was quite content to ignore the truth and toss the evidence away. Of course, once I took a second look the comforting illusion was shatterred and I had to face the fact that life as I knew it would never be the same.
      8 years later, my life is drastically different – and much more fulfilling.

      September 27, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Are you a biologist or scientist, or have some interest in those subjects?

      Not everyone is, or does.

      September 27, 2013 at 8:46 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Some of us are scientists, yes.

        September 27, 2013 at 8:51 am |
        • wewe

          hahaha lololololol


          September 28, 2013 at 1:06 am |
      • bostontola

        I started in biology but moved to biomedical engineering. I don't expect everyone to be interested, but if you're not you shouldn't vehemently deny mountains of evidence, just ignore it and enjoy the benefits from it. I'm not saying all religious people are reality deniers, just extremists.

        September 27, 2013 at 8:53 am |
        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          In what sense are ALL religious people"extremists",bostonia?Per YOUR definition? Do you KNOW all religious people?

          September 27, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • Alias

          Yes Ringo,
          You must know every person on the planet to say anything about any of them.
          ^rolls eyes^

          September 27, 2013 at 9:51 am |
        • bostontola

          Please learn to read before commenting. I said the opposite of what you claim.

          September 27, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "I'm not saying all religious people are reality deniers, just extremists"... Or Ringo could learn how to read...

          September 27, 2013 at 10:14 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Some of us (me) are analysts...

        September 27, 2013 at 8:59 am |
      • Scientist

        Yes Robert, I am a scientist and enjoy spending time on the belief blog while I am not contributing to this report–>"U.N. climate change report points blame at humans"

        I am one busy atheist as hell. 😉

        September 27, 2013 at 9:03 am |
        • guest

          How some people use ‘four letter words’ amuses me at times. Question: How busy is ‘hell’ and where is it?

          September 27, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Personally, I hate to see people go about in the sort of ignorance that comes not from just not knowing truth about certain important things, but from also believing wholeheartedly that they do know. I'm not terribly alarmed by the number of people who are in this state, but in the influence they have. Beyond that, I just feel sorry for them and want to help.

      September 27, 2013 at 8:58 am |
      • bostontola

        I get very concerned when they take over school boards and warp the curriculum of the next generation in their districts. If we don't push back hard, it will affect our competi.tiveness.

        September 27, 2013 at 9:16 am |
      • wewe

        i am getting misty

        September 28, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Bostontola & Tom,
      I can tell you guys are really intelligent and you have good reasons to believe that a chemical reaction occurred, formed organic molecules, and evolved over billions of years into every form of life we can now detect. I also know some really intelligent folks who don’t mind telling you that they believe the bible is literal. They believe that God is the creator and this planet is about 6000 years old. I enjoy thinking about and discussing those possibilities and everything in between.

      September 27, 2013 at 10:13 am |
      • bostontola

        I hope you enjoy your journey to find your truth.

        September 27, 2013 at 10:43 am |
      • G to the T

        I guess the issue most have with the comparison is the idea of "relevatory" knowledge (which is personal) vs that which is "empirical" (available to all who follow same steps as those before).

        In my experience, one provides a consistent outcome and the other varies wildly. When trying to determine the nature of the universe, I tend to favor those that provide consistent outcomes.

        September 27, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • Robert Brown

          True, and I don't disagree with empirical. The interesting part starts when we have evidence and then someone says "because of this we know...".

          September 27, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • lol??

        Evidence?? Don't let em con you into jumping to conclusions. The likelihood of them bein' Iranian muslim extremists is just as gweat.......................Unlikes fwum da hood!!!

        September 27, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          You can teach people to hate, and you can teach people to spell. Apparently, though it's either one or the other.

          September 27, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • lol??

          Well dawg, sum dawgs are just old. Here's a song you can hum while doing tricks.

          One way or another I'm gonna find ya
          I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha
          One way or another I'm gonna win ya
          I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha
          One way or another I'm gonna see ya
          I'm gonna meetcha meetcha meetcha meetcha
          One day, maybe next week
          I'm gonna meetcha, I'm gonna meetcha, I'll meetcha
          I will drive past your house
          And if the lights are all down
          I'll see who's around

          September 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • wewe

      true. beat it

      September 28, 2013 at 1:08 am |
  3. Bootyfunk

    Philly priest accused of raping altar boy
    By Ross Levitt, CNN
    updated 2:15 AM EDT, Fri September 27, 2013

    there is a never ending supply of pedo-priest. stay classy, catholic church!

    September 27, 2013 at 5:00 am |
    • big sambos mother

      Stanky weed patch arrested for terror threats and being ugly

      September 27, 2013 at 6:00 am |
      • midwest rail

        Do you never tire of hallucinating in public ?

        September 27, 2013 at 7:20 am |
        • sam stone

          no, faith/hhari/etc does not

          if thrills the cvnt to be a troll

          September 27, 2013 at 8:46 am |
        • wewe

          if thrills the cvnt to be a troll sambo stanky

          what is cvnt?

          September 28, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      The alleged victim, now 26, reported the abuse to church officials in January, and they contacted the D.A.'s office the same day, said D.A. Seth Williams, who praised the church for its "sea change over previous protocol and practices.Since arriving in Philadelphia, Archbishop [Charles J.] Chaput has reinforced the Archdiocese's strong commitment to work with law enforcement in ensuring justice for victims of seexual assault," the statement said.
      Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130927_Ex-Philly_priest_charged_with_raape_of_former_altar_boy.html#71V1YCT8UQvvrAvZ.99

      September 27, 2013 at 9:27 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Good for them!
        It is nice that they ignored the Crimen Sollicitationis that states they're supposed to refer such allegations to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and await their response before considering talking to local law enforcement.

        September 27, 2013 at 9:48 am |
      • Alias

        The fact that they have started to cooperate is a result of the fact that they have to.
        It does not negate the centuries where they did not.

        September 27, 2013 at 9:55 am |
      • OK fine

        Well BD, nice to see you are pleased that the Archbishop did the right thing and involved the civil authority. Kind of strange that the mother church did not do the right thing from the get go but it is very encouraging to see progress being made, congratulations.

        September 27, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • derp

        Great, they finallly cooperate after he has been molesting boys for decades while the move him frown parish to parish and cover it all up. Your good guys are about thirty years late.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  4. big sambos mother

    Stanky weed patch spray your face pleasuring 12 gauge sidearm

    September 27, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • big sambos mother


      Disgusting, lying, cheating, vile, depraved, sick, smelly weed patch stanky. Lololololol

      September 27, 2013 at 5:58 am |
  5. Reality # 2

    Lest we forget:

    Only for the new visitors to this blog:

    "Ratzinger's 2001 letter De delictis gravioribus clarified the confidentiality of internal church investigations, as defined in the 1962 docu-ment Crimen Sollicitationis, into accusations made against priests of certain crimes, including s-exual a-buse. This became a target of controversy during the se-x abuse scandal.[43] As a Cardinal, Ratzinger had been for twenty years the man in charge of enforcing the docu-ment.[44] While bishops hold the secrecy pertained only internally, and did not preclude investigation by civil law enforcement, the letter was often seen as promoting a cover-up.[45] Later, as pope, he was accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys in Texas, but sought and obtained diplomatic immunity from prosecution.[46]"

    September 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • sambo

      follow sambo and dodo and their religion and there is an excellent chance you will turn out as wonderful as they are

      September 27, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • wewe

      they will do all these things and i will say depart from me–i never knew you

      September 28, 2013 at 1:03 am |
  6. bostontola

    Almost everyone in the west laughs at Ahmadinajad for denying the Nazi holocaust. He looks like he doesn't care about facts and will say anything that supports his position. He will question any and all evidence and say that is not proof.

    Eerily similar to evolution deniers.

    September 26, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • lol??

      Nazis were big on evolution and greeksterism, silly nazi.

      September 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
      • bostontola


        September 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        they were big on God and christianity, too. in Mein Kampf, hitler says he is on a mission from god to kill the jews. nazi belt buckles said, "In God's Light" or some such gibberish.

        September 27, 2013 at 5:02 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          'Gott mit uns' (God with us)

          September 27, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  7. lol??

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Did the socies copy Islam or the Greeks with their copycat morality?? Make that "Do".
    The nazis had some swell wemen..

    "....Chilling new book has unearthered thousands of complicit German women

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2432620/Hitlers-Furies-The-Nazi-women-bit-evil-men.html#ixzz2g1qSrzOC
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    September 26, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Frank

      Terrible – and hey all believed they were doing the Lord's work.

      September 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Mike

      Do you even know what the heck you babble about half the time? Where do you derive your sense of morality from? From your hateful posts, I'd say you're closer to Hitler than Jesus. You're just an awful persom, if your posts are any indication.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:12 am |
  8. lol??

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Docvest, are you a closet nazi??

    I thought you'd laugh and say something like, "What the hell does an american look like??".
    Science has BIG pwoblems,
    "Vancouver, British Columbia—Peer reviewers are the dragons guarding the cave where the academic treasures of individual promotion and insti*tutional rankings lie. But the dragons are getting weary as armies of researchers from all over the planet try to get by them.

    In a popular session at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science here, one audience member complained he was “bombarded by requests to do reviews.” The task had begun to seem irrelevant to him, he said, because even when he criticized manuscripts, they still got published. “There is so much mediocre work in the journals, I just don’t know what to do,” he said."
    Tell yer pals to shape up.....

    September 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Mike

      Are you a closet intelligent person?

      September 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
  9. big sambos mother

    Fellow believers in Santa. We have been directed by atheists to be silent about our faith. No more ramming it down there throats. U hear me? This is serious stuff. If u love FSM, keep it to urself. Athies are offended when FSM gets too much credit for creating the universe.

    September 26, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Mike

      You understand the use of "Sambo" is racist as hell, right? Stop being a bigot. The rest of your post is ignorant, as well.

      September 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Dippy

      And it's "their throats," not "there throats." Your stupidity knows no bounds.

      September 27, 2013 at 2:56 am |
  10. Billy

    You're right. It is so Pope-Casualty to blame the church.

    September 26, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Bill Deacon


      September 27, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  11. Richard Dawkins

    Evolution favors the selfish gene, not the reasonable group.

    September 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Dr. Dawkins reworked the definition of the word "selfish" in order to apply it to genes.

      September 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Sara

      Amazing the amount of research that's taken place in the last 40 years...

      September 26, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • lol??

        And silly conclusions.

        September 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
        • Frank

          I'm trying to remember if I ever heard int the news that someone named "lol??" was famous for any research, discovery or as an authority on anything. No, I guess I've not heard of you. Maybe you can enlighten us with your educational background and area of expertise.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
        • lol??

          Like Obama it cost me millions for the cover-up and you can do your own research, frankie.

          September 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Is that your pithiest, lol?? Really?

          September 26, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It is strange, Richard Dawkins is sometimes cited by people in my field, but the citations are of books for popular consumption. Perhaps there is a "there" there, and I'll see it one day.

      September 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  12. niknak

    Why do the various religion's leaders have to wear such creepy costumes?
    They only look appropriate on Halloween.
    Especially creepy for the CC as they are in Italy and could get Armani or Prada to design them some cool threads to wear instead of that white frocky thing that makes them look like some derange ice cream man.

    September 26, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Atheist

      They need to start dressing like Americans!

      September 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • OK fine

      The Vatican bankers under investigation, the hierarchy are trying to look holy, uninvolved, thus the old rags not business suits.

      September 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
      • niknak

        That's just these two bozos.
        What about all the other religion's leaders?

        Beauty is only skin deep, but religion is creepy are the way to the bone!

        September 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
        • Uh...

          You never wore a graduation gown and cap?

          September 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
        • niknak

          Sure, for a few hours.
          And it fun.
          But I never thought that they would let me communicate with invisible creatures.

          September 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
        • niknak

          Was fun.....

          September 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
        • Uh...

          I didn't say anything about talking to imaginary creatures... are you alright?

          September 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • niknak

          Well, all the leaders of the worlds religions proclaim they are in contact with them.
          Maybe there is more to those whacky robes then I thought......
          But I am going with no.

          September 26, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  13. Atheist


    September 26, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • niknak

      No you can't.
      Just like you can't feel god.
      Because neither exists, except in your head.

      Seek medical help if you experience a resurrection of more then 4 hours..........

      September 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
      • Actually

        Just becuz you can't doesn't mean others can.

        September 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • Dippy

          "can't" not "can"

          September 26, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
        • G to the T

          Did feel it – now I don't. Now I'm pretty sure that what I thought I was feeling wasn't what I thought it was. So why shouldn't I assume the others claiming to have that same feeling?

          September 27, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Atheist

      would someone get this baby out of me?! im OVER IT

      September 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
      • niknak

        The majority of woman who get abortions are believers.

        Here is the link, http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/facts/women_who.html

        September 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • Atheist

          I know!

          September 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
        • niknak

          Got to tell you bro, your shtick is weak, and tiring.

          If you are trying to be the religious equivalent of Steven Colbert, then you are failing miserably.

          Please come up with something interesting, or better yet, just stop posting all together.

          September 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • Atheist

          You are one to talk!

          September 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  14. SoldierOfConscience

    I live in a trailer park, my Daddy is also my Grandpa, my Mommy works the streets at night and sells her food stamps for drugs. I am just a poor lonely boy who has never met anyone outside of my hillbilly family. I started doing crack at the age of 8 and started drinking moonshine at the age of 5. I have a boyfriend and love my dog (shhhh, you should see what Mommy does with my dog).

    September 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Atheist

      Welcome. Do you hate God and religion? Do you have lots of free time to express that? Come on in and join our club!

      September 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
      • niknak

        I think he is implying he is the typical fundie believer/tea party GOP type.
        Def NOT an atheist.

        September 26, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • Atheist

          arrghhh! Religious, delusional, circular logic, fairies, Santa Claus, and anything else that makes me seem smart... GAWD I HATE HIM.

          September 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • niknak

          And neither are you.
          I doubt you even know what the meaning of the word atheist is.
          Plus, your grammar and sentence structure leads me to believe you too are from some trailer somewhere.

          September 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  15. Atheist

    Religion is the cause of EVERYTHING that is wrong.

    September 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  16. Sara

    OK, I give up. Did a whole conversation just disappear?

    September 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  17. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    @L4H – not sure where your post went but here is my reply:

    Molesting children is a violent crime against another human and from a humanist standpoint can never be justified, only from a religious perspective could it be so, i.e "The devil made me do it..." or whatever other nonsense some fundamentalists tell themselves to feel okay with marrying 13 and 14 year old girls.

    As for my premise that the three Gods are the same, I am saying that in each culture there are nearly identical sets of moral beliefs that each claim originated from their deity, along with thousands of other lesser known religions and Gods/gods all taking the credit for being the origin of righteousness and morality. My claim is that if all those believers only follow this morality because their God does exist, as many Christians claim, and if the other religions God does not exist would not those people fall into chaos with the very fabric of their moral society originating from a false non-existent deity? How can worshipers of a false God be good, loving, caring and respectful human beings with high moral standards? Or do you claim that does not exist anywhere but in your Church with the closeness you have derived from a true divine being?

    Or maybe, just maybe, the thing we all share, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, atheist and all is that we are human and have the same evolved moral traits and traditions passed on from one tribe to another and from one generation to another. These traits allowed our ancient ancestors to survive in very harsh conditions and difficult environments by helping one another and creating protective social groups that have now expanded to include the entire globe. We understand to our core that helping others IS helping ourselves and is some instinctual chemical and emotional response that gives us feelings of security and peace. It is the unknown we fear and often malign and hate, which is why it has become ever more urgent for us to get to know our fellow humans and put aside our petty differences and work together for mutual cohabitation and human survival. Only we can save our and our children's future by working together, not waiting on some invisible sky man to come and save us from ourselves. Give up the hate, the bigotry and the holier than though rhetoric and have real conversations about real things with real people.

    September 26, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Atheist

      I used to preach Christianity, but that didn't allow me to be preachy enough. So I became an atheist and now preach to my hearth's delight!

      September 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        LOL it's a growth industry.

        September 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        With an evolving market.

        September 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • GodFreeNow

        If you dismiss truth because of the tone of the messenger, it says more about you than it does the messenger.

        September 26, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • Christian

        I used to try and think for myself but that got so tiresome so I have decided to stop learning anything new and will write down "God did it" on every test and sue the school if they fail me. I'm better than Muslims or any other religion on the planet and when I poop my pants it doesn't even smell...

        September 26, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • Atheist

          That is exactly what Christians do! That is why there are no Christian doctors, engineers or university professors!

          September 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • Christian

          Ah! I see you get my point!

          September 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        @ Faux Atheist – I see your only reply to a reasoned argument is to parody the impression you have in your mind of those you can't compete with on an intellectual level. It's a sad place to be, I know, I was a pastor who ignored most science and higher learning as machinations of the devil until I got away from the Churches braindraining and went back to school. I would call it brainwashing, but there is nothing wahsed clean with a brain that has been through the Christian spin cycle...

        September 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        • Faux Atheist

          I thank God my pastor does not ignore most of science or call higher learning the machinations of the devil. Sure, a number of pastors may do this, like you did. But not all do.

          September 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • AUTHORITY


          September 26, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  18. Bunnies: The Case for Intelligent Design Proven

    If bunnies don't eat the cecotropes from their anus, they will die.

    September 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      And just think how many Christians observed the rabbit eating what appeared to be it's own poop and had a go.

      September 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • Dippy

        Its, not it's.

        September 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Apple Bush


          September 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Dippy


          September 26, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Ok, I will say it,

        ...and that's how jelly beans were discovered.

        September 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Akira

          Lol. The licorice ones?

          September 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  19. palintwit

    I think that tea party patriots should be banned from existence. Along with all those other cousin-boinking hill folk.

    September 26, 2013 at 3:24 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.