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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

(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. Bootyfunk

    "In the United States alone, nearly 17,000 people have come forward with abuse claims"

    imagine how many people have NOT come forward. pedo-priests are an epidemic. 17K people came forward - how come 17K priests haven't been arrested, tried, put in prison? the church didn't cover it up?

    September 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      In a stunning ten-page declaration recently submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, veteran attorney Donald H. Steier stated that his investigations into claims of seexual abuse by Catholic priests have uncovered vast fraud and that his probes have revealed that many accusations are completely false.

      Counselor Steier has played a role in over one hundred investigations involving Catholic clergy in Los Angeles. In his missive Mr. Steier relayed, "One retired F.B.I. agent who worked with me to investigate many claims in the Clergy Cases told me, in his opinion, about ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood seexual abuse" (capital letters are his).

      Mr. Steier also added, ">In several cases my investigation has provided objective information that could not be reconciled with the truthfulness of the subjective allegations. In other words, in many cases objective facts showed that accusations were false."

      September 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        wow, you're seriously defending the molesters? you do realize most child molestations are not reported. stay classy, Bill.

        September 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          What is there about sorting out false claims makes you feel that is defending molesters?

          September 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          are you kidding? you jumped right to the defense of the molesters saying half the claims are false. but you don't mention that most molestations go unreported. the numbers are MUCH higher than what is reported. but keep defending the pedos...

          September 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • OKfine

          Later it was discovered that Mr. Steier attended a confessional and was overheard to ask for forgiveness for lying in order to protect the church and was not required to perform an act of contrition. I just made that up BD but just as you see fit to give the criminals a pass, I see fit to show how the cover up was as ugly as the crimes no manner if it was just one or in the 100's of thousands around the world whether reported or not.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • OKfine

          BD don't know if you read the article but the Rat himself said that the % of abusers in the church is no higher than other professions but that is not "reassuring to the church". But isn't that one of the arguments you make all the time, our priests are just normal pedophiles because other professions are just as bad. How can you use that to defend the criminals and more so the cover ups?

          September 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          There's really no replacement for solid data, good sociological science and unbiased investigation, unless of course it's a post by booty or okfine.

          September 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • OKfine

          Perhaps your so called expert Steier is a part time deacon such as yourself and has other than an honourable motive for his statements, he is simply stating an opinion and some hearsay to make his point. But that is exactly what you do BD, lots of speculation but short on fact and BTW this s&x abuse problem is worldwide, you do realize that don't you?

          September 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • Joe

        hey Bill..
        So only half of 17,000 are valid is it??? No issues then.... We were worried if it was the whole of 17,000 cases... thanks for clearing that up.... So I would say we have room for another 17,500 cases(assuming half true cases) to touch the magic figure of 17,000. right?

        September 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • OKfine

        What BS BD. Solid data why don't you look at the data coming out of Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Canada, etc., etc. Every country that has the RCC has the same type of horror stories about clerical s&xual predators. You find one guy that thinks like you do and declare him the end all expert on the issue. What a fool you are, I can even get a doctor to say smoking is harmless today if he is well rewarded.

        September 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • midwest rail

      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/07/14/world/europe/14church-report.html?_r=0

      September 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  2. lol??

    God already claimed dibs on the natural world as evidence for His creative power and character.

    September 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      other gods made that claim first.

      September 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
      • Topher

        Nope.

        September 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          sure they did. literally thousands of gods came before the christian god. definitely not original.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Let's talk about Horus from Egypt in 3000 BC (Jesus is a copy of Horus), or Attis from Greece in 1500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Attis), or Mithra from Persia in 1200BC (Jesus is a copy of Mithra), or Krishna from India in 900BC (Jesus is a copy of Krishna), or Dionysus from Greece in 500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Dionysus) .... or any of the DOZENS of other gods predating the bronze age book character Jesus who were born of a virgin on Dec 25, traveled as a teacher, had 12 disciples, performed miracles, was killed and lay dead for 3 days and was resurrected.

          You Christians are not even original! What a joke!

          September 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Topher

          Bootyfunk

          "sure they did. literally thousands of gods came before the christian god. definitely not original."

          Nope. Man has known about the Christian God since Day 1.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          And just how long ago was Day 1 btw Topher?

          September 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Topher

          No idea exactly how long ago it was ... but in general, around 6,000 years ago.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • sam stone

          6,000 years?

          You are a hoot, Gopher

          September 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Madtown

          in general, around 6,000 years ago
          -----
          "Wow, what a short period of time! That's like a halftime show."

          – sincerely,
          million year-old fossils

          September 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    One of the most perfect descriptions of the Christian mindset:

    “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!'

    - Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

    September 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      WHEN Jesus is near, all is well and nothing seems difficult. When He is absent, all is hard. When Jesus does not speak within, all other comfort is empty, but if He says only a word, it brings great consolation.

      Did not Mary Magdalen rise at once from her weeping when Martha said to her: "The Master is come, and calleth for thee"?[13] Happy is the hour when Jesus calls one from tears to joy of spirit.

      How dry and hard you are without Jesus! How foolish and vain if you desire anything but Him! Is it not a greater loss than losing the whole world? For what, without Jesus, can the world give you? Life without Him is a relentless hell, but living with Him is a sweet paradise. If Jesus be with you, no enemy can harm you.

      He who finds Jesus finds a rare treasure, indeed, a good above every good, whereas he who loses Him loses more than the whole world. The man who lives without Jesus is the poorest of the poor, whereas no one is so rich as the man who lives in His grace.

      September 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • OKfine

        BD, just stop even for you that is just plain silly.

        September 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          That was written in the 14th century by Thomas A'Kempis in one of the world's classic spiritual books called "The Imitation of Christ" You were probably in gym class when it was discussed.

          September 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  4. warning to the theists!

    If your opponents are tongue tied they WILL delete your posts.

    September 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      fool

      September 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      lol, i'm sure that's why as soon as a theist posits their God theory they get a dozen replys explaining in detail why their hypothesis is wrong and then the dissenters delete the thread, that makes sense...

      September 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  5. Live4Him

    @Just the Facts Ma'am...: Virtually no educated atheists claim there is definately no chance of any God/gods, thus they are not the ones making a claim of No God but are in fact waiting for any credible evidence for God.

    My momma always said "Actions speak louder than words." How many atheists do YOU know who live as if God could exist?

    September 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Joey

      Most of the atheists I know have better morals than the Christians I know, so I would say a lot of them do on accident.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        amen!

        September 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • Live4Him

        I cannot help that you have a limited circle of atheists friends. 🙂

        September 27, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Joey

          Was that supposed to be a joke or something? Are you saying I don't have any friends? I don't get.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Joey : Was that supposed to be a joke or something? Are you saying I don't have any friends?

          Yes it was a joke that implied that you don't have enough friends. The reality is that you have a very narrow field of friends – and for those that you do have you probably don't know that well. So, your sample is skewed. The reality is that many of the headlines today (i.e. Alex in DC, etc.) have infamous people whose acquaintances are surprised at their recent behavior. In short, you don't really know those around you – even your friends. And to claim that you know Christians equally well is absurd. Most people don't associate with diverse groups (i.e. atheists and Christians for example).

          September 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Joey

      It should also be pointed out that the Christian god is one giant contradiction after the next, and is therefore logically impossible.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "How many atheists do YOU know who live as if God could exist?" all of them. They may not live as if YOUR God existed which would mean jumping through all the useless hoops of doctrine and doing the deity dance, but they certainly are not out stealing, murdering, r ap i ng and causing mayhem as most Christian morons believe. All of the atheists I know, and there is quite a large community of them here in Califonira, are mostly caring, loving, helpful people.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Just the Facts Ma'am... [L4H: How many atheists do YOU know who live as if God could exist?] all of them.

        How do your atheists pay homage so said god?

        September 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Again, there is no "said God" for an atheist, but there is a natural world and responsibilities we have as humans to each and every other human. I know that if there is a God it would not be hung up on whether or not I followed some specific ritual to honor him as I know that any honor given from a tiny ant to the supposed creator of the entire universe is meaningless. Living as best I can and attempting to do no harm is the best I can do and if some vindictive p r i c k of a God wants to punish me for that then I didn't want to worship it anyway.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Just the Facts Ma'am...: Virtually no educated atheists claim there is definately no chance of any God/gods
          @Live4Him : How many atheists do YOU know who live as if God could exist?
          @Just the Facts Ma'am... : all of them.
          @Live4Him : How do your atheists pay homage so said god?
          @Just the Facts Ma'am... : Again, there is no "said God" for an atheist

          You just contradicted yourself. You stated that atheists live like there is a "said god" and now you deny it. Just as I thought. If you fail to pay homage to some god, then you act as if there is no god. So, atheists DO ACT like there is "no god".

          There is too much double talk coming from you. When you're pinned down, you try to spin your way out.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I have given no double talk and no spin. You asked how many atheist I knew "who live as if God could exist" and I said "all of them" because I know they live their life as if one or many could exist though not following or adhereing to any because none so far have been shown to exist.

          In fact, i'm not sure how an atheist would live his life as if God couldn't exist. What would I do different if I was absolutely SURE there was no God? I wouldn't change a thing. I would continue to try and help my fellow humans in our mutual quest for survival and cohabitation. It is the religious who live their lives differently because they believe they are SURE God does exist and thus they can behave badly and just blame it on the devil and ask for forgiveness, for even though most Christians would never voice this, they know it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. An atheist must take responsibility for their actions and have no one to blame but themselves when they error.

          September 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      As an atheist/humanist I believe the only valid reason to kill another human is in direct defense of yourself or your family from someone trying to do serious bodily harm or if that person has been deemed by a jury of their peers to be too great a danger to society based on well docvmented evidence of prior violent actions.

      As a Christian I used to believe that if God asked me to pick up my rifle and defend the faith against unbelievers then that was a valid reason to kill. I did believe that God would no longer ask that of his followers as he did in the past with his chosen people, but if God ever asked I had to be willing and ready to fight the good fight.

      Which one of those should be allowed to buy a gun? The new me or the old me?

      September 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Just the Facts Ma'am... : As an atheist/humanist I believe the only valid reason to kill another human is

        Do all atheists/humanists share the SAME views? (i.e. not just regarding murder, but all views)?

        September 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          ... to protect other humans from immediate potential death and no other alternatives exist.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          From a biblical view, you cannot be more righteous and faithful than one who is willing to offer up their own child as a sacrafice if your God asks it of you. So does that make Andrea Yates the next Abraham?

          "While in prison, Andrea stated she had considered killing the children for two years, adding that they thought she was not a good mother and claimed her sons were developing improperly. She told her jail psychiatrist: "It was the seventh deadly sin. My children weren't righteous. They stumbled because I was evil. The way I was raising them, they could never be saved. They were doomed to perish in the fires of hell." She started with the youngest boys, and after drowning them in her bathtub, laid them in her bed. She then drowned Mary, whom she left floating in the tub. Her oldest son, Noah, came in and asked what was wrong with Mary. He then ran, but she soon caught up with him and drowned him. She then left him floating in the tub and laid Mary in her brother's arms."

          September 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        I thought it was pretty clear that I was explaining MY beliefs, not anyone elses, but you go right ahead and make moronic suppositions since that is about all you have left of your argument.

        September 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Just the Facts Ma'am...: I thought it was pretty clear that I was explaining MY beliefs, not anyone elses

          I guess you missed MY point. So, let me lay it out for you in simple terms.

          Christians try to live by a single standard – The Bible. We don't succeed, but our standard remains unchanged. When we make a mistake, we try to get back on track.

          Atheists, on the other hand, don't have a single standard. When they fail to follow their own standards, they are free to revise those standard or get back to the original track. So, in the end, they are never wrong, unless they had a wrong standard which needed to be adjusted.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  6. Live4Him

    @Just the Facts Ma'am...: Christian logic: existence + don't know everything yet = God did it

    Evolutionists logic: existence + don't know everything yet = Evolution did it

    September 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      That is because evolution is where the evidence leads the skeptical mind. Anything else is delusion.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • Topher

        What evidence?

        September 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Sigh

          Dumb Live4Him and dumber Topher, wondered when you would show up.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • OKfine

          Topher so easy to find the evidence but why would you even look if you would reject it out of hand. Eight people populated the world in just a few millenium, right Topher?

          September 27, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • Topher

          If you can demonstrate a change in kinds, I'd love to see it.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @Topher
          no you wouldn't "love to see it". Like all Christians when presented with irrefutable evidence, you find some bible-backed nonsense to change the subject and pretend you never saw the facts.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • OKfine

          Topher please provide your mathematical explanation of how 8 people can expand to about7 billion in just a few thousand years?

          September 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Topher

          Dyslexic doG

          "no you wouldn't "love to see it". Like all Christians when presented with irrefutable evidence, you find some bible-backed nonsense to change the subject and pretend you never saw the facts."

          Sure I would love to see it. I'd be like witnessing a miracle because no such change exists.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, you still haven't given us a reasonable answer as to why whales have small vestigial hind legs and why the vertebrate eye has its retina backwards. Care to redeem yourself now?

          September 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • sam stone

          Gopher calls for evidence but never provides it

          He remains a coward

          September 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • Topher

          Athy

          Whales don't have hind legs. And the bones that are there are to support reproductive organs and thus not vestigial. And the eyes work, so they aren't broke.

          September 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • OKfine

        Topher, no you wouldn't, you would reject ANY evidence out of hand because you are far to deluded to accept anything but jesus, quit lying to the rest of us.

        September 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Evolutionists logic: existence + tons of evidence showing evolution in progress + fossil record + don't know everything yet = Evolution probably did it.

      September 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  7. Live4Him

    @Just the Facts Ma'am...: Their grasp on logic is like that of an octogenarian with osteopetrosis grasping a greased pig...

    Insults don't win any debates – it just looses them. Logic, combined with empricial evidence, shows that naturalism doesn't work. Yet, today's atheists insist that God doesn't exist. Why? Because they are afraid to consider that possibility.

    The evidence of our world leads a logical person to ask – How did it get here? The evolutionist says "We don't know, but evolution is as fact."

    The evidence of our world leads a logical person to ask – How did life start? The evolutionist says "We don't know, but evolution is as fact."

    Evolution isn't about logic, it is about believing regardless of the lack of supporting evidence.

    September 27, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      if everything must have a creator then who or what created your god? if you say that your god is infinite, then why can't the universe just be infinite?

      September 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
      • Joey

        Becuase, um like, um well only god can be infinite or something.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Dyslexic doG : if everything must have a creator then who or what created your god?

        Who said everything has a creator?

        September 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Very funny Lie4him. You know very well that almost all creationists will say that the xtian god does.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          then why would this universe and this earth and all life possibly need a creator?

          September 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Dyslexic doG : then why would this universe and this earth and all life possibly need a creator?

          Ever hear of the Big Bang Theory? All this universe (i.e. matter, energy AND time) originated out of the singularity. Thus, this universe has a beginning and thus needs a creator. Go Google Aristotle's "The Unmoved Mover".

          September 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Doris

          Of course, if, in fact, the universe started from a singularity, that it needed a creator is conjecture. If there was a creator, it's a huge leap from there to the Abrahamic God. If there was a creative force at the beginning of our universe, it's also a big leap to say that such a force still has to be present in this universe today.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          The fact is that we can look back all the way to the singularity so we know it did happen, we do not know however, what was there before the singularity, we cannot see if it was nothing or something but we are getting a clearer and clearer picture everyday and what we are learning might surprise you, especially those who have been tucked in the bible belt a little too long. One of the most amazing recent discoveries is that empty space isn't really empty and what we thought of previosuly as being "nothing" might actually be a whole lot of something.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you can refute a theory of evolution, like Darwin's theory, or Lamarck's theory, but you can't refute evolution because it's a fact. It is a directly observable fact. There may never be a theory that captures all the modes of evolution, but evolution is a fact.

      Saying you refute evolution is like saying you refute gravity. The Newtonian theory was not completely right, the Einstein theory is not completely right, but there is gravity.

      – bostontola

      September 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Dyslexic doG : you can refute a theory of evolution, ... but you can't refute evolution because it's a fact.

        You seem confused. Is evolution a theory or a fact in your viewpoint? If it is a fact, can you provide the number of species since first life? Second, can you provide the lineage from first life to modern man. I suspect that you cannot (since evolutionist cannot) and therefore your premise that "evolution is a fact" is falsified.

        September 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          we can absolutely provide the lineage from first life to modern man. You really need to read some books that you can't get from your Christian book store! The evidence is all there, but it exists outside your bubble.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Joey

          Dog he will now ask you to name every single species of every type of animal that ever lived on the face of the Earth over the past 4 billion years. When you can't do this he will claim victory. Basically every time a new fossil is found it gives Live4Him two new missing links to complain about.

          September 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • OKfine

      Do you know the definition of faith? BTW there is plenty of evidence for evolution that you simply choose to reject; that is what comes from a religious closed mind.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @OKfine : there is plenty of evidence for evolution that you simply choose to reject

        Scientists realize that every theory out there has SOME evidence to support it. So, they focus on the evidence that falsifies a theory – knowing that one cannot prove a theory, but only falsify it. So, I like to look for holes in a given theory, rather than one or two facts that appear to support that theory.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • Joey

          No what you do is take science you don't understand and then use it in the wrong ways to try and prove the bible is true.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          There are not 'one or two" facts that support evolution. There are reams of data in many different fields that suport evolution and NONE that support creationaism or (U)ID.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Billy

          True, Joey. I wish I had a nickel every time MisrepresentScience4Him does that.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • OKfine

        Live4Him
        You should take the time to look at the holes and contradictions in the bible and the whole ridiculous idea of the Abrahamic truly ugly and vindictive pr!ck of a god that it describes.

        September 27, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  8. Lionly Lamb

    I've seen so do you know what I mean about what I've most recently once seen..? If you've seen what I mean then you’ve sown upon what I've seen... If however I gleamed seeing that which you've seen is it less than what I’ve first shown..? Who then saw the first thing ever to have been seen or even not wantonly shown..? Who truly saw what was first to have ever been seen..?

    Who was the last to have first seen that which was first thought out to be so incrementally shown upon..? I for one cannot see that which I first have once seen and that which I now do see is not that which I first was shown... It's just one's many seen and shown thoughts for one to first see and commit it to being thusly so shown... You do see what I've sown to be shown or don't you see that which I implore to be known..? If not, then what is it that you want me to see and become known about what it is you want me to be knowingly shown..?

    September 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Endocrinal uncommenting pak vernalised detest pryingly metaphoricalness superability nonclassifiable sharet check interposer anemia idealizing uncloudy unconfutative unharbored temporarily seltzer unreveling apodous wadmal bold agentival antefix momentarily correction ilmarinen reckoner.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        The "EndoCannabinoid" System is our body's Immune Systems regulator but the amounts of our body's naturally occurring Cannabinoids are not enough to fight the many ailments and diseases,,, Up jumps the Cannabis Plants with its Cannabinoid composites and their naturalized abilities to help the body overcome the many ailing conditions and diseases that the body's EndoCannabinoids cannot overcome...

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4xejnsLwKE&w=640&h=360]

        September 27, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  9. Dyslexic doG

    2 + 2 ≠ 5

    It never has, it doesn't now, and it never will. YOU come along and say that 2 + 2 = 5. I say it does not. You say it does, I say it equals 4. You say it doesn't – I say 2 + 2 ≠ 5. You say it does, I say it doesn't. The argument/war goes on for years.

    NOW you come along and say "Let's COMPROMISE!"

    Ya know what? 2 + 2 ≠ 5

    And ya know what else? Your "compromise" of 2 + 2 = 4½ doesn't work, either.

    2 + 2 ≠ 5 It doesn't, and I don't have to RESPECT your belief that it does. You're wrong, I'm SAYING you're wrong, I'm telling you to your FACE you're wrong, and if you teach it to your children, it should be considered child abuse. You're wrong, you should be shamed for believing it, and I'm willing to do it. I'm calling you an idiot and you are if you believe it.

    2 + 2 ≠ 5

    September 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • lol??

      Have any German Shepherds in yer lineage??

      September 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  10. Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

    Japanese People: [repeated line] Fakku you whales and fakku you dorufin!

    Stan: Dolphins and whales were framed by the real bombers. A chicken and a cow.
    Emperor Akihito: [upon discovering "real" Hiroshima bombers] Chicken and Cow? CHICKEN AND COW?!
    Yukio Hatoyama: CHICKEN AND COW USED POOR DOLPHIN AND WHALE AS A SCAPEGOAT?! THIS IS OUTRAGE!

    Japanese People: Fakku you Cow! Fakku you Chicken!
    Randy: [upon seeing the Japanese killing cows and chickens] Great job son. Now the Japanese are normal, like us.

    September 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  11. Topher

    Dawkins now officially an agnostic!

    "JON STEWART: So where do we go when we die?

    DAWKINS: Bertrand Russell—well—

    STEWART: So you don’t know?

    DAWKINS: Well, we either get buried or cremated. Or we give our bodies to science. Bertrand Russell said—

    STEWART: But you actually don’t know what happens to us?

    DAWKINS: I don’t know what happens to us, but I know that our consciousness is wrapped up in our brains. I know that our brains rot."

    September 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      He is officially honest.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Well Duh

      Dawkins has always been an Agnostic Atheist, so what's your point? You do realize you can be a Gnostic Theist, Agnostic Theist, Gnostic Atheist, or an Agnostic Atheist. Gnosticism is about knowledge, Theism is about believe. But I'm sure you already knew that.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Topher

      Well Duh

      Are you a post-modern?

      September 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        Post-modern what? Furniture?

        September 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Topher

          If I said to you 2+2=7, am I wrong?

          September 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Math is hard!

          September 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "If I said to you 2+2=7, am I wrong?" To a Christian the answer is not always so clear. Who defined the word "seven" anyway? Why can't it mean fewer objects? Isn't it merely a mental construct! Well then 2+2 could equal 7 to a Christian...

          This is the same way they rationalize God. "I'm here, and i'm pretty sure you are here, so I guessd that = God exists..." Their grasp on logic is like that of an octogenarian with osteopetrosis grasping a greased pig...

          September 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Post-modern is an adjective, it requires a noun to have any meaning. Express yourself in full sentences, and maybe someone would be able to understand what you are attempting to communicate.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Topher

          Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "To a Christian the answer is not always so clear. Who defined the word "seven" anyway? Why can't it mean fewer objects? Isn't it merely a mental construct! Well then 2+2 could equal 7 to a Christian..."

          Ridiculousness. Christians aren't post-moderns.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Joey

          If the Bible said that 2+2=7 then Topher would believe it.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Christian logic: existence + don't know everything yet = God did it, because we just can't wait to actually answer all those unanswered questions and we don't like feeling as if we don't know something already, so we fill in the blank with an old white beared caucasian male that we can talk to and relate to because He is an all powerful super special being who made everything for ua as well as making us in his image, at least those of us with the lighter shade of God skin...

          September 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          If the story of Noah is taken as a baseline assessment, Christians don't know how to count...

          September 27, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "If the Bible said that 2+2=7 then Topher would believe it."

          Very true.

          September 27, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Topher

          Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "If the story of Noah is taken as a baseline assessment, Christians don't know how to count..."

          Why?

          September 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Rich

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA7bsK5_Z08&w=640&h=360]

      September 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        yep. that was funny if you were a 7 year old, master.bat.ing, home schooled son of a fundy minister. Otherwise, not funny at all.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Bob

        I wouldn't find it funny either, if I were serious about life and death.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Joey

      Of course Topher knows what happens to us after we die.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • Topher

        Yes, I do. Would you like to know?

        September 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Joey

          I already know what you believe happens, and I think it is silly. The point is that you don't know anymore than anyone else does. You just believe really hard.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I would like you to demonstrate that you know, not just makes claims you can't verify.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • sam stone

          Of course Gopher knows what happens after we die. He is omniscient

          at least that is what he thinks

          in truth, he is a deluded little coward

          and as impotent as his god

          September 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Here is what Christians don't want to understand about atheists:

      Virtually no educated atheists claim there is definately no chance of any God/gods, thus they are not the ones making a claim of No God but are in fact waiting for any credible evidence for God. They know that the burden of proof lies with the one making the claim.

      Christians don't want to understand this because if they did they would understand that they have to prove their God to an atheist to make him a believer, not just goading an atheist into attempting to disprove God, which they know can't be done, at least not yet.

      The religious make all sorts of claims for God/gods, most of which Christians reject as false and make believe with no more evidence than any atheist, except for their specific brand of God, thus all Christians are really just one step away from being atheists.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Topher

        Agnostic = no knowledge

        Atheist = no god

        So if you say there's even the remotest possibility, then you're agnostic.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          ***FIXED***

          Agnostic = no knowledge

          Atheist = no belief

          September 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher I claim that none of the god's presented to me so far in my life are real, but that doesn't mean that there isn't some other god that I have never heard of out there in the universe somewhere. However, this possibility is so remote that it is really not worth thinking about.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • OKfine

          Deist, sure there is a man made concept of "god" but certainly not the evil ones that religions have adopted.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          atheist: a person who lacks belief in the existence of God or gods

          That is not the definition of someone who difinitively KNOWS there are no Gods. To know there are no Gods/gods one would have to research everything there is to know in the universe and answer every unanswered question, which I doubt any atheist would claim. The only claim an atheist actually makes is "So far no religion or believer in the supernatural or invisible spirits be they Gods or gods has ever been able to provide a single piece of credible evidence to support their claim."

          September 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

          If you still fail to see the difference Topher, maybe you need to take a reading comprehension refresher course.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Joey

          The problem is that Topher just ignores anything that doesn't fit perfectly with what he already believes.

          September 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • sam stone

          And, he's a coward

          September 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
      • Joey

        and in reality they are all agnostic because none of them actually know anything for a fact.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      So we come back to yesterday's thought exercise.
      If we posit that 1) souls exist and 2) cryogenically frozen people can be revived
      Would the souls reside in the bodies while frozen?
      Would they get shuffled off to limbo until permanent death occurs?
      Would they be whisked off to Heaven or Hell, but then whoosh back into the revived body?
      Or would the revived meat machine be soulless?
      Being soulless, would it be capable of committing sin?
      Would God ignore prayers that come from a soulless body?
      Could said body earn a new soul?

      September 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • Topher

        Hi, Doc. Hope you are well today.

        If you want to talk about God, start a new discussion. I'd LOVE to talk about Him with you.

        September 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • sam stone

          No you don't, Gopher.
          You just want to preach

          You are a coward

          September 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • Athy

          Topher, why did your intelligent designer give us toenails? Does that seem "intelligent?"

          September 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Doris

      Topher, dear, if you would look at the Wikipedia page for atheism, you would see that there is a healthy dose of agnosticism within mainstream atheism.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  12. big sambos mother

    IDIOTS GALORE!

    September 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Mike

      Racist bigot.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      Shush. I doubt the other patients are nuts about you, too. They may stop giving you a snack if you're going to wear it instead of eat it. Now where did you hide those meds you were supposed to take.

      September 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • psych ward staff

        ( I type to him here hopin' he'll read this. Never says anything to me and with those eyes goin' all different directions, who knows what the heck he's thinking. )

        September 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  13. big sambos mother

    Sam stone is the revered–by atheists–snake who posts her desires and intentions to abuse women all over this website with not only impunity, but approval from the other animals who make their homes here. So, point being, anytime you want to refute the garbage they claims probed god doesn't exist, just remember the source

    September 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      You have been warned many times – your use of that term is racist and offensive. I hope you get a permanent ban.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • big sambos mother

        Stanky weed patch spray in the face but pounding donkey punch, I love u

        September 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Are you seriously that filled with hate? I really do pity you, and hope you are not a gun owner.

          September 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • sam stone

        fvck that. i hope it walks in front of a speeding bus

        September 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • big sambos mother

        Stanky weed patch spray in the face but pounding donkey punch!, I love u

        September 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Mike

      You are a racial bigot. You actually think a woman is going to espouse violence against another woman? Are you mad?
      You are going to talk about other people when you are going under the racist name of "Sambo's" and expect to be taken seriously? Engaging in a debate with you would be as futile as engaging in a debate with a two year old child. Which, I suspect, you're not much older than.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
      • mike

        Thanks man. Good stuff.

        September 30, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  14. Lionly Lamb

    I've seem so do you know what I mean about what I've seen..? If you've seen what I mean then you saw what I've seen... If however I gleamed seeing that which you've seen is it less than what I first saw,,? Who then saw the first thing ever to have been seen..? Who truly saw what first..? Who was the last to have first seen that which was first sought..? I for one cannot see that which I first did once see and that which I now do see is not that which I first saw... It's just my seen and sowed thoughts for one to first see and commit it to be so shown... You do see what I've sown don't you see..? If not then what..?

    September 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      I've seen so do you know what I mean about what I've seen..?

      September 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Mary-Jane

        LL, smoke another joint and get back to us with yet another delusion.

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

      Too many periods.

      September 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  15. Apple Bush

    It has recently been discovered that our universe resides in the toilet bowl of one Mr. Curtis Jeffery. His “big bang” seemed normal based on his enormous size relative to us.

    Our entire expanding universe is just a used condom Mr. Grody-Pants is blowing up because he thinks it’s funny. Good one “God”.

    I wish we pooped galaxies instead of shit. That would be awesome and it would answer some questions about black matter.

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

      Is "It" ticked and defined??

      September 27, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Its a great big universe and we're all really puny. We're just tiny little specks about the size of Mickey Rooney...

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

      September 27, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  16. big sambos mother

    I knew I was good. Real good. Now, I know that I am beyond and above all our atheists combined. They have dropped their oft repeated ridiculous arguments. They have been subdued. Conquered. Crushed. Devastated. They always devolve into their brand of bitter humor when threatened with superior reasoning. See how they have given up now, completely. Amen, girls

    September 27, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • psych ward staff

      Goodness what a mess. Did any of that applesauce get in your mouth. Now tell me where you spit out those meds be cause they definitely aren't having the intended effect.

      September 27, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Mike

      If you were good, real good, you'd know that the use of "Sambo" is a racist slur. I therefore have to conclude you are a bigot, which flies directly in the face of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
      If you were good, real good, you'd know that your lack of humility flies directly in the face of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
      Therefore I have to conclude that you are an atheist trolling the Belief Blog hoping to get some action by posting inane posts and that you are on your lunch break at school.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
      • big sambos mother

        You can do better, dodo. Glad you acknowledge the value of Christ's teachings

        September 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • Mike

          I do. You apparently don't, by your racist, bigoted posts. Clearly.

          September 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      This is the troll with many names – I have warned this idiot many times, and now I just report abuse.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  17. derp

    Another child molesting catholic priest?

    Color me unsurprised.

    September 27, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  18. big sambos mother

    Let us never forget that our wonderful atheists fully support the deviant pedophile virus, Sam stone, having never rebuked her for her pallen but donkey punching comments

    September 27, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • psych ward staff

      Stop playing and finish your applesauce, dear. Look at that mess you made. Did you spit out those meds again somewhere?

      September 27, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • H R Puffinstuff

      Probably because sam stone didn't say that, you lying racist bigot. Will you learn how to spell, you inbred whelp? And stop touching your kid. You're giving Christians a bad name.

      September 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  19. Apple Bush

    Here is the deal. We live in a physical world, not a meta-physical one. There are constructs; rules that work for much of what we observe. In other cases the rules tend to break down. Black Holes for example present some issues. The expanding universe. Dark matter. But the bottom line is, there are rules, we just don’t know them. Yet.

    When we learn more, we will find more. Common sense. Every country on this planet who has the means should be working together to make discoveries that help us understand the Cosmos.

    So many unknowns.

    I personally believe there IS something more than our universe. Much more and that our universe's "spontaneous" creation has an understandable explanation.

    Give it time.

    September 27, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • laststonecarver

      @App,
      We also live in the mind world – it is invisible – imaginary, but hopefully structured, and governs at least 50% of reality –
      Everything seen/perceived by our senses is interpreted and catalogued –
      Some think that brain and mind are the same, if true, then how can you fly in a dream, or see dead relatives, or have some new idea or invention? –

      September 27, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • G to the T

        How would the mind and brain being the same thing prevent the phenomena you mention?

        September 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • laststonecarver

          The brain governs a physical reality – mostly your brain governs your body controls – the eyes (senses) behold and imagine shapes –
          The mind governs the decision making process – it is a world of sound – sound that is interpreted and structured as thought patterns –
          Take a simple thought pattern, for instance:
          How can one be out of their mind, if the brain is their mind?
          But they are, like the guy eating the face off another, while chemically altered by bath salts –
          Do you get an out of brain kind of image, for that person being out of his mind? –
          He actually is using his brain, to masticate the face flesh –
          It (sounds) gross – it sounds, creating an image for your mind, through sound interpretation to words –
          It may have happened, it may not have happened – it is how it was imagined, by you –
          It is not your brain controlling a body movement, it is your mind controlling a thought movement –

          October 2, 2013 at 6:20 am |
    • lol??

      What is the definition of "it" and why thwow "it" in the slammer??

      September 27, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • laststonecarver

        @lolly,
        You should know a lot about the mind world –
        Can you still see 'it' from your vantage point? –

        September 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • H R Puffinstuff

        You're lisping again, Cindy Brady. Get thee to speech therapy.

        September 27, 2013 at 12:23 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.