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

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(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. bostontola

    To the evolution deniers,
    Do you accept that humans are mammals?
    Do you accept that humans are primates?
    If so, why is it hard to accept that humans are apes?

    September 25, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Live4Him

      @bostontola : Do you accept that humans are mammals?

      This is how humans are defined in a subjective classification system devised by man and refined by evolutionists. But since it is not objective (i.e. it's arbitrary), then it is pointless to discuss. Here's an example. Lets create a new classification system based upon primary environment (i.e. land, water or sky) and the ratio of brain to body. Using this classification system, man stands separate from all other life. So, would you agree that man is unique?

      Both classification systems have subjective definitions using objective datapoints. Both come to differing conclusions concerning mankind. Which is right? Neither. They are both subjective.

      September 25, 2013 at 9:40 am |
      • Lie4Him

        L4H you are really fvcken stupid.

        September 25, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • bostontola

        Using brain to body mass, we are equals to mice, some birds have a higher ratio. This classification doesn't help organize concepts.

        September 25, 2013 at 10:04 am |
        • Live4Him

          @bostontola: This classification doesn't help organize concepts.

          Which a priori concepts would you prefer?

          September 25, 2013 at 10:21 am |
      • sam stone

        "But since it is not objective (i.e. it's arbitrary), then it is pointless to discuss"

        How is that any different than faith in general?

        September 25, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  2. Kzooresident

    It is time for creation of a new word to replace the hijacked use of "atheist" by all those people obsessed with a violent hatred of religion such as Mr. Odifreddi and most of the militant "atheists" roaming CNN discussion groups.

    Atheism is a belief that there is no god no different than other religions believe there is. These people are not however simply atheists. They are religious extremists essentially no different from the Taliban where their "faith" in their chosen faith rules their lives and the need to foist their faith on all others is, (in the medical sense of the word) an obsession.

    They need to have their "own word" to identify themselves.

    September 25, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You're starting an atheist inquisition?

      September 25, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Crusader Atheists?

      September 25, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Derf

      So not believing in the Tooth Fairy is a religion, as well? Just like not collecting stamps is also a hobby? K, you have no idea what you are talking about. Denying a claim isn't affirming the opposite.

      September 25, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Stephen Roberts "“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”"

      Religion is defined as:
      : the belief in a god or in a group of gods
      : an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
      : an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

      None of that definition fits with Atheism...sorry to burst that bubble but nice try on your behalf.

      September 25, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      False equivalence is a logical fallacy which describes a situation where there is a logical and apparent equivalence, but when in fact there is none. It would be the antonym of the mathematical concept of material equivalence. It is achieved by "shifting, imprecise, or tactical (re)definition of a linking term.

      September 25, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  3. Reality # 2

    And again:

    "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 coverup.[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 25, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      So in other words, this guy and this article are full of shlt.

      September 25, 2013 at 8:32 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "Plausable deniability" must be a class in seminary.

        September 25, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • OKfine

      And in spite of Ratzinger's involvement as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that received all the files on pedophile abuse, as Pope Benedict he had the gall and outright lie of stating that he was SHOCKED that such conduct was prevalent in the clergy. The hypocrisy of the whole organization is quite remarkable. Cue Bill Deacon to come to the RCCs defence.

      September 25, 2013 at 8:36 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Don't confuse my devotion to the faith for defense of criminals and I won't label your hope for justice as mere vengeance.

        September 25, 2013 at 9:10 am |
        • Derf

          Don't you think those abused boys would think of it as vengeance?

          September 25, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • OKfine

          The hope for justice has been systematically stymied by the cover ups around the world and you should know that BD. You have constantly decried the crime, good on you, but have embraced or denied the cover ups and lack of accountability of the church.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:28 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          So "no deal" I take it. I understand.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • OKfine

          BD you remain willfully blind to the lengths the RCC went to cover up the abuse and screw the victims over a second time. Try watching Mea Maxima Culpa and you will get some idea how ugly and ruthless the church was in trying to protect their power and reputation. The least a fanatic believer like you could do is start all your posts with an apology to the abused that carried the scars all their lives. You and the Rat can deny all you want but you are lying.

          September 25, 2013 at 10:02 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          My prayers are continually with those who have been harmed by people in the church, just as I pray forgiveness for those who have committed such acts. At the same time, my exchange with you should illustrate why administrators within the hierarchy have taken some of the steps they have. You aren't really interested in helping the abused. You aren't interested int eh wider scope of abuse in society and you have no interest in the steps that have been taken to remove abusers and protect children now. But you'd sure like to bring down the Church and you won't rest until you do. Is it any wonder that those charged with protecting the Church while purging criminals have developed a siege mentality? You aren't really helping the issue, you're just a loud noise.

          September 25, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • OKfine

        You really do not know what you are talking about, BD. The crimes continue, check out what the inquiry in Australia has uncovered, and the difference now is the priest that was caught with a young bot the other day is being charged by the police. Did you care to know that a fixer up cleric was given a large budget to investigate abuse claims before they became public, payoff the victim if they would swear to secrecy. I bet the practice still goes on today no matter what the lying hierarchy and gay lobby of the RCC. Vengeance/retribution...punishment inflicted in retaliation for an injury or offence, sadly lacking in the RCC, therefore not justice.

        September 25, 2013 at 10:33 am |
      • OKfine

        Funny guy, if they really purged the criminals as you suggest half of the Cardinals would be in jail, even old Ratzinger would be without diplomatic immunity.

        September 25, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  4. Franco

    Goes to show that Pope's and Priest's are only human and are only trying to protect their turf.

    September 25, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      It's all about the Benjamins.

      September 25, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Wasnt Mee

      Amen? He might not have helped cover it up but he certainly didn't do enough publicly that helped the Catholic's priests reputations. Kept from view sounds like our Presidency. Can't make a mistaken comment if you never make one.

      September 25, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Alex Bosta

      "Cornelius a Lapide sums up what may be said to be the common interpretation of theologians. 'For from Christian it (Rome) shall again become heathen. It shall cast out the Christian Pontiff, and the faithful who adhere to him. It shall persecute and slay them... " -Cardinal Manning ... Note: The biggest story of the century++ (which the US State Dept. & FBI reported on Oct. 26, 1958) – was that the true pope elected after Pius XII was Cardinal Siri of Genoa, Italy (who took the name Gregory XVII) and was usurped by a false pope [infiltrator] ... these criminals have nothing to due with the True Church ... we are still out here (in the catacombs, if you will).

      September 25, 2013 at 8:38 am |
  5. Apple Bush

    Just because there is this, doesn’t mean there isn’t more.

    Something here with us yet somewhere else. Passing through us and we through it;

    As we perform our perfunctory tasks every day. Perhaps it is us.

    September 25, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Troy

      Don't smoke all your weed at one time silly.

      September 25, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  6. Robert Brown

    Bag boy & Meredith.

    What is with the name switching ?

    September 25, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Whoever is using Meredith is a sad individual. On 9-11 a lady using that alias made a heart felt comment stating how she had lost her husband, a NY firefighter, during the events of that day. Since that post, the alias has been used and is sadly (imo) a true insult to a grieving widow.

      September 25, 2013 at 7:02 am |
    • Bag Boy

      It is just me Apple Bush aka The Central Scrutinizer. I like to change names once in a while. Bag Boy is a song by Pixies.

      September 25, 2013 at 7:15 am |
  7. Bag Boy

    The grave digs a while, deep enough for you and your flat screen and a few other gadgets. The worshippers believe if you are buried with your valuables you will get to set up a “cloud” in heaven and you can access your music from any of your wireless devices.

    The grave leans on his shovel and thinks for a moment.

    Being older and more knowledgeable, the dirt guru decided to just fill in the hole and quit for the day. The sun burned bright and the pebbles in the grave’s dirt sparkled.

    He found some shade and quietly hoped no one would try to bury themselves.

    September 25, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • OKfine

      Apple Bush
      I hope you have not changed your handle because of the likes of Bill Deacon, he is not worth spit, have always liked your stuff.

      September 25, 2013 at 6:36 am |
      • Bag Boy

        OKfine, no worries. I change around all the time but mostly use Apple Bush. I am also The Central Scrutinizer (rare), Ungodly Discipline, Alien Orifice and a few others.

        September 25, 2013 at 7:18 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Wow, if we reduce you and the other brave militant atheists who use alternate names to the least common denominator that means there's what, like four atheists posting here all day?

          September 25, 2013 at 8:49 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Bill, what is a "militant atheist"?

          September 25, 2013 at 9:00 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          From Apple's description, it's someone who berates an old lady who is trying to do something positive in her neighborhood.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:13 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Bill, while someone who berates anyone without cause is a jerk I still don't understand what makes someone a "militant" atheist. The term would seem to imply someone who is willing to take up arms for the cause. It seems rather melodramatic when used here.

          September 25, 2013 at 9:48 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          It's apple's self description. Why not ask him?

          September 25, 2013 at 9:54 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I didn't see Apples description and you are the one using the term here. Good job passing the buck though, wouldn't want you to take responsibility or anything..

          September 25, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  8. woot woot

    When I saw the headline, I figured he'd be twerking. If it is working for Cyrus' reinvention, why not his?

    September 25, 2013 at 6:22 am |
    • Bag Boy

      Clothes on a clothes line whipping in anger to protest the sharp biting wind of the approaching winter. Then she showed up. She was small, cute, Japanese and holding pom- poms. She seemed to stutter something in Japanese and then began her “dance”.

      That is when the earthquake hit which did not make sense. The pressure on that fault line was not built up enough to expect activity. The Otter won by the way.

      Now I know that believers will be upset by this. They hate pom-poms and cute Japanese girls. Slip Faults never cease to amaze me. I am just glad the judge is all right.

      September 25, 2013 at 6:25 am |
  9. Bag Boy

    This shaggy dog was prowling the bar and spattin’ out pussy hair like sunflower seeds.

    I have taken that walk with him.

    He never said much…that you could remember anyway. Not much difference in the pour either.

    September 25, 2013 at 6:09 am |
  10. InsultedByThePoliticalLies

    If you did not turn them into to the proper authorites (you know cops right?) then you DID INDEED COVER IT UP! Wow even the pope lies lmao too funny

    September 25, 2013 at 4:40 am |
    • sam stone

      would you really expect them to be truthful?

      September 25, 2013 at 5:24 am |
      • Bag Boy

        They don't see it as a problem. They are sick.

        September 25, 2013 at 5:35 am |
  11. Prometheus

    Corruption is everywhere.

    IT Always makes me sad that the 'righteous' folks always get the nod for being good men and women among mankind at large. I am not a religious person but I strive to help whomever I can, no matter their religious affiliation or political face.

    Why can't we all just be straight with each other?

    September 25, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • Bag Boy

      Because some of us are born gay.

      September 25, 2013 at 4:19 am |
  12. Bag Boy

    Meredith S. is not frightening she is just sad.

    September 25, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • sam stone

      faith/bethany/hhari are all the same troll

      he/she/it has been threatening this big, big, big lawsuit against CNN for a long time

      apparently, it is coming at the same breakneck pace as the return of the slavior

      September 25, 2013 at 5:26 am |
  13. Bag Boy

    I wonder what it is about the priesthood that attracts so many pedophiles. Oh wait, lots of vulnerable children, disregard.

    September 25, 2013 at 3:35 am |
    • Einstein

      Pedophiles are not heteros only, contrary to the misunderstanding of the psychiatric community which they failed miserably at classifying pedophiles. There are in fact two type of pedophiles just like there are two type of gender.

      Type 1: Pedophiles with preference for same s e x gender are h0m0$exuals with a fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in $exual activity with a child or children.

      Type2: Pedophiles with preference for opposite s e x gender are hetero$exuals with a fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in $exual activity with a child or children.

      September 25, 2013 at 3:47 am |
      • truthprevails1

        "contrary to the misunderstanding of the psychiatric community"

        I'll take their educated opinion over your uneducated opinion any day.

        September 25, 2013 at 4:38 am |
    • Bag Boy

      Funny, I don't remember asking you any of that but yet you volunteered the info how nice.

      September 25, 2013 at 3:51 am |
      • Einstein

        You're welcome.

        September 25, 2013 at 3:53 am |
        • Bag Boy

          No, you're welcome.

          September 25, 2013 at 5:37 am |
    • saggyroy

      I think that across professions they are just average for the number of pedophiles. The problem is the cover up, and the hiding behind religion.

      September 25, 2013 at 6:12 am |
      • Bag Boy

        Really? No stats? Just a guess?

        September 25, 2013 at 6:19 am |
  14. worldcares

    He has demetia or is in denial.

    September 25, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • worldcares

      He has dementia or is in denial.

      September 25, 2013 at 3:30 am |
  15. Bag Boy

    Those two old gals look lovely in their dresses and condom caps. I can't help it, I wish they would kiss and embrace.

    September 25, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • Bag Boy

      Even tastier with roast beef and melting provolone.

      September 25, 2013 at 3:00 am |
  16. Colin

    Catholics, hey? Hmmm, let's see.

    Q.1 The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the religion of:

    (a) Superst.itious ancient Celts;

    (b) Bronze Age Egyptians;

    (c) Pre-Colombian Aztecs with no education; or

    (d) Modern, 21st Century Catholics

    Q. 2 You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are:

    (a) a reptile handler who has severe mental issues;

    (b) a five year-old boy who just read a fairytale;

    (c) a scientific fraud; or

    (d) a Catholic

    Q. 3 I believe that an all-knowing being, powerful enough to create the entire cosmos and its billions of galaxies, watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty" like protect myself from disease with a condom. I am

    (a) A victim of child molestation

    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions

    (d) A Catholic

    Q.4 I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am

    (a) A gifted psychologist

    (b) A well respected geneticist

    (c) A highly educated sociologist

    (d) A Catholic with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.

    Q5. I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Catholic

    Q6. Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    Q.7 The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    Q.8 What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from Catholicism:

    (a) Catholicism tells people not only what they should believe, but what they MUST believe under threat of “burning in hell” or other of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Catholicism can make a statement, such as “God is comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas Catholicism is regional and a person’s Catholicism, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than geographical upbringing; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.9 If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    Q.10 Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am

    (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker

    (b) The mafia

    (c) A drug pusher; or

    (d) The Catholic Church

    Q.11 What do the following authors all have in common – Jean Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, and Blaise Pascal:

    (a) They are among the most gifted writers the World has known;

    (b) They concentrated on opposing dogma and opening the human mind and spirit to the wonders of free thought and intellectual freedom;

    (c) They were intimidated by the Catholic Church and put on the Church’s list of prohibited authors; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.12 The AIDS epidemic will kill tens of millions in poor African and South American countries before we defeat it. Condoms are an effective way to curtail its spread. As the Pope still has significant influence over the less educated masses in these parts of the World, he has exercised this power by:

    (a) Using some of the Vatican’s incomprehensible wealth to educate these vulnerable people on health family planning and condom use;

    (b) Supporting government programs that distribute condoms to high risk groups;

    (c) Using its myriad of churches in these regions as “boots on the ground” to distribute condoms; or

    (d) Scaring people into NOT using condoms, based upon his disdainful and aloof view that it is better that a person die than go against the Vatican’s position on contraceptive use.

    Q.13 The statement “I believe in God because the Bible tells me to and the reason I follow the Bible is because it is the word of God” is:

    (a) Circular reasoning at its most obvious;

    (b) The reason 99% of Catholics believe what they do;

    (c) Specific to the Judeo-Christian parts of the World and totally rejected by all other parts of the World; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.14 Probably the most fundamental tenet of Catholic faith is that God sent his son Jesus to Earth to die and save us from the original sin of Adam and Eve. We now know that Adam and Eve was a myth. As such, any thinking Catholic should:

    (a) Honestly and courageously question this and any other aspects of their faith that don’t make sense.

    (b) Make up some euphemistic nonsense like “well, we didn’t mean that literally” after having done exactly that for the last 1900 years until science comprehensively disproved it.

    (c) Just ignore the blatant contradiction and sweep it under the mat; or

    (d) Hold on to the myth because it makes them feel good.

    Q.15 Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition from those below. For the one you choose, please say why it is any more ridiculous than the rest of the garbage Catholics swallow and give an example of a non-Catholic belief which is just as stupid.

    (a) Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.

    (b) When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.

    (c) You can pray to a dead person for something. This dead person will then ask God to fulfill your wish. If this happens twice, this dead person becomes a saint.

    (d) A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed.

    September 25, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Einstein

      You seem to consider that every religious person believe everything the bible says. And using the bible as a pivot to put down every religious person is a very weak way to do it. Not every religious or believers believe every single word of the bible. Most know that the bible was written by men. But that doesn't stop a religious person to consider the possibility of the existence of a God that sciences have failed to prove.

      September 25, 2013 at 1:15 am |
      • A real teacher

        This dude is loonier than the right-wing fundie people he professes to oppose. And he demonstrates circular reasoning like no other!

        September 25, 2013 at 1:22 am |
        • truthprevails1

          You're right, in every post Einstein does demonstrate circular reasoning and insults a great intelligent name by using it.

          September 25, 2013 at 5:00 am |
    • A real teacher

      I get it, you hate Catholics. And to pass your test, one has to hate Catholics, too. There is not respectable organization on this planet that would administer a test like that. It is to much about you and your hatred. You sound just as bad as these Catholics you profess to hate.

      September 25, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • nevaeh

      why did you take so much time and effort to write a long email-diatribe about something that doesn't exist? If God doesn't exist why do you fight it? Either you are crazy and fight ghosts or you are so confused and unhappy that the best you can do with your time is writing in the CNN website. Good luck with your mind and soul.

      September 25, 2013 at 1:24 am |
      • A real teacher

        Those that whine and moan about God are the ones that need Him the most. Their posts are great evidence of that.

        September 25, 2013 at 1:28 am |
        • Einstein

          I totally agree with that.

          September 25, 2013 at 1:41 am |
  17. CGDoc

    Thought he was going to lay back and keep silent. So much for that.

    September 25, 2013 at 12:41 am |
  18. bavarianilluminati

    Joseph Ratzinger should have just kept his silence. His letter did absolutely nothing to restore his reputation. Nothing at all.

    September 25, 2013 at 12:32 am |
  19. LouAZ

    “like the buzzing of flies in my ear” – Sinuhe the Egyptian, Mika Waltari

    September 25, 2013 at 12:29 am |
  20. Rogue351

    It is not about god, it is not about right and wrong, or morals. It always comes down to money. If the church does not know what their employees are up to, they should. If they admitted anything the law suits would cause enormous pay outs, scandals, blah blah blah. And as we all know the vatican needs all of that priceless art work, basically all of their riches because they sell it and do so much good in the world, RIGHT- NOT. A rich man fitting into the eye of a needle comes to mind at this point. If it was really about god, doing the right thing and morals. It would not matter if the church no longer had any money because god would provide since they are doing gods work. So by not coming clean taking care of the problem, amassing untold riches do they really believe what they are selling ? How do they expect other to believe it ? Well if you keep people poor enough, in terrible miserable situations they will turn to religion. It has been going on since the dawn of time. It is a method for controlling the people. Kings did it, the church has done it along with governments, why would it be any different now ?

    September 25, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • Or

      Payers change things.

      September 25, 2013 at 12:06 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.