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Vatican downplays controversy over U.S. embassy move
November 27th, 2013
02:49 PM ET

Vatican downplays controversy over U.S. embassy move

By Dan Merica and Eric Marrapodi, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='danmericaCNN'][twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

Washington (CNN) – When the State Department announced it was moving its Vatican embassy to a compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy, some former ambassadors and conservative American Catholics were outraged.

Former ambassadors to the Holy See said moving that embassy would diminish the stature of the mission and conservative Catholic activists seized on the issue.

Addressing the growing controversy in Rome, the State Department arranged a briefing for reporters on Monday with an unnamed senior official who said the purpose for the move was to save money and increase security.

A spokesman for the Vatican said the move was well within the Holy See's requirements for embassies and that relations with the United States are far from strained.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Canadian priest who works with the Vatican's press office, said the Vatican requires foreign embassies to the Holy See be separate from the country's mission to Italy, have a separate address and have a separate entrance.

Both Rosica and the senior State Department official said the proposed U.S. move satisfies those requirements.

Rosica also praised Ken Hackett, the new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, telling CNN that "at this critical time in history, he brings eminent credentials to represent the United States to the Vatican."

He added there "a very good feeling right now" between the two countries.

Another Vatican official, not authorized to speak on the record about diplomatic relations, told CNN the Holy See understands security concerns are an issue for some countries and this move is "an exception, not the ideal, but not the end of the world."

The State Department contends the move from a free-standing building to a more secure compound that currently includes the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations is a must following attacks on other American embassies.

The State Department official dismissed complaints that the move was hurting the U.S. relationship with the Vatican, telling reporters the embassy to the Holy See will be much closer to the Vatican and there will be "no reduction in diplomatic staff. There’s no reduction in ambassadors, there’s no reduction in mission."

"The plan is to have the U.S. mission to the Holy See relocate to a building" inside the current U.S. government compound, said the official. "We figure that we will save about $1.4 million a year in lease and operating costs in moving them."

Additionally, the official said the security of the current U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is "not in a building that has the kind of physical security protection that we would like it to have" but that the new building affords diplomats with better security.

For Francis Rooney, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush, the proposed move is a slight to the Vatican.

Rooney told CNN that a freestanding, separate embassy shows more value to the relationship and that he worries the move will create "a perception among foreign governments and other missions that the United States does not value its relationship with the Holy See."

"It is going to depreciate the prestige of the mission to relocate" he said.

In response to the Vatican's statement that relations between it and the United States are fine, Rooney said the Holy See is "bending over backwards not to disagree with the Department of State’s decision" and that privately "they wouldn't want it to happen."

Not all former U.S. ambassadors to the Holy See agree with Rooney, however.

Ambassador Miguel H. Diaz, who served as Obama's first ambassador to the Holy See, said those who disagree are not basing their opinion on fact and information.

"I firmly believe that these issues have to be based on facts and not politicized in any way," he said. "It is absolutely, 100 percent incorrect, it is absolutely erroneous, to interpret this decision in any way as the intention of the Obama administration to undermine or diminish the relationship between the United States and the Holy See."

He continued: "This was done for security and financial reasons, not in any way to undermine and diminish the importance of the Holy See."

Just as quickly as ambassadors like Rooney and Diaz weighed in, a number of contrastive Catholics began to assail the Obama administration for the move.

"The public perception is going to be a downgrading of the importance of the Holy See," Bill Donohue, head of the conservative Catholic League. "It smacks of an animus."

Donohue and others contend that by moving the embassy into a compound with other embassies, the United States is distancing itself from the Vatican and harming relations. He also finds it hard to believe the Obama administration would make a decision based on security and cost.

"When you have a track record that is not exactly Catholic-friendly, the people like myself are going to ask what is going on here," he said. "This is the first time in six years this administration has ever been concerned with saving money. I am not surprised they found it at the Vatican."

Chris Hale, who helped run Catholic outreach for Obama's 2012 campaign, said the reaction of conservative Catholics is "another attempt to politicize another issue and create a fight that isn't there."

"This is in no way signaling the administration’s desire to not work with Pope Francis," he said. "I think (conservative Catholics) are concerned with the narrative of Pope Francis being a progressive and they are trying to push any narrative the creates a perceived divide between Pope Francis and President Obama."

In attempt to quell any controversy, earlier on Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See posted on its Facebook page that reports that claim the "embassy to the Holy See is closing, that our Ambassador’s position is being cut, and/or that his residence is moving … are untrue."

The embassy, according to the Facebook post, will make the move in "early 2015."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Pope Francis • United States • Vatican

soundoff (841 Responses)
  1. Apple Bush

    What frightens Christians the most it that the universe is a violent and hostile place and they are no safer than anyone else.

    November 29, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Natural laws have no pity.
      It is a tough pill to swallow, to be sure.

      November 29, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • lol??

      What frightens apples is being low hangin' fruit.

      November 29, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Worms frighten apples quite a bit. And birds.

        November 29, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  2. JW

    Christmas is of pagan origin, the worship of the Sun-god.. Later adapted to Jesus...

    Why the "Christians" still celebrate a day that was never a Christian day?

    November 29, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Christians just do what they are told, you knos that.

      November 29, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Apple Bush

        *know

        November 29, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Aren't astrology, pyramidology and numerology pagan practices?

      November 29, 2013 at 10:50 am |
      • JW

        Doc – yes they are... Out of all of those, JW , believed, like 100 years ago, pyramidology... But JWs used to celebrate Christmas and birthdays as well, but as soon JWs found out that all these practises were of pagan origin, it was discontinued, like 80 years ago.
        Doc... If you want to learn about JWs I recommend you try to update yourself...

        "Christian" churches, though many know the origin of Christmas continue to practice it... For the sack of please their attendees!

        November 29, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @JW
          The founder of your religion would be disfellowshipped today based on a number of his heretical teachings.
          In the mid 20th century, during the wacky reign of Nathan H. Knorr as the head of the JoHo's, he pushed HARD for everybody to accept 1975 as the day of THE END – to the point that he disfellowed those who said it wouldn't be.
          Since coming under the leadership of Milton G. Henschel, the JWs have realized that they need to look and act a little more normal if the religion is to survive.
          Kids can now play sports and attend college (which used to be heresy). Psychiatry is no longer the tool of Satan. And, of course, as the last remnants of the "1914 generation" die, he's trying to back away from all those failed prophecies that were the core of the Church for 150 years.

          November 29, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It doesn't pay for a prophet to be too specific.
          Those that give exact dates invariably have to face the music when nothing happens.
          You know – like the MIllerite "Great Disappointment" that spawned the JWs.
          Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming! It'll be huge and undeniable!
          Well – OK – he did actually come back but in a ghostly, totally unprovable way in an aetheric realm we cannot detect. But He's doing his thing for sure!

          It's akin to X-Day for the Church of the Subgenius. When nothing happened on their prophesied date for the end of the world, they released a statement saying that they read the date upside down. It was 1998, but rather 8661. Then then said this was to be their interim excuse while they came up with something better.

          November 29, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • JW

          Doc- please... Stop talking about what you don't even know about!! We already spoke about 1975... Not gonna repeat myself!

          November 29, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • JW

          Disappointment ?? I and my family and friends didn't get disappointed...
          It seems that you and some few others did... Maybe their motives for being JWs was not the correct one... ?!!

          November 29, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Martin

          JW, funny how your beliefs changed. Seems your god isn't great at telling you what he wants.

          Doc has you nailed. Get used to it.

          November 29, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • Des

          There is no good reason to believe in the deadly cult that JW is trying so hard to sell you on. He is desperate to do so; that is how his cult keeps going. They work hard to recruit. Don't come knocking on my door.

          November 29, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • JW

          disappointed people... Read john 6:41-69 notice that some disciples got disappointed with Jesus as well...

          There will always be disappointed people... Not even Jesus pleased everyone!

          November 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • JW

          Martin- what's wrong about change? I would be more conserned if I knew something is wrong and never change... In gods stand point is an unforgivable sin!

          November 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
        • Des

          There is no good reason to believe in the deadly cult that JW is trying so hard to sell you on. He is desperate to do so; that is how his cult keeps going. They work hard to recruit, and he'll likely go on posting, but we are ready for it. Don't come knocking on my door, ever.

          A dogma that changes as the JW one has, was obviously false when it started. Rather odd that their "god" is so error prone, and also that he is so weak as to need followers to do his PR and marketing. Pathetic, actually.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • sam stone

        disappointed people, get over it. that is life. don't live your life by the edited, translated blatherings of iron age sheep molesters

        November 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  3. Apple Bush

    Logic Lost

    I saw a sunset and it was perfect.
    Why do you ask me to see another?
    For in waiting for the next sunset, I will endure much suffering!

    Perfection exists in the suffering too.
    Be thankful for the pain.

    Did I not thank you by loving you?

    November 29, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  4. Apple Bush

    Why does god need human beings to spread his word? This is a being that can simultaneously watch, hear or ignore any number of a quadrillion trillion trillion living or inanimate things throughout the universe. This is the all-powerful creator who provided every rule under which we understand our universe. All technology flows from him, yet he can't tell us himself to behave?

    November 29, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "What does God need with a starship?"
      – James T. Kirk

      November 29, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • lol??

      He already did.You were hidin' in a closet prayin' to skeletons.

      November 29, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  5. Advent

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp5Dfy_X9Gc&feature=player_detailpage

    November 29, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Christmas sucks. My favorite day of the year is New year's Day.

      November 29, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • OC

      🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

      November 29, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  6. Apple Bush

    Imagine if there were a god as described by Christians. Life would be beyond creepy.

    November 29, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  7. Apple Bush

    I am compelled to be thankful for leftover turkey sandwiches today. So..thanks dead turkey. You will be yummy.

    November 29, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Simple recipe:

      French roll
      Leftover turkey
      Salt and Pepper
      Cranberry sauce
      Lettuce
      Butter and/or Mayo

      Heaven

      November 29, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • Apple Bush

        You can substitute ham for turkey if you are running low on bird, and for an added twist, add stuffing to your sammich!

        November 29, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • lol??

      Cannibal.

      November 29, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Sorry, I don't follow, but please don't feel the need to elaborate.

        November 29, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • lol??

          Turkeys aren't designed to eat turkeys.

          November 29, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • Apple Bush

          So you are calling me a turkey, is that the joke you are attempting?

          November 29, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • doobzz

          Play along, AB, poor lolly has been waiting all year to get that one in.

          November 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  8. Toto

    How come in each continent of the world, there's stories of a flood and people that saved themselves and animals I'm an ark, but there's no native stories regarding , that in one time we were apes?

    November 29, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Humans were never apes. Mystery solved.

      November 29, 2013 at 9:58 am |
      • Apple Bush

        The mitochondrial most recent common ancestor of modern humans lived roughly 200,000 years ago, latest common ancestors of humans and chimps between four and seven million years ago. Humans had common ancestors.

        November 29, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • ME II

      Really, each continent has stories about an ark with animals? citiation please.

      Of course there aren't stories about being apes because 1) we evolved from common ancestors not today's animals and 2) the language needed to have stories didn't develop until our ancestors were intelligent enough to develop it.

      November 29, 2013 at 9:58 am |
      • guest

        Oh com-on ME II almost every culture has some kind of flood story, just go on line, you'll find them. Besidesjustconsidersome of the fossil finds;
        shark tooth mountain; how else did all those shark teeth get there without a flood and all the other sea life fossils that are found at great in high places. Just how do you think fossils were formed? The animal or plant had to be covered with mud and soil before it decayed.

        November 29, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Apple Bush

          "guest" is not familiar with uplift.

          November 29, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Apple Bush

          ...or continental drift.

          November 29, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Oh, as far as the floods go....floods happen. Watch the news.

      November 29, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Many cultures have experienced natural disasters of more-or-less the same kind. Stories about those disasters are similar.

      The time scales over which our species is evolving are, to humans, very long. We have never noticed, over the few generations we are aware of at any one time, a perceptible change. So of course we have no record or memory of being anything other than what we think we are at any particular time.

      November 29, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Flood myths are common becuase human settlements are necessarily adjacent to bodies of fresh water.
      Such tales from the "cradle of civilization" are prevalent becuase in the arid Middle East, life depended on the annual flooding of the Nile River.
      You assertion that most of these myths have an "ark" component to them is baseless, however.
      For example, stories concerning the Great Flood of China make no mention of divine wrath or extinction or arks, but rather focus on how humanity pulled together to mitigate the damage by building dams, digging canals etc.
      The focus is on how civilization and society endure despite natural disasters.

      November 29, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Colin

      As to the second half of your question, ape-man legends are prevalent. Bigfoot of the USA, yeti of the Himalayas and the Kadicheee Man of Australia being three examples. Bear in mind that man speciated out from the last common ancestor we shared with apes seven million years ago, too.

      November 29, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  9. Atheism Is Corrupt

    .

    November 29, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Reality # 2

      How so?

      November 29, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Apple Bush

      In a universe where truth and common sense are corrupt, you are right.

      November 29, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • doobzz

      Yes, because atheists have built a multi billion dollar organization, set up their own country, murdered those who didn't fall into lockstep and looted the treasures of the world, laundered money, set up a banking system that violates international banking laws, made deals with the mafia, convicted felons, evil dictators, and run a pedophile ring that has ruined the lives of thousands of children worldwide with no accountability.

      Not.

      November 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  10. JW

    What kind of Christianity did Constantine form?

    A result of Constantine’s alliance with the bishops was a religion with tenets that were part Christian, part pagan. It could hardly have been otherwise, since the emperor’s goal was religious pluralism, not the pursuit of religious truth. He was, after all, the ruler of a pagan empire. To please both religious camps, he adopted a stance of “conscious ambiguity in his acts and government in general,” wrote one historian.

    While professing to champion Christianity, Constantine kept one foot in paganism. For example, he practiced astrology and divination—occult activities that the Bible condemns. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) On the Arch of Constantine in Rome, he is shown sacrificing to pagan deities. He continued to honor the sun-god by featuring the deit-y on coins and promoting the sun-god cult. Late in life, Constantine even permitted a small town in Umbria, Italy, to construct a temple to his family and himself and to appoint priests to serve there.

    Constantine postponed his “Christian” baptism until a few days before his death in 337 C.E. Many scholars believe that he held back in order to retain the political support of both Christian and pagan elements within the empire. To be sure, his life record and the lateness of his baptism raise questions about the sincerit-y of his professed faith in Christ. However, one thing is certain: The church Constantine legitimized became a powerful political and religious entiity, one that thus turned its back on Christ and embraced the world. Jesus said of his followers: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” (John 17:14) From this church—that was now worldly—sprang countless denominations.

    What does all of this mean for us? It means that we should not take the teachings of any church for granted but that we should examine them in the light of the Bible.—1 John 4:1.

    November 29, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Richie Stein

      When were you guys founded as a religion?

      November 29, 2013 at 9:06 am |
      • JW -> JW

        19th Century.

        November 29, 2013 at 9:07 am |
        • Richie Stein

          Where were you guys before all this enlightenment began? Which god did your ancestors worship?

          November 29, 2013 at 9:08 am |
        • JW -> JW

          Along with our Mormon brothers and sisters we are one of the few religions that can proudly declare we were 'Made in America'!

          November 29, 2013 at 9:11 am |
        • JW

          Jw to JW... Please use another name!

          November 29, 2013 at 9:20 am |
      • JW

        JW always existed, since the first man of faith Abel. Read Heb chapter 11 the Heb 12:1.

        Even Jesus was a JW. Rev 3:14 talks about Jesus being the "faithful and true Witness"

        And on Isaiah 43:10, God calls his true worshipers as his witnesses.

        10 “You are my witnesses,” declares Jehovah, “Yes, my servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and have faith in me And understand that I am the same One. Before me no God was formed, And after me there has been none.

        November 29, 2013 at 9:18 am |
        • Russel

          You are blaspheming if you deny the divinity of Jesus and are using the Bible for your blasphemy.

          November 29, 2013 at 9:22 am |
        • JW

          What divinity of Jesus?

          Read acts 7:55.

          The trinity was established by the church of Constantine.

          November 29, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • Russel

          Read John 1:1,14
          John 8:58

          November 29, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • Toto

          Russ- please explain me how on John 1:1 is said that the "word was in the beginning WITH God? If Jesus is WITH god, how can he be God?

          Please answer me how you understand Acts 7:55?

          November 29, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • JW

          Russel- please explain me how on John 1:1 is said that the "word was in the beginning WITH God? If Jesus is WITH god, how can he be God?

          Please answer me how you understand Acts 7:55?

          November 29, 2013 at 9:56 am |
      • JW

        Rich- The bible predicted that Gods true worshipers would cease to exist for a period of time, until the last days.

        Read Acts 20:29,30

        November 29, 2013 at 9:44 am |
        • Richie Stein

          Sadly, that refers to you! 🙁

          November 29, 2013 at 9:50 am |
        • Richie Stein

          *that( false teachers, like vicious wolves) refers to you.

          November 29, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • JW

          How does that refer to me?

          Where JW guilty of bloodshed and teaching traditions of men?

          November 29, 2013 at 9:55 am |
        • Richie Stein

          Get thee behind me satan.

          November 29, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • JW

          Rich- You can't contradict what history says, you can't even reason, and you still call me satan?? Lol.

          November 29, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'm still waiting for a citation of the scripture that plainly and unambiguously prophecies what you claim it does.
      Are these prophecies based on the Bible, or Pyramidology?
      IN the June 1922 edition of The Watchtower, they state that they arrived (in part) at the absoulte, inerrant date of 539BCE for the fall of Babylon by converting each inch of surface of the Great Pyramid of Giza into years.
      Starting with a dubious base for the calculations throws off everything else – did Jerusalem fall in 607? Are the "gentile times" really over?
      Did "The Last Days" really start in 1914?
      I'd say not. The Watchtower society was absolutely certain that everything was going to come to a head in 1914. For decades before, they prophesied this and that without reservation and with perfect confidence in their inerrancy.
      Until 1915, that is.
      "Studies In the Scriptures – Thy Kingdom" – a fairly important text to JWs, if I'm not mistaken, made just a few slight modifications to its perfect and inerrant teachings after the failure of the 1914 prophecy.
      For example – the editions prior to 1914 say "That the deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914 is manifest", but the 1915 edition says "That the deliverance of the saints must take place very soon after 1914 is manifest".
      A century later and it still isn't manifest!

      The dates on which JW theology is largely predicated keep on moving around.
      "In the year 1943 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society published the book "The Truth Shall Make You Free." This moved forward the end of six thousand years of man's existence into the decade of the 1970's. Naturally this did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of his invisible presence or parousia. Page 324 of the above book positively says: "The King's presence or parousia began in 1914."

      November 29, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  11. brucedraken

    Perhaps conservatives are interested in leaving the Vatican embassy less secure & therefore more open to attack, as they did when they cut security funding that led to the atrack in Benghazi. Then they could have another atrocity they could blame on Obama & the Democrats. Might help their chances in 2016

    November 29, 2013 at 7:23 am |
  12. Mrs. Travis

    Again, when one comes to recognize the Vatican as an independent government under the guise of a church one can understand the enormous power it has implemented in the world as well as its capacity for corruption. No doubt there are strong implications being charged against the church as well as its government. This is no ordinary church and the consequences are far reaching.

    November 28, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, this much is true: Vatican City is unique unto itself.
      There is the capacity for corruption in most entities; I have never really heard of any church or government that hasn't ever suffered from one form of corruption or another.
      They're populated by humans, after all.

      I have hopes for the current Pope. He doesn't seem content to keep the status quo.

      November 29, 2013 at 12:01 am |
      • Mrs. Travis

        I hope you're right because there's a strong anti-religion spirit among people throughout European countries and the world as a result of immoral allegations. Many fear the practice of organized religion may be banned.

        Even on this blog there's a lot of ridicule of religion, those who practice it and even of God himself.

        November 29, 2013 at 2:52 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          Ridicule of religion is appropriate. Ridiculous claims merit ridicule and religions of the world top the cake in making ridiculous claims. As for God...well since there isn't any good reason to believe he exists then as someone once said "blasphemy is a victimless crime"
          Believers...the people who have fallen for the lies of religion deserve only pity. From the perspective of people like me challenging the beliefs of theists is a good thing. Bad ideas should always be exposed for what they are. The litmus test for bad ideas is when criticism is mistaken for hate.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:57 am |
        • hearties

          Compared to what Jesus went through, this is pretty light, literally.

          November 29, 2013 at 5:08 am |
        • Science works

          Mrs. Travis

          But why should I believe in gods ? When the question has been answered .

          How we became Human.

          November 29, 2013 at 5:58 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          "Compared to what Jesus went through, this is pretty light, literally."

          Jesus, if the story can be believed at all, had what amounts to little more than a bad weekend. Uncounted multitudes of humans to this day have suffered far far worse and without the purported benefit of rising from the dead. One really has to question this claim of God's supposed ultimate sacrifice. Did Jesus remain dead..forever separated from his Father? Did God lose anything at all if Jesus regained all that he supposedly lost? What was sacrificed? This bizarre appeal to 3 days of suffering by Jesus, as if no one has ever endured more pain, is really puzzling. You and your compatriots fervent focus on martyrs as exemplars of virtue is a curious fetish.

          November 29, 2013 at 6:06 am |
        • Sara

          I've got to agee with Steve. Those three girld locked in Castro's basement suffered far worse than this Jesus guy yet no one is claiming god stats for them. If I were imprisones and tortured or rap.ed or had limbs severed over years I'd find the claims of someone who had 3 bad days with a promise of eternal joy to follow pretty weak.

          November 29, 2013 at 6:17 am |
        • Sara

          Could you point me to any European country in which there is a formal proposal to ban organized religion as a whole? Unless you cough up some evidence, I'm not buying it.

          November 29, 2013 at 6:21 am |
        • hearties

          Some are so full of doubt that they can't understand the truth described in the bible, and for them the reality of God vanishes. Those truely are God's words in there, for real, and I love 'em... him too.

          November 29, 2013 at 7:05 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          all true. and i no many athies who offered to go thru the same bad weekend stuff christ did, they all did very well. none bore the sin of mankind in her body, including the donki puncher's ape of pa;in in front of her kid, but, hey, no one's perfect

          November 29, 2013 at 7:50 am |
        • Ken

          hearties
          When all you've got are calls to blindly trust what the Bible has to say can you honestly be surprised when not everyone jumps?

          November 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Any insti-tution with flawed foundations will eventually fail. And since the RCC has severely flawed foundations. it will also collapse. Said failure has started and Francis is one last attempt to save it but to no avail unless he comes clean about the resurrection and angel cons. But can Christianity survive without Easter and angels singing from on high?

      November 29, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • lol??

      A&A's have serious interpretation problems.

      Act 7:54
      When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

      They must be susceptable to trying to eat flesh and drink blood.

      November 29, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  13. Bootyfunk

    this pope sure talks a lot.
    too bad he hasn't made an actual change to church doctrine or dogma.
    seems like he's getting a lot of credit
    when he hasn't actually changed a thing.

    November 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      100% correct! Not a single pedophile priest, their criminal protectors or any information has been turned over to civilian authorities. Methinks this Pope-A-Dope is as evil as recent predecessors.

      November 28, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Akira

      He has been Pope for a little over 8 months.
      I'd like to give him a chance. In 8 years, I'll condemn him for his inaction, but after 8 months at the helm of a world – wide institution, I'm inclined to give him a little latitude.

      November 29, 2013 at 12:10 am |
      • Sara

        I am at 8 months, too, bu I would't wait 8 years either. By mid 2015 we should see change or he's a fraud.

        November 29, 2013 at 6:23 am |
        • lol??

          One would think the hopey changey bird would have been roasted already with the other dead ducks.

          November 29, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  14. Mrs. Travis

    And Ben I assure you I don't drink so laying off the sauce isn't a problem for me.

    November 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Ben

      Given that you've lost the thread yet again (Missus whoopsie !?!), so far I don't have reason to give much credence to that claim of yours.

      Better ease up, holiday or not. Admitting that you have a substance problem could be your first step towards solving it.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • Mrs. Travis

        Smile. There are many ways in which I fall short. I'm not perfect. I'm sorry if I offended you or anyone else. For now I will concentrate on that problem. Thanks.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  15. Akira

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

    November 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Happy Thanksgiving Akira.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Mrs. Travis

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. I enjoy reading your posts and hope to get to know you better.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • Akira

      Thank you both.

      Mrs. Travis, welcome.
      Always a pleasure to see a new face.

      November 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • Mrs. Travis

        Thank you.

        November 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Yes. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Akira, and everyone.

      November 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
      • Akira

        Thanks, Tom. I hope yours was as happy as mine was.

        November 28, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  16. Mrs. Travis

    Please don't confuse religion and the antics used by some in the name of religion, with God. In the end, there will be no reason for religious leaders imo.

    November 28, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      That is good advice. I would add that one shouldn't confuse the God imagined by religious people with anything based in reality.

      November 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
      • Mrs. Travis

        My further advice would be to recognize the Vatican as an independent government rather than a church. When one realizes the implications involved in such an arrangement one can understand the enormous power and corruption that has been and will be implemented against the Church.

        November 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
  17. Mrs. Travis

    I don't know much about history, don't know much biology but I do know that God loves you and and i know that if you love Him too, what a wonderful world this would be.

    November 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • get the facts

      how about caring for each other, unlike the bible.

      November 28, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Akira

      Spin on an old Sam Cooke song...I was transported back to Animal House, which I just saw the other day for the twelve thousandth time.

      November 29, 2013 at 12:19 am |
      • sam stone

        "pre-law? i thought you were pre-med"

        "what's the difference?"

        November 29, 2013 at 7:05 am |
    • sam stone

      it's amazing how readily and eagerly christians confuse belief with knowledge

      November 29, 2013 at 7:27 am |
  18. JW

    Jesus way of speaking in parables, made the humble and meek draw close to him, and the proud and wicked draft away...

    November 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Gina

      More like it fooled some folk into thinking he was special, but not the more perceptive ones who realized he was just another preacher.

      I'm more concerned that your "god" can't tell it straight.He should expect disbelief, especially after not clearly making his presence at all apparent for >2K years.

      November 28, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
      • Des

        Careful, Gina. JW will go on all day trying to weasel out of direct responses, and he will soon be trying to sell you on his deadly cult.

        See below thread with Doc V, though, where JW gets caught out in his unsupportable claims.

        November 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Mrs. Travis

      So is that what you've done, drift away? Jesus brought a new ministry that didn't require much, especially a degree in theology.

      November 28, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
      • Gordo

        He said "draft away". so maybe he just drank his way apart.

        November 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • Bob

          Yeah but he was pinting for the fjords the whole time.

          November 28, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
        • Ben

          So he was spirited away. In that manner of speaking.

          November 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Ken

      JW
      Part of the problem in dealing with Christians is that they have been taught that clever, folksy wordplay trumps solid logic. That's why Christian apologetics all tend to sound like that old editorial "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus", full of appeals for childlike blind trust and nothing more.

      November 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
      • Mrs. Travis

        Ken, there are plenty of examples of modern day Christian persecutions one of which was reported in this months National Geographic. It was about Nigeria but it is widely reported throughout Africa, and the Middle East as well as parts of Asia. Poco Harem, Jihads and Al Q are the obvious violators but in many countries their actions are supported by government.

        November 28, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        • Ben

          Wrong thread, Missus. You want an earlier one, but like someone said, per some base population please.

          November 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
        • Bob

          Mrs. T has been "drafting" with JW, I guess.

          November 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
        • Mrs. Travis

          Lol. Do you want it in book report form or will a draft do? Obviously, Christian populations are the minority in those areas of the world but does that make it right?

          November 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
        • Ben

          Still in the wrong thread, Missus. Better lay off the sauce a bit, dear.

          November 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
        • Mrs. Travis

          Bob, wrong thread, right person. But where do you come off injecting on this or the previous thread? Have you something to tell me directly?

          November 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
        • Ben

          Seems he just did, Missus.

          November 28, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
        • Ken

          Mrs. Travis
          There are examples of other faiths being persecuted as well, and atheists can never be said to have an easy go, but a lot of this from the Christian camp comes from missionaries blatantly disregarding local laws forbidding their proselytizing efforts. You may disagree with these laws, but they are the law of those lands. It's almost as though these Christians are intentionally provoking the local officials to prosecute them, actually looking to get a reaction, what we call a "martyr complex".

          The point is that the whole tradition of martyrdom and persecution is largely exaggerated anyway, so this kind of brazen intrusion is really groundless to begin with.

          November 29, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Happy Thanksgiving JW.

      November 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        I hope you are having a nice Thanksgiving, Robert. And JW as well.

        November 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Yes, happy thanksgiving to you too Tom. Thankfulness is good.

          November 28, 2013 at 7:35 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.