Vatican unveils commission to combat sexual abuse
Pope Francis delivers a prayer from the window of his apartment at the Vatican on November 17.
December 5th, 2013
01:33 PM ET

Vatican unveils commission to combat sexual abuse

By Hada Messia, CNN

Rome (CNN)–Pope Francis is creating a commission to prevent the abuse of minors and to support victims of abuse, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley announced Thursday in Rome.

The new commission is expected to tell church officials to collaborate with civil authorities and report cases of abuse, O'Malley said.

But he also said that the church has focused on the judicial aspect of sexual abuse in the past, and that Pope Francis now wants to focus on the pastoral side, and caring for victims.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (723 Responses)
  1. Tea Party Patriot

    A growing number of us are convinced that Sarah Palin is the only one who can heal and re-unify our country. But first she must return to her motorhome and resume her cross country tour. She will have to visit cities both large and small, being careful to speak only to real Americans, dispensing her sage advice and folksy, homespun common sense solutions. Even Mr. Limbaugh agrees that we can be a great nation again if we all just follow the "Palin Path".

    December 6, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Reality # 2

      You must be kidding?

      December 6, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Stopped being funny about 200 posts ago

      December 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
      • Tea Party Patriot

        Not intending to be funny. This is a wake-up call !!

        December 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Alias

          She is no longer a viable candidate.
          Get a life, and find a new target for your insults.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          A wake up call to whom? Tea Partiers are too stupid to realize Palin is a caricature of themselves and if she ever got elected to anything of importance, then even atheists would start believing that the anti-christ and the 'end-times' are upon us...

          December 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Jaden

          She'd just quit again.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  2. Robert Brown

    Some believe there could be a god, but the God depicted in the bible is an evil creature. If he is God, they would not worship him. They use the flood as an example. The idea is that if the God in the bible is real, he is obviously evil because he killed every man, women, and child except Noah and his family.
    God’s ultimate plan is to remove evil from his universe. Where did evil come from? We have only small glimpses of the source in the word, but it all appears to stem from pride. God created angels before he created us. Some seem to have more power than others. The being known as Satan or the devil was a very powerful angel who rebelled against God and started a war in heaven. He wanted to take God’s place. Battles are won and lost. The war continues, which side are you on?
    Would a God who would destroy a bunch of extremely mean people and preserve some good ones still be unworthy of worship? If so, then what would be the lesson or message of the flood? It seems very simple to me, God is demonstrating that he intended to create a creature with free will, he allows people the opportunity to choose good or bad, he allows the ones who have chosen evil to change their minds, and then ultimately, he eliminates evil and preserves good. What could possibly be wrong with that?

    December 6, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      how do you come up with this stuff?! The mental gymnastics you have to perform to somehow link all these things to an imaginary sky fairy without a shred of proof or logic just amazes me.

      December 6, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Dyslexic doG

        “how do you come up with this stuff?”

        It is all in the word of God, doG.

        December 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
        • EnjaySea

          This so-called "word of God" is a book written by men just like you Robert. Men who believed in God and wanted to convince other men to believe in God.

          I don't believe something just because it's written down.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:49 am |
        • Robert Brown


          It is true that the bible was written by men as inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe everything that is written down either; you have to experience truth before you can believe.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:57 am |
        • bacbik

          truth, Robert? Maybe if you can demonstrate this truth you speak of as a way of demonstrating that God exists, we would better understand. Give it a go, Robert.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • Madtown

          It is all in the word of God
          What's your best guess as to why God only chose to inspire humans living in the middle east, to create the words in the bible? Why didn't God choose to inspire humans living in North America at the same time, to write the same words so all of God's human creation could share in the message?

          December 6, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • EnjaySea

          Well, that's cute how you threw in there that it was inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit. But I don't believe in a Holy Spirit, or a god, or a devil, or angels, or Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny. So I certainly don't believe that the authors of the Bible were inspired by anything but their desire to convert people to their way of thinking.

          As you may have noticed, they didn't snag me.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • bacbik

      Much less entertaining than the prologue to the Lord of the Rings, yet no more credible.

      December 6, 2013 at 10:41 am |
      • Robert Brown


        It is a good thing that I’m not an entertainer. I wonder where the author got his inspiration for the lord of the rings?

        December 6, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • bacbik

          You don't think the author of Lord of the Rings intended for us to believe his story to be reality, do you, Robert?

          December 6, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Robert Brown


          No, Tolkein intended his stories to be entertaining. I was just curious if you knew the source of his inspirations for his stories.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:59 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Tolkien got his inspiration from European mythology... the fact that he was a Catholic played a role in the symbology in his stories.. but he was born in 1892, so we must forgive the era he was born into.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • ?

          Robert Brown
          Zip it up, your delusion is showing.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Just as the authors of the Bible got their inspiration from the mythologies of their era. If we're looking at books for their origins, the origins of the Biblical stories can be traced to a great many pagan myths of that era.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      The Bible: proof that gullible people will believe any dumbass thing that you tell them

      December 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Lucifer's Evil Twin,

        I don’t think you will find much difference between believers and nonbelievers concerning gullibility or skepticism.

        December 6, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          True... but some christians seem to be more gullible than others

          December 6, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Bootyfunk

          wrong, there's a vast difference. the religious are not skeptics, lol. if they were, they wouldn't be religious.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • Lawrence

        Evolution: man's attempt to make a monkey of himself.

        December 6, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • tallulah13

          It's sad when adults mock science just because it disproves the mythology they so desperately want to believe.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          If they acknowledge one flaw, they'll have to acknowledge the others

          December 6, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Street Epistemologist In Training

          Father George Coyne, former Papal Astronomer, completely supports evolution but does not support intelligent design. At least one believer is evolving.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • ME II

          Incorrect. We evolved from a common ancestor with monkeys, but not from monkeys.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Closer to a lemur than a monkey...

          December 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • K-switch

      So basically your in that camp of natural disasters are God's punishment on the wicked. Awesome. How about the fact that this life is the only chance we have to find salvation, yet your God took the chance at later redemption away from those people who suffered greatly by drowning only to suffer much worse in hell for all of eternity.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      only a monster could drown babies and call it divine justice. the christian god is not worthy of worship. he's a baby-killer.

      December 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • Ad Homineminem

        At least he doesn't stuff gerbils in his colon.

        December 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          yes, he does. seen him do it.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • Ad Hominy

          Ad translation: "hamsters are better".

          December 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • ME II

      @Robert Brown,
      "...he eliminates evil and preserves good. What could possibly be wrong with that?"

      It depends on what this supposed God considers "good" and "evil".
      If He condemns everyone who simply does not love Him with all their mind, body, and "soul", then I don't think I'd agree with His judgement.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  3. Ungodly Discipline

    Mary is the mother of God. God is the father of God. Mary therefore had incest with her own son before he was born. Christians are very weird.

    December 6, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Dyslexic doG


      December 6, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        God sits at the right hand of himself. Christians are very weird.

        December 6, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I can't fathom those Christians who insist on believing that Mary stayed a virgin her entire life even though she had a husband.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        Perhaps she was a lesbian. Who can say?

        December 6, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          God created sin, then died for our sins so we could go to heaven. If God did not create sin, the rest of the bizarre story would not exist as there would be no sin to be concerned about. So this begs the question, why did God saddle unborn babies with sin that He invented in the first place? Then die for those sins even though God can't die? Christians are weird.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:46 am |
      • Alias

        most people accept that jesus had siblings.

        December 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  4. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    @JW – Topher is a believer and I am not... and I do not deny his right to believe whatever he wishes.... He and I have chatted on here many times and while I think he deludes himself with his religious beliefs, I perceive him as a good dude. You however, I perceive (so far) as annoying. The fact that you call yourself a JW doesn't help your case either...

    December 6, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • JW

      We respect everyone's right to do whatever they want. I'm just pointing to the bibles point of view. People apply it if they want. I'm just exposing here points that many of you maybe never thought about.

      December 6, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Well, some friendly advice then... being a jerk on here only begets more jerkiness... which the belief blogs already have a cornucopia of... civility is (usually) reciprocated...

        December 6, 2013 at 9:52 am |
        • JW

          People that are believers and exchange info regarding the bible are mature enough to understand each other points of view,. I respect others opinions, and people's rights to do what ever they feel like.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • Science Works

          JW until same se-x marriage comes into play as Dolan says they lost the marketing battle ?

          No god(s) required !

          December 6, 2013 at 10:13 am |
  5. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Is there a God who will protect children from the men of God?

    fred's answer was, in sum, no.

    December 6, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Russ

      @ TTTOO: God sent his own Son, who was also mistreated by humanity.
      It's rather clear that...
      1) humanity is the problem
      2) God is uniquely invested in humanity
      3) The cross & resurrection show God is up to something

      Or, as Dostoevsky put it in the Brothers K...
      “I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the desp.icable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.”

      December 6, 2013 at 9:34 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        LET's Religiosity Law #1 – If Jesus came back today he would be shot in the head. That's what you do to put down zombies; otherwise they eat your brains.

        December 6, 2013 at 9:44 am |
        • Russ

          @ Lucifer: therein lies the rub. Jesus isn't a zombie. consider things he did after his resurrection...

          1) unlike zombies, he can no longer be killed.
          2) unlike zombies, he ate fish for breakfast... not other people.
          3) unlike zombies, he apparently could walk through walls.
          4) unilke zombies, he spent 40 days teaching his disciples.
          4) unlike zombies, he rose up on a cloud.
          5) unlike zombies, he spoke from heaven (*years* after disappearing) in a flash of light that blinded Saul & his cohorts.

          but here is a rather interesting article that considers why the popular discussion on zombies (& the like) won't die...

          December 6, 2013 at 9:55 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Actually, I only use zombie because it's funnier than 'lich', which is closer to what jesus would be considered

          December 6, 2013 at 10:06 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @Russ – but kudos on an excellent retort...

          December 6, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • Damocles

          *is now fondly remembering the night his character died on the bony claws of a lich due to an unfortunate natural twenty*

          December 6, 2013 at 10:13 am |
        • Street Epistemologist In Training

          Allegedly Jesus did all those things. But how do *know*?

          December 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • Damocles

        Flawed creations from a perfect being..... just doesn't add up.

        December 6, 2013 at 9:50 am |
        • Russ

          @ Damocles: we weren't made this way. we did this to ourselves.

          December 6, 2013 at 9:56 am |
        • Saraswati

          Russ, Humans do not behave randomly but are governed by scientific laws and biological and psychological principles. There are no areas of the earth in which people spontaneously decide to give up speech and communicate by clacking rocks together, there are no places where the majority do not care for their young and where some form of social norms exist. Where there are gross anomalies we find cause in unusual biological or social conditions. Humans are not free. It is a myth created to justify a god who condemns people for eternity for sctions of his own making.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:02 am |
        • Damocles


          For people that claim their deity made *everything* and is responsible for *everything*, believers are remarkably quick to shift blame onto anything other than their deity when the truth doesn't mesh with their beliefs.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • Russ

          @ Saraswati: it's sounds like you are a sociological determinist. i'm not an expert in that area, but that's what i'm hearing you say.

          i hope you can recognize the distinction between sociological & psychological behavior (within a naturalistic framework) and a theological discussion (that objects not to sociology or psychology but to naturalism). it sounds like you are appealing to naturalism & calling it sociology. note well that science purposefully employs methodological naturalism while avoiding philosophical naturalism. (it sounds like you are doing the latter here)

          another angle...
          "freedom" can mean very different things: the choice between a & b can be a freedom. but separately, being able to do whatever you want can be a freedom. if you only want b, are you ever going to choose a? does that mean you've lost your freedom?

          biblical freedom is not simply having options. it's doing what you were created to do. obedience is freedom. everything else is choosing self destruction.

          as for 'free will' (the appeal i believe you are making), i think Martin Luther rather clearly articulated the distinctions in his famous essay "on the bondage of the will." due to what we've done to ourselves, we have rendered all our choices broken by a corrupted will. we have the freedom to do what we want, but it's our wants that are broken.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Russ, sociological determinism is usually used to refer to a belief system that discounts the importance of biology, individual psychology and other physical causality in favor of the primacy of social causes. I am not by any normal sense of the term a social or sociological determinist, though I of cource believe culture to be a very important part of what makes a person who he or she is.

          And no, I am not appealing to naturalism and calling it sociology. I am calling sociology sociology. Beyond that I really can't address what you are talking about since you seem to be as.suming my words have meaning other than the standard usage.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Russ, it's interesting that God must, apparently, work within the bounds of what is possible for God. Some believers include among God's attributes that God can do all things, even things that are logically impossible. If it is true that there are things impossible to God then it's plausible that God's will and God's actions, or inaction, can ultimately be good even if a few eggs get broken along the way. Would you say that it is impossible for God's creation to work out as God wills without all the suffering we see in the world?

        December 6, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      fred is convinced that child abuse by god's men is all part of his god's plan....and that it is a good plan.

      the plan sucks fred.....the plan sucks

      December 6, 2013 at 10:01 am |
      • Saraswati

        Project management skills probably aren't evaluated at the interviews for God positions. They might need to work with HR on the hiring practices.

        December 6, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          What? God doesn't require a PMP certification? Bummer, that explains a lot actually...

          December 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • fred

        Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God
        Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted

        December 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • fred

        Blessed are the Cheesemakers
        =>hummm...I do not see that on the list
        =>The problem is that you reject God so you cannot see the things of God. This leaves you with the things of this world only and that is by choice. You chose to live outside of the kingdom of God and as such you only see that which is visible outside that very presence of God. You attempt to make sense of the Amalekites being blotted out of existence is limited to the thoughts, knowledge and ways of our physical existence.
        Your error is that you attempt to inject the notion of God into your limited field of view. The physical event concerning the Amalekites in your limited field of vision would be a blood bath that slashed to death all Amalekites regardless of age. They brought the slaughter upon themselves given their never ending brutality against the Hebrews. In light of the point in time and the cultures that's what people did. Given you believe we are but animals that is what animals do and a lion is not guilty for killing all non biological cubs and threats to his dominance. Perhaps you want to apply todays morality to past morality (which in the absence of God is all we have) and conclude it was an over the top response thus immoral. Then again it was not that long ago where the Greeks enjoyed their pederasty with the parents applauding the sexual abuse of their own children. This is the way of the world without absolute authority and truth.
        To judge God by your standards of morality is nonsense when this is not the way of God but the way of man in a fallen world. I doubt you can even see what you are doing when you judge God by your standards and understanding.
        The naturalism you embrace does not condemn the lion or find him guilty of immorality. The naturalism you embrace does not condemn the stronger species for eliminating the weaker. You naturalism is limited to the physical world so stop extending it beyond its limitations.

        December 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "They brought the slaughter upon themselves given their never ending brutality against the Hebrews."

          Really? The children were brutal towards the Hebrews? Or were they just colateral damage...I thought it was wrong to punish the child for the sins of the father. Funny how you christians argue for Objective Morality up to and until your god does it. Then suddenly that same morality becomes very subjective. You are contradicting yourself again.

          What other option do I have to asses morality but my own judgment? If I just accept what you say your god says is moral I am not practicing morality I am just obediant. Obedience has nothing to do with morality, it is by definition amoral (without morals).

          December 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • fred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          => you are doing it again.........crossing the ways of this world with the ways of God.

          "The children were brutal towards the Hebrews? Or were they just colateral damage"
          =>Those under the delusion of this world can only see the limited view offered by naturalism. In that view the children represented a threat if they carried the ways or perhaps even the DNA of the parents (we do not know enough about the temperament of the Amalekites)

          "I thought it was wrong to punish the child for the sins of the father."
          =>if you refer to the biblical understanding the sins of the father are passed down to the children in certain cases which applied only to a point in time before the new covenant. It is biblically wrong to punish the child for the father it was regarded as curse that was passed down not an act by one person against a child.

          "Funny how you christians argue for Objective Morality up to and until your god does it. Then suddenly that same morality becomes very subjective. You are contradicting yourself again."
          =>no, you continue to cross over between the way of the world and way of God. They are not compatible.

          "What other option do I have to asses morality but my own judgment? If I just accept what you say your god says is moral I am not practicing morality I am just obediant. Obedience has nothing to do with morality, it is by definition amoral (without morals)."
          => There are only two ways to assess morality the way of the world or the way of God.
          The world runs by relative morality where you assess morality using your own judgment absent of God.
          Those who are in Christ use the absolute standards of God. Those in Christ also have the same worldly field of view you have and thus must assess morality you find alongside the absolute standards of God. When those is Christ violate Gods standard it is sin if that violation happens to violate societies relative morality at the moment it was immoral.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • fred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          Lets look at the flood where every living thing outside the boat was blotted out. Gods creation had purpose onto God alone nothing else. Outside of this one creative expression of God that we experience we do not know what if anything else exists. In this one creative expression we observe the common need to know origin and purpose. The Greatest Story ever told is the Bible and for the billions of people over time that have worshiped God this common need is satisfied. Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord and we are given everything we need to find that same eternal place if we want it. Gods purpose is and has been accomplished as there are no beginning or end points to an eternal horizon. End of story.

          Now, you do not believe the facts as presented in the Bible so you do not believe the attributes of God as given by revelation over the history of man contained in that Bible. You claim that blotting out all the wicked humans, which specifically were an escalating wickedness without end, is immoral based on your judgment. I claim that even in a godless existence action must be taken against a subset of humans with corrupt DNA. If you take no action then the remaining "non wicked humans" (Noah) become extinct and the universe is populated with wickedness an ever increasing wickedness, a wickedness without end. Such a decision based on relative morality may not be immoral but no one would live

          December 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          I got no farther in your post than this line.

          "=> you are doing it again.........crossing the ways of this world with the ways of God."

          You have to demonstrate what the ways of god are, and that there are actually ways of god. Without doing that the rest of your point is useless and without merit. No you can't use the bible. the bible is the claim. I don't accept that the bible is true. the bible was written, edited and re-edited by men. Men are not trustworthy and are flawed. Men are not capable of understanding the ways of god, you said so yourself. Therefore you can't use a book written by men to understand a god and the "ways of god" because men can't understand it. You have painted yourself in a coroner.

          December 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  6. JW

    Why true Christian abstain from Christmas

    History of Christmas

    1-Celebrating Jesus’ birthday: “The early Christians did not celebrate [Jesus’] birth because they considered the celebration of anyone’s birth to be a pagan custom.”—The World Book Encyclopedia.

    2-December 25: There is no proof that Jesus was born on that date. Church leaders likely chose this date to coincide with pagan festivals held on or around the winter solstice.

    3-Gift-giving, feasting, partying: The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.” The Encyclopædia Britannica notes that “all work and business were suspended” during Saturnalia.

    4-Christmas lights: According to The Encyclopedia of Religion, Europeans decorated their homes “with lights and evergreens of all kinds” to celebrate the winter solstice and to combat evil spirits.

    5-Mistletoe, holly: “The Druids ascribed magical properties to the mistletoe in particular. The evergreen holly was worshiped as a promise of the sun’s return.”—The Encyclopedia Americana.

    6-Christmas tree: “Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity.” One of the ways in which tree worship survived is in the custom of “placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays.”—Encyclopædia Britannica.

    December 6, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Would it help if we stopped calling it Christmas? I think periodic holidays and festivals are a wonderful part of life.

      December 6, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • JW

        I agree that it should not be called Christmas. But even if it wasn't it wouldn't make it less pagan. Tom, I don't agree with such tradition as it has pagan background, but obviously, people are in there right to celebrate it or not.

        December 6, 2013 at 9:36 am |
        • Saraswati

          Your god seems to undervalue the importance of ritual entertainment and shared joy for community building.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:31 am |
      • JW

        Russ- the scriptures I used earlier are in your bible translation. The NWT has received praise from many. It's easy to understand and it transmites gods thinking properly. Who wouldn't prefere a bible like this then another translation in an old English language, hard to understand??!
        What ever others say about the NWT is often bias moved by jealousy.

        December 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Russ

      @ JW: you are attacking peripheral Christmas traditions, but the fact is that Jehovah's Witnesses are actually objecting to the more central issue... that Jesus was God in the flesh.

      Christmas is simply not a big deal if Jesus wasn't God.
      But if He is... it's the most significant event since creation itself.

      And Scripture speaks with great clarity that Jesus is God.
      Here's a brief overview:

      December 6, 2013 at 9:22 am |
      • JW

        Russ- the idea of Jesus as god in the flesh, or a trinity is a another pagan form of worship...
        Do you agree then that Mary is the mother of God?

        December 6, 2013 at 9:29 am |
        • Russ

          @ JW:
          1) you claim the Trinity was a pagan idea. I've never heard of anything REMOTELY like it in history. upon what basis do you make that claim? do you have some examples?
          a) it's monotheistic – unlike almost everything "pagan."
          b) 'perichoresis' (mutual indwelling) is an unprecedented idea within monotheism. (your accusation requires mistaking pantheism or the like for a Trinitarian understanding).
          c) historically speaking, upon what basis are you making such a claim? it's rather unfounded. at best, you could argue the opposite: that it's a radical invention of the early Christians (seeing as how there's nothing like it). but I think you know what my response to that would be...

          2) was Mary the mother of God?
          the technical term was "theotokos" – or God-bearer.
          "mother" in the pejorative sense that you infer fails to understand what's being claimed. God *chose* to have Mary bear Jesus. The Logos ("Word" in Jn.1:1f) pre-existed. Or read Php.2:6-10. Jesus (the second person of the Trinity) did not *begin* at his birth – only his human life as Jesus of Nazareth began then.

          so, yes – Mary was the mother of the God-man. Jesus' body bore her DNA. he probably even *looked* like some of the men in Mary's ancestral line. that's the point, though. that's Christmas. as Gregory of Nazianzus put it: "whatever wasn't assumed, wasn't healed." he was BOTH fully human and fully God.

          December 6, 2013 at 9:43 am |
        • JW

          Russ- Many Christian denominations teach that God is a Trinity. However, note what the Encyclopædia Britannica states: “Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament . . . The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies.”

          In your opinion, who in the bible is the Ancient of day? And who is the Son of men?

          December 6, 2013 at 9:56 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The concept of the Triune God is not exclusive to Christianity.
          Hindus worship Brahman, the One True God in three persons, Barhma, Vishnu and Shiva (Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer) and were doing so for thousands of years before the Abrahamic religions cropped up.

          Anybody who can worship a trinity and still call their religion monotheistic is capable of rationalizing anything.

          December 6, 2013 at 9:59 am |
        • JW

          About the trinity:

          “The impression could arise that the Trinitarian dogma is in the last analysis a late 4th-century invention. In a sense, this is true . . . The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century.”—New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), Volume 14, page 299.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • Russ

          @ JW:
          1) be consistent with your logic.
          a) the bible doesn't explicitly mention abortion, either... but I'm guessing you'd agree the sancti.ty of life is rather clearly stated so that there are clear implications drawn... right?
          b) of course it took time to ponder what God had done. the disciples themselves admitted they didn't get it at first. HOWEVER, note well:
          i) those articulating the Trinity all looked back to what God had done in Jesus. God's revelation (notably, Scripture) clearly was the basis for ALL of these doctrines.
          ii) complaining that church councils didn't happen until hundreds of years later fails to understand BOTH the context and the plain fact that the teachings were already there prior to the councils.
          first of all: until Constantine, Christians could not have open councils. it was not possible for these discussions to happen publicly any sooner.
          secondly, Jesus' divinity is clearly taught in Scripture. it was the core teaching of Christians from the outset (again, Jn.1:1-3, Php.2:6-10, etc.).

          2) you appear to want to argue from one reference in Daniel against the entirety of the New Testament. most Bible scholars would agree on this principle: the clearer passages shed light on the less clear. do you agree?

          if so, which is more likely: that the clear teaching of the entirety of the NT is wrong in light of Daniel 7:9 (as you are attempting to argue), or that *your* interpretation of Daniel is mistaken? Note well: the disciples themselves considered Daniel fully authoritative WHILE contending that Jesus is God.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:11 am |
        • Russ

          @ Doc:
          1) much to the contrary, Hindus are not claiming to be Trinitarian. just talk with adherents to the faith. it's a false analogy.

          for example, some might claim the god(s) are in all things – and thereby claim God is one, but that is pantheism (a position Christianity purposefully & painstakingly avoids). others will openly claim polytheism – which obviously fails the initial point.

          Most scholars recognize (at the least) the radical innovation represented in the Abrahamic monotheism. Ignoring that initial distinction is to miss the entirety of what Christianity is claiming.

          2) as for your last statement ("Anybody who can worship a trinity and still call their religion monotheistic is capable of rationalizing anything.")...

          a) that's rather dismissive of 2B of us without qualification
          b) do you think Christians are purposefully making this stuff up? if so, we're idiots to make up something so seemingly convoluted. instead, consider the other possibilities:
          i) we are standing on what was revealed in Christ
          ii) if God reveals himself, wouldn't it be different (read: take our logic to a breaking point) than what you'd expect?
          c) why do your finite, preconceived notions of divinity dictate the nature of the Infinite?

          December 6, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • Saraswati

          Russ, Although your examples represent some Hindu beliefs, Doc is also correct for millions of believers. Hinduism represents many gods as aspects of the same god, and this is not always wrapped in pantheism or panentheism and certainly has not always historically been so. Even when an underlying pantheism is present, if does not negate the fact that a special relationship exists between gods who are at root the same being. The variations are no different that those within Christianity that represent different views on the trinity or our relationship to god.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:27 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          From the Puranas (a Hindu holy book some 3,000 years old):
          'O ye three Lords! know that I recognize only one God. Inform me, therefore, which of you is the true divinity, that I may address to him alone my adorations.' The three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, becoming manifest to him, replied, 'Learn, O devotee, that there is no real distinction between us. What to you appears such is only the semblance. The single being appears under three forms by the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction, but he is one.'

          December 6, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • JW

          Russ- let's look at the bible:

          Dan 7:13: " son of men has access to the Ancient of days"

          Jesus is seen being given access to Jehovah God. Can someone that is getting access to God be God?
          As well Jews were not polyteists

          John 1:1-3 " the word was in the beginning with God.."
          How can Jesus be WITH God and at the same time be God?

          Phil 2:9: check the context on vers 5,6: "5 Keep this mental attiitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God.

          Even though Jesus exists in gods form, of a spirit, he never wanted to be Equal to God

          And on vers 9 it says that "God exalted him to a superior position" if God exalted Jesus, how can Jesus exalt himself?

          December 6, 2013 at 10:36 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Here we are again on the same side of an argument, both trying to teach Russ that the Trinity is neither unique nor Biblical.
          Strange, eh?
          Facts are that the Roman Catholic Church makes no bones about how, when, and where the idea became Dogmatic to their faith (and therefore it's offshoots like Protestantism). Say what you will about the RCC, they've been very good at keeping records of all their Councils throughout the ages.
          Their own Catechism explicitly says that the Holy Trinity is an idea that is unexplainable and must be taken on faith – in other words, best not to think too much about it....

          December 6, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Saraswati

          Doc, Christianity is certainly not nearly as unique in its beliefs as many adherents think. Like hinduism, the concepts make more sense in a pantheistic view, but in neither religions is that view universal. It is more common in Hinduism, but I believe increasingly so among Christians.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • JW

          Doc n Sarawa- Constantine create this trinitarian mess...in his intent to unify his empior, he unified all religions of that time Christian and non Christian and created this "soup" of pagan beliefs added to the Christian church.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • JW

          Doc- you and Sara presented interesting points. You see JWs do their best to teach what the bible teaches, we know where many belifs came from, we are here to try to please God in the right way, not in a way that's necessarily gonna please people.

          We are not business people nor people pleasures... We are Gods sincere worshipers!

          December 6, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Actually, I think Constantine sought to establish the dominant Christian doctrine of the time. What Tertullian taught shows that trinitrian doctrine was present in the 2nd century.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Russ

          @ Sara & Doc: you are actually making my point for me. Trinitarian monotheism purposefully avoids two opposite ditches of Sabellianism (modalism – one God in three manifestations/modes, but no real distinction) and tri-theism (3 gods closely knit together, but ultimately not one and the same – or possibly even each having a 'part' of God). You are articulating Sabellianism & equating it to the Trinity, when it has been rejected as unorthodox by historic & biblical Christianity.

          One God, three persons – but the three persons *remain* distinct. they are not interchangeable parts, yet they are all fully God (and not parts of God or subsets). at the same time, they are utterly One. again, this is the UNIQUENESS of the Trinity.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          A succinct, but essentially correct description.
          It was until the Council of Nicea that the trinity properly became dogma.
          Arius, who was the major thinker in non-trinitarian circles, taught his students that The Son was not to be identified with the Godhead and that He was only God in a derivative sense, and since there was once when he did not exist He could not be eternal.
          It was a long and bitter fight between Arians and Trinitarians, but in the end Arius lost after Constantine threatened anyone who opposed his Creed with exile.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • JW

          Tom – yes he did establish christnity ...but more then establishing a religion, he as a politician, he wanted to establish his empeor, by unifying his empeor with the same belifs... Like that avoiding possible religious conflicts.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • JW

          Russ- what's trinity for you?

          Three gods one head? Or three different gods?

          December 6, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @JW and Russ
          I think the character of Christ is much more compelling without making Him "The Son" of the Trinity.
          As a mortal man, it means that His righteousness was a deliberate act of will – not a magical, immutable characteristic.
          Doesn't believing that He faced the same temptations as all humans but chose to exemplify virtue make His sacrifice more poignant?

          December 6, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • JW

          Doc- according to the bible Jesus is not God or a son of a misterious trinity. The bible teaches that his is Separate from God, but that God exalted him, made him for a period of time King of his kingdom. Compare with Canada , we have a prime minister, but the head of state is the queen of England .

          December 6, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • Russ

          @ JW: we talked through this a few weeks ago – not the Daniel reference, but the rest of it.
          1) Daniel represents no problem to the Trinitarian... it is a supportive reference to the relationship between the Father & the Son. The Son has UNIQUE access to the Father in their Trinitarian relationship. The technical term (which I used above) is "perichoresis" – mutual indwelling. They are one, yet they are distinct persons.

          2) John 1:1-3 *again* is not a problem for a Trinitarian.

          a) Of course Jesus is both with the Father, is God, and is also distinct from him. That's why John 1:1-3 is one of the most highly cited passages in support of the Trinity. And – again – v.3 eliminates the Jehovah's Witness position. "Nothing that was created was made without him..." That excludes the possibility of Jesus being created.

          As I recall, you responded to that concern by citing a JW interpretation, and I responded with the Greek. Here again, is a link to an interlinear to help you out...

          b) along the same lines, the rest of John (as with the NT) supports this. I gave you John 10:28-29, and you objected with John 17:21-23. you want to claim the problem in Jn.17 for the Christian is that would equate US with God, but instead it's actually missing two things inherent to the claims of Scripture:
          a) because of what Christ did (not what we do), we get treated like only he deserves (2 Cor.5:21). we get adopted into the very family of God (Jn.1:12-13).

          3) Php.2 – again, check out the Greek. you are over-reaching. your interpretation misses the Greek, and your theological objection fails to understand the Trinity (perichoretic love is always lifting up the Other).
          clearly, it states he was God, but didn't cling to his glory. it's the whole point of Christmas. it's what makes it compelling (I'll say more on that below in #6).

          4) you are bypassing the wealth what is assumed about him in the NT...
          a) Jesus was worshipped by his disciples (Mt.2:2,11; 4:10; 14:33; 28:9; Jn.9:35-38; etc.)
          b) he is declared to be the Son of God by demons who are scared of him in Mark & confessed as God by doubting Thomas.
          c) He forgives sins of people who haven't sinned against him personally as a human (something only God could do).
          d) he is prayed to repeatedly
          e) he is LORD
          he is called "Lord Jesus Christ" throughout the epistles. the ti.tle "Lord" is the same term used in the Septuagint for YHWH. Everytime Paul calls him "Lord Jesus Christ", he is equating him with YHWH. John has him say "I Am", the very name of YHWH (Ex.3:14), on 8 different occasions. It's the theme of the entire Gospel of John.

          5) that's not even to get into soteriological issues (we are saved by what *he* did, not what *we* do). your position sees Jesus as a moral exemplar. Christians recognize that – while he is a moral example – he is so much more. we can't just "be like Jesus." we need a savior who does what we can't. it's the atonement theme of the NT. he was our substi.tute. he trades with us.

          think about that. virtually every other religion on the planet gives you a set of ethics to live by. "do this & get in." Jesus came & said "it's not what you do, but what i do. you can't get in except through me." every other religion says: "only the good people get in." Jesus came to say "only those who recognize they are sick (i.e., not good)..." he called his own disciples evil & said "apart from me you can do nothing."

          6) think about your soteriology historically.

          Christianity revolutionized the Roman Empire. slaves & lower classes were amazed by this. if the message was (as JWs advocate) "Jesus is your example. here's some ethical truths to change your life.", how compelling would that be? it's not life-altering for a slave. that doesn't shake the foundations of his every day life. "do these rules" vs. "God died to save you from this".

          think hard about that. the JW re-narration of early Christian history cannot account for the way in which Christianity revolutionized the Roman Empire. and that's an undisputed historical reality even by secular accounts.

          SUM: your position is untenable. The NT clearly teaches Jesus is God. And it has implications through EVERY part of this discussion: sociological, historical, soteriological, etc.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • Russ

          @ Doc & JW:
          1) see my rather lengthy reply to JW just above for many of the biblical bases for Christianity.
          note well: that LONG pre-dates Constantine.
          it is a false historical re-narration of the facts to claim Constantine did this. yes, Arius thought otherwise. but the basis for his rejection was Scripture, not political maneuvering. and the basis for that is still evident today: the Scriptures themselves.

          2) yes, Doc, the humanity of Christ is compelling – but it's useless without the divinity. see in particular my discussion of the atonement above. if he wasn't God, he couldn't do what needed to be done.
          a) because he's fully human, he fully heals us (every aspect of humanity)
          b) because he's fully God, he does what we couldn't
          note: his death & loss of favor from the Father represent an infinite gift (not just "a bad weekend" as some here have so glibly argued, but an infinitely more valuable relationship fractured), therein more than enough payment to redeem ALL of humanity

          December 6, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • JW

          Russ- that's your problem.. You interpret the bible in an Greek philosophical way... The bible clearly shows that Jesus is different of God, but then you add all those fancy words that probably not even you understand. You can't even explain properly properly was is trinity... You worship what you don't know!

          The bible says 1+1=2.. You say:" no it because the 1 has an invisible meaning...etc"

          December 6, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • JW

          The bible puts things as easy as 1+1=2

          Russ complicates saying: " 1 has an invisible meaning, so you should interpret as 1+1=3"

          December 6, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • Russ

          @ JW: you appealed to technical concepts, so i got technical. don't complain about the vocabulary when it's necessary for clarity (something you requested), and then claim that clarity is somehow hiding the truth.

          my appeals to the Greek are NOT a hidden meaning, but rather to get to the source. I'm assuming you would agree that the author's intent is paramount in any discussion of biblical meaning. would you disagree? do you want to ignore authorial intent in favor of your own overwritten meanings?

          if it's the original we are discussing, then let's discuss what it says in the original.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • JW

          Russ- to understand the bible, you need much more then just understand Greek.. Ask a bible translator.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • JW

          Russ- then are you saying that the translators of the bible have it all wrong, you are the one that has it write?? I reasoned with you on some scriptures early, but you say," no it doesn't mean that, it means this"... Why do you elevate yourself higher then bible translation commitees?

          December 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Russ

          @ JW: no, you have fallen off the fence on the other side. MOST of the Bibles get it right. Your JW versions are avoiding the Greek. i'm not appealing to my Greek knowledge as an individual, i'm pointing you to the vast array of biblical scholarship. and this isn't a small, obscure point of contention – it's the primary claim of the entire NT.

          JWs claim to be Bible readers. i find it highly ironic that they so purposely avoid what it says. even atheist Greek scholars understand that the NT is claiming Jesus is God – they just don't believe the Bible. you claim you do, but you're avoiding what the text says.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • JW

          Russ- the scriptures I used earlier are in your bible translation. The NWT has received praise from many. It's easy to understand and it transmites gods thinking properly. Who wouldn't prefere a bible like this then another translation in an old English language, hard to understand??!
          What ever others say about the NWT is ,often bias moved by jealousy.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Russ, It really depends what school of Hinduism you're looking at. There is a full spectrum of beliefs, from polytheism to various uses or the godhead to monotheism and atheism. But there certainly are aspect theories in which some gods, all gods, or all enti.ties are both the same and distinct. The degree to which they are same vs different is one of the core metaphysical questions.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Russ

          @ JW:
          1) i never denied that those verses were in other translations. i denied your translation's rendering of the verses. as does (in most cases) the vast majority of scholars from varying perspectives.

          2) i'm not advocating a single version. i'm telling you to actually look into the original. you're putting all your eggs in the NWT basket. note what i said above: the vast majority of scholars (even secular ones) readily see that the text is teaching Jesus is God. obviously, they many don't believe the text, but the content is that evident on this topic – arguably the main theme of the NT.

          you are arguing against what the text says. just look at the source material. you don't have to know Greek to engage some of the readily accessible resources. why do so many translations (both paraphrastic & word-for-word) go directly against the NWT? if you really believe that what the Bible says as God's Word, what is there to fear in going deeper?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Saraswati:
          1) didn't the Trimurti arise *after* Christianity?
          2) i pointed out that your previous articulation was Sabellianism. you seemed unaware that was distinctively NOT the Christian understanding. I'm wondering if your misconceptions about the Trinity are part of the problem here. a false understanding of the Trinity could readily create false parallels.
          3) most historians & comparative religion scholars recognize that the Abrahamic religions represent a radically new innovation (in sociological terms) in religious belief. radical monotheism was a clear break from polytheism or even pantheistic notions of divinity – Hinduism notwithstanding.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Significant only if you believe that some 2000 year old book based on earlier myths written by men, could somehow be the actual words of one of the many gods.
        Do you believe like I believe Do you believe in magic
        Do you believe like I believe Do you believe, believer
        Do you believe like I believe Do you believe in magic
        Russ and the Lovin' Sp00nful dancing for jesus.

        December 6, 2013 at 9:41 am |
        • Russ

          @ Charm Quark: in this instance, I already knew that JW claims to believe in the Bible. so yes, I could assume that in my conversation w/ JW.

          for you: why do you presume God could NOT speak in such a way? on what basis do you preclude that possibility?

          December 6, 2013 at 9:44 am |
        • Charm Quark

          For exactly the same reason that Zeus, Vishnu, Ra, Baal, etc. do not speak to anyone, including the Christian holy trinity, they do not exist except in the man made stories and tomes. I believe in a god that does really give a sh!t what people do and certainly won't judge them at their death, a Deist.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Russ

          @ charm quark: so you *believe* if there is a God he cannot speak in ways you don't approve...
          a) on what basis do you make that claim? sounds like a leap of faith...
          b) you are setting yourself up as the ultimate arbiter of truth – a rather god-like position, right? ...especially for a position you are stating without a basis. are you trading organized religion for an individualized one?

          December 6, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Saraswati

      None of this says why a Christian wouldn't celebrate the holiday, it just says it has pagan roots and that some early Christians didn't celebrate it. If you have biblical arguments against it you might make a case that fundamentalist biblical literalists shouldn't celebrate Christmas, but that's as far as you'll get.

      Celebrating ancient traditions if fun. That's why we celebrate Roman, European pagan and Christian festivals even when those belief systems have been largely discredited. People like traditions and they hold us together as a community.

      December 6, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  7. Charm Quark

    Strictly more damage control by the Vatican.
    New York Times. Dec 5, 2013 article
    "This week, the Vatican sidestepped a request from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for information about its handling of abuse cases, saying that the responsibility for such cases rested with individual bishops."
    As much as I like Frankie, this is just another part of the cover up. They are protecting their assets and the clergy's asses.

    December 6, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Science Works

      The RCC/pope/god lost the court battle and had to release/publish names of pedo priests and parishes.

      December 6, 2013 at 9:39 am |
      • Alias

        And what did they actually release?
        Was it all anmes related to a specific incident, or are you claiming they actually came clean and told everything?

        December 6, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • Science Works

          I believe the catholic spirit plus a few other news outlets have the list.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  8. prophet

    there was a picture today of the pope in his wealth and then there was another picture of an old lady looking through the rubbish for vegtables.

    Is he really helping or is he just an other preacher of hypocrisy.

    December 6, 2013 at 5:21 am |
  9. devin

    Harping on the foibles of mere men makes one no less accountable to God. The Pope and his minions have never been the standard.

    December 6, 2013 at 2:13 am |
  10. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    "The new commission is expected to tell church officials to collaborate with civil authorities and report cases of abuse, O'Malley said."

    "Pope Francis now wants to focus on the pastoral side, and caring for victims."

    *How to tell an organization has no moral authority....or even a moral compass*

    -They need to form a commission to determine that when officials of said oganization abuse children they should report the crimes and "caring for the victims" represents a new and revolutionary focus.

    December 6, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Is there a God who will protect the little childers from the men of God?

    December 5, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      couldn't God just make a new rule in the universe - children are immune to bullets, sickness, death, etc.?
      if God is all powerful, he could do that.
      if God is good, he would do that.

      but God has never really been a fan of children...
      he drowned millions of children in his great flood, killed thousands when he outright destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even sent bears to slaughter 42 children for making fun of one of his prophets.
      not sure why God would start protecting children now...

      December 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • JW

      God does will not do it by any miracle, meanwhile, but gives principals in the bible that can guide parents to protect their children from these predators.

      December 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
      • Damocles


        December 5, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
      • Roger that

        Funny. The Buble is the not the place to go for guidance on raising your child, unless you think beating your child or selling them off as se.x slaves is ok.

        December 6, 2013 at 5:43 am |
        • Alias

          You can sell them as slaves, but the s e x part only applies if they are females, and therefore property anyway.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • fred

      Tom, Tom, the Other One
      Tell me again why God should follow mans suggestions on how to bring about a soul into perfect eternal unity.

      December 5, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
      • sam stone

        because man created god, freddie

        December 6, 2013 at 6:11 am |
        • fred

          You are correct, man has created god and gods in their own image for all known history. Problem is that they are idols, simple physical matter. They are dead and have no power
          God is the God of the living and has been present with his creation right up through today. That is a long track record and God just answered a prayer a minute ago. In times of crises we look to God and even the atheist asks where was God.
          In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth and on the End of Days God will be present as today with power and glory.
          What part of this do you not see?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • fred

      Tom, Tom, the Other One
      The typical understand for God is that we are referring to the God of Abraham the creator of heaven and earth. If you want to know why god (little g) or gods have not stepped in to save your hypothetical girls it is because they are man made which is the cause of the problem in the first place.

      Now, God created all that we know for the express purpose of bringing about eternal life for man created in the image of God. That creation serves to carryout Gods purpose. You take a snap shot of a suffering child and ask why would God do such a thing (i.e. by allowing it to happen not necessarily by directly causing the suffering). That is the first problem, you pull out a snap shot to attack God. The problem is with you and in your mind heart and soul. That snap shot does not represent God, Gods plan or the pictured girls position in Christ. What nonsense and foolishness is revealed concerning your understanding of Gods plan. What is very clear is your position in Christ namely none as you have rejected Christ and rejected God. You have rejected God without any knowledge concerning the ways of God. You have pulled a snap shot without reference to the photo album for the individual or the photo albums of all those lives impacted by that individual not to mention those affected under the general plan of salvation for mankind past, present and future in which that snap shot is one moment in time eternal. The eternal landscape you cannot even begin to imagine where space and time collapse only to be recognized in terms of tensor calculus. Your imagined reality does not exist on that landscape yet you question Gods plan using a snap shot.

      December 6, 2013 at 12:19 am |
      • redzoa

        "i.e. by allowing it to happen not necessarily by directly causing the suffering"

        Is the same person who defends the brutal slaughter of children and infants as commanded by your alleged god in 1 Sam 15:3? Is this the same person who believes the Nuremberg Defense is a viable and moral response?

        December 6, 2013 at 1:06 am |
        • fred

          The slaughter of innocent children and infants only exist in the presence of the knowledge of good and evil. Since you refer to the Bible then you have extracted verses out of the context of the Word of God which concerns the way of redemption. Redemption is needed as a result of the knowledge of good and evil which man was clearly instructed not to taste or touch. The plan and purpose of creation is redemption from this knowledge of good and evil. Since you have read the Bible you know that in Christ redemption is complete and sin has been fully atoned. The slaughter of innocent children and infants is not a reality for those in Christ present or future.
          The slaughter of children and infants is the reality for those who are not in Christ (i.e. those who are not redeemed). The separation of good and evil is an eternal event not an event limited by our time and space constructs (i.e. sequencing of time as past, present and future).
          Long winded way of saying the plan of creation is the separation of good and evil.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:30 am |
        • redzoa

          "The slaughter of innocent children and infants is not a reality for those in Christ present or future."

          Was the slaughter of said innocent children a reality for the slaughtered innocent children or were they merely disposable vehicles for the delivery of your redemption?

          December 6, 2013 at 1:39 am |
        • fred

          They were not disposable and are the reality for those outside of God presence (in Christ). The Kingdom of God only contains the fruits of the Spirit. Disposable vehicles are not part of the Kingdom as they are of good and evil which does not have eternal presence in Christ. The assumption is that God has capacity to bring about the redemption of the greatest possible number of souls in a manner that reveals perfect love and mercy.
          Now, if this is not the way of God I do not know of a more optimum purpose for creation. To suggest there is no purpose in creation or existence is contrary to our observation of interdependency of matter and energy.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:07 am |
        • redzoa

          "in a manner that reveals perfect love and mercy."

          Ok, so please explain it to me like I'm 5 yrs old. Where, pray tell, is the love and mercy in the slaughter of innocent children?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:24 am |
        • fred

          Not enough information to draw a conclusion from the Bible about the children and infants of 1 Sam 15:3. Generations of Amalekites kept the Hebrew from completing the plan of redemption. Children pay the price for the wickedness of their parents. God put an end to evil that was generational within the Amalekites. Perfect love and mercy has a place of comfort for the innocent ones where God will wipe away every tear. Those filed with evil are removed from the plan of redemption. Perfect love would not allow good and evil to exist eternally.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:18 am |
        • redzoa

          "Children pay the price for the wickedness of their parents."

          So, God judges children with brutal slaughter not for any exercise of their own free will to choose evil, but because of their parent's choices? Are you suggesting that free will does not exist or that it is irrelevant to God's judgment?

          December 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        So we are foolish to question your gods plan because we are just not capable of understanding it, but fred understands the plan well enough to know it is a good plan....way to be condesending, arrogant and feign humility all while contradicting yourself. That takes talent.

        December 6, 2013 at 1:19 am |
        • fred

          I take great pride in my humility.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:32 am |
        • fred

          Yes, that was the arrogant way of saying we do not know why bad things happen to good people. I need the Bible because it tells me that God is working all things to the good of those who believe. I hang onto those promises that there is kingdom of God that operates in perfect love, kindness and joy that is overflowing with wonders we cannot imagine.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:36 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So you sidestep my point by arguing that the Bible says the plan is a good plan....and how do you know that is actually true? Well the Bible says it is!...of course! How can anyone question that logic?

          December 6, 2013 at 1:49 am |
        • fred

          God welcomes questioning minds as that is how we were created. John the Baptist began to doubt Jesus when he was suffering in the dungeons of Herod and asked for proof Jesus was who he claimed.
          The Bible is simple enough or complicate enough to address everyone that is really interested. Tom Toms statement was an atheist attack sound bite not an honest inquiry as to why children are harmed.
          In the beginning mankind as represented by Adam and Eve were fat and happy in Gods presence. Outside of the presence of God is the tree of knowledge of good and evil complete with Satan as the barker. This is the world of good and evil that we see as reality. It is a deception of the serpent that we believe it to be life. Jesus made it very clear that "I am the way the truth and the life". So just like Adam and Eve we choose the deception or the way God has made that is life. If we choose the deception we do not have life eternal were all things past, present and future work to the good of those in Christ. Until that choice is made good and evil is our reality.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:51 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          fred, nothing you have said rises to anything more than a claim. You assert the claims as fact when they themselves are nothing more than "Christian sound bites".

          I really enjoyed your rant about all the other "gods" being man made but yours is real...that was entertaining.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:11 am |
        • fred

          I know it is so because everything Christ claimed would happen in my life actually happened. I know it is so because everything Christ said has been true so far.
          I need to run but if you know of a non truthful word spoken by Christ I would need to hear it. So far I have not found one.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:17 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          There is not a reliable record of anything Jesus said. He didn't write down anything. Other people wrote down what other people said he said. Excuse me if I don't find that convincing. You don't trust what Jesus said....you trust what people wrote down what they were told by people who were also told by other people what Jesus said.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:38 am |
        • fred

          When Jesus did write it was in the dust with his finger and no one recorded it. This was the verse many claim was inserted after AD170. My thought is that God holds a great deal of influence over what is said in the Bible. I am open for suggestions on what "others said Jesus said" that was not truth.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:27 am |
        • sam stone

          you take pride in your humility?

          good one

          December 6, 2013 at 6:13 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          It wouldn't matter if I actually quoted what was claimed to be said and criticized it for being false. You would just claim I was interpreting it wrong. You have already accepted the idea Jesus was god himself, even though he never claimed to be, and early Christians didn't even believe that. Since you have accepted that claim, and in your mind your god is not capable of being wrong, you and other have worked really hard at justifying every contradiction, bad advice and false claim of Jesus. So what would be the point?

          December 6, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • fred

          =>Here are two parts of the Trinity:
          24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that 1bI am He, you will die in your sins.”
          25 So they were saying to Him, “Who are You?” Jesus said to them, “1What have I been saying to you from the beginning?
          26 “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.”
          27 They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father.
          28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that 1bI am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
          29 “And He who sent Me is with Me; He 1has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” 30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.

          =>When Moses asked God who shall I tell your are; "Tell them "I AM" sent you": Now, here is Jesus to the Jews:
          John 8:58, "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

          =>Luke 23:3, "So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied."
          19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

          20 Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in 1Hebrew, Latin and in Greek.

          21 So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’ ”

          22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

          December 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          I already told you those are quotes other people reported, I have no idea if he actually said those things or not. I have no way to confirm the truth of such statements and therfore cannot say whether they ARE true. The fact that you think the correct interpretation is that he was claiming to be god is not shared by all believers. Other believers interpret those claimed quotes differently. You will have to do better.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  12. Dandintac

    What I'm wondering is–why wasn't this done years ago? This whole scandal broke when JP2 was still pope. I can forgive him on one level, because he died not too long afterwards. Although I actually liked the guy, even though I'm a nonbeliever, I have to wonder what he knew and when did he know it. But surely after a new pope–that would have been a perfect opportunity at that time to set up some sort of commission? But I think that Nazi Ratzinger just wanted to cover it up and hope the passage of time would make everyone forget. Clergy always seem absolutely loath to change anything, unless they are absolutely forced to do so. So it will be interesting to see if anything of real substance is changed, or if this will be a whitewash.

    December 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I'd guess a very expensive panel of lawyers advised on the timing.

      December 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  13. Apple Bush

    The Pope drops a hand grenade into a sea of Catholics and then watches their dead bodies float to the surface. A sturdy net gathers in today’s catch and dinner is assured. Once we have the wine (both a red and a white) we can eat. A good chef can cook on a hot plate.

    The gravy is red and viscous with a sickening sweet aroma that arouses the Pope and his cronies. Mouths watering at the ready, the meal is prepared and the nightly feast of the masses can begin, but first a prayer.

    December 5, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • lol??

      Pwoblem is, you'll eat anything.

      December 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    we are all born as atheists

    the abuse comes when parents and priests brainwash children with bronze age fairy stories and the threat of eternal fire and torment if they don't believe.

    let's set up a commission to investigate THAT abuse!

    December 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      It is actually very empowering to believe that there is a God who loves you and will stick closer than a brother thru thick & thin all the days of this life and give a home in heaven someday. A relationship with Jesus gives hope, peace, & joy.

      I think abuse would be more like, there is no God, you're on your own little one, good luck.

      December 5, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        which is why we tell children that the tooth fairy brings them money for their teeth to help them through that, and santa brings them presents every year if they are good, and the easter bunny brings them chocolates ... but then they grow up and realize what a bunch of infantile fantasy it all is.

        why are religious people unable to leave a fantasy behind and stoically ignore all the mountains of evidence proving to them what foolishness religion is?

        December 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Religions do have problems because they are populated with fallible humans, but I believe God is real because of mine own experiences with him, not because of what anyone told me about him. You have evidence that leads you to believe God is not possible, I have evidence that has persuaded me that he is real.

          December 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Your argument sounds like an ignorant bible school teacher who thinks you are doing the world a great service by lying to and brainwashing children with your fantasies.

        December 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • lol??

          You're thinkin' of a gubmint "ignorant bible school teacher". Jesus don't need no stinkin' Beastie servants.

          December 5, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Just suppose for a moment that God, Jesus, the bible, heaven, & hell are all true & you know it. What would you do, keep it to yourself?

          December 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          No, I would not keep it to myself. It would be a proven fact and everyone would know based on the evidence.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:43 am |
        • Apple Bush

          @Robert Brown

          No offense, but are you dim witted? Were you held back in school?

          December 6, 2013 at 12:45 am |
        • sam stone

          Again, robert, why do you confuse knowledge with belief?

          Is it because you cannot be wrong about the existence of the nature of god?

          Are you still claiming humility?

          December 6, 2013 at 6:16 am |
      • Dandintac

        So you think it's "empowering" to believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful being is watching you every second, knows your every thought, could move you like a puppet if he wished, chooses when you will die, has a plan for you, has decided your purpose for you, is the only thing giving your life meaning, and will punish you with eternal Hellfire if you doubt his loving existence.

        This is empowering???

        December 5, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Empowering is not the word I would use, Robert. Perhaps "comforting" is more like it. Tales of a God who loves us no matter what, who will protect and save us. That's the sort of thing you tell children in bomb shelters – like in Dresden and London, Hanoi, and Baghdad.

        December 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
        • lol??

          Or when you tell em about the national debt ran up by the socies??

          December 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      You are 100% correct doG.

      December 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
      • lol??

        Is he 90% lean, FDA approved??

        December 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • Jaden

          Let me guess. The FDA is "socie", right?

          December 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
        • lol??

          They are known to play the dialectical name game.
          Shirley, Shirley
          Bo, Birley
          Banana, Fanna, Foe, Firley
          Fee, Fie, Moe, Mirley

          Bo, Bincoln
          Banana, Fanna, Foe, Fincoln
          Fee, Fie, Moe, Mincoln

          Common everybody
          I say now lets now play a game
          I bet you I can make a rhyme
          Out of anybody's name

          Read more: Laura Branigan – Name Game Lyrics | MetroLyrics

          December 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • Jaden

          You know Laura Branigan only sang that song, right? Shirley Ellis with Lincoln Chase wrote it.
          If you want to go back to eating rotten fly-blown meat, fine. Move to Somalia, where there isn't any government oversight or interference.

          December 5, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
        • lol??

          Gubmint prosperity jaden?? Socies have quite the votin' block. Servants WIN! WIN!

          Not so fast, slick.

          December 5, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
  15. Bootyfunk

    the pope creates a commission... which will do nothing, like other commissions before it. it's the usual shell game. the vatican knows about lots of molester priests but don't publish their names. instead of helping to put these monsters away, they hide them and pretend the problem doesn't exist.

    December 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Ad Homineminem

      You're an abuser of gerbils.

      December 5, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        are you a gerbil?

        December 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
        • Ad Homineminem

          Why do you ask? Are you Richard Gere? Do you have certain plans?

          December 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  16. Portucale

    Do Catholics meditate on the fact that their church used to BBQ believers for having a bible and unbelievers? I personally don't think so... Even though the number of Catholics continues decreasing, I'm surprised the RCC still exists...

    December 5, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Ad Homineminem

      You're a dummy.

      December 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • Ad Hominy

        You're a dick.

        December 5, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  17. Angelina



    December 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Grand

      A great man. RIP.

      December 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Ad Homineminem

      He was a cop killer.

      December 5, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
      • Ad Homineminem

        He made it easier for blacks to commit injustices against whites.

        December 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • Ad Hominy

          Poor persecuted widdle quacker.

          December 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • lol??

      Who said the dead are restin'?? Doesn't appear that way on the belief blogs.

      December 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
      • Jaden

        You couldn't dream of being half the person Nelson Mandela was.

        December 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • lol??

          Don't wanna write any dreamy Indonesian father books either.

          December 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
        • Jaden

          Who the hell are you talking about?

          Oh , I get it. You were hatched.

          December 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  18. Joe atheist

    Each church and Christian house have a Christmas tree...

    "Thus says the Lord: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move."
    – Jeremiah 10:1

    December 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Topher

      So what?

      December 5, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      It doesn't happen often, but I agree with Topher... So what? Is there some kind of point you're trying to make with your obscure bible quote?

      December 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
      • Ad Homineminem

        Open your eyes, moron.

        December 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • Ad Hominy

          Kiss my ass.

          December 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
      • JW

        It sad to see Christians practicing only what is conveniente for them..,

        December 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
        • Jaden

          I have never seen you exhibit any of that behavior either...so who are you to criticize?

          December 5, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
      • JW

        Lucifer twin- of course you agree with Topher on this one... Didn't your brother create Christmas??!

        December 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Topher

      Is your point that Christians shouldn't have a Christmas tree?

      December 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
      • JW

        Topher- I do whatever you want. Though, you are celebrating a pagan festivity.

        December 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
  19. Joe atheist

    I'm going to invite my catholic and born again friends for a Christmas dinner... Like that we can all celebrate the birth of the God-Sun!

    December 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Alias

      Okay JW, there are lots of good reasons to criticize the RCC, but this aint one of them.
      Yes, the Christmass holidat has adopted some pagan traditions over the last several hundred years,but it is not a pagan celebration.

      December 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • JW

        Jw- sorry Alias, I have to disagree with you. If you are doimg the same traditions you are celebrating paganism. Why? Because the root of this celebration has nothing to do with Christ.

        Compare this to a similar situation that happened in the times of Moses meanwhile he was away on the Sinai:

        Exodus 32:5-12 "Then he took the gold from them, and he formed it with an engraving tool and made it into a statue of a calf. They began to say: “This is your God, O Israel, who led you up out of the land of Egypt.” 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. Then Aaron called out: “There is a festival to Jehovah tomorrow.” 6 So they got up early on the next day and began offering up burnt offerings and presenting communion sacrifices. After that the people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to have a good time. 7 Jehovah now said to Moses: “Go, descend, because your people, whom you led up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves...So now let me be, and I will exterminate them in my burning anger, and let me make a great nation from you instead.”

        Here they were doing the exact samething, mixing worship.

        December 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • JW

        alias... Obviously you and others can celebrate it if you want, be JWs don't. We just like to show people the bibles point of view, but we don't obligate no one.

        December 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • G to the T

          " the bibles point of view" The fact that you believe the bible has a single point of view to provide in invaldiated on a daily basis around here.

          New rule – no preaching until all christians are reading the same book the same way. How about that?

          December 6, 2013 at 7:38 am |
  20. doobzz

    "But he also said that the church has focused on the judicial aspect of sexual abuse in the past, and that Pope Francis now wants to focus on the pastoral side, and caring for victims."

    What a lie. They conspired to hide the abuse from the judicial system in the past.

    December 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Grand

      The RCC would do everyone a great service by telling their followers to report abuse to civil authorities before the Church. Period.

      December 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • doobzz

        Exactly. Instead, they were told they would face excommunication if they contacted civil authorities at all.

        December 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
        • Grand

          That was Ratzinger's gig. I am hoping this Pope changes that edict.

          December 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • doobzz

          I do too. Now that it's public knowledge, I don't see how he can avoid it.

          Whether he turns over the names of the accused is another story.

          December 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
        • Justice

          I'd rather face excommunication than to have some perverted priest place his filthy hands on my son or daughter. In fact, i'd excommunicate myself and my family. What are these people thinking?

          December 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • doobzz

          I know, but to a devout Catholic or clergy, excommunication means you go straight to hell. Plus, there was the thinking that clergy wouldn't, couldn't lie, there was trust practically hard wired into people's brains.

          December 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • lol??

      The pwogessives want a catholic king arthur camelot prez. Like a modern woeman , they want it all.

      December 5, 2013 at 9:47 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.