Pope Francis is 'person of the year': So what’s new?
Pope Francis was named Time magazine's Person of the Year on December 11.
December 11th, 2013
05:58 PM ET

Pope Francis is 'person of the year': So what’s new?

By Ben Wedeman, CNN

ROME (CNN) - When the white smoke billowed from the chimney in the Sistine Chapel, we ran, along with thousands of others, up the Via della Conciliazione to Saint Peter’s Square to hear the announcement. We waited around 45 minutes, then heard the name “Bergoglio”

“Who?” was my first reaction. I looked around in confusion. CNN Rome cameraman Alessandro Gentile shrugged his shoulders, as did producer Livia Borghese. Others around us, with the exception of an older English woman, who must have been an amateur Vaticanista, were equally mystified.

In the nine months since that night in March, we’ve come to know Jorge Bergoglio, otherwise known as Pope Francis. He keeps us busy almost every day, with his latest pronouncement, his latest gestures, large and small. I have a pile of books about Francis on my desk. The Google news alert I set up months ago for “Pope Francis” now fills up my e-mail box, exceeding other alerts for Italy, Rome, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Israel, Iran, etc. I regularly listen to podcasts about Francis on my phone.

For foreign journalists based in Rome, Pope Francis has in fact been our “person of the year” long before Time magazine settled on him. He quickly eclipsed the noisy, chaotic game of musical chairs called Italian politics. And Francis has turned out to be a balm for those who for year after year had to cover flamboyant scandal-drenched former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as their like-it-or-not Italian “person of the year.”

At home, my lapsed Catholic Italian wife has put Francis’ picture on the wall. Italians are notoriously cynical when it comes to public figures, but ask them about “Papa Francesco” and their reaction is almost invariably positive and effusive.

“He has a humble heart, he’s great, he’s beautiful,” gushed a giddy middle-aged woman from the Naples area when we asked her Wednesday what she thought of Francis becoming Time’s Person of the Year.

And regardless of who wins the title next year, at this rate we can assume, at least here in Rome, Francis will be person of the year for several years to come.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (612 Responses)
  1. Apple Bush

    I just want to play with his chins. Wiggle waggle; wiggle waggle. Back and forth the chins sway. First one, then two, then three.

    Counter punctuated by his talking head; I gently slap his falling flesh like tenderizing the meal. How marvelous it would be to cover him in flour while we bake a cake to celebrate the harboring of child molesters.

    December 12, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  2. Jack Frost

    Anyone ever clicked on that Mormon ad that comes up on some of these pages? Check out that crazy blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus they depict–cracks me up how everyone is still sticking with that image of him.

    December 12, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Jack Frost

      OK, maybe it's light brown hair.

      December 12, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • igaftr

      What do you expect...they're mormons. They think a convicted con-man was a prophet, he drank alcohol ( the mormons all but created the alcohol industry in Utah), and he had used that hat seeing trick for years bilking people out of money until he realized you can gain much more by creating a religion.

      December 12, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • Science Works


        ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news and science breakthroughs - updated daily
        Science News
        ... from universities, journals, and other research organizations
        Save Email Print Share
        Supervolcanoes Discovered in Utah: Evidence of Some of the Largest Eruptions in Earth's History

        Dec. 11, 2013 — Brigham Young University geologists found evidence of some of the largest volcanic eruptions in earth's history right in their own backyard.

        December 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "We understand that when God made man in his own image and pronounced him very good, that he made him white. We have no record of any of God's favored servants being of a black race...every angel who ever brought a message of God's mercy to man was beautiful to look upon, clad in the purest white and with a countenance bright as the noonday sun."
      – Juvenile Instructor (LDS publication to indoctrinate children)

      December 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Was Ben Wedeman actually present – as he writes – when the "black smoke" rose from the chimney? Even Wikipedia knows that "The fumata nera ("black smoke" in Italian) is the announcement to the outer world by a conclave that a Papal election was not decisive, by means of burning the ballots together with straw or chemicals to produce black smoke. Fumata bianca ("white smoke") announces that the conclave is over because a Pope was elected."

    December 12, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Dippy' long lost cousin Earl

      Good catch.

      December 12, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Maddy

      As he is stationed in Rome, and as his first paragraph describes what he saw/heard that day, I would say yes.

      December 12, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • Maddy

        Except he did get the smoke color wrong. Maybe he wasn't there. I dunno

        December 12, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • doobzz

      Ridiculous. Every parochial school kid learns about the smoke thing in kindergarten. I read the first line and immediately scrolled down to see how quickly someone caught it.

      Such a simple thing and the author gets it wrong.

      December 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  4. palintwit

    NEW YORK — The Sportsman Channel said Monday it has hired Sarah Palin to be host of a weekly outdoors-oriented program that will celebrate the "red, wild and blue" lifestyle.

    And what did I say about the turrd that won't flush?

    December 12, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • igaftr

      That it keeps posting things about Palin, when no one else cares?

      December 12, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  5. devin

    Thank God for Martin Luther.

    December 12, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      "All things which the Pope from a power so false, mischievous, blasphemous and arrogant has done and undertaken have been and still are purely diabolical affairs and transactions for the ruin of the entire holy Christian church and for the destruction of the first and chief article concerning the redemption made through Jesus Christ… The Pope is the very Antichrist who has exalted himself above and opposed himself against Christ because he will not permit Christians to be saved… It is nothing else than the devil himself because above and against God he urges and disseminates his Papal falsehoods concerning Masses, Purgatory, the monastic life, one's own works, fict.itious divine worship which is the very Papacy and condemns, murders and tortures all Christians who do not exalt and honor these abominations of the Pope above all things, therefore just as little as we can worship the devil himself as Lord and God, we can endure his apostle the Pope. For to lie and to kill and destroy body and soul eternally, that is wherein his Papal government really consists."
      -Martin Luther

      December 12, 2013 at 8:43 am |
      • devin

        " I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self.

        Martin Luther

        December 12, 2013 at 8:51 am |
        • Ben

          But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews' synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God's name? They will still keep doing it in secret ... They must be driven from our country ... Indeed, if they had the power to do to us what we are able to do to them, not one of us would live for an hour. But since they lack the power to do this publicly, they remain our daily murderers and bloodthirsty foes in their hearts. Their prayers and curses furnish evidence of that, as do the many stories which relate their torturing of children and all sorts of crimes for which they have often been burned at the stake or banished ... everyone would gladly be rid of them ... For Christ does not lie or deceive us when he adjudges them to be serpents and children of the devil ... Martin Luther

          December 12, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • devin


          Again, this is not a justification for Luther's anti semitic stance, however, I am quite familiar with his work " The Jews and their lies" having read it in college years ago. Your frequent use of ellipsis in the above paragraph is somewhat disingenuous in that it negates context.

          December 12, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • devin


          He was perhaps the most pivotal catalyst for change( reformation:) in the Christian church in the last 500 years. I would concur that there are better Protestant "heroes out there", I'm just not willing to throw the baby out with the bath water.

          December 12, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • devin

          Oops, this was intended for your post below.

          December 12, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • Doris

        Oh my – these Xtians and their Antichrists never cease to entertain. One sect sacrificed a baby about a year ago in Chile claiming it to be an antichrist. A group of well-educated people – most will college degrees.

        December 12, 2013 at 10:00 am |
        • Doris

          most with college degrees...

          December 12, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I know, right?
      Without him, Protestants would never have known just how evil Jewish people are.
      He taught us all that they should be murdered, their properties and other assets seized and their synagogues burned to the ground.
      His wonderful book "The Jews and Their Lies" inspired the 20th Century's most influential man to attempt global domination and spread the good tidings of Aryan Jesus.

      December 12, 2013 at 8:48 am |
      • devin

        Well that didn't take long, although I figures someone would pounce on it sooner.

        December 12, 2013 at 8:54 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Historical facts are awfully inconvenient when you're trying to deify someone, eh?

          December 12, 2013 at 9:02 am |
        • devin

          " Thanking God" for Martin Luther and "deifying" him are world's apart. Luther was a fallible, sinful human being no different than the rest of us. His migration into anti-semitism is inexcusable. Doesn't negate the good he did.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:13 am |
        • Alias

          There are germans who would like to point out the good things Hitler did to.
          Just sayin

          December 12, 2013 at 9:29 am |
        • devin

          If you are equating Martin Luther with Hitler, well, that's a journey in logic I won't even take. Kind of like comparing Paula Dean with a grand wizard of the KKK.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:54 am |
        • Alias

          I was focused on the end of your post.
          If someone does enough harm it does overshadow the good they did.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • Ben

          Going from Luther to Hitler is actually a pretty short trip. That book Doc mentioned is pretty much a blueprint for Hitler's treatment of Jews. I read through it again, looking for a succinct quote, but the whole thing is just one long rant condemning Jews for not converting, advising world leaders to expel them, burn their synagogues, force them into manual labor, take away their possessions, and even killing them. Go ahead, I dare you to defend the virtue of that man after reading this essay.

          Just a sample:
          They (the Jews) are condemned to blaspheme, curse, and vilify God himself and all that is God's, for their eternal damnation ... They (the princes) must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier ( a long list of things Luther advises forbidding Jews from doing) , force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did in the wilderness, slaying three thousand lest the whole people perish ... it would be wrong to be merciful and confirm them in their conduct. If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs, so that we do not become partakers of their abominable blasphemy and all the their other vices and thus merit God's wrath and be damned with them. I have done my duty. Now let everyone see to his. I am exonerated ... Martin Luther

          December 12, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • devin


          I'm not sure how to make it any clearer than what I have already stated, " His migration into anti-semiticism is inexcusable ". As with any other human being, he was infected with this concept of sin. When I look at the totality of his life, his denouncement of a corrupt, tyrannical papacy, and his stance on the doctrine of justification by faith, my statement of " thank God for Martin Luther" stands. I took the dare.

          December 12, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Ben

          Funny, Hitler's anti-Semitism is generally enough to keep people from using him as any kind of example of how to keep trains running on time, which he apparently was quite good at, or as an example of vegetarianism, so why would you feel comfortable praising Luther in anything? Aren't there better protestant heroes out there?

          December 12, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        We've already been through this... That book came near the end of a man's life – a man who had become extremely bitter due to debilitating illnesses, an inability to convert Jews to Christianity en masse, and a lifetime of struggling to preach the truth in a world of lies. There were threats of incarceration, death, etc... Although there is no excuse for his writings, they in no way discredit the great works of his earlier years.

        Besides, if you're going to use that logic, then I can discredit evolution because evolutionists slaughtered aborigines because they thought they were the missing link. So don't play that card.

        December 12, 2013 at 9:12 am |
        • Colin

          Evolution is a biological principal. It can only be discredited by evidence indicating that it is not an accurate explanation for biological diversity. The actions of those who accept it are irrelevant. In contrast, the entire actions of a man's life are relevant to his place in history – the good, the bad and the ugly. This isn't hard stuff !!

          December 12, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • tallulah13

          Please cite your reference.

          December 12, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • tallulah13

          My request was for Larry. If indeed this did occur, I am curious about the particulars, you know names of individuals and historical sources.

          December 12, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Ben

          So, should we automatically disregard anything any old fella says at the end of his life which contradicts his life's work, like Antony Flew, for example?

          December 12, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Luther was a super smart guy who did wonders for the advancement of science.
      When he heard of Copernicus and his heretical heliocentric theory, Luther commented:
      "The fool will upset the whole science of astronomy."
      Everybody knows that the Earth is the predilect object of all Creation and the rest of the universe is just boring window dressing. It says to in the Bible!
      He made perfectly clear what science and critical thinking is all about.
      "But since the devil's bride, Reason, that pretty who.re, comes in and thinks she's wise, and what she says, what she thinks, is from the Holy Spirit, who can help us, then? Not judges, not doctors, no king or emperor, because reason is the Devil's greatest who.re. "

      December 12, 2013 at 9:15 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        And everyone who denies that God exists claim reason as their excuse. I totally get that quote from Luther.
        And yet, those same atheists can not name ONE SINGLE physical ent.ity that is non-contingent.

        December 12, 2013 at 9:20 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And what would Luther have done with all the upstart scientists like Copernicus?
          "I would have no compassion on these witches. I would burn them all."

          And peasants trying to overthrow a totalitarian regime that kept them starving and suppressed?
          Well, God told Luther exactly what to do with them:
          "I, Martin Luther, slew all the peasants in the rebellion, for I said they should be slain; all their blood is on my head. But I cast it on our Lord God, who commanded me to speak in this way."

          December 12, 2013 at 9:27 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Three words: "OUT OF CONTEXT."
          Yeah, I can pick and choose quotations from just about anyone on earth to support my cause too. Read ALL of his history. He wasn't an evil man as you suppose. He was by no means perfect, and certainly a sinner, but you would make him equal to the devil himself.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Alias

          con·tin·gent / ADJECTIVE:
          1-Liable to occur but not with certainty; possible: "All salaries are reckoned on contingent as well as on actual services"
          2-Dependent on conditions or occurrences not yet established; conditional: arms sales contingent on the approval of Congress.

          What point are you trying to make about noncontingent?

          December 12, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Only the supernatural can explain the existence of the natural
          1. The physical universe exists
          2. Nothing can be self-created – that is a paradox
          3. Every physical ent.ity (natural ent.ity) is contingent (that is – dependant upon something else for its existence)
          4. Contingent ent.ities are not eternal
          5. Since contingency exists, then a causal chain exists
          6. Infinite causal chains do not and cannot exist – they are a paradox
          7. Since a finite causal chain exists, then a Prime Mover / First Cause exists
          8. The Prime Mover / First Cause cannot be contingent (see #6)
          9. Since the Prime Mover / First Cause is not contingent, it is self-existing
          10. A self-existing (not self-created) ent.ity is supernatural

          December 12, 2013 at 9:38 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Yes you can take things out of context like your precious bible verses, pathetic. Your mutable and non-contingent is also false because you jump to your own unsubstantiated conclusions.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:46 am |
        • HotAirAce

          LofA, prove that the supernatural being you claim was the initial cause of everything is the god of The Babble.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:52 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The devil himself? No.
          But he was racist, anti-science, and in favour of the execution of those who disagreed with him.
          I agree with some of the things he said, though –
          "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has..." – can't argue with that one.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • Alias

          6. Infinite causal chains do not and cannot exist – they are a paradox
          THIS is where we disagree. Matter is neither created or destroyed, so your infinite chain must exist. I don't think paradox means what you think it means.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:04 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Matter is neither created or destroyed, so your infinite chain must exist."
          Newton wasn't making a statement on origins. He was speaking of enclosed systems.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:08 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Newton what century are you stuck in? Matter and anti matter do annihilate each other in a burst of pure energy that can then reform into matter and anti matter, possibly in an infinite chain. A theory that has yet to be proved but we are gaining more knowledge at CERN everyday.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Doris

          More mental gymnastics, I see. It used to be simpler, I guess- twist Vilenkin's words a bit, add a dash of Craig and not so many steps. But the list keeps growing, all in areas of the unknown. Sooner or later the Abrahamic theist has to make that huge leap to cross that gap to an assumption of that particular god.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Science Works


          Yeah Nancy Gibbs is she not a deacon and elder of 5th ave church in New York – you think maybe Prof Higgs would of been
          in the running ?

          December 12, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I didn't bring up Newton, Alias did.
          And I maintain that causal chains cannot be infinite. If they were, then it couldn't explain how the causal chain got started in the first place. Causal chains BY DEFINITION now, have a beginning. They may not necessarily have an end, but they must have a beginning.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • Science Works

          Dang *CQ*

          December 12, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • K-switch

          And in reference to his contingency argument LofA quoted to me,

          "Although the argument in no way maintains that "God" exists, specifically, the God of the Bible, it does get one to logically and philosophically understand that the existence of a first cause that is self-existent is necessary."

          So what's your real point Lawrence?

          December 12, 2013 at 10:46 am |
        • Doris

          Larry: "If they were, then it couldn't explain how the causal chain got started in the first place"

          Larry – you need to add this to your list – everything must be assigned an explanation, even if you have to make something up to be a placeholder.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:46 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "So what's your real point Lawrence?"
          To make the leap from atheism to theism one first must be able to admit that the physical is not all that makes up reality.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:50 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Matter and anti matter into energy back into matter and anti matter in an infinite cycle, circle chain, the "truth" is we don't know and yet your lot believe in eternal life if you lap up the god delusion, is eternal life infinite? Did god have a beginning, will it have an end?

          December 12, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "everything must be assigned an explanation, even if you have to make something up to be a placeholder."
          So you're saying that I made up the definition of a causal chain? A series of cause and effect. That's somehow wrong?

          I'm not like Lawrence Krausse who has to "redefine what nothing is" in order to fit his theories that "defy logic and reason." As a matter of fact, Richard Dawkins said that "you can't expect it to make sense or you'll never understand it." Just, wow...

          December 12, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • Doris

          Claiming something is nothing is not the same as saying you do not know. Way to miss the point, Larry.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:58 am |
        • K-switch

          Lawrence, I'll be clear that I don't disagree with you on the matter of contingency. But I think this whole argument is being lost to semantics. I would say that if space, matter, energy and time had a beginning, then it only recquires that some "thing" not consisting of space, matter, energy or time was what caused the universe.

          To take an informal poll, any athiests here disagree with my last statement?

          December 12, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Doris

          That sounds reasonable, K-switch. A big keyword in your post for me is "if".

          December 12, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • K-switch

          Doris, and the "if" was not coincidental.

          December 12, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • Sue

          Whatever the origins of the universe, we can be absolutely certain that the "god" described in the Christian bible does not exist.

          December 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  6. Lawrence of Arabia

    Shouldn't a supposed religious leader be concerned with glorifying Christ? And shouldn't those who claim the name of Christ be concerned with putting emphasis on Christ, not one of his supposed servants?

    The servant is not greater than the master. But to listen to secular media, you'd surely think so.

    December 12, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • midwest rail

      " Shouldn't a supposed religious leader..."
      Is the Pope not a "real" religious leader ?

      December 12, 2013 at 7:50 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Not according to the Bible... Well, if he insists on teaching that salvation is a combination of grace/faith PLUS works... The idea that justification follows sanctification. If he believes that, then he is not teaching the Bible.

        December 12, 2013 at 8:14 am |
        • midwest rail

          And off we go with "They're not real Christians" – the get-out-of-jail-free card to contemporary Christians who wish to excuse any and all bad behavior by....Christians.

          December 12, 2013 at 8:21 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I suppose it is possible that the Church that is the source of your Bible doesn't teach it properly. Are you familiar with Catholic theology? Have you ever debated a Catholic theologian? I'm not saying that you should, only that you should if you want to understand Catholic theology well enough to be able to make statements about whether the pope faithfully represents Christianity.

          December 12, 2013 at 8:22 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Really, you are so full of yourself. Your interpretation of who is a Christian is just your narrow minded opinion but I continue to love the way you question/JUDGE others faith, Christians long before your lot came along.

          December 12, 2013 at 8:28 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Are you familiar with Catholic theology? Have you ever debated a Catholic theologian?"
          Yes, and yes actually. And the problem begins when they refer to anything other than the Bible as reasons for why they believe what they believe.

          They believe that tradition holds more sway than the Bible.
          The do not subscribe to sola scriptura, even though that it a doctrine taught in the Bible.
          They do not believe in the perspecuity nor the sufficiency of the scripture, so they give infallible authority to the magisterium.
          In order to extort money, they invent non-biblical purgatory.
          They believe that grace comes through the sacraments – that justification is obtained by works.
          They believe that the pope is the head of the church, when the Bible says that it is Christ.
          They hold idolatry in the form of their Mariology.
          They pray to demons in the form of dead "saints."
          They invent non-biblical ideas such as the treasury of merit – leaning again on works to save.

          And on, and on, and on...

          December 12, 2013 at 8:32 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Charm Quark,
          It's not "my" interpretation. Look at it like this, if someone was eating a cheeseburger, they couldn't exactly be a member of PETA. Well, Catholicism is Burger King....

          And it's not just me that preaches against Catholicism. Here's a quote from Charles Spurgeon...

          "It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is, no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we should certainly take up this church on susp.icion, and it would certainly not be let loose again, for it so exactly answers the description. Popery is contrary to Christ's Gospel, and is the Antichrist, and we ought to pray against it. It should be the daily prayer of every believer that Antichrist might be hurled like a millstone into the flood and for Christ, because it wounds Christ, because it robs Christ of His glory, because it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement, and lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Savior, and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Ghost, and puts a mere fallible man like ourselves up as the vicar of Christ on earth; if we pray against it, because it is against Him, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors: we shall love their souls though we loath and detest their dogmas, and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened, because we turn our faces towards Christ when we pray."

          December 12, 2013 at 8:41 am |
        • Science Works

          Well Lof A you FORGOT the RCC understands and teaches evolution – but it is their biblical stand on marriage and procreation
          that is a destructive force for humanity.

          December 12, 2013 at 8:43 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Yes it is your interpretation/opinion, just because you have company (who the hell is Charles Spurgeon) what makes your scam any better than the RCC scam. Your lot isn't supposed to judge others, did you not read that bit in your bible, hypocrite.

          December 12, 2013 at 8:49 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Your lot isn't supposed to judge others, did you not read that bit in your bible, hypocrite"
          The most misquoted scripture is "judge not lest you be judged..." Do you know that the next verse is "don't cast your pearls before swine..." Now, how can you not judge, and yet still be able to tell who the swine are? No, no, no... The Bible actually tell us that we ARE to judge – and judge with the Bible as our standard. What Jesus is teaching is that we aren't supposed to condemn others for sins that we ourselves practice willingly. You'd do well to actually read the Bible, rather than quote points from some atheist website.

          "Judge not lest you be judged!"
          "Twist not scripture lest you be like Satan."

          December 12, 2013 at 8:52 am |
        • igaftr

          Thank you LoA...you have shown beautifully how much of a disease religious belief is.
          The lengths that you will go to to twist your book to your own ends is astonishing...really.
          Look back at just these few posts, let alone the posts from previous topics....it shows a glaring sdpotlight on all that is wrong with beleifs such as yours....onward christian soldier and all that.

          I could give all of your posts over to an abnormal psychology class and they would be busy for an entire semester.

          Try a little humility and accept the fact that not only is it possible that you are wrong, but it is near 100% probability that you are.
          Your posts really sicken me that there are those who cannot see the disease they spread, and the sickness within yourself.
          I hope you take a few hours to really examine some of what you have posted. You clearly have learned NOTHING from your Christ.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:01 am |
        • Charm Quark

          LOL and you come back with yet another of your interpretations, I guess I am throwing my pearls before a swine.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:04 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "I hope you take a few hours to really examine some of what you have posted. You clearly have learned NOTHING from your Christ."
          Well, in light of "Ecclesia reformata et semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei" please tell me what I have missed from scripture about what Christ taught...

          December 12, 2013 at 9:07 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          So what's the alternative to believing in God?
          That nothing became something, then blew up and created everything? Wow, and you think that I have faith...

          December 12, 2013 at 9:09 am |
        • igaftr

          Since most of what your christ character taught is from the Buddha, perhaps you should start there.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • igaftr

          And yes, Nogomain did create everything, including himself who he created from nothing. Just one of over a hundred creator gods....

          December 12, 2013 at 9:20 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Faith that something came from nothing vs something came from an intelligent agent that never came from anything itself – it is eternal: Theories on the instability of vacuum at the quantum level are successful in that they explain and predict observable things and they emerge from and extend other successful theories. Such theories are promising for explaining the "nothing" that everything in our Universe came from. Invoking an intelligent agent with whatever properties are necessary to explain the unexplainable is plainly putting up an intellectual surrender flag.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:21 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Why do you have to lie to make your point? Of course it is not the next verse, you have taken your interpretation out of context, some thing you do all the time. In Luke 6, 37 to 42, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged:....KJV. Not one mention of swine, you are really disingenuous.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:23 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Theories on the instability of vacuum"
          A vacuum isn't nothing – after all, where did the vacuum come from? Even a vacuum is contingent. "Nothing" is that which rocks dream about.

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

          "Why do you have to lie to make your point? Of course it is not the next verse, you have taken your interpretation out of context, some thing you do all the time. In Luke 6, 37 to 42, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged:....KJV. Not one mention of swine, you are really disingenuous."
          Oh, brother... I was going from memory. Matthew 7:1-6. Verse 1 is "judge not..." verse 6 is "do not cast... "

          December 12, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • Charm Quark

          You took Mathew 7 1 to 6 out of context also, 1. Judge not, that ye be not judged, it is not until, verse 6 that the reference to swine is made, 6. Give not that which is holy onto the dogs, neither cast ye pearls before swine...
          You see my interpretation he is speaking of animals, your take is quite different and twisted.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:32 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Address the passage from Luke another judge not decree.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • Anthony

          Lawrence of Arabia – "My way of interpreting the Bible is the only possible way. It's quite impossible that I or the people I routinely quote have misinterpreted the any of the unclear portions of the Bible. Anyone who interprets it differently is not really a Christian"

          OK, so those aren't your real words, but it is exactly how you come across, and it makes you look pathetically pompous and closed-minded. I assume you just think you're educating people, but trust me, it's not working for you.

          December 12, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • Doris

          Exactly, Anthony.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Isn't it interesting how a math professor is respected for teaching accurately, but when a theologian claims the same, he is somehow arrogant.

          Only in a society where most people see religion as a matter of one's own opinion and interpretation can that kind of thinking be normal. That just proves the diagnosis of this being a post-modern age.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • Anthony

          Math is not based on opinion and interpretation.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:13 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          The passage in Luke is from the same sermon on hypocrisy... The issue I think is that you look at the word "judge" and you see that negatively. But it's nothing more than a determination of good or evil. In the same kind of way, you make judgments every day – whenever you choose tea over a coke you're making a judgment. There's nothing inherantly wrong with judging. Jesus was just saying not to do it hypocritically.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Anthony

          And of course people see religion as a matter of one's opinion and interpretation–you're aware of the existence of thousands of religions, I assume?

          December 12, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Doris

          Math involves a lot of "truths" just like theology. If a mathematician were "proven" wrong or right about a claim, I doubt you would see much variation across the field – much disagreement. I don't see the same with regards to consensus on religious belief.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:18 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "you're aware of the existence of thousands of religions, I assume?"
          Of course... Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but no one has the right to make their opinions become truth. Truth is what truth is, and it is outside of man.
          Man doesn't create "truth," only opinion.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • George

          Lawrence: ""Are you familiar with Catholic theology? Have you ever debated a Catholic theologian?" " Yes, and yes .. "

          I'd be much more interested in a debate between Lawrence and a Messianic Jew–they seem to have the most correct interpretation of the Bible, with several ideas that conflict with Lawrence's.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • Anthony

          The contention, of course, becomes which god gives the truth, and even then which version of the same god gives the correct version of the truth.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Charm Quark

          You really are a hoot. How pompous and arrogant to tell anyone what the supposed words of jesus mean this, your interpretation again. You dance in circles and play word games, you turn people off more than convince them about your "truths".

          December 12, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "I'd be much more interested in a debate between Lawrence and a Messianic Jew–they seem to have the most correct interpretation of the Bible, with several ideas that conflict with Lawrence's."
          I don't think I'd have many differences at all with a Messianic Jew. What would conflict?

          December 12, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • George

          How about the requirement to keep kosher, for example?

          December 12, 2013 at 10:24 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "your interpretation again."
          Then, please tell me what is the hermaneutically correct way of reading the text?

          December 12, 2013 at 10:24 am |
        • Doris

          Larry: "Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but no one has the right to make their opinions become truth. Truth is what truth is, and it is outside of man.
          Man doesn't create "truth," only opinion."

          LOL – here we go again. Pure conjecture. You have to have the same faith in this alleged "Truth" as you have for your God. Otherwise, I'm sure we would have seen a demo of said "Truth" by now. You know, a demonstration where subjectivity and consensus are no way involved.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • huh?

          LoA: "Isn't it interesting how a math professor is respected for teaching accurately, but when a theologian claims the same, he is somehow arrogant."

          This is not surprising to anyone except you, it seems.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:27 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "How about the requirement to keep kosher, for example?"
          I don't know of a Messianic Jew who strives to keep Kosher. I'm not applying that to all of them, but if I were speaking with one who did, I would most likely ask him what he means to gain from keeping Kosher, since he would believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and it is through Jesus that His salvation comes, then if he is keeping them just for tradition's sake then that's fine. But if he keeps them for any salvific purpose, he would have to show me in scripture how keeping Kosher supercedes the work of the Messiah.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • George

          Messianic Jews believe the Law still applies. Jesus himself said that in Matthew 5:17-20.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Jesus was referring to the moral law – the 10 Commandments. See verse 19? "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments..." The law was forever installed as a schoolmaster to teach us what sin is, and to lead us to the Messiah. No one is saved by keeping the law, for no one can. Salvation comes through the work of the Messiah. When the Bible speaks of "keeping the law" they refer to how a sailor steers his ship at night by the stars. His course is determined by a standard, in this case, Polaris. In life, our "Polaris," our "standard" is the moral law. It can't save us, but it teaches us what God's requirements are.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • George

          Lawrence: "Jesus was referring to the moral law..."

          Obviously interpreted differently by Messianic Jews, hence my original interest in the debate between you and them. Incidentally, it's my understanding they recognize that it is not possible to still keep all of the Law.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Obviously interpreted differently by Messianic Jews,"
          And if that is indeed the case, then the man who leans on his being Kosher to save him from hell must be able to support his soteriology from all of scripture, keeping in mind that he is under the New Covenant now.

          "it's my understanding they recognize that it is not possible to still keep all of the Law."
          Exactly. So if their soteriology depends on the keeping of the law, then what happens when they find that they cannot keep it?

          December 12, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • George

          Just sayin', there are plenty of interpretations of the Bible, and it seems to me that theirs is the most supportable.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:49 am |
        • Madtown

          no one has the right to make their opinions become truth.
          Except you, I guess. A hilarious irony about you, is that had you been born in Egypt you'd be a full-on muslim, and would decry christianity as a falsehood. Hilarious!

          December 12, 2013 at 10:50 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I'd love to keep attempting to nail jello to a wall, but I gotta get back to work. Later.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Doris

          "attempting to nail jello to a wall"

          that's a great description for apologetics – I have to write that down...

          December 12, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • midwest rail

      " Is the Pope not a "real" religious leader ? "
      " Not according to the Bible... "
      So now we progress from "They're not real Christians" to " They aren't even a real religion".
      The depth of hubris is incredible.

      December 12, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  7. Saraswati

    Well this certainly explains the CNN papal advertising campaign over the last few months.

    December 12, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  8. guest

    Time magazine also voted Bin A Laden [sic] man of the year also—so what? The award goes to the person who has had the most influence on the world for that year–good or bad.

    December 12, 2013 at 4:11 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      They also made HitIer man of the year in 1938 and George W Bush.

      Both of these political leaders were responsible for many tens of thousands of deaths and they both used religion as the partial reason for what they did.

      December 12, 2013 at 8:14 am |
      • guest

        That is why Time/Warner magazine’s vote of the person of the year means nothing in my opinion. It was when Time/Warner displayed the picture of Osama bin Laden on the front of their magazine (later calling it a mistake, which I don’t buy. Come on! A big organization like Time/Warner making that kind of mistake without somebody noticing it? Give me a break!) I checked the criteria of the publication and that is what I learned. It makes sense, because bin Laden did affect a lot of lives. I just think that they need to review their criteria for something more positive. I grant that the Pope is really popular with the ma$$es; however I believe the ma$$es are very ignorant of the agenda of the Jesuits. I believe Pope Francis is a very good at being a con artist; that is why he is where he is.
        P.S. Time/Warner wants to appease the ma$$es also.

        December 12, 2013 at 10:03 am |
      • SusanStoHelit

        The criteria is not for the best man of the year – it's for the most influential. The one who is changing things. Not necessarily for the better.

        December 14, 2013 at 4:16 am |
  9. Reality # 2

    Man of the Year Award? Not so fast as he has yet to address the following:

    (Only for the new members:)

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Too many pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    December 12, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Saraswati

      There is no definitive evidence as to Jesus' literacy. Many researchers have looked into this and the debate mostly boils down to probabilities based on widely divergent estimates of literacy rates at the time. Unless you have something convincing to add I'd stay off that pulpit.

      December 12, 2013 at 8:03 am |
      • Reality

        There is only one place in the NT that suggests Jesus could read i.e. Luke 4:16. This pa-ssage is not attested to in any other NT pa-ssage or in any other related doc-ument making it a later addition or poor translation as per most NT scholars' analyses.

        See also Professor Crossan and Professor Reed's book, Excavating Jesus, p. 30.

        See also Professor Bruce Chilton's commentary in his book, Rabbi Jesus, An Intimate Biography, pp 99-101- An excerpt:

        "What Luke misses is that Jesus stood in the synagogue as an illiterate ma-mzer in his claim to be the Lord's anointed".

        It is very unfortunate that Jesus was illiterate for it resulted in many gospels and epistles being written years after his death by non-witnesses. This resulted in significant differences in said gospels and epistles and with many embellishments to raise Jesus to the level of a deity to compete with the Roman gods and emperors. See Raymond Brown's 878 page book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Luke 4:16 note on p. 237) for an exhaustive review of the true writers of the gospels and epistles.

        December 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  10. Reality # 2

    THE problem with this award:

    The papacy is based on a non-historical passage in the NT i.e. Matt 16:18. For example, see Professor Gerd Ludemann's a-nalysis in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 197-198 and also http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb073.html .

    December 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  11. Mary

    It's a bit like when Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. He is appreciated as a welcome respite from his predecessor and has spoken eloquently but, thus far, he has done nothing.

    December 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      The Pope does not have Congress whose stated goals are to hamper Obama and repeal laws.

      December 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
      • Colin

        I wouldn't be so sure of that. There are a lot of conservative Catholics who are perturbed by his actions.

        December 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
      • Santa is just a dyslexic Satan

        Actually, I think the Vatican is exactly that, a bureaucracy that stymies any attempt for the leader to actually change things. Heck, they usually elect popes who are all for the status quo.

        December 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Jax

      The Pope has been Pope for 9 months. My God, give the man a chance.

      Colin: those Catholics cannot vote the Pope out.

      December 11, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
      • Colin

        But they can stifle his plans. The point is not that he will do nothing, the point is he is yet to do anything. That is a fact. Knowing the RCC, I don't think we will see anything tangible on contraception, women clergy, clergy marrying, or acceptance of gays, but time will tell.

        It is certainly way too early to be lauding his "accomplishments."

        December 11, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
        • Jax

          He has already said that he cannot change church doctrine. Those things will remain as they anyways have.

          What I was was speaking about is the pedophilia abuse, which ISN'T church doctrine.
          Premature condemnation is absurd.

          You are an atheist. If this man completely changed everything you brought up, it is likely you would still condemn him, because you don't believe in any gods, and he does believe in God.

          December 11, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
  12. fred

    This Pope exhibits the life one would expect of a believer. He is doing good which will leave the universe just a little better place than it was. When atheists bash believers I cannot see any good that could come from it. We all have the choice to do good or evil and Christianity adds some incentive for good and lays down a pattern of good if anyone wants to follow it. What drives atheists to condemn and hate is not out of goodness. Every time they condemn they reveal the evil behind godlessness.

    December 11, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • midwest rail

      And when Christians tell each other that the other guy isn't a "true" Christian ?

      December 11, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
      • fred

        Well, if you are acting like a pagan someone needs to give you a heads up.

        December 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
        • igaftr

          Just exactly how does a pagan act?

          December 12, 2013 at 8:19 am |
      • fred

        Jesus had no problem setting the Priests of His day straight that were abusing their power.

        December 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Therein lies your problem, fred. The other guy is just as certain as you are that HE is following the word correctly, and can cite the exact same book you do to back it up.

          December 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
        • fred

          When it comes to following Christ the way the truth and light is not very complicated. What we do is venture off course as the Jews did by the time Jesus arrived they were just as oppressive as non believers.
          Take slavery where some twisted the Bible to justify the African Slave Trade which it did not. It was Christians that put the spotlight on the error. Some differences are of little consequence and as Paul said just ignore it if it does not cause one to fault.

          December 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      What is evil about asking for evidence of this story you're trying to convince us of?

      December 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
      • fred

        We cannot put our head in the sand and do need to hold each other accountable.

        December 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You focus on hate and "bashing", fred. Is that how you view criticism of your positions on the authenticity and authority of the Bible, requests for evidence supporting your claims about your God and the nature of the world, and examination of what you present as evidence? I happen to agree that Pope Francis is most likely a good man. I wish all priests were good men.

      December 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
      • fred

        No, I think you can detect the tone when someone is just taking pot shots at the RCC. In a like manner you may think I take pot shots at atheists when I use the word godless or godlessness. If I am called on it and read what I posted was of negative tone I appreciate the correction.

        December 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      fred, Grt back to me when atheists have spent decades trying to prevent and then destroy YOUR marriage. You have chosen ignorance for your own selfish contentment and you will no doubt continue to do so.

      December 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
      • fred

        I assume you are speaking about same sex marriage. Civil unions and traditional marriage are not an issue. The issue is in the absence of God there is no truth and nothing is sacred. Why bring your homosexuality before God in a faith that clearly calls homosexuality sin and demand the Word of God be cut to shreds like the Jefferson Bible. Why bring homosexuality into a congregation and shake your fist at the Word of God these people believe in.

        Take the love of your life into a setting where both can grow and be an encouragement to their community not a source of hate.

        December 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • .

      Fred, when you can grow up enough and can move past such troll phrases as "What drives atheists to condemn and hate is not out of goodness. Every time they condemn they reveal the evil behind godlessness.", I may take you seriously enough to answer.
      As it is, your use of hyperbole and generalizations is absurd.

      December 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
      • fred

        Let me rephrase.
        What drives mankind to hate and condemn is not of goodness but evil.

        December 11, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Jen

      fred, what drives you to be so hateful and spiteful to atheists, like you have been in your latest post and recent ones? There's plenty of hate to be found within your religion, as well as bigotry and racism, but beyond what other believers show, you seem to have a special challenge in communicating with atheists. Maybe you feel defensive from having your weak beliefs challenged.

      December 11, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
      • fred

        Ok, I hear you. I will address militant atheists one at a time and not generalize. There are a few kind non believers on this site.

        December 11, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
        • lol??

          Just a show, fred. Psychopaths are like that.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • sam stone

      if god knows what we are going to do before we do it, fred, there is no free choice

      what good comes from christians threating non believers with hell?

      people cannotf fear beings in which they do not believe

      i think christians just like to feel god like

      December 12, 2013 at 6:00 am |
  13. HotAirAce

    It appears someone didn't like me pointing out that Pope-A-Dope continues to protect criminals within the RCC. . .

    December 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • fred

      So, what do you get out of making statements that are false? Is there really any evidence this new Pope is covering up?

      December 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • faith

      He's been there 9 months. Stop acting like it can be undone overnight. Get some perspective on your irrational hatred.

      December 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to write an order to instruct everyone in the RCC to cooperate fully with civilian authorities. Instead they are paying lawyers to fight having to turn over records. What is the RCC hiding?

      December 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
      • fred

        There are many bones buried in all institutions not just the RCC. Policies were changed as they were in other institutions to reduce the possibility of harm to the innocent. As time goes on we may find better ways of weeding out those who harm the innocent. In the meantime you are just picking on the RCC.
        How many innocent minds and bodies are violated because of the perversion that goes on 24 hours a day in the media that promotes the sexualized or sex charged atmosphere, not to mention violence. There is a real villain.

        December 11, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          So, you are excusing the RCC's criminal behavior because others committed the same evils? What happened to absolute morals? Hypocrite!

          December 11, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
        • fred

          I am not excusing anyone. We have no reason to believe this Pope cannot be taken at his word.

          December 11, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          You prefer that I not mention The RCC's failure to deal with past crimes. You want me to believe someone who was likely involved in those crimes and has said nothing about dealing with them. You are attempting to excuse the RCC.

          December 12, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    congratulations to the man of many chins. Person of the Year. I wonder how much the Vatican PR Campaign paid TIME for this?

    December 11, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Cen

      Koch brothers should have got it.

      December 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Nathaniel Nutmeg

      You probably think and talk about the Pope more than his entire PR staff. Oh my!

      December 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        ummm ... no.

        that was a silly thing to say really nat-nut

        December 12, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  15. Bootyfunk

    what has Pope Francis done?

    about g.ays, he said "who am i to judge?" he said one nice, if ambiguous, statement about h.omos.exuals. he did not say g.ays are to be accepted within the church as completely normal. didn't say leviticus was wrong about putting g.ays to death. he didn't say openly g.ay men may serve.
    about child molesters, he said "we're gonna really look into that now."

    about women, he said "they still cannot be leaders in the church." he confirmed women cannot be priests. he confirmed that women are not equal to men. he confirmed the church believes women should be submissive followers and never leaders.

    he said the same thing all recent popes say - "we're really gonna get those molester priests out of our ranks" this is what the last pope said too. yet the pope doesn't say the church will start aggressively pursuing molesters, involving police from the beginning, handing over any and all evidence. he didn't say he'd had over all the names of molesters already known by the church.

    about capitalism, he said it has flaws. he said it doesn't help the poor. he said catholics should help those who live in poverty. all of which made conservative catholics cringe at the thought of giving money away.

    he hasn't changed church doctrine or dogma. he's talked, but he hasn't taken action. man of the year? kind of laughable considering he hasn't actually done anything.

    December 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Nyquist

      Leviticus?. In Galatians Paul says we are no longer under the Law. Paul said Leviticus is the yoke of slavery, Galatians 5:1.

      December 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
      • G to the T

        And you trust the words of Paul over those of Jesus?

        December 12, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • doobzz

      He hugged that guy for the cameras, too. Everyone went apeshit over that. His PR dept. probably scoured the crowd for the most disfigured person and set up a photo shoot.

      Hopefully the publicity has made that man's life a little better, but I completely agree. All talk, no real change.

      December 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  16. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    He's certainly the subject of more belief blog topics than anthing else this year.

    It's approximating 'all pope all the time' these days around here.

    Not that he isn't interesting. He is. He's a breath of fresh air in the Vatican. Sadly it feels like it's only a matter of time before he attracts potential assassins.

    December 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  17. Gol

    What's new?

    Same thing that was new when Obama was given his peace prize...nothing really. But yet there is something new, just like it was then. Perhaps a renewal of faith in people and that anything and everyone can change for the better.

    December 11, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      there's a lot that's new. guess you don't get out much?

      they just found a new method of treating cancer.

      don't just troll blogs - try reading the articles.

      December 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  18. bunny

    Best Pope in my lifetime. Actually follows Jesus' teachings.

    December 11, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  19. Akita

    I like this Pope.
    When he addresses the criminals of the Church, I'll like him even more.

    December 11, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Akira


      December 11, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Michelle

      If he lives that long. Popes have an unlucky habit of dying quickly once they reveal a liberal side.

      December 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.