January 13th, 2014
12:00 PM ET

Breastfeeding in church? Pope says yes

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Amid the iconic art in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, Pope Francis told mothers that it's acceptable to breastfeed their children in public, even in holy sites like churches.

Children's voices, even when crying, make "the most beautiful choir of all," Francis said during a service in which he baptized 32 children.

"Some will cry because they are uncomfortable or because they are hungry," the Pope said. "If they are hungry, mothers, let them eat, no worries, because here, they are the main focus."

The Sistine Chapel, with its famous frescoes by Michelangelo, is the official chapel of the Apostolic Palace, traditionally the papal residence. Francis, though, lives in the Vatican guesthouse, Casa Santa Marta, saying it better suits his low-key style.

The Pope's remarks echo statements he made to an Italian newspaper in December in which he tied breastfeeding to the problem of global hunger.

At a recent General Audience - or public appearance by the Pope - a young mother sat behind a screen with her crying infant, Francis told La Stampa.

"I said to her: 'Madam, I think the child’s hungry. ... Please give it something to eat!' " the Pope said.

"She was shy and didn’t want to breastfeed in public, while the Pope was passing," he continued. "I wish to say the same to humanity: Give people something to eat! That woman had milk to give to her child; we have enough food in the world to feed everyone."

Emer McCarthy, a journalist at Vatican Radio, told Catholic News Service that she breastfed her daughter discreetly during Sunday's baptism ceremony. "Who would have thought the Pope would be this great proponent?" she said.

Breastfeeding in public, particularly in sacred sites such as churches, remains a sensitive issue for families, as noted by a recent Religion News Service article.

A blog post on "Five Places Moms Need to Breastfeed Discreetly" listed churches as No. 5, following public pools, restaurants, airplanes and sporting events.

"It's wonderful when moms want to bring the kids to church and nurture their faith early on," wrote blogger Mary Fischer. "But a coverup is a necessity with a baby in tow. Do I really have to elaborate here?"

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Church • Ethics • Faith & Health • Food • gender issues • Health • Houses of worship • Mass • Pope Francis • Sacred Spaces • Women

soundoff (1,126 Responses)
  1. Live4Him

    @ME II : Moral relativism?

    What's the problem with moral relativism? It is that every can choose their own values to uphold. Thus, murder could be considered a 'good' thing to a cannibal. Without some standards for society, the very fabric of that society breaks down to anarchy.


    January 14, 2014 at 10:58 am |
    • Alias

      I don't know how you can look at all te exposed breasts painted in the cathedrals and claim the bible says not to show breasts.

      January 14, 2014 at 11:03 am |
      • Future Tell

        You are assuming that the artists who created those paintings and who chose to paint women with exposed breasts were somehow being authorized by God to do it. God never authorized any such thing. And neither does the bible…

        January 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • Alias

          The poeple who run the church did.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • Religion is NOT healthy for children and other living things

          That is very funny! You believe that God personally wrote each and every word in the Bible, but NONE of the beautiful Art was approved by God, huh? Hilarious! You are as Dumb as Dumb IS!

          January 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The more naked people you see, the less interesting it is. I've taken a lot of life drawing classes and what begins as uncomfortable ends as commonplace. I think this fear of flesh is just another leftover from this nation's puritanical roots. Europeans have far fewer hang ups about nudity than Americans.

      January 14, 2014 at 11:20 am |
      • Science Works

        And still trying to CONTROL the bedroom ?

        When The Right To Religion Conflicts With A Changing Society

        by NPR Staff
        January 11, 2014 4:00 PM


        January 14, 2014 at 11:27 am |
      • Saraswati

        I think what no one wants to admit is that exposure of most body parts will generally yield a dese.xu.alization of that body part throughout a society. For many people this is not viewed as a good thing and will affect people and relationships and a number of industries. Also, in the mean time the reaction that some males (especially young males) may have in public to such events is not just uncomfortable and distracting but could be socially damaging. It is politically correct somehow now to express no sympathy at all for the males in this situation. And that's the problem with political correctness, it generally identifies only one party deserving of empathy.

        Also, consider this scenario – you are a typical slightly shy straight guy in the business world giving a presentation you have worked on for months, working on your social anxiety with a psychologist, and a woman in the front row starts breastfeeding in front of you. Really, how fair is this to the presenter? How about 15 year olds with babies in public high schools? Should the babies be carried into class from the in-school nursery?

        This isn't to say we shouldn't make the change to a large degree in many areas, just that political correctness prohibits discussion of some very real issues. And yes, sanitation is one of them, though this is hardly major. Handshaking is a far bigger problem epidemiology-wise.

        January 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • Alias

          The situatoins you describe are only a problem in America because we are so sensitive to breasts.
          This would not be the case in a less repressed society.
          My point is that society needs to change if breast feeding is really a problem.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • Johnny

          Your example basically happened in our drama class in 8th grade. One of the students was right in the middle of giving the soliloquy that he had to memorize for class and the teacher just started breastfeeding her baby right in the middle of it. It really threw him for a loop.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Alias, it certainly is because we are sensitive to breasts, but why is that by definition a bad thing? Different cultures se.xu.alize different things yet people seem ready to pounce all over this particular one. And how does it have anything to do with being represseda. Pleanty of non-repressed people are into breasts?

          January 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Johny, this is exactly the problem with political correctness run wild. We should at least be able to discuss whether a teacher breast feeding while her student gives a presentation is appropriate.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • stasha

          If you have a child while you are in school then the baby stays home with pumped milk in supply in the fridge just as it would while you are working. And please dont say people cant afford a pump..you get them for free through wic and most insurance companies do help with the price. A teacher should not have their baby with them while they are at work just like anyone else isnt allowed to bring their infants to work.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:13 am |
        • Saraswati


          Many workplaces have nurseries and/or nursing rooms. But the babies are NOT brought into meetings or classrooms.

          January 29, 2014 at 11:38 am |
    • ME II

      I'm confused. Aren't you arguing *for* moral relativism in the breastfeeding situation, but *against* it here?

      January 14, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • Saraswati

      Very few people are absolute moral relativists...a really tiny number. Among the rest of the population people hold some core values and are relativistic about others. Thou shalt not kill. In general, but OK in self-defense, war, capital punishment or whatever. The people accused of being moral relativists, or even calling themselves that, are generally no more relativistic. They usually have a stated or unstated moral aim as well, such as overal global happiness and/or freedom. It's just easier to spot relativisms when they cross your own absolutes.

      January 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • King of Darkness

      You've never heard of empathy?

      January 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
  2. myweightinwords

    We have become a society that is so sexualized that we actually believe that men can not control themselves if they are exposed to naked female flesh. It is so ludicrous.

    The same mentality that denies a woman the right to breastfeed her child in public will blame the rape victim and tell her she was asking for it because she had the temerity to wear a short skirt.

    January 14, 2014 at 10:25 am |
    • Live4Him

      What's your thoughts on a man whipping 'his' out and urinating in public?


      January 14, 2014 at 10:28 am |
      • ME II

        That's unsanitary.

        January 14, 2014 at 10:33 am |
      • Alias

        is was just stupid to go so far as to include urinating.

        January 14, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • ME II

          I would posit that even without the urine it is still unsanitary.

          January 14, 2014 at 10:41 am |
        • Alias

          Human bodies are unsanitary?

          January 14, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • ME II

          "Human bodies are unsanitary?"

          Yes, very much so.

          January 14, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • Saraswati

          Going completely without cloth'sis very unsanitary, and risks spreading everything from pinworm to hep A. Even the skin is likely to carry diseases ranging from fungal infections to viruses that cause warts to scabies. The hands, which we don't cover, are of course as likely a vector as almost anything, but wouldn't be inconvenient to cover. People like to stick their heads in the sand, but yeah, humans are covered in contagious disease.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Saraswati

          "clothes is"

          I don't usually believe in correcting typos, but that was almost unreadable.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • igaftr

          Yes human bodies are unsanitary. Only 10% of the cells in and on your body are actually human. The rest are viruses, microbes and bacteria.
          The human cells are much larger though so the total weight would be around 4 pounds or if collected in a container, would make up around a half gallon. (varying with the size of the person.)
          Humans are only a host for trillions of other lives.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Alias

          Clearly we would need to defin 'unsanitary'.
          Things don't have to be 100% sterile to be sanitary.
          Or do you propose we need to cover all dogs and cats in public? Birds are clearly too dirty to allow any of them to live. What about this dirt we have all over the place? Does it have bacteria living in it? I wount even tell you what we use to fertilize our lawns and parks!
          But if you are going to agrue that anything involving bacteria is unsanitary, then I must point out that covering it with cotton does not suddenly kill all bacteris and make it holy and clean. We need a lot more bleach in this country bfore we can allow any more bodily functions!

          January 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Alias, Covering fungal and viral skin infections does make them far, far less likely to spread. Coverying body openings which may not be cleaned fully or out of which worms can crawl does catch those bacteria or other parasites in cloth that is later removed in the home. We are talking about very significant reduction in disease transmission. Many people are covered in small body warts and covering them almost completely protects others.

          Take a look into the problem of bodily herpes lesions among wrestlers.

          January 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • igaftr

          Of course just because there is bacteria, and other living things, and all of their waste etc. all over, does not mean that it is a hazard, but each has the potential to be a hazard. It is safe to touch other people, even exchange bodily fluids, without consequence, but just because we have an immunity system that fights these things, doesn't also mean we are immune. There is a normal healthy balance that most people acheive, and occasionally that balance is upset, which can lead to many adverse consequences even death...

          wait, what doe sthis have to do with a woman breast feeding? other than a huge amount of the babies immune system come from the mothers milk.

          I think we all have digressed.

          January 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Alias, btw, you are far more likely to catch a disease from human fecal matter than dog or cat fecal matter...we are simply more susceptible to our own special germs. There is some cross transmission, but not enough to outweigh the well established healthbenefits of living with cats and dogs.

          January 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • Alias

          Wow. Just wow.
          You all assume people wear clothes to cover open infectous regions of our skin, where I was thinking most people do not have worms or open skin legions.
          You also made some assumptions about the amount of contact people would have.
          No wonder we can't agree.

          January 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Alias, I make some as.sumptions about the number of chairs we would sit on and touch. And you might want to look into infection rates for various hsv and hpv viruses, fungal infections and worms. I'm afraid you are in for a shock.

          January 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
      • igaftr

        Quite different from breastfeeding. What you propose is unsanitary since it is for the elimination of waste, so not a comparison to breast feeding in the slightest.

        January 14, 2014 at 10:35 am |
      • myweightinwords

        All depends. In that instance it's more about the acceptability of where he's depositing his urine than about his nakedness.

        In case you hadn't guessed, I don't have an issue with nudity, even in public. Clothing, in my opinion, is for comfort and protection, for adornment. It's a cultural need. Not a moral one.

        January 14, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Well, cultural and environmental. I can't imagine public nudity when it's -10 outside.

          On that note, I have work to get to. I may check back in, but I'm in the office today, so it may not be until I get home tonight.

          Y'all have a great day.

          January 14, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • Live4Him

          @myweightinwords : In that instance it's more about the acceptability of where he's depositing his urine than about his nakedness.

          So, with all things acceptable to you, how does one treat another with disrespect?


          January 14, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Where did I ever say that all things are acceptable?

          I do not find the human body, in and of itself, vulgar or disrespectful. I often find the way people treat others because of their body disrespectful.

          Respect isn't a physical thing. Respect, and the lack thereof, is in the attitude.

          January 15, 2014 at 12:15 am |
        • Science Works

          For laughs L4H

          Fig leaf
          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          This article is about the act of covering up. For the plant, see Fig. For the 1926 silent comedy film, see Fig Leaves.
          A fig leaf cast in plaster used to cover the genitals of a copy of a statue of David in the Cast Courts of the Victoria and Albert Museum. In the reign of Queen Victoria, displays of male nudity was contentious and the Queen herself was said to find it shocking. The museum commissioned this fig leaf and kept it in readiness in case of a visit by the Queen or other female dignitary: the fig leaf was then hung on the figure using a pair of hooks. Today, the fig leaf is no longer used, but it is displayed in a case at the back of the cast's plinth.[1]
          A statue of Mercury holding the caduceus in the Vatican, with a fig leaf placed over the genitalia. The fig leaf was placed there under the more "chaste" Popes; later, most such coverings were removed.

          A fig leaf is literally a leaf of the fig tree. The term is widely used figuratively associated with the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or distasteful with something of innocuous appearance. The term is a metaphorical reference to the Biblical Book of Genesis, in which Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their nudity after eating the fruit from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. Sometimes paintings and statues had the genitals of their subjects covered by a representation of an actual fig leaf or similar object, either as part of the work or added afterwards for perceived modesty.


          January 14, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • Science Works


          You see it goes all the way back to the MYTH of Adam and Eve ?

          January 14, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • Billy

        That's a pretty broad question. Where children can see the activity? Alone along the highway? Alone along the highway where the spot he chooses to pee on destroys planted plants that make the highway more aesthetically pleasing?

        January 14, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Billy : That's a pretty broad question. Where children can see the activity?

          I stipulated in public, which is generally considered in view of others – potentially including children.


          January 14, 2014 at 10:55 am |
        • Alias

          I hate to shock anyone, but even children know women have breasts.

          January 14, 2014 at 11:06 am |
        • Madtown

          even children know women have breasts
          "Yes, but children are dirty sinners."

          – Topher

          January 14, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • Dot

          I don't know who said it, but I have seen it posited that babies are selfish for crying, and therefore worthy of divine punishment.
          Of course, I disagree.

          January 14, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Alias

          I have lived to see the day that Topher was quoted by another person.
          I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Madtown

          Topher was quoted by another person
          We should deny comedy to our fellow brothers/sisters. Enjoy my friend!

          January 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Madtown


          January 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
      • Jessica

        The two aren't even comparable. Breastfeeding is related to nourishing a child. Would you drink your urine?? I don't understand why people think that this is a good comparison. How about, would you feed a formula fed child in public? And the answer is probably yes! So why should a breastfed child and mother be punished by banishing them to a "private" place when she is feeding her child the way nature intended?

        January 14, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Jessica : The two aren't even comparable.

          Are they both natural functions? Yes. Do they both concern parts of the body typically covered in normal day-to-day life? Yes.

          @Jessica : So why should a breastfed child and mother be punished by banishing them to a "private" place when she is feeding her child the way nature intended?

          For the same reason that a man urinating in public is considered taboo – they both involve parts of the body which are considered unpresentable in American culture.


          January 14, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • tallulah13

          The two really aren't comparable. Public urination is unsanitary and can spread disease if someone should come in contact with your waste. It's health 101. People don't pee in the.same place where they go about their daily life.

          On the other hand, breast feeding is contained and does not automatically poison an area. It's an act that works to protect the species, while public urination potentially damages it.

          It's very sad that you can't understand the difference. I hope that if you decide to pee at the dinner table, your family will respond with compassion and not disgust.

          January 14, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Alias

          As usual, your logic fails.
          All bodily functions are not the same. Just because they are both natural does not mean they are the same in every way and need to be treated exactly the same way.
          Unless you think breathing is not a normal function of a human body.

          January 14, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • Dot

          I had this discussion last night: a poster likened breastfeeding with whipping off his pants and defecating in the gutter.
          I was like, "really?"

          January 14, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • Dot

      I agree, myweightinwords.
      The Pope is right; if the baby is hungry, feed the baby!

      January 14, 2014 at 11:15 am |
      • No Evidence

        "The Pope is right; if the baby is hungry, feed the baby!"

        Could this be anymore unprofound?

        January 14, 2014 at 11:37 am |
  3. Live4Him

    Any thoughts?

    What are your thoughts on the passage which stipulates that 'unpresentable parts' are treated with special modesty? It would appear to me that a woman's breast would fall into this category.

    1 Corinthians 12:22-24 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment.


    January 14, 2014 at 10:15 am |
    • Billy

      Aren't they talking about corns and bunions?

      January 14, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • Johnny

      What makes a breast unpresentable, and who gets decide what is presentable and unpresentable?

      January 14, 2014 at 10:20 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Johnny : What makes a breast unpresentable, and who gets decide what is presentable and unpresentable?

        Good questions. Some cultures don't consider breast to be unpresentable (i.e. Africa). In these cultures, women often go around nude from the waist up. However, in America, we hold that breast are unpresentable and thus dress accordingly. I would posit that until typical Americans are going to work work nude from the waist up (men and women) then our culture considers then to be unpresentable.


        January 14, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • igaftr

          "we hold that breast are unpresentable and thus dress accordingly"

          False. There are MANY places in the us that a woman may display her breast anywhere a man can. It is only people with bad concepts about the human body. It is taught in the bible that the body should be a source of shame....just another example of where the bible is wrong.

          A woman's breasts are not in and of themselves a $exual part of the body, but there are many variations to what attracts people to each other. In Ja.pan, they would bind a womans feet to the point where a woman could not walk, because it was considered desireable. It is only people with unhealthy mindsets that can't accept nudity, especially when it is for something as natural and necessary as breastfeeding.

          Elimination of waste is a completely different subject due to the sanitation considerations, and has nothing to do with this subject. It is similar to you trying to say that you have a problem with someone breathing and comparing it to someone using the bathrrom...completely different functions.

          January 14, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • myweightinwords

      What specifically makes a woman's breast "unpresentable"?

      January 14, 2014 at 10:21 am |
      • Live4Him

        @myweightinwords : What specifically makes a woman's breast "unpresentable"?

        Some cultures don't consider breast to be unpresentable (i.e. Africa). In these cultures, women often go around nude from the waist up. However, in America, we hold that breast are unpresentable and thus dress accordingly. I would posit that until typical Americans are going to work work nude from the waist up (men and women) then our culture considers then to be unpresentable.


        January 14, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • ME II

          Moral relativism?

          January 14, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • myweightinwords

          I would posit that in American culture, the level of "presentability" of a woman's breast is nebulous at best. We range from plunging necklines and string bikinis to up-to-the-neck, and everything in between.

          That, in itself is part of the problem. We have so sexualized a woman's breasts that we have completely forgotten they are first and foremost for the nourishment of the young.

          January 14, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • Live4Him

          @myweightinwords : I would posit that in American culture, the level of "presentability" of a woman's breast is nebulous at best.

          Good point. However, I would argue that until it is acceptable to go around in public nude from the waist up, we should consider women's breast as 'unpresentable' and deserving special modesty.

          @myweightinwords : We have so sexualized a woman's breasts

          Agreed. This is the problem. However, ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.


          January 14, 2014 at 10:48 am |
    • ME II

      1) Isn't this an analogy to the body of the church, in which case what part is "unpresentable"?
      2) Why didn't finish that section:

      "...But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."

      January 14, 2014 at 10:30 am |
      • Live4Him

        @ME II : Isn't this an analogy to the body of the church, in which case what part is "unpresentable"?

        Good question. But, what is an analogy? It is the comparison between an obvious issue to a difficult issue to help explain the latter. However, if the first comparison isn't understood (i.e. practiced), then it would be pointless to use it to simiplify the more difficult issue.

        @ME II : Why didn't finish that section:

        Because this issue is about exposing breasts in public, rather than the parts of the body of Christ.


        January 14, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • ME II

          So, then all it's saying is that there was a common understanding that some parts were "unpresentable" in Corinth in the 1st century AD. What does that have to do with social norms in the US today?

          January 14, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : So, then all it's saying is that there was a common understanding that some parts were "unpresentable" in Corinth in the 1st century AD.

          Why do you think that people could be arrested for indecent exposure in most of America when going about nude – unless today's society also consider that some parts are 'unpresentable' in America. And if you look at what is acceptable to today's culture, women's breast (and in many places, men's too) are consider unpresentable.


          January 14, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • Dot

          That you consider breastfeeding "indecent exposure" tells me all I need to know.

          January 14, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • ME II

          "...unless today's society also consider that some parts are 'unpresentable' in America..."

          Ok, so it's not a Biblical thing, but a social custom/norm/law. I agree.

          Now, I would argue that decency laws are often circu.mstancial and that the function of breastfeeding mitigates any perceived "indecency" in the situation. Many states apparently agree:

          According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are about 45 states that have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in public. Twenty-eight states exempt women from public indecency charges if they breastfeed in public. And, 24 states have more laws that allow breastfeeding women to do so in the workplace. Twelve states have laws that exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty.

          And lastly, five states and Puerto Rico, including California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Vermont, have encouraged breastfeeding through education awareness and other public campaigns

          January 14, 2014 at 11:32 am |
    • Madtown

      It would appear to me......
      Shocking. I guess that's your opinion.

      January 14, 2014 at 10:46 am |
  4. Little girls like to play house. Popes and pastors, too.

    ####### 🙂 🙂 ########

    January 14, 2014 at 10:15 am |
  5. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

    There is an unwritten rule in churches whereby parents with crying babies just get up and leave the sanctuary as a mark of respect for the mass and those around them who have come to participate in the Holy Mass, to tend to the needs of a crying child.

    There are designated kid friendly areas within the church confines where families with little babies can sit and listen in.

    January 14, 2014 at 9:49 am |
    • Sanctuaries are for wild animals. No safe place on this planet.

      🙂 ****************************************************************** 🙂

      January 14, 2014 at 10:01 am |
      • Russell

        Don't post too quickly – let's think this through!
        Treating hard core christians like wild animals could have some merrit .....

        January 14, 2014 at 10:10 am |
    • ME II

      That is all true, but apparently the Pope is suggesting that if the baby is just hungry then just feeding it is also an option, i.e. quiet baby and no interruption.

      January 14, 2014 at 10:06 am |
      • Saraswati

        Yeah, it seems like it really depends on the situation. If a mother is reasonably sure that feeding the baby will quiet the child, and the feeding can be done without disturbing neighbors, then no issue. But any significant distraction should be removed from public places. If you can't hear a speaker, priest or enjoy the $100 meal you saved for what is the point. Some people have headaches triggered by noises such as crying that can last for days. People need to weigh and balance each case and not look for simple one size fits all answers.

        January 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
  6. Nora

    What a wonderful man . I think its beautiful to see a mom breast feeding her baby' anywhere at anytime ,


    January 14, 2014 at 9:40 am |
    • I see

      What about those who do not share your adoration?

      January 14, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
  7. Anthony Crispino

    I already went to a 5pm mass yesterday and made an early one today and I didn't see any breast feeding goin on. Did they fire off the cannons to make this a law everywhere already? I'm ready for the feeding frenzy – I even got a new pair of them laser vision sunglasses and my nephew Toolie said he'd watch my neighbor's hubcaps for the next few days for me.

    January 14, 2014 at 9:34 am |
    • Anthony Crispino

      Someone help me out here already. I think I confessed too much yesterday and today – I won't know what to say next time. Hey – can I confess in advance – you know, like about something I'm going to be lookin at that I shouldn't be lookin at?

      January 14, 2014 at 10:22 am |
      • Daniel

        I could be wrong, but I think you have to do it first. I don't know. Try and confess first and see if you have been "touched". If not, do the sin first and confess. Good luck with everything. Let us know how it turns out. And have fun lookin.

        January 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
  8. tallulah13

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    January 14, 2014 at 9:13 am |
  9. Jesus Christ Son of God

    So, why are we hiding food from the children? All women should not wear tops.

    January 14, 2014 at 9:13 am |
    • G to the T

      It's not against the law in Maine...

      January 14, 2014 at 9:32 am |
    • Prayer Leads To Obesity

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise. Prayer makes you fat.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer messes up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
      Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
      Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer dulls your senses.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid stuff.
      Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
      Prayer wastes time.

      January 14, 2014 at 9:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Can you show that atheism denies any obvious facts?

      January 14, 2014 at 9:17 am |
    • igaftr

      ridiculous equal to what?

      Does your god really need you to lie for him?

      January 14, 2014 at 9:39 am |
      • Atheism is equally ridiculous and deserves public mockery

        It's false and ridiculous. Fact!

        January 14, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • ME II

          You obviously don't understand the word "fact".

          January 14, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • Billy

          If it was false, you be able to easily answer Tom's question above.

          January 14, 2014 at 10:10 am |
    • Troll Is A Brainwashed christian

      Sure is!

      January 14, 2014 at 9:51 am |
  10. Brother Maynard

    What happens to babies that die prior to be baptized ?

    January 14, 2014 at 8:58 am |
    • Ashes

      Cremation or burial, why?

      January 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
  11. Baby gets better feast than dad. He gets a shot of wine and a wafer.

    >>>>>>>>>> 🙁

    January 14, 2014 at 8:57 am |
  12. mungo

    Breast feeding??? It's just not natural.!!!

    January 14, 2014 at 4:50 am |
    • Steve

      Did someone really say breast feeding is not natural?!?!? It's one of the most natural things in life. Do people think that formula and bottles existed before the early 1900's? No! Women have been breast feeding since the dawn of man. Get real, yes women should cover it up but its the most natural thing a woman has with a child. People need to stop being so closed off and sensitive.

      January 14, 2014 at 6:07 am |
      • Reality # 2

        Mungo was no doubt being sarcastic !!!

        January 14, 2014 at 7:58 am |
  13. Keith

    What a guy, this pope is great, I love the possibilities he is opening the Church to.

    January 14, 2014 at 12:50 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Opening up indeed with the following disclosures:

      Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

      Added details available upon written request.

      A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      January 14, 2014 at 8:00 am |
      • Ah

        even if there was a crucifixion, Pilate demanded all jews on crosses remain. Even after there are only bones left.

        More so, during the 'jesus' time, jews were rebelling. Many were arrested as a jesus might have been, a common thing at he time. And when you are down,, create a hero. people still do that today.

        January 14, 2014 at 8:21 am |
        • Reality # 2

          "even if there was a crucifixion, Pilate demanded all jews on crosses remain. Even after there are only bones left."

          Please give reliable references supporting your statement.

          January 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
      • Keith

        No matter how I feel about the things you wrote, I like this pope. He is doing things that will make life in the church better. He is also doing things that will make folks like you that seem so offended not feel like you are an outcast because of your beliefs. I do not belong to any religion. You are making many erroneous assumptions about the religions that you know very little about.

        January 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Only for those interested in a religious update:

          1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

          “New Torah For Modern Minds

          Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

          Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

          The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
          Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

          2. 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:

          Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

          2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

          Current problems:
          Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

          3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

          This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

          And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

          Current crises:

          The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

          4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

          The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

          Current problems:

          The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

          5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

          "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

          Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

          Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

          Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

          January 14, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • Keith

          Did you think that was going to make any difference to me?

          January 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • RC@Reality # 2

        How many times are you going to copy and paste that same post? Not sayin' your wrong, but come up with something new once in awhile.

        January 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          First, the comment was an answer for Keith's desire to know about religion. He unfortunately expressed no interest. Normally, I start with "only for the new members of this blog" when the comment is not posted as an answer.

          And of course there is this:

          o Reiteration is great for the learning process. As is reading and rational thinking followed by conclusions based on all of it.

          January 14, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
  14. brian

    Does anyone listen to a pope anymore?

    January 14, 2014 at 12:34 am |
    • No Evidence

      Still lots of brainwashed people in the world.

      January 14, 2014 at 8:12 am |
  15. Vstarguy

    I posted my comment...it disappeared...screw it!

    January 14, 2014 at 12:28 am |
    • Russell

      I try to post the exact same thing – or something more offensive – when I get deleted for expressing my opinions.

      January 14, 2014 at 10:09 am |
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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.