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Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions
Pope Francis speaks at St Peter's square on December 11, 2013.
March 5th, 2014
10:04 AM ET

Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions

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

(CNN) - Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions.

The Pope reiterated the church's longstanding teaching that "marriage is between a man and a woman." However, he said, "We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety."

States, for instance, justify civil unions as a way to provide economic security to cohabitating couples, the Pope said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Seraan Italian daily. State-sanctioned unions are thus driven by the need to ensure rights like access to health care, Francis added.

A number of Catholic bishops have supported civil unions for same-sex couples as an alternative to marriage, including Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010, according to reports in National Catholic Reporter and The New York Times.

Behind closed doors, pope supported civil unions in Argentina, activist says

But Wednesday's comments are "the first time a Pope has indicated even tentative acceptance of civil unions," according to Catholic News Service.

Later on Wednesday, a Vatican spokesman sought to clarify the Pope's remarks.

"The Pope did not choose to enter into debates about the delicate matter of gay civil unions," said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant to the Vatican press office.

"In his response to the interviewer, he emphasized the natural characteristic of marriage between one man and one woman, and on the other hand, he also spoke about the obligation of the state to fulfill its responsibilities towards its citizens."

"We should not try to read more into the Pope’s words than what has been stated in very general terms," Rosica added.

Pope Francis, who marks his first year in office on March 13, has sought to set a more tolerant tone for his 1 billion-member church and suggested that a broad range of topics are at least open for discussion.

In January, the Pope recalled a little girl in Buenos Aires who told her teacher that she was sad because "my mother's girlfriend doesn't like me."

"The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand," the Pope told leaders of religious orders, adding that the church "must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them."

The Vatican later denied that those comments signaled an opening toward same-sex unions.

Last June, Francis famously refused to judge gay priests in comments that ricocheted around the world. He has also said that the church should not "interfere" in the spiritual lives of gays and lesbians.

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

Support of same-sex unions of any type is fiercely contested by many Catholic church leaders.

In Wednesday's interview, Francis also addressed several other controversial issues, including the Catholic Church's ban on contraception, the role of women and the devastating clergy sexual abuse scandal.

On contraception, the Pope praised Pope Paul VI for having the "courage" to "go against the majority" when restating the ban in 1968. But, Francis said, the church must also be "merciful" and "attentive to concrete situations."

Contraception and church's ban on divorced Catholics receiving holy communion, will likely be addressed at major meetings of Catholic bishops in Rome in 2014 and 2015.

“We must give a response. But to do so, we must reflect much in depth,” the Pope said Wednesday.

On the role of women in the church, an issue of particular concern to Catholics in the United States, the Pope hinted that changes could be in the works.

"Women must be present in all of the places where decisions are taken," Francis said in the newspaper interview, but the church must consider more than "functional" roles for women. To that end, Catholic leaders are engaged in "deep reflection" on women's role in the church, he said.

On the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, a scandal that has rocked the church in the United States, the Pope said the abuse has left "very deep wounds" on victims.

In response, the church has done more than other institutions to be open and transparent about sexual abuse by its employees, Francis said. “But the Church is the only one to be attacked."

A United Nations panel criticized Catholic leaders last month in a hard-hitting report on clergy sexual abuse.

The report said the Vatican "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.”

The Vatican said it would study the U.N. report.

Kick out those who sexually abuse children, U.N. panel tells Vatican

On Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who has surprised church-watchers with public appearances after saying he would live a cloistered life in retirement, Francis said he considers his predecessor a "wise grandfather."

"The Pope Emeritus is not a statue in a museum," Pope Francis said. Rather, the two men have decided that Benedict should participate in the church's public life rather than live a shuttered life.

"I thought about grandparents who with their wisdom, their advice, strengthen families and don't deserve to end up in an old folks home," Francis said.

Finally, he may sometimes wear a cape, but don't call Pope Francis a Superman, the popular pontiff said.

"To paint the Pope as a sort of Superman, a kind of star, seems offensive to me," Francis told Corriere della Sera. "The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps soundly and has friends like everyone else. A normal person."

Earlier this year, graffiti depicting a muscle-bound and flying Francis appeared on walls near Vatican City, but the Pope said Wednesday that he doesn't like the "mythology" surrounding his papacy, which marks its first anniversary on March 13.

For instance, Francis debunked the idea that he sneaks out of the Vatican at night to feed the homeless.

"It never occurred to me," he said.

(CNN's Delia Gallagher assisted in translating Pope Francis' remarks from the Italian.) 

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Discrimination • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,591 Responses)
  1. Doris

    “Theology is ignorance with wings.”

    “The problem with religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.”

    –Sam Harris

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWJfdRpHWuk

    March 6, 2014 at 12:44 am |
    • bootyfunk

      very well said.

      March 6, 2014 at 1:32 am |
  2. chackothomas

    Reblogged this on chackothomas.

    March 5, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
  3. olliepee2014

    This Pope is Satan in a mitre.

    March 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
    • pmdww2

      This Pope is a true Christian and the future of the Catholic Church.

      March 5, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
    • bemd1bemd

      Actually.....finally there is a Christian leader who is actually a Christian. How novel is that?

      March 6, 2014 at 12:03 am |
    • onlylowercaseletters1

      You are the definition of Satan.

      March 6, 2014 at 12:42 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      God-Satan...one in the same really. In fact god is the bad guy, whereas satan has never been noted to have done any wrong. Maybe the pope is worshiping the correct imaginary dude and the rest of you have it wrong.

      March 6, 2014 at 6:25 am |
    • fintronics

      ..."a true Christian ..."

      Love that one!..... who is the one that's true to mythology..

      March 6, 2014 at 8:19 am |
  4. shawbrooke

    Many – likely most – churches would support civil unions, and few churches would work against them. Since when though, has anyone suggested civil unions?

    Many churches would likely let gay marriage go unopposed IF there was a system of freedom of individual conscience and group polity. What I mean by freedom is that individuals and groups (NOT exclusively religious groups) have the right to decide who they would marry. But that's never been offered.

    Until now, if a bakery turned down a contract, that was their loss. But now, gay rights wants the right to demand that every bakery bake a cake on demand. When the new system where those providing services have no say in their own actions comes in, churches will have two choices, marry all or marry no one. Churches have survived without marrying people before, and the sense of persecution might even cause the church to grow. But giving up freedoms seems un American and also confining, and they will not accept less freedom easily. Would you??

    March 5, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "But that's never been offered."

      It doesn't need to be offered, no one is suggesting churches would be forced to marry anyone. And if you had a clue about the Bill of Rights you would understand this.

      The Catholic churc doesn't recognize divorce, and the gov't can't and won't force them too.

      Please, please take a Civics class.

      March 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
    • bemd1bemd

      Churches have always been allowed to determine who they would or would not marry. Bakeries, on the other hand are not allowed to discriminate against a whole group.......for example, they cannot say they will not serve Jews or blacks, or women without their husbands. Nothing new there.

      March 6, 2014 at 12:05 am |
      • shawnie5

        It is not a group they are objecting to serving but a particular event. If you're going to discuss the issue at least frame it correctly.

        March 6, 2014 at 7:46 am |
    • bootyfunk

      speaking of freedom, we have a right to free commerce in this country. you can't turn someone away (unless they are committing criminal activity) because they are a different race, gender, religion, s.exual orientation and so on. so maybe you should ask yourself if you will accept less freedom by making it okay for someone to turn a patron away because they are physically or mentally disabled. would you fight for the right to segregate and call it 'freedom'?

      March 6, 2014 at 1:37 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      "gay rights wants the right to demand that every bakery bake a cake on demand"

      So do hetero couples, should a gay couple be allowed to turn away them? Should a Doctor be allowed to refuse treatment based on his/her religious beliefs?
      If you don't want your rights taken away, don't take away other peoples rights...quite simple really.

      March 6, 2014 at 5:07 am |
    • joey3467

      If they don't ant to get sued for refusing to make cakes for gay weddings then all they have to do is refuse to make cakes for all weddings. Of course that would cut into their bottom line, and since most of these folks care more about money than they do their religious beliefs, they will never take that approach.

      March 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
  5. gent49

    Ya think Pope is going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah for God's having destroyed them with fire and brimstone? Hell no! More like the Pope is going to have to apologize to God for royally screwing up, and if he doesn't, then he will be the one going to Hell.

    March 5, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
    • bemd1bemd

      Luckily the only punishment for your type of stupid is hell on earth.

      March 6, 2014 at 12:02 am |
  6. lewcypher

    ""The church could support same s e x unions"

    That's like thinking you need Gandalfs blessing to climb the Misty Mountain

    March 5, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
    • ckeev

      Thankfully true believers in Jesus will never accept what is not true according to the scripture. It doesn't matter if it's the Pope or an angel from heaven that says otherwise, God's truth will endure forever.

      March 5, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
      • observernow

        ckeev,

        Do you CHOOSE negative verses about gays (NEVER mentioned by Jesus) or CHOOSE the MORE IMPORTANT Golden Rule when dealing with gays?

        March 5, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        That's nice. Except scholars know that every word and every law, and every injunction in the Bible originated in the culture, and was taken by religion from culture into their texts. NOTHING came from a deity to (religion), and then to culture. So if it's ANYTHING, it's culture's "truth". NOTHING in the Bible is original to the Bible or religion.

        March 5, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • Austin

          Bucky. Was that your best at diabolical mimicry?

          Who created satan?

          Nice try.

          March 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • observernow

          God created Satan. It was one of his first creations.

          March 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • sam stone

          man created satan, austin. man created god, heaven, hell, sin and redemption. all man made mythology. and you suck it up like a streetwalker when the fleet is in town

          March 6, 2014 at 5:55 am |
      • realbuckyball

        BTW, it ALL changed. St. Paul said they were no longer subject to the Old Law. So much for lasting forever. There are many levels of abominations. SO you never eat pork, drink blood, you kill your disobedient children, and you never wear plaids ?
        Oh you do ? So you pick and choose, and decide which of "god's truths" you like and don't like. How nice.

        March 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
        • Austin

          Ya but the xhurch is the bride of christ and gay lifestyle is condemned as other sins are especially the habutual lifestyleof the sin. It says habituals are turned over to satan for the destruction of the flesh.

          The old testament was law and condemmation or curse of punishment. Christ being the final lamb of atonement brought perpetual forgiveness. The adultering woman was forgiven not stoned. BuT God commanded her to repent.

          Adultery and hom.os.exuality is still a sin that everyone is commanded to flee from and repent.

          Se.xual sins.are serious sins against ones self defiling.the inner spirit as well.

          March 6, 2014 at 12:28 am |
        • observernow

          Austin

          Still STUMPED about what Jesus said?

          Please list EVERYTHNG Jesus said about gays. He said plenty about heteros and much of it was bad.

          Show us how much of the Bible you have ACTUALLY read.

          March 6, 2014 at 12:30 am |
        • sam stone

          "Se.xual sins.are serious sins against ones self defiling.the inner spirit as well."

          Said the man who is not getting laid.

          March 6, 2014 at 5:57 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "Said the man who is not getting laid."

          That's a good thing. We wouldn't want him procreating and harming an innocent child with his delusions. In fact I would suggest he see a Doctor and request they perform a vasectomy.

          March 6, 2014 at 6:23 am |
      • bemd1bemd

        True believers don't try to justify their personal prejudices by hiding behind a poor interpretation of the Bible.

        March 6, 2014 at 12:11 am |
      • lewcypher

        which god?

        March 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
  7. Doris

    On January 24, 2013, the traveling exhibition Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible opened at the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University.

    The keynote talk for the opening: "What Kind of a Text is the King James Bible? Manuscripts, Translation, and the Legacy of the KJV" was presented by Dr. Bart Ehrman, James A. Grey Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill (PhD, magna cum laude from Princeton Theological Seminary).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehnEZtqj2Mo

    March 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
  8. Austin

    Revelation 19:13
    King James Version (KJV)
    13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

    ohn 1
    King James Version (KJV)
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    2 The same was in the beginning with God.

    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

    6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

    7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

    8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

    9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

    10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

    11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    March 5, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
    • sbp61

      There shall in that time be rumors of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia-work base, that has an attachment. At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o'clock.

      and the bezan shall be huge and black, and the eyes thereof red with the blood of living creatures, and the hoore of Babylon shall ride forth on a three-headed serpent, and throughout the lands, there will be a great rubbing of parts. Yeeah...

      for the demon shall bear a nine-bladed sword. NINE-bladed! Not two or five or seven, but NINE, which he will wield on all wretched sinners, sinners just like you, sir, there, and the horns shall be on the head, with which he will...

      March 5, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
      • Doris

        [ cue Ozzy ]

        March 5, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "What is this .....that stands before me....?"

          Love Ozzy

          March 5, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Very good Austin...you've learned to copy and paste from your favorite book of fairy tales...did you want a gold star for that??

      March 6, 2014 at 5:19 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Oops, guess I missed where Austin had learned this small easy thing earlier. At least it wasn't one more of his delusions, just some other persons delusions this time.

        Austin: Would you like us to locate a cave for you so you can return to 1st century living? You seem to enjoy it there, so feel free to go back....I'm guessing they would have no more tolerance for your lunacy then anyone else does.

        March 6, 2014 at 5:30 am |
        • sam stone

          Don't listen to these sinners, Austin, they are spiritually dead, they are lost.

          Go off now to meet jeebus. Dance on the highway during rush hour, or, better yet, during the dark of night.

          you can have your head in jeebus's lap in no time, as long as you can drag jerry fartwell and tammy faye off of him

          March 6, 2014 at 6:02 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You forgot to remind him to be dressed completely in black while dancing at night. 🙂
          I have to wonder if his Mommy has to label every article of clothing with F-B and R-L.

          March 6, 2014 at 6:08 am |
  9. Doris

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuVKZCb9N4o

    March 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
    • Austin

      I have read enoch macabees jubilees jasher. Many others

      I have apochrypha and banned from the bible. Both compilations of joseph lumpkns additions.

      Knowing that we have what we are intended to have is a great feeling.

      The bible is supernatural in content . Propheticallly miraculous and genius.

      HE IS RISEN and Has written His word to man.

      March 5, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        If he existed, he was a mere man, nothing special and he didn't return from the dead. I get that hearing the truth makes you cry and get angry, thus in turn making you spew nasty remarks and use words out of context but it is time to leave the fairy tales and imaginary friends behind with your childhood and join the 21st century.

        March 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • cyprian2

          How do you know that,"TruthPrevails1"? Where you there? Have you ever been dead? Who told you Jesus was/is a "mere man"? While I understand and somewhat symphatize with unbelief,don't presume to speak on issues you have no actual knowledge of;you sound silly!.

          March 5, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          cyprian2: There is no evidence supporting the biblical story of the resurrection or miracles and we know that most of the bible can be debunked by science.
          Now before presuming you know the truth of the matter, ask yourself the same questions you just asked me. The reality here is that you believe them on faith-belief without evidence and in turn are saying evidence doesn't matter-for some of us the evidence does matter.

          March 6, 2014 at 4:45 am |
        • sam stone

          "don't presume to speak on issues you have no actual knowledge of;you sound silly"

          isn't that precisely what theists do?

          welcome to our world

          March 6, 2014 at 6:04 am |
      • realbuckyball

        Except HE never wrote anything. Humans wrote stuff. Later, human non-unanimously VOTED on what would go into the canon, AFTER Eusebius cut down the number of gospels to 4 because "there are 4 winds and 4 pillars the Earth stands on". Really. The canon is BUILT on an ancient scientific pile of doo doo.

        March 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
  10. observernow

    Congratulations to Austin!!!

    Twice asked a simple question abou the Bible that had 3 multiple choice answers and requiring only ONE LETTER, he has spammed in 74 LINES that had nothing to do with the question.

    Classic. Well done.

    March 5, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
    • Austin

      Do you believe in the resurrectiin?

      March 5, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Which one?

        March 5, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
      • observernow

        Austin,

        For someone always quoting the Bible, you must be THOROUGHLY EMBARASSED and HUMILIATED that you are CLUELESS about Jesus talking about the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT.

        Wow!

        March 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          All I know is I break that commandment every minute of every day.

          March 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • sam stone

          I think embarassment and humiliation have something to do with a conscience. austin drank that away long ago

          March 6, 2014 at 6:08 am |
      • realbuckyball

        Austin. If I have an event for which there is as good, or better evidence, than there is for the resurrection, do you agree to accept it ?

        March 5, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
  11. observernow

    Austin,

    Still STUMPED about what the Bible says?

    Show us how much you know about the Bible and what things are MORE IMPORTANT.

    Jesus was asked what the MOST IMPORTANT commandment was.

    Which of the follow did he NOT CONSIDER as a contender for "most important" commandment?

    (a) the Golden Rule
    (b) s3xual sins by heteros (adultery)
    (c) s3xual sins by gays.

    So what's the answer?

    March 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
    • Austin

      Austin says:
      March 5, 2014 at 11:19 am
      Water ……immersion into freedom from sin. The old man is immersed and the new man comes up. The old man never comes back without the holy spirit.

      Fire…….the judgment that the holy spirit brings to convict you.

      This is the supernatural deliverence from sin.

      Matthew
      King James Version (KJV)
      3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

      2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

      3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

      4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

      5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

      6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

      7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

      8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

      9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

      10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

      11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

      March 5, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
      • Doris

        Oh goodness – so now you're Rainer Helmut Braendlein of the corn??

        March 5, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
    • meatheist

      The answer is, "Who cares?"

      March 5, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Meat Heist,

        I like your handle!

        March 5, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
  12. lerianis

    Finally, a pope that is getting on the RIGHT side of history.... beautiful.

    March 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      So you're buying into the PR stunts too eh? The RCC is the best at this.

      March 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
    • Woody

      Finally, a pope that is getting on the RIGHT side of history.... – lerianis

      Pope Leo X (1513 -1521) got it on the "right side of history" long before the new kid on the block, with his quote:

      “What Profit has not that Fable of Christ Brought Us!”

      March 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      There will be a schism if he keeps this up. The Trad Cat-o-licks are apoplectic.

      March 5, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
  13. derado8

    What does "poe" stand for?

    March 5, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Aside from the numerous things that it is an acronym for, this is Urban Dictionaries definition:

      Poe
      A person who writes a parody of a Fundamentalist that is mistaken for the real thing. Due to Poe's Law, it is almost impossible to tell if a person is a Poe unless they admit to it.
      ie; "The Bible is true because it's the inerrant word of God! I know because the Bible says so! Glory!"
      Is this guy serious? He's got to be a poe.

      March 5, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
      • derado8

        Thank you, I was wondering. That's funny. Like Heaven Sent's posts for example I'm guessing?

        March 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • Doris

          Well the fake Heaven Sent is pretty obvious. so I would call that a parody, not so much a poe.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You're welcome. Heaven sent seems to fit the definition. Austin has been using it out of context but that isn't unexpected..he tends to use a great many words out of context.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • derado8

          To bad, I rather enjoyed being thought of as a "pervert" 😉 Fun while it lasted.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Somebody posing as an extreme fundamentalist attempting to get a hostile reaction from others.

      March 5, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Austin??

        March 5, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think he is posing as something he is not. But I don't know that much about him.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Okay. Although the thought of him being for real is rather frightening.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • Austin

          Thirty examples of spiritual revelation.

          I thought a poe was someone who is trying to get a rise out regardless of theiir lack of sincerity.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • sam stone

          James Randi is waiting. Put up or shut up, gash

          March 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
        • Austin

          I dont need randii.i have had 3 in the last two months.

          I am right where God wants me. I have prayed about the situation and He simply shows me He is at work right here.

          The.hospital the bookstore and my cousin are all local situations where God. Has spoken.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • Akira

          You have a blog, Austin. Why don't you write your daily revelations for all to see?

          March 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • observernow

          By refusing to take Randi's offer, Austin is showing that he isn't interested in showing others that God is real. He apparently isn't interested in getting ONE MILLION DOLLARS to give to his church.

          Sure.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • Doris

          "I dont need randii."

          "I am right where God wants me. I have prayed about the situation"

          Austin, Austin, Austin – please...

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drBze2m26qc

          March 5, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • Austin

          I dont pedal God for money from atheist cult.

          And proof doesnt saveyou. When the word of God testifies within you THAT will ve the seal of the Holy Spirit and your personal God and salvatin.

          Seek His voice through meditation in His word and prayer.

          HE SEES YOU. He will testify of His gift.

          March 5, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Shouting that 'he sees you' doesn't make it real, just as the stories told by you-the delusional crazy man, doesn't make them real.
          And given that you are too much of a coward to prove us wrong and in turn contact JRF, there is no justification for believing you.
          I understand you're not a poe and that is truly frightening...to think that you are serious and allowed to roam the streets unsupervised is worrisome.

          March 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • sam stone

          Sure thing, Austin.

          Another blah, blah, fvcking blah excuse from the delusional cat sqasher

          March 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
        • sam stone

          Free people do not need to be saved, Austin. Only slaves do.

          Now, get back on your knees

          March 5, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
  14. Keith

    There is no way that anyone is going to follow all the conventions on marriage in the Christian Bible. Moving toward modern understanding of the real relationships of people is great. This Pope may finally make the kind of changes that have been needed for a long time. Birth Control, divorce, etc.

    March 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      He's not gonna change anything. He can't. If he tries, they will either kill him, (like they did JP1), or refuse. There will parishes and dioceses that will join a Traditionalist movement and break off.
      What ARE you waiting for ? For them to say what you already think is ok ?

      March 5, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
      • Keith

        It is kinda like carrying water in a whicker basket, you don't ever get much water hauled but the basket gets a little cleaner each time.

        March 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
  15. Keith

    What a great Pope, this is the guy I have been waiting on for 60 years

    March 5, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      Waiting for what? So your cult finally puts someone in charge of the hordes of gold and blows the right kind of sunshine up your ass and you're all gaga.

      March 5, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
      • Keith

        No, actually I am not a member. But anytime a good leader comes along it is good for the world. Like if we elected a good president for a change, that would benefit all of the world because we might quit bombing people's houses and killing their children. So, the Catholics found a good man to run the show so perhaps they will get closer to their best selves and help some folks and get rid of the pedophiles.

        March 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
  16. cryofpaine

    Finally someone who speaks with some intelligence. I can accept that he has to move slowly, to avoid causing problems with orthodox Catholics. Baby steps. But it's still progress. I hope he'll continue to acclimate the Catholic church to a more modern viewpoint, once which recognizes the flaws of ancient dogmatic beliefs and recognizes that letting them go doesn't mean letting go of the core of your faith.

    March 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • ckeev

      Hilarious..... so intelligence is equated with moving toward a more 'modern' way of thinking and living. Moral absolutes are what they are.

      March 5, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
      • observernow

        ckeev

        What do "moral absolutes" have to do with religion, or more specifically, the Bible?.

        March 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
      • the0g0to0the0t

        "Moral absolutes are what they are"

        Yes – ficition. Certainly there may be provisional moral absolutes, but their are no objectively absolute morals.

        March 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      Cry,

      It is not inteligence but the show of compassion and tolerance. No techings of God needs to change except to consider allowing or empowering women or gays to apread the good word of God.

      March 5, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • sealchan

      The whole story in the Bible shows change, God resists the desires of the Jews and capitulates, God establishes a covenant, then, according to the Christians (Hebrews) updates it. Jesus and St. Paul both showed that strict interpretation of the law was inferior to faith. But it is the fate of all religions that they degenerate into blind legalisms because they fear loosing the power that they have. But they have already lost. Yes, humans are imperfect, their understanding of morality changes. God may be eternal but we will never know that directly as we, fallable humans, always see a part of the whole. For us, things will always change. The church is not God (perfect). What could be more plain?

      March 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
      • Keith

        That is a great way to understand the Church, thank you

        March 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • Austin

          Wrong. Because the next appearance if Christ is the end of old earth.

          Christ fulfilled the law. And the new testament says Christ Is the word of god.rev 19:13.

          You all are perverts of the word if God. You are talking about the sin of hom.ose.xuality. it is written.
          Repent. Baptism of water and fire. Judgment.

          Ho.mo se.x ality was not stricken fromthe new testament.

          He who subtracts from the word if God attacks God himself.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • Keith

          But you see Austin you are an idiot. Your church does not follow the bible concerning marriage or many of the other old laws. Only "god" can condemn anyone. Your judgment of others is an affront to "god" and a sin.

          March 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "He who subtracts from the word if God attacks God himself."

          Austin: It is hard to attack the imaginary beings invented by man...ie; your god.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • observernow

          Austin,

          Skip all the HYPOCRISY. If you REALLY cared about sinners, you'd be spending your time with all your fellow Christians who are ADULTERERS because of divorce and remarriage.

          There are FAR FAR MORE of them than there are gays. Why waste your time here when there is a MUCH MUCH greater problem with your fellow Christians. Go save your fellow Christians who are adulterers and hypocrites.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
        • Keith

          I don't know if Austin saw your post because it posted on my comment, but I sure agree with you.

          March 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Doris

          What happens is we take the square root of the Word of God? What then?

          March 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
        • Keith

          If you are a person like me you understand that book as teaching stories that talk about "god" not the word of god

          March 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Doris

          typo: "if" not is

          March 5, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • Austin

          Observer now. We can talk about every verse. They are all written down.

          No exceptions or hipocracy.

          The bible remains clear and the pope knows it. Nothing is changing

          The word is fundamentally supernatural.

          And the word was God . All things were made through him.

          Also the new testament is all about freedom from sin and repentence.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • Keith

          Austin the "bible" is not the "Word" you really need to study something other than "Fundamentalist" doctrine.

          March 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • sam stone

          Ah, the old "jeebus is coming back" schtick, eh Austin?

          I bet you were nowhere near the bore when you were a drunk than you are now

          March 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
        • Keith

          It seems like 2000 years is too long to wait to me.

          March 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
      • observernow

        sealchan,

        Jesus convinced the "perfect" and "unchanging" God to change most of the rules.

        March 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • Austin

          You dont understand . The law was to reveal sin. Christ promised the holy spirit to his spiritual seed. That is the reason the law has become alive internally through the resurrection and personal indwelling God.

          CHRISTS permanent forgiveness is not a liscense to advocate new sins. There will not be a third covenant where .h..om o se.xuality becomes acceptable to God as a lifestyle.

          You are insane to think of God as one who appeases your sins.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
        • observernow

          Austin,

          Show us how much you know about the Bible and what things are MORE IMPORTANT.

          Jesus was asked what the MOST IMPORTANT commandment was.

          Which of the follow did he NOT CONSIDER as a contender for "most important" commandment?

          (a) the Golden Rule
          (b) s3xual sins by heteros (adultery)
          (c) s3xual sins by gays.

          So what's the answer?

          March 5, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Doris

          " There will not be a third covenant where .h..om o se.xuality becomes acceptable to God as a lifestyle."

          Looks to me like it's already here. Just in time to be in agreement with biology. Isn't that something....

          March 5, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Austin

          Observer now.....sound doctrine is in place for more than one issue.

          Austin says:
          March 5, 2014 at 11:19 am
          Water ……immersion into freedom from sin. The old man is immersed and the new man comes up. The old man never comes back without the holy spirit.

          Fire…….the judgment that the holy spirit brings to convict you.

          This is the supernatural deliverence from sin.

          You are saved from every sin .

          Reply
          Peaceadvocate2014 says:
          March 5, 2014 at 11:16 am
          Position on civil union, gay marriage, contraception, divorce should not be changed.

          Child abuse accusation is an attack by other powers to discredit the Vatican. UN is being used.

          Position on allowing or empowering women and gays to spread the good word of God should be considered.

          I do not think the Vatican should consider changing the teachings of God. I understand these issues needs to be addressed but let us address it ourselves. Do not use the Vatican, other churches or God. What we could do is be more tolerant and compassionate due to all these issues we now face. Teachings of God.

          Peace

          Reply
          Austin says:
          March 5, 2014 at 11:14 am
          Matthew 3
          King James Version (KJV)
          3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

          2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

          3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

          4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

          5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

          6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

          7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

          8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

          9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

          10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

          11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

          March 5, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • observernow

          Austin,

          lol. You spammed in lots of stuff that has NOTHING to do with the question.

          Is English a problem for you?

          Are you going to answer the question or HIDE?

          March 5, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
  17. ugetthefacts

    wow,, the pedo protector is deflecting again..

    Take care of the abused children first. Everything else you say is crap.

    March 5, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
    • ausphor

      Doesn't work that way. Bling Bishops in Germany and New Jersey look after the essentials, making sure they live like princes, that is what Frankie has to get a grip on bringing the pigs at the trough into line, living the myth of jesus not the wealthy..

      March 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
    • Keith

      It seems you are ignorant of who you are talking about. This Pope is not protecting anyone that is doing wrong.

      March 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        By not turning over the priests that have been accused then he is protecting them. He should be ousting them from the church and giving names/addresses to the police.

        March 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
        • joey3467

          And if he isn't doing that then he should be put in jail alongside the actual pedophiles.

          March 6, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • Keith

          This Pope is doing just that, as I said you have not been keeping up. Just like any other leader of anything he will not be able to make all the changes everyone would like to see but he is moving the Catholic Church in a new direction.

          March 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
  18. derado8

    Why is it the pope's business? I'm not saying that to be sarcastic but really, why?

    March 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      It is probably important to Catholics who happen to be gay and to the people that love and support them.

      March 5, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
      • ausphor

        Dala ..Truce. Turns out there is a fair number of hom-o se-xuals in the catholic hierarchy, protected by the Vatican. I would hope that the local churches would show as much acceptance.

        March 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala..
          Sorry, I made a mess of my response on previous page, as a member of ELCA, I can now understand many of your posts, not that I agree with them. As far as Christian cults go yours is one of the most reasonable, reality no, but just do no harm seems to work for you folks. Peace.

          March 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That's ok, I knew you didn't know what you were talking about. I'm not living to please you, so no worries.

          March 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dala...
          I have what I consider a clever come back to your last post but I shall refrain and let you win the day and have the last word, perhaps not in the future. Peace.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Austin

          As soon as the church changes stances.because of gays in the church

          There will be a storm.

          That church cant mess with marriage without a massive protestant reformed intervention.

          We will not allow that type of apostacy.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • observernow

          Austin,

          Get serious. Read a Bible. There's virtually no chance you support all of its positions on marriage, including FORCING marriage on people (like r@pe victims, widows with brother-in-laws, slaves, etc.) to requiring people to stay married NO MATTER WHAT.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • derado8

          Observer, I noticed that when "religion" was under attack in Arizona, nobody said a thing about Sedona. I guess "religion" just means Catholicism.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • derado8

          Posted in wrong spot, sorry.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • sam stone

          austin: get real. you will sit on your butt and do nothing except post your inane drivel on the net and think yourself pious.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • Doris

          "a massive protestant reformed intervention."

          L O L

          I'm starting to think Austin is a poe. My goodness.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "We will not allow"

          Speaking for all now Austin? Oh dear, seems you keep missing the point...you're side isn't winning any more. You can't do a thing to stop this nor can your imaginary friend...time to join the 21st century.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
        • Doris

          Let's see the other day it was "Hatred is a compulsive abusive slavery"

          now we have: "a massive protestant reformed intervention"

          No, for a moment I thought it had something to do with four words...

          Maybe he is channeling Nutsadamus, you know the brother that wasn't so hot at quatrains nor predictions...

          don't mind me I just comparing austintatious adjective groupings...

          March 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • Austin

          Observer now. The pope wont trade written doctrine and the reformed church to please gays.

          He couldnt possibly get away with that.

          I support every word of the bible put there by God .

          It is written. Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God.

          The pope cant change cannon.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • observernow

          Austin

          "I support every word of the bible put there by God "

          God believes that marriage should be FORCED onto some people even if they HATE each other.

          It's PATHETIC that you would agree with that.

          Don't trash gay marriages after that.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • sam stone

          Who wants to spend time around such a vindictive pr1ck, Austin

          If you had the slighest bit of sincerity, you would leap from the tallest building in your town to rush your time kneeling in front of the slavior

          come on, boy, you are poor, you are not getting laid, your life sucks. heaven awaits. got the stugots?

          March 5, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
      • derado8

        That's a good point. I never thought of it like that really. Honestly I'd feel like if I wasn't employed by the pope then his opinion wouldn't mean anything to me. I'm not Catholic so what do I know, but still.

        March 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm not sure why this blog (the editors?) seem to fawn over any story related to the Pope (Oh, look a Pope selfie!) while ignoring bigger and more important issues.

          March 5, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • derado8

          Lol. That's a really good point. Maybe they enjoy reading our posts where we complain about it.

          March 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • observernow

          Dalahäst,

          When a Belief Blog mainly has a book that hasn't been updated in 2,000 years, they may be happy for any news to work with.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Uh, I'm pretty sure they have current books and updated information at the Belief Blog.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • Akira

          I suppose because Catholics are the largest organized religion in the world, and the other denominations aren't doing anything newsworthy?

          March 5, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
  19. jaydavid666

    The Pope has no reason to NOT support civil unions.
    Inequality before the law is morally WRONG.
    And civil unions are civil, not church, affairs.

    March 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
    • Akira

      Agreed...
      Many marriages are performed in a civil setting, also. I don't see that they are any less marriages.

      March 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
    • derado8

      True it's got nothing to do with the pope or his career path.

      March 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
      • Austin

        True. He is trying push the situation away from church and marriage.

        March 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • Akira

          People ask him things. He answers. Period.

          March 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
    • ckeev

      your forgetting the moral side of the story.....moral law is and always should be etched in civil law.

      March 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • derado8

      Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.

      Plato

      March 5, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
      • ckeev

        Question; So is man basically good? The short answer is no. We need the God who created us and thankfully he left us His Word to help us. Sincerely seeking him, we are promised that he will reveal his Truth to us.

        March 5, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • observernow

          ckeev,

          Where do the morals come from that convince many Christians that many of the "morals' in the Bible, like slavery, etc. are actually IMMORAL?

          March 5, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
  20. bostontola

    The RCC does not rule out evolution (for the physical being), or the Big Bang. So if you graded the RCC in science on a curve of all Christians, it would get an A. Now if you were grading the RCC in ethics it wouldn't fare as well.

    March 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
    • jaydavid666

      So are you implying that scientists are unethical?

      March 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
      • bostontola

        Explain.

        March 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
      • CP

        I think jay misunderstood your post.

        March 5, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
    • commonsensed01

      By rejecting birth control, they are causing many, many deaths annually. This simple rejection of science and facts should give them an "F".

      March 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
      • bostontola

        You must have missed the "graded on a curve" part.

        March 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • Doris

        Well I certainly agree with that.

        March 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
      • southerncelt

        The Roman Catholic Church does not reject birth control, just the chemical version of it. There are many other methods. Contrary to what the author of this article says, the Church also does not deny The Eucharist to divorced people, unless they have married someone else.

        March 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • Keith

          you can be redeemed by the church for your past marriages and remarry.

          March 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
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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.