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Archbishop's $2 million mansion gone with the wind?
The $2.2 million mansion where Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory resides -- for now.
April 2nd, 2014
11:17 AM ET

Archbishop's $2 million mansion gone with the wind?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Facing sharp criticism for falling out of step with Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Atlanta has apologized for building a $2.2 million mansion on land bequeathed by the family of a famed Southern writer.

Atlanta's Archbishop Wilton Gregory said he approved construction of the 6,000-square-foot home after agreeing to leave the traditional archbishop's residence to make way for priests who serve the cathedral next door.

Gregory moved into the mansion in January.

"What we didn’t stop to consider, and that oversight rests with me and me alone, was that the world and the Church have changed," Gregory wrote Monday in the archdiocesan newspaper.

The archbishop's apology began by citing an e-mail from a Catholic woman who chided Gregory for failing to follow "the example of a simple life as Pope Francis calls for."

Gregory said he agrees and will consult church leaders about selling the mansion, which sits in Atlanta's upscale Buckhead neighborhood.

“The example of the Holy Father, and the way people of every sector of our society have responded to his message of gentle joy and compassion without pretense has set the bar for every Catholic and even for many who don’t share our communion.”

The archbishop's apology comes just days after the Pope accepted the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, also known as the "Bling Bishop," who spent $42 million renovating his residence in Limburg, Germany.

Since his election last year, Francis has repeatedly urged Catholics to focus on income inequality and the suffering of society's marginalized. "Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor," he has said.

The Pope himself has eschewed many of the trappings of papal life, living in a small apartment in the Vatican guesthouse instead of the sumptuous apartment in the Apostolic Palace and driving a small car instead of a limousine.

Francis' example has put pressure on American bishops to adopt similarly austere lifestyles and emboldened rank-and-file Catholics to call them out if they fall short.

In the past year, Archbishop Jon Myers of Newark, New Jersey, has been criticized for planning $500,000 to outfit his retirement home with a elevator, exercise pool, hot tub and library.

Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden, New Jersey was slammed for spending the same amount on a mansion in Woodbury, while presiding over one of the state's poorest cities.

Catholics in Charleston, West Virginia, have written to the Pope's ambassador, asking him to probe construction costs, including $7.5 million spent on the chancery, the diocese's central offices, according to the Charleston Gazette.

In Atlanta, Gregory said he had received "many ... heartfelt, genuine and candidly rebuking" e-mails, phone calls and letters during the past week. 

"I failed to consider the impact on the families throughout the Archdiocese who, though struggling to pay their mortgages, utilities, tuition and other bills, faithfully respond year after year to my pleas to assist with funding our ministries and services," the archbishop said. 

Gregory said he will meet later this month with church councils to ask for "candid guidance" on whether to sell the abode, which was built on land donated by Joseph Mitchell, the nephew of "Gone With the Wind Novelist" Margaret Mitchell.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (345 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    why won't your god show himself and put an end to all doubt? Why the childish games?

    April 2, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
    • bostontola

      I thought God was timeless. Why would His personality and character change over time? He was quite demonstrative, even flamboyant back in the day. Now He is shy beyond compare. He involved Himsaelf in human affairs, even tilting battles. The great flood couldn't have been a bigger demonstration.

      But God isn't bound by human time, why the rapid changes in His own character?

      April 2, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
      • hotairace

        I guess gods don't like paparazzi or maybe it's cameras they don't like.

        April 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
  2. thefinisher1

    Wanna know how atheism is a religion? All they have is hope, faith, and a bunch they are right and everyone else is wrong. Instead of informing the masses about science and evidence, they go the childish way-attacking and mocking and flaming beliefs they consider dumb. Today's atheists don't use logic or reason. It's all a lie they invented to help them cope with what they cannot face.

    April 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
    • CS

      thefinisher1

      I am an atheist and I feel confident saying your entire post is wrong (strange really). You are entitled to your opinion though.

      April 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Most atheists act exactly like the people they mock and hate. It's strange but true. Logic and reason is dead in today's form of atheism.

        April 2, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • CS

          Again I disagree with you. That doesn't mean no atheists behave badly on the blog, but I think you are mistaking frustration for hatefulness. Every atheist I know (that I can think of) is happy to be friends with the religious as long there is MUTUAL respect.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Internet atheists are dangerous fundies. Their hate is strong and growing. Atheism is false. Give it up.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • CS

          What is wrong with atheism? I don't understand your opinion.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheism is false. It's a fact.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • kudlak

          thefinisher1
          If you want people to give up atheism, try making a better case for your God being real. I don't know about you, but I can't just decide to believe in something that I know just doesn't make any sense.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheism itself doesn't make any logical sense. It's false. Evidence is in the pudding, silly! 😀😜😀😀😄

          April 2, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Finisher
          Why don't you go back to using your other name "Atheism is not healthy blah blah blah"
          But I guess it can be difficult to keep track of the myriad handles you use for trolling.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Evidence to your claim, doc?

          April 2, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I have evidence.
          The same kind of evidence that believers have for the existence of Abraham's God.
          Just open your heart to The Truth of your own trolling and it shall be revealed to you beyond any doubt.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • kudlak

          thefinisher1
          So, you have some special pudding evidence for God being real?

          April 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheists can't stop lying! You have no evidence because if you did, religion would be gone already. Thus your "claim" is meant to troll and inflame. Stupid troll thinks he can fool people. LOLOLOL!!! My sides hurt now!

          April 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • CS

          @thefinisher1

          You never answered my question. What is wrong with atheism?

          Also you are contradicting yourself. You say that Atheism doesn't exist, but then turn right around and talk about how it is wrong. I don't understand you.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • kudlak

          thefinisher1
          Do you ask a jury to provide their own evidence to support their judgment? I, for one, don't claim to know that there are no gods anywhere. I'm just not convinced by your claim that God is real. Nobody needed (or could) prove that the Greek gods weren't real, but that didn't stop people from losing faith in their being real, right? Same goes for about 99.99% of all gods, and the numbers for your God are dropping too. Sorry if pointing that out inflames you.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          How do you know what I believe? Assuming isn't logical. Present evidence to your assertion on what I believe.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • kudlak

          thefinisher1
          By your attack on us I assume that you're not an atheist. Am I wrong?

          April 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
    • hotairace

      You are just upset because science objectively explains things without reference to any god. What really gets you is that even though science does not seek to disprove any god, the more science increases our knowledge of the natural world, the less room there is for any (alleged but never proven) god to hide. Enjoy your delusions, but please keep your insanity away from innocent children.

      April 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        That's YOUR interperation of what science finds. Again, it's YOUR belief. Just admit you're wrong and life gets better😜😊😀😊😙😊😜😃

        April 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • hotairace

          Those are my beliefs and I might be wrong, but you certainly haven't even remotely shown that.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Your opinions and beliefs are biased and NOT based on actual science. You're a child. Grow up, spoiled brat.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • kudlak

          There is only evidence and how one interprets that evidence. The scientific method is set up to eliminate human subjective bias from the interpretation of evidence. When you start with the premise that God is behind all things in nature than how is that not a biased?

          It's like assuming that every dead roadrunner in the middle of the road must have been hit on the head by an anvil dropped by a coyote riding with an ACME rocket strapped to his back.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheists are stubborn spoiled brats who won't admit they have faith. Everyone else in existence admits they have faith. Atheists are too egoistic to admit they do have faith.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • hotairace

          Yup, they are my subjective opinions but where did I claim they were not! Is your faith in your alleged but never proven god 100% or are you mature enough, evolved enough, to admit you could be wrong? Can you admit there is a non-zero probability your god does not exist? Or are you pretending to know things you do not?

          April 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • kudlak

          thefinisher1
          Are prosecutors, police and juries stubborn spoiled brats for accepting what DNA, fingerprint, video, and all kinds of other evidence indicate about who committed a crime rather than having the faith to just take the accused word that they didn't do it?

          April 2, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          You don't even know what I believe, kiddo. But yes I can admit I could be wrong. Die hard atheists won't. Care to attack them as you do to those who don't share your beliefs? Hmmm troll?

          April 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • hotairace

          Are you going to attack believers who can't or won't admit they could be wrong, azzhole? See how the childish stuff works both ways?

          April 2, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Die hard atheists criticize others the most. They attack others for saying they are right yet they convinced themselves they are right. No attacking them? Why? Why only believers? You're children. Grow up.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • hotairace

          I'll take that as a no. Hypocrite!!

          April 2, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • kudlak

          thefinisher1
          I guess that I'm not a die hard atheist then. Show me good evidence for God being real and I really don't see how I could help but believe.

          Starting by saying that you need to begin by accepting that God is real before "evidence" supporting this premise materializes simply can't be a trustworthy path towards truth because you can apply that to anything and get the same result. Start off by accepting that reincarnation is real and you'll start seeing the deja vu you experience as evidence of that, right? Put on your "God-colored glasses" and, of course, everything will start looking like God.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      there once was a finisher1
      who raved about a god and his son
      with his arguments blurred
      and his logic absurd
      verbal diarrhea from his chin it did run

      April 2, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Asinine.

        April 2, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          aren't you glad I taught you that word?

          wax on, wax off. paint the fence. well done finisher-san.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      oh my, here we go again!! How was the trip to the asylum? You were thankfully nowhere to be seen for weeks and then poof like giant rodent you're back to spread your ignorance...funny how you and Salero showed back up around the same time.

      April 2, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
  3. CS

    The fires were as a giant ocean with demons fishing using long poles. Broken souls hung from hooks, dangling above the heat, toes just touching; blistering and blistering again. Satan’s flying minions picked the bones of those well-done and the enormous iron gates were shut tight by their own weight.

    April 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
    • CS

      One of the women was pregnant as they both stared down into the deep black waters they would drown in. Holding their arms behind their backs, a small man with a red-handled dagger the length of his arm and wearing a shimmering peacock feather as a coat forced them to join the other tormented souls swimming in the oil.

      April 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
  4. davessworks

    "What we didn’t stop to consider, and that oversight rests with me and me alone, was that the world and the Church have changed," Gregory wrote Monday

    and yet the word of God hasn't changed one bit. Should have been clear as day that this isn't ok.

    April 2, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
  5. new-man

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jTKu-DV3lk&w=640&h=360]

    April 2, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • hotairace

      new-man, do you actually believe there were no hurricanes or tsunamis before The Curse?

      April 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
      • new-man

        since this is the 2nd time you're asking, I'll answer you. if you have knowledge to the contrary, let's hear it.

        April 2, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • hotairace

          No, no, no! Your man made a claim. It is up to him or you to provide supporting evidence. You/he are essentially saying that what must people consider natural phenomena are actually punishments from your alleged but never proven god, and trying to get away with that without having to substantiate anything. What's your evidence for this claim?

          April 3, 2014 at 12:37 am |
  6. CS

    The bargaining table sat in the bow of a thickly made, plain wooden boat. The table was round with a green felt top. One by one the souls came seeking good fortune. Satan looked on as the dealer tabulated a naked man’s losses. All his chips in a pile, he begs for a chance.

    The flaming pool of magma slurped in yet another pair of legs and feet as two pot-bellied men were hurled into the molten bath. Two creatures looked on; thrilled by the spectacle. One with drum and horn, face long and crude, his wooden shoes and silk robes out of place. The other walked on feet like a chicken and thought himself quite fancy with his hair of wool and blue undergarment.

    Neither frog nor human he had two arms and two legs. His body was his face and his face was their torture chamber. Two brown eyes opposed each other as they kept watch over the slaughter. He grabbed the two sides of his large round mouth and stretched it wide to fit more filthy naked sinners.

    April 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
    • G to the T

      Wow... a bible fanfic, now I've seen everything...

      April 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
      • CS

        I like that lol. fanfic of the Bible. Judgment Day fanfic.

        April 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
  7. Reality

    The solution: Stop going to church and stop giving away your hard earned money to one of the great cons of humankind !!

    April 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • CS

      The small local churches are not the problem. For example my mom and dad go to a Lutheran church in LA. They are totally dedicated man. The go and help people and do all kinds of charity work. Yes they are delusional and yes you can make a case that they are part of the problem but you argue that case effectively too. There are MANY kinds of Christians, and many of them are really nice folks and very generous and not just financially. I mean the help people. One on one stuff. Pretty cool.

      April 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
      • joey3467

        Where I live the there are a bunch of small local churches and it appears that the vast majority of them are for making the priest money and allowing him or her to live tax free.

        April 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • CS

          Preachers preach for a paycheck
          You know you do it, nothin’ to it

          People want you to lie so you try
          Make them feel good inside and help the blue hairs get by

          She can’t get her pants on herself cause of the palsy
          It’s balsy to lie and tell her to pray that away

          Acting on Sunday and counting on Monday
          The mob might just rip you up one day

          The good Lord above makes you smile
          But you’re a pile and vile

          Never take the blame
          Gods are all the same

          April 2, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • Reality

          Priests and preachers don't live tax free as they all pay income and social security taxes. Ditto for other clerics.

          http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc417.html

          April 2, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
  8. bostontola

    What bothers me is the IRS approving Daystar Television Network a Church. As a church, they don't have to expose their finances or file with the IRS. NPR reported that they took in over $200M and doled out less than $10M in grants. If they were a non-profit, they would have to disclose that to donors, as a church they don't. They fly around in a $10M corporate jet and have luxurious buildings. I'm all for churches that do charitable activities, but Daystar is quite susp'icious and out of public scrutiny. The IRS allowing this opens up the church scam even wider, this is too easy.

    April 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
    • bostontola

      oops, meant as a reply to D doG below.

      April 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
  9. Dyslexic doG

    ah yes ... the REAL reason religion got started ... greedy, self serving men needing a good story to bilk the gullible masses.

    April 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
  10. CS

    Toes barely touching the floor
    Her filthy white night gown torn and tattered
    Back arching
    Facing an invisible tormenter
    Releases a silent scream
    Eyes red and purple
    A sea of fire fills the ceiling and he is there floating
    He is smiling with arms outstretched

    April 2, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
    • kudlak

      Sounds like St Therese of Avila, by Bernini. The old girl looks like she's having the biggest, toe-curling O imaginable!

      April 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
      • CS

        What a mouth.

        April 2, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
  11. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    A yellow bird... with a yellow bill
    sat up upon...my windowsill
    i lured him in... with a piece of bread
    and then I smashed his... f*ing head!

    April 2, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
  12. colin31714

    There are some pretty fundamental objections to Catholicism that are hard to get around. Now before some believer rants back at me that I am evil, an “angry atheist”, or going to burn for all eternity in hell, please take the time to actually read and cogitate the objections.

    If you have a disagreement with a point I make, post it. However, if you only object to the fact that I said it, please understand that I do not buy into the whole “it is immoral to be skeptical of the Catholic religion” nonsense.

    1. At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire observable Universe and its billions of galaxies about 13,720,000,000 years ago (the approximate age of the current iteration of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point in our evolution from Hom.o Erectus, gave us eternal life and a soul, and about 180,000 years later, sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in Greco-Roman Palestine.

    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Greco-Roman Middle East, including Australia, North and South America, Europe, Asia, 99% of the human race, the aforementioned galaxies, the periodic table of the elements or basic medicine. One would have thought that a visitor from the creator of the Universe would visit (or at least mention) the millions upon millions of Chinese and other Asians, all the people spread throughout North, Central and South America, the Australian Aboriginals, the ancient Europeans or the Sub-Saharan Africans. Instead, his entire visit and his entire Holy Book, the Bible, is 100% concentrated on the Jews. It seems obvious to any thinking person that the Jews made God in their image and not vice-versa.

    2. This ‘all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and observing the approximately 7 billion human beings on planet Earth, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers. He also keeps his telepathic eye on them when they are not praying, so as to know if they think bad thoughts (such as coveting their neighbor) so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.

    3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence, this god will then punish those who doubt him with an eternity burning in hell. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is harbor an honest, reasonable and rational disbelieve in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.

    4. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze Age and Greco-Roman Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages. I mean, let me ask a believer this. Do you even have the slightest damn idea who any of the 100+ authors of the Bible were? Do you have any idea who complied it? Who decided what Bronze Age Jewish writings to include and what to exclude and the criteria they used? I bet you don’t.

    5. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

    6. The Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including, genocide, murder, slavery, r.ape and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.

    7. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Catholicism does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Catholicism. To the extent we reject Catholic morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Catholic. We just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.

    Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions. So is telling them it is “wrong to doubt.” This is probably why there is not one passage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant gullibility.

    8. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.

    9. When backed into a corner, Catholicism admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. This is probably the mother of all understatements. In any event, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that pixies exist is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Catholic based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 359 degrees.

    Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?

    The entire Catholic faith is not a belief in a god. It is a mere hope for a god, or, even more accurately, a simple wish for a god, no more substantial than the hope for a good future and no more universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

    April 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • hoggriffin

      At last, something I can believe in and it didn't take me a leap of faith to do it, no man is created in gods image, just plenty of gods created in mans, at least some faiths put a bit of cows and elephants in there, even some trees and the sea.

      It would ne nice to accept our own moral compasses or as I put it 'a morally correct manner' and then leave it at that, accept only detailed proven facts and then use your best judgment on the rest, its more likely to be right then listening or reading 'facts' by those who tell you to not look for them or prove them one way r the other, that's the Fox News of the religious world...Religion is more dangerous then a blind man in a room of razors, it hurts, kills and destroys more of humanity then any 'God Made' disaster.

      April 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
    • lettinggodinspire

      Dear colin31714:
      1. You are using earth years as those are what you are most familiar with, of course. Since God has been around forever, I think it is safe to assume that His time is 'counted' just a little differently from human time.
      His Son didn't just come to talk about sheep and goats, although in that agrarian/pastoral area, that WOULD make sense to use parables and comparisons to things that the people would KNOW as opposed to things they've never heard of, don't you think? Would you visit the Chinese in Beijing and expect them to have a solid comprehension of teepees and Spanish conquerors? I hope not. So why would He want to tell those folks about ALIENS from another planet, let alone that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not the other way around… And, according to the gold plates found by Joseph Smith, He DID visit other areas including the Americas where he appeared and taught natives there as well. As no one had yet traveled to 'distant lands' (that to us, now, don't seem so distant—don't apply modern thinking to ancient…), why would He decide to confuse everyone with stuff they didn't need to know at the time? That was not His message. It was to teach, bring people to know God, to be killed by man so that He could save mankind. How very 'thoughtless' of Him, don't you think?
      The Bible is not concentrated on 100% Jews, if you actually read it, many others are mentioned who are definitely NOT Jewish. But, you really just WANT to find reasons to criticize and not believe.
      BTW, the eternal life didn't get to us until AFTER His Son was sacrificed on our behalf.

      2. Yes, He is all loving and, yes, He hears prayers whether we say them out loud or not. If you want to call it telepathic because you choose not to believe it, that's fine, too. He still hears them no matter what. He keeps track of sin and good because mankind is too deep into themselves to pay enough attention. Sure would be nice if mankind could be a little bit more humane, wouldn't you agree?

      3. He didn't withhold any evidence. In fact, He did many good works and miracles—most of which did NOT appear in The Bible as we know it, because it would have taken too many books to write them all down. Thank you for not killing, not stealing, and not littering the Earth you were given. He does really appreciate it, and He does really still love you even though you feel you need 'proof' of His existence. You aren't looking for proof, so you will not find it. Look 'honestly, reasonably, and rationally", and it will be shown to you. I promise. And He loves you.

      4. Anything created by man will be forever questioned by man. Man was inspired by God to write the Bible, but of course, it was also edited and compiled by man, so things were put in and left out for various reasons… some good, some probably politically decided. That's what happens when mankind is left in charge. But, there are still many good things about the Bible and in it, and used correctly as a 'how to live' way of life even today, it will bring you many blessings and inspirations so that you can communicate directly with your Father in Heaven. Try it, or are you too afraid of being proven wrong?

      5. Everyone borrowed from EVERYONE and still do. I mean, how many different versions of outer space books/stories/articles/fiction are on the shelves today? The Muslims 'borrowed' from Christianity. Christianity 'borrowed' from other history in order to make it relational. If you write something SO totally 'out there' then people cannot relate to it, are afraid of it, won't understand it, will ignore it. At least, if there is some comfortable familiarity about it, at least MOST will give it a shot and listen even if they do not believe.

      6. It was not outdated morality at the time it was written. Even God has amended the way we are to interact with Him, so why should we do anything less? At first, God wanted sacrifices from only certain high priests chosen by Him, through Aaron's lineage. To put it in lingo you might relate to, He decided over time that it wasn't working…mankind is too full of themselves and turn on Him to their own ways, so He gave us an out. He sent His own flesh to be abused and killed to take away sin and allow us to interact with Him directly. So no more veils and altars. Just TALK to Him. That's all it takes. No big drum rolls, no subjugation of anyone, no murders, no genocide (have you noticed at all that those are favorites of those who do not believe??! So we are stuck with them… because we don't know how or refuse to treat each other in humane ways).

      7. You haven't read the Bible. If you had, you couldn't say there is no support of intelligence. Try looking at 2 Peter 1:5… or how about THE ENTIRE BOOK OF PROVERBS and King Solomon, son of King David, who was foretold to be a very wise king and ruler, and believer in God. (Check out openbible.info for more… and other sources that are 'out there' online. You just aren't looking so you can make an unfounded claim!) There's more. Look for it, if you are not afraid of being proven incorrect.

      8. And what is wrong with promoting their belief and love of God and His Son? Lesser writings have promoted worse things than that. Third person was very common, and still IS a common way of writing so that "I" does not become the first word of every sentence. That is good writing, not wrong. There were only around 40 authors involved with The Bible, and since most history at that time was done verbally, it was indeed VERY inspired for the words to be written down instead of passed on through even MORE hundreds if not thousands of years. Now there was/is a written record.

      9. Faith is not the same as belief. Did you possibly believe in Father Christmas or an Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy when young? You can believe many things, but Faith goes deeper than belief. One can have faith in our belief(s), but faith itself goes to the human core, allowing one to 'believe' something that you know to be true without needing 'proof' of it. We are ALL people of Faith, living on an Earth that is still full of hidden wonders and a universe we have barely even begun to explore. Most of it we will NEVER see, let alone understand.
      To go from not believing in the existence of any God, Hindu or other, to faith in the love and guidance and loving arms of a Father in Heaven is, indeed, a huge 'leap' for some, that takes not only that BELIEF but the FAITH that something, or someone, or a higher being is here with us even in Spirit, will comfort, will love without condition, will forgive no matter what and endlessly when we sincerely ask for it.
      I am not a Catholic, but am a Christian. Someone who has faith in the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. I do not WISH for a God, I know He exists. He gets my love and support no matter what. No baseball team could ever DREAM of that type of faith from their fans… God bless you and keep questioning. But, also keep your heart and mind open to the possibilities… He is.

      April 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
    • believerfred

      Colin
      Your father was an atheist and you are atheist. Now I do not know if your father was a militant atheist or if godlessness is simply evolving into the beast of Revelations. In a similar fashion Catholicism evolved from the truth Christ presented into an institution that erected walls to keep the light out or perhaps thinking to keep it in.
      You have created somewhat of a religion yourself founded upon philosophical naturalism. At its foundation is a miracle just as with the foundations of Catholicism. You think the miracles of faith are less credible than your miraculous origins of cellular division. You think the miracles of creation (existence) in Genesis are less credible than a quantum flux out of a weak gravitational field resulted in organic matter simply by adding a time function.
      These are just your thoughts but at least we have one thing in common ...........the miraculous.

      April 2, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
  13. bostontola

    I'd view this as a success for Pope Francis' influence. If less of the donations are squandered on luxury and spent on helping the needy, I'm all for it.

    April 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Agreed.

      He is making a juge difference.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • Akira

      I agree... I just wonder why anyone would think this is permissible under any Pope. Even Benedict, who liked his bling.

      April 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  14. ardvrk

    Yeah, I've heard that the Poop has sold the Vatican and all of the Catholic Cult's real estate holdings, and he's giving the hundreds of trillions of dollars from the sale to the world's poor & hungry.

    Oh wait – yesterday was April Fool's day, not today!!!

    April 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
  15. thefinisher1

    Why doesn't the all powerful atheist logic god do something that could have prevented this?! Atheists worship their logic god like its powerful yet it does NOTHING!!!! Atheism is a false baseless belief. Good bye atheism! Your service is no longer needed! Enjoy the dust! 😄😃😀😉😊😄

    April 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
    • ardvrk

      Why don't Christurds EVER turn the other cheek?

      ANSWER: Because they're all hypocrites.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Why do you assume I'm a Christian? Evidence? Proof? Provide your logic for your baseless assertion, kid.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
      • new-man

        ardvrk,
        what does it mean, to turn the other cheek?

        April 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "...the all powerful atheist logic god"

      Apparently you need lessons in reductio ad absurdum technique.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        It's reversed atheist logic, dumb troll.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • igaftr

          Reverse logic?
          Since there is no such thing as an atheist god, your " reverse logic" completely fails. It is like trying to make a palindrome of the city Bolton...it becomes Notlob, so it does not work, so is not logic at all.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          You atheists worship "logic" when logic is dead in today's atheism. Thus it's called "logic god" as atheists flame anything related to God. Give it up atheists. Your atheism is false.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • igaftr

          No one "worships" logic, that is absurd. Logic is a valuable tool. You clearly have thrown that tool away.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheists shout they are superior due to "logic" and as a result are better than everyone else. Thus your false logic is your logic god. Duh. stupid troll, pay attention.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And perennially at number one on my top 10 list of the most irritatingly stupid ‘arguments’ that religionists make here.

      1. Conflating atheism with belief
      eg: “Atheism is a religion” – Ummm, no, really, it’s not!
      Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby,
      Atheism is a religion like health is a disease,
      Atheism is a religion like not smoking is a habit,
      Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color,
      Atheism is a religion like off is a television channel,
      Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex act.

      Atheism has no sacred text, no orthodoxy, no rites or rituals, no houses of worship … it is neither a religion nor a faith. It is the absence of faith in God. Sure there are militant atheists, who are as zealous as believers and express a categorical belief in the non-existence of God. If you want to call those people "believers" go right ahead, but athesim is not a belief system. Atheism does not require a positive belief in the non-existence of God.

      Disbelief is not belief, it is the absence of belief.

      According to the OED, ‘atheism’ means: “Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a God.”

      April 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Militant atheism is a religion and most internet atheists are militant fundie atheists.

        April 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Rynomite

          So how do you distinguish a militant atheist from a militant religious person?

          The militant atheist says something you disagree with on an internet forum and maybe does it in a written tone that seems mocking?

          And we can contrast this to the militant religious, who fly planes into buildings and burn heretics.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheists leaders killed over 100 million people combined. Your point?

          April 2, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Atheists leaders killed over 100 million people combined. Your point?"

          The dictators I assume you are referencing may or may not have been atheists. Regardless, what they did, they did in the name of their beliefs (communism for example) not in the name of their disbelief (if they did indeed disbelieve). So I don't believe it's a valid comparison. The 9/11 hijackers were doing what they did as a direct result of their religious beliefs.

          April 2, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • Akira

          They did it in the name of atheism?

          No.

          Next.

          April 2, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Never said "in the name of atheism", stupid troll. Nice try but you failed.

          April 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Akira

          So I gave you a little information. You learned something.

          Next.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • kudlak

          thefinisher1
          If they didn't do it in the name of atheism why mention that they were atheists at all? Both Hitler and Stalin had mustaches, but since nether one of them had people killed in the name of having a mustache, why does it matter?

          April 2, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "most internet atheists are militant fundie atheists"

        I'll stipulate that there is a lot of truth to that statement. Many "internet atheists" are indeed anti-theists. But not all.

        I'll also agree with Vic's earlier posting that attacking belief for the sake of attacking belief (rather than a specific point made by a poster) is unecessary.

        Your posts are just as ugly and hateful as those of the anti-theists.

        April 2, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • kudlak

        thefinisher1
        What's a militant fundie atheist?

        "Militant" because they're unafraid to talk about why they don't believe in gods?

        Since the only thing that characterizes atheist belief is a lack of belief in gods, would a "liberal" atheist actually believe in some gods?

        April 2, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
    • Vic

      That is so ironic, I was just criticizing this approach by another poster earlier @ 11:50 am. I wonder if this was meant as a reply to a provocative stance.

      April 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        No Vic, it is just the same meanness of spirit that frustrates you when you see anti-theists attack someone's beliefs rather than their comments or ideas.

        There are plenty of so-called "Christians" with the same meanness of spirit who lurk on the internet spoiling for a fight.

        April 2, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
      • Akira

        Unless you and the finisher are the same person, Vic, unlikely.

        He has done this under different names. He became thefinisher when they started the log ins.

        April 2, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
  16. new-man

    It's God who Blesses people, and He Blesses abundantly. There is no lack in heaven, and for those who live the kingdom, there should be no lack here in earth as His words tell us to pray this way – thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

    Perhaps what the RCC can do is begin investing in businesses so every member and those in need globally, has access to all the provisions that the leaders are privy to.
    ex. in some places where there are refugees, instead of housing them in camps in sub-human conditions, they could open the expansive buildings available to these people so they can feel loved, accepted, and cared for until their situations are reversed.

    April 2, 2014 at 11:40 am |
    • igaftr

      What you call "his words" were written by men. It is just as likely Satan inspired them as god since neither can be shown to exist. You present nothing but baseless belief.

      Hopefully, you will join us in reality.

      April 2, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • Vic

        I see this as a common theme here. Instead of discussing the premise of the post, many people are just focused on attacking the belief, good grief!

        April 2, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Vic,

          Just for you I discussed the stupid premise of the post. Feel better now?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • Vic

          That's the way it should be. You only ridicule imposition.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • new-man

          Vic,
          you're correct. remember,
          "Principalities work through personalities" – doesn't mean they're demon possessed, it just means they work through people.

          every moment of the day, they're busy mocking, scorning, blaspheming the Word of God. Yeah, we get it, you don't believe, that's your business. However, don't expect to mock and ridicule and name call and expect the other cheek to be turned – because you have no clue what the verse actually meant.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • igaftr

          As if your posts are on topic. How is your daily declaration of who you think is a lord on topic?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • igaftr

          "blaspheming the Word of God."
          Incorrect. First you have not shown anything to be the "word of god", and second, how is questioning the same as blaspheming?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • ausphor

          Vic
          We ridicule on the advice of Thomas Jefferson, get over yourself.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • new-man

        igaftr,
        you are existing in your own physical reality devoid of the spiritual (The Holy Spirit), and understandably this is all you can speak of, because it's the limits of YOUR reality. I do not exist in your reality; and no one else for that matter, so you can only speak for yourself.
        you speak from the abundance of your heart, so take a good look at the words coming from your mouth- they're not life.
        life and death is in the power of your tongue- you are very quick to sow discord, disharmony, and willful distortion. but remember, you can only reap what you sow. think on these things.

        April 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • igaftr

          newman
          there is no sign of any deities, no evidence anywhere. Your book was written by men, and it is just as possible that satan inspired it as any gods.
          your belief is completely baseless, as is the belief in anything "spiritual"

          Think about the FACT that you have nothing to base your belief on, except for the words of other men, in a book that has been shown to be wrong in too many places for the remainder to be accepted on faith.
          Faith gains you no knowledge.

          April 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • new-man

          igaftr,
          we all have the same evidence of God.

          But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated

          April 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • hotairace

          There is no more actual evidence for the god of The Babble than there is for Ra, Thor, Zeus or Athena. Why do you believe in your god and no others!

          April 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • igaftr

          "we all have the same evidence of God."
          Exactly. None, zero, complete and total lack of any evidence whatsoever.
          Since there are many other possibilities other than "god" your belief is based on your choice to believe one possibility out of an infinite number of other possibilities.
          You belief has absolutely nothing that can be verified, so you very well could be following Satan's word. The bible could just as easily have been inspired by Satan, and you are following his word.
          The fact is, you do not know, you have just chosen one belief, belief gains you nothing.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • new-man

          there are many possibilities and yet there is only ONE TRUE GOD.

          you can deny all you want, but you and every person alive are surrounded by evidence of God's creation.

          since you seem to know a lot about the god of this world, I will leave you with this: "there is always a clear line between the kingdom of Light (God) and the kingdom of darkness (satan) and across that line is always the noise of doubt."

          so while you continue willfully sowing seeds of deception, strife, mockery etc. to your flesh (while ignoring your spirit) you can only reap a harvest of corruption all the while complaining where is God if He truly exists.
          it's not good enough to just be highly opinionated yet ignorant soul. You are a spirit dwelling in a physical body, not the other way round.

          deny what you understand, not what you have no concept of.

          April 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • igaftr

          newman
          There are over 400 "one true" gods.
          If you believe the bible, then you know there must be other gods, so you are also not a monotheist.
          Even your god acknowledges other gods exist, otherwise, he wouldn't have commanded you to worship him above the others.
          Just that one thing alone should convince you that it was made up by men.

          April 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • igaftr

          newman
          ""there is always a clear line between the kingdom of Light (God) and the kingdom of darkness (satan) and across that line is always the noise of doubt."

          That is hilariously wrong. Light and dark are simply two words describing the same energy, just showing different levels of the same thing. It is one of the worst examples to have chosen from, since it is completely wrong.

          The only time it is not wrong is when you do laundry and seperate the light from the dark, so is that quote referring to laundry day? If not, it is completely wrong.

          April 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Perhaps what the RCC can do is begin investing in businesses"

      What, you mean like the stock market? I'm sure they (or at least their money managers) do.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
    • Vic

      I believe "Rescue Missions" are a perfect approach for that.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • Akira

        I don't know if you're aware of this, but I believe the RCC leads the way in rescue missions...

        April 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "in some places where there are refugees, instead of housing them in camps in sub-human conditions, they could open the expansive buildings available to these people"

      Does the RCC have many palaces in Syria or South Sudan?

      Or are you suggesting that they should put cots in the Sistine Chapel? (Somehow I don't think there are that many "sub-human camps" near the Vatican in Rome.)

      April 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
    • G to the T

      "It's God who Blesses people, and He Blesses abundantly."

      By this logic, rich people are rich because they are more holy and poor people less so?

      Either way, I would have less issues with Christian charities if prostelytizing wasn't often part and parcel of the "aid" being provided.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
    • ardvrk

      Why are Christurds such greedy Capitalists?

      If this is such a CHRISTIAN NATION like you yammering ninnies keep lying about – why are there poor people, then? Why are there homeless people? Why don't you Christians open ALL of your churches and house the homeless?

      If even ONE person dies from hunger or malnutrition while you GREEDY Christurds have even one gold candlestick on an altar somewhere – you've proven you're all fake.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
  17. Sean

    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal."
    Matthew 6:19

    April 2, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • Sean

      Priests and Pastors are called to live a life of piety. An opulent lifestyle by those in leadership positions inside the church is contrary to scripture.

      April 2, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • Akira

        It is rampant through out the different denominations, most notably the prosperity churches.

        April 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • fortheloveofellipsis

        Oh, you mean like Joel Osteen owning a church that used to be a sports arena, Sean? Funny that you don't seem to mention that on...

        April 2, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
    • ardvrk

      Yeah – he when he mentioned THIEVES, he was talking of priests, bishops, cardinals and the Poop.

      April 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    same as it's ever been ...

    April 2, 2014 at 11:33 am |
  19. Vic

    My 2.2 cents:

    EXACTLY!

    April 2, 2014 at 11:33 am |
  20. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Not as bad as the Bishop of Limburg but a traditional problem with the RCC.

    April 2, 2014 at 11:24 am |
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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.