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April 23rd, 2014
03:46 PM ET

Pope stirs Communion debate with call to woman

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

(CNN) - Pope Francis called an Argentine woman married to a divorced man and reportedly told her that she could receive the sacrament of Communion, according to the woman's husband, in an apparent contradiction of Catholic law.

Julio Sabetta, from San Lorenzo in the Pope's home country, said his wife, Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona, spoke with Francis on Monday.

Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona wrote to the pontiff in September to ask for clarification on the Communion issue, according to her husband, who said his divorced status had prevented her from receiving the sacrament.

"She spoke with the Pope, and he said she was absolved of all sins and she could go and get the Holy Communion because she was not doing anything wrong," Sabetta told Channel 3 Rosario, a CNN affiliate.

A Vatican spokesman confirmed the telephone call but would not comment on the conversation's content.

"It's between the Pope and the woman," said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant for the Vatican press office.

Rosica said that any comments made by the Pope should not be construed as a change in church doctrine. "The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls."

It's not the first time Pope Francis has cold-called Catholics, who are often surprised to hear "Father Bergoglio" on the line. (Before he was elected Pope last year, Francis was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires.)

His informal style, honed during years as a parish priest, has led some to call him the "people's Pope."

Pope Francis leaves New Year's voice mail for nuns in Spain

The Pope told Jacqueline Sabetta that the Vatican would be discussing its Communion restrictions, according to her husband.

Pope Francis and other top Vatican leaders have said the issue will be discussed at a gathering of bishops from around the world in October. The Pope was not pre-empting that debate, according to Rosica.

"To draw any conclusions about this particular situation, that the Pope may be setting an agenda, is incorrect," he said. "The Pope is first and foremost an esteemed pastor, and dealing with a human situation is always complex."

However, Pope Francis has signaled that some sort of change could be on the horizon.
“I think this is the moment for mercy,” the Pope said in July when asked about divorced and remarried Catholics.

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reaffirmed church teaching in October that divorced and remarried Catholics may not receive Communion without an annulment.

Muller's clarification came after some German bishops planned to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

The issue of divorced Catholics receiving Communion forms a complex and controversial area of church law.

According to the church's catechism, "The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble."

Canon law further says, "If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery; and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself."

However, the church does allow divorced Catholics who do not remarry, as well as those whose marriages have been annulled, to receive Communion.

Church leaders like Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, a close confidant of Pope Francis', have suggested that the church cannot change its laws but could streamline the annulment process, which can sometimes drag on for years.

Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona told La Red AM910 in Buenos Aires that her husband, not she, has been divorced. That makes little difference in church law, but Lisbona told the radio station that the Pope said he'll use her letter to "support his argument."

Julio Sabetta said he and his wife have been married for 19 years and have two children.

"I'm very happy, because I’m not the only one divorced. There are a lot of people who are divorced, and I hope that … that it happens for all divorced people and all those who want to get the Holy Communion,” Sabetta told Channel 3 Rosario.

CNN's Delia Gallagher and Cindy Rodriguez contributed to this report. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Argentina • Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Ethics • Pope Francis • South America

soundoff (512 Responses)
  1. ugetthefacts

    Cathoholics enable the bishops and the pope to continue destroying already abused children. Many of these children suffer from serious life long illnesses due to the abuse cover ups. The cover ups denied them needed help. Had they received help, most have gone on to living a life to their potential. The cover ups denied the children, how low and disgusting is that???.

    Meanwhile, these same children victims and the families of the victims who committed suicide suffer as the catholic church lobbies to stop laws that would help the victims and families.

    If you live in New York State,, please call your senator and tell them you support the Markey CVA Bill. The catholic church has been successful in squashing the Bill through intense lobby efforts.

    In the catholic church's effort to stop this Bill, now ALL children abused lose,,, no matter who abused.

    April 24, 2014 at 7:32 am |
  2. mcquestion5000

    So much for the will of god and the perfect word of god, never to be changed. I like the idea that this guy is trying to be more inclusive. Maybe his next step would be a massive positive P.R. campaign begun by handing over all the pedos that are running rampant in his worldwide organization.

    April 24, 2014 at 6:25 am |
    • Reality

      Vomit-inducing cases of pedophilia are not restricted to the RCC:

      To wit:

      FEAR, SHAME and GUILT and COVER IT ALL UP, a standard response across the board with the "walking with god clerics" now forever walking with the common man–

      Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

      Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

      Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

      Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have s-ex with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy".

      Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods.

      Neither is being an atheist or pagan or football coach or teacher since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.

      If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of "neithers" they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women, football coaches, teachers), divorce for adultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice (Paterno et al Clinton, Cardinal Law) or child endangerment (Paterno in abstentia, Sandusky et al, Lynn) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder ("Kings David and Henry VIII).

      April 24, 2014 at 7:10 am |
      • ugetthefacts

        No doubt,, Then why does the catholic church lobby to stop Bills from becoming law that would expose pedos and those who cover it up?

        The only other group, one that has been found to abuse and hide, which lobbies with the catholic church does so because the catholic church pays their way.

        Why must the catholic church fight against children victims if they are not guilty?

        To the descent people who care for children, Please call your New York senators and tell them you support the Markey CVA Bill which exposes pedos and those who cover up.

        April 24, 2014 at 7:37 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have s-ex with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy".

        Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods."

        These illustrate infidelity, not child molestation. I hardly think they are relevant to your argument.

        April 24, 2014 at 11:00 am |
        • Reality

          Billy "boy" C was playing around as Bin Laden was planning 9/11. Had Billy not been distracted maybe we would have deleted BL before all the carnage.

          April 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • georgiahedrick

          And George Bush was busy rushing the Bin Ladin family out of the country, after 9/11. No President is a good president. This country is not good. Evil reigns. Just read the posts on this thread and know the truth of evil. gh

          April 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
  3. kermit4jc

    Nice to have a change in the Catholic religion....seems as if they hadn't heard of the word "forgiven" the lady who is able to receive communion is a start in the right direction..hope these folks see deeply how Jesus forgives...and how he calls all Christians to the communion table

    April 24, 2014 at 2:52 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      The only thing this man could od that would make things right completely is to turn over all the pedophiles for persecution, until that happens the Cult of Pedophiles doesn't deserve recognition. You, as a psychologist dealing with children, should know better than to support this group-unless of course you support pedophilia.

      April 24, 2014 at 5:26 am |
      • kermit4jc

        what makes you think I support this person? lol..IM not Catholic

        April 24, 2014 at 6:09 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          This "Nice to have a change in the Catholic religion" makes me think it. The changes that are seemingly taking place are merely to keep people in the pews and cover up the biggest issue possible.
          And I know you're not catholic, you attended a University that is Christian but not associated with this group at all.

          April 24, 2014 at 6:12 am |
        • kermit4jc

          actually..the University accepted catholics too in the student roll...I am all for the Catholics to fix the pe d o thing...but as they are going along..any changes for the positive is good.....

          April 24, 2014 at 6:14 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So you'd agree that them accepting LGBT is good?

          April 24, 2014 at 6:15 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I don't know about that..are you referring to allowing them to come to church? sure....we allow gays in our church..they are sinners too...in need of change like rest of us

          April 24, 2014 at 6:17 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          They're not sinners and you as a psychologist should know they have been born that way and have made no choice in the matter, any more than you have chosen to be hetero.
          Do you honestly believe they would admit to being LGBT knowing the amount of bigots they face in this world?
          http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/scientists-think-they-have-found-out-why-people-are-born-gay141212

          April 24, 2014 at 6:23 am |
        • kermit4jc

          lol..I can turn that RIGHT around and ask you if I was born a Christian or have a choice and face bigots and persecution? lol..sorry..but you r argument is terrible and does not reflect reality....and by the way..not all psychs believe they are born with it......that's a self deluding thing yo ugot there

          April 24, 2014 at 6:28 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No-one is born a Christian, no-one is born with a belief-belief is taught, so while you didn't have a choice if you were raised in a home that believes, your parents had the choice to teach you. The two things are not equivalent.
          Do you tell parents who think their children might be gay that the children need therapy to cure them?

          April 24, 2014 at 6:52 am |
    • MiPaLady

      Its nice to see the church going back to the teachings of Jesus. It is not for us to judge but to love and forgive.

      April 24, 2014 at 6:58 am |
    • Reality

      Jesus forgives?? Give us a break !! He decomposed years ago in some grave outside of Jerusalem and his molecules now circulate in the bodies of the local residents (Jews, Muslims and Christians).

      April 24, 2014 at 7:14 am |
      • kermit4jc

        prove it.....why didn't they bring out his corpse to stop the preaching? why would someone die for something they knew to be a lie?

        April 24, 2014 at 7:15 am |
        • observer

          Someone might die for a cause they believed in whether they were positive about everything about it or not.

          April 24, 2014 at 7:18 am |
        • kermit4jc

          that's not the question...who would die for something they knew to be a lie? what about the disciples? if Jesus did niot rise from dead...why preach it?

          April 24, 2014 at 7:20 am |
        • Madtown

          who would die for something they knew to be a lie?
          ----
          A few years back, a group of humans flew airplanes into buildings because of the fervency of their beliefs(beliefs you would call a lie). Why would they die for something that was a lie?

          April 24, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I think youneed to read my question again..I asked why would someone die for something they KNEW to be a lie

          April 24, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Because some suicidal people seek holy rationalizations to convince themselves that they're martyrs instead of selfish azzholes,

          April 24, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • kermit4jc

          riiiiiiiiiiiight

          April 24, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • Madtown

          I read your question just fine. Sure, the disciples believed fully in their convictions and didn't BELIEVE they were lies, that's the point. So do muslim extremists. Same thing.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • kermit4jc

          you are still not reading it...IM not saying something they believe to be truth..when when it was really a lie..Im talking about they knew it to be a lie...period....

          April 24, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • colin31714

          Jesus was crucified in about 30 AD. The first claim we have that he rose from the dead is made about 25 years later, in the Pauline Epistles. "Bringing out the body" to prove the claims wrong was very likely not an option as it was probably thrown in a dump or buried anonymously.

          Even if the early Christians were totally convinced he rose from the dead, that doesn't mean he did. That just means they BELIEVED he did. Many Muslims believe Mohammed ascended into heaven on a white horse, many Buddhists believe that the Buddha was born talking and many North Koreans believe that when the Great Leader Kim Jong Il was born, winter turned to Spring.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • kermit4jc

          WRONG..the first claim was IMMEDIATELY after..youre thinking of the writings that came 25 years later..but they were Already passing word around by mouth..and HISTORY shows the beginning of the church at that time!! your argument is ignorant of history

          April 24, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • colin31714

          Really. Assuming you can't point to anything earlier than Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians, how could you possibly know?

          April 24, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • kermit4jc

          uh hello..Pauls letters are to CHRISTAINS>.which means they were Chrisfians BEFORE he wrote the letters!!!

          April 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Madtown

          Im talking about they knew it to be a lie
          ----
          How would they "know" it for certain? Whatever they did/didn't know, how do you think you, or anyone today, can "know" for certain what they knew or didn't know? They had their reasons to believe, and they acted upon those reasons. Just like others of alternate religious persuasion.

          April 24, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • kermit4jc

          OH Geez..you butted in to something you have no clue about...listen.....IM talking of those who say that They KNEW they did not see Jesus..or they KNEW he is buried and still in the grave...there are idiots who think this......and it doesn't work....capiche?

          April 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • Reality

        Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con with once again a 21st century review:

        From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

        Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

        To wit;

        From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

        "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
        Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

        Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

        Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

        The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

        Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

        The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

        "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
        http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

        The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

        With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

        An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

        p.4

        "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

        p.168. by Ted Peters:

        Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

        So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

        April 25, 2014 at 7:06 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Jesus body would have neded up in a mass grave...so the Gospel writers were lying about seeing Jesus then huh? the church was spread by those who knew they did not see Jesus..but would lie anyways and die for that lie? sorry..but I find their arguments failing...plus.....Jesus bodily rose to prove a point..that heaven is not merely a spiritual state..but bodily as well..these "professors" are merely playing to the tune of popular opinion rather than using their critical thinking skills and actually reading the Book..the fact they add purgatory (NO evidence of such in the Bible and it totally demeans the saving act of Jesus dying on the cross...that it is in vain)

          April 25, 2014 at 9:42 am |
  4. benhoody

    Hard to believe all this argueing and even hatred of supposedly grownups because someone else doesn't believe as they do. If you don't believe in God, fine, your choice, and the same if you do believe, one thing for sure, with our short life span we will find out soon one way or the other, so why argue and hate. The problem lies when one side or the other tries to cram what they believe down someone else's throat, which is absolutely pointless because both sides believe what they do and are not going to budge no matter what, so it is pretty foolish to try to convert someone who's mind is already made up and set in stone, again, we will all find out soon one way or the other.

    April 24, 2014 at 2:47 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      The point has never been to convert those who have their mind made up. I find it interesting that there is very little backlash aimed at the mission work of religious people whose goal is to convert others to Christianity. When was the last time an atheist knocked on your door? But when someone has doubts about their faith and seeks answers solely from within their religion they are usually left disappointed. People like me offer only a counter argument, an opposing point of view. The choice is still up to the individual. Yet merely offering a alternative explanation, one that exposes the errors or impossibility of religious claims, is instantly labelled as hate. But this is still a vast improvement over the not too distant past where any dissent was taboo and death was often the result of opposition to religion.

      April 24, 2014 at 5:03 am |
  5. highplainzdrfter

    @realbuckyball

    Yeah right. God is not a "mommy god". That must be why she let millions die from starvation last year, hundreds of thousands of innocent children die from disease and cancer, thousands upon thousands in the tsunami the year before.
    _____

    SHE? hahahaha. Shows your m.entality. next. As for people starving, a lot of that has to do with e.vil governments taking relief aid and spending it on themselves. And some people do starve do death and die of disease........that's life. E.vil exists..... bad things exist. The concept of the "Original Sin" is over your head, so we'll just move on.
    ______________
    The Quickening of John the Baptizer has NOTHING in 2014 to do with clumps of cells, with NO neural tube that are "potential" humans, being terminated. The vast majority of all pregnancies spontaneously abort. So YOU god is really THE WORST "abortionist" there is.
    ______________
    We live in a "fallen State"....Original S.in thing again....above your head. Go see "Heaven is for real"...the little boy says he saw his brother and sister in heaven who died in the womb. Heaven is huge....it can hold all the aborted children, spontaneous or induced. BTW, google "4D sonogram of child in womb" and tell me it isn't a child.
    ___________________
    As for "free will" take a science class. Human decisions are made BEFORE we are fully conscious of all the competing factors involved. THAT cannot be "free will".
    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/yet-another-experiment-eroding-free-will/
    Dr David Eagleman in Texas has also proven there is no "free will".
    ____
    Uh....I've got a degree in Philosophy. I think I understand Free Will. The Free Will / Natural Law arguments are solid and atheist can't stand our explanation for it, so they come up with g.ooblie-g.ook stuff...like what you posted. I have free will...."I think, therefore I am"....I can make decisions, good or bad. I will be judged on those decision. This isn't Rocket Science.
    ______________
    If you NEED to reference all your ancient ignorant paradigms to explain the world you see around you, fell free to stay delusional. Don't expect other to share in your perverse ignorance.
    _______________

    Again, it comes down to s.ex.....and free for all s.ex with you people. A.bortion, G.ay activities, and etc...over and over again. Again, your Government (assuming you're an American) and your culture are based on Judeo-Christian beliefs from a book written 2000-4000 years ago in the Bronze / Iron Age.......this is FACT....get over your p.ride and a.nger toward Christians because of your lifestyle.....the same old bogus argument gets old.

    April 24, 2014 at 1:26 am |
    • Sungrazer

      You have a philosophy degree and you seemingly aren't aware that you're making fallacious ad hominem attacks?

      "SHE? hahahaha. Shows your m.entality."

      This certainly shows yours. Another Christian misogynist. Yawn.

      April 24, 2014 at 1:39 am |
      • highplainzdrfter

        Calling God "She" when this person knows we call God "Father" and "Jesus" is a man, shows their mentality. It's not abusive ad hominem...it's fact. The "Mentality" means they are poking fun at me and mocking my religion. I realize that this person was playing on words with the "mommy God" comment, but it was uncalled for.

        April 24, 2014 at 1:49 am |
        • Sungrazer

          My reference to ad hominem attacks concerned your comments regarding the supposed anger over lifestyle.

          It is interesting that you actually attribute a s.ex to your god. Does "he" also sport a beard and dress in a long white robe?

          April 24, 2014 at 1:56 am |
  6. kevintroygiles

    I am made glad by the contents of this article. I have a personal connection to this issue. I discussed it with special service when I was there in 2008. I protested their refusal to allow me to take communion even though my relationship with Jesus was very healthy and he had brought me all that way to Rome from California.
    The Catholics are wrong about a lot of things including this, Papal infallibility and excommunication. These are not minor details of church governance but rather major theological issues effecting billions.
    It's time for the Catholics to step down open the doors of it's hidden paradise and hand over the hoards of treasuries to those who need them!!! Now! I hereby command them here for all to see upon this public forum, in the name of Christ Jesus under the authority of The Great King Kevin Troy Giles, hereby in the excellent name of Saint Peter the Apostle I command them!
    Signed, Kevin Troy Giles, MACM

    April 24, 2014 at 1:14 am |
    • highplainzdrfter

      By what Authority do you make these Claims?

      April 24, 2014 at 1:23 am |
      • realbuckyball

        By the same "authority" any rational person appeals to in 2014. Reason.
        Your pewp used to have co-equal status with the other patriarchs of the Christian church. THEN, Rome began to usurp and jockeyed for "primacy". Your "authority" is totally bogus, as anyone who has every studied History knows. (Jesus would NEVER have said "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my "church". There was no such thing as a "church" in his day, and the word used in the gospel is "ecclesia" which was a Greek "community"). The RCC has no "authority, and IF they ever did, they lost it in the pedo scandals.

        April 24, 2014 at 1:32 am |
        • highplainzdrfter

          Wrong on every account and I mean every account. Jesus did say those words about Peter. Judaism had structure....Jesus transformed the old into the New with structure. The council of Jerusalem in the book of Acts shows this structure. The Bible came out of the Church, not the Church out of the Bible. Obviously, you're clueless on many things. Please, get educated before you start throwing around such unfounded and ignorant Statements. Try some History, for once.

          As for the Scandals, you've got it backwards. Most people with commonsense see the Culture w.ar between those on the hedonistic left and the Catholic Church....it's obvious. Many people are streaming into my local parish....people I thought I would never see are starting to come into the Church. They understand the Priest s.candal for what it is: G.ay Priests got a hold of some kids....lawyers got involved....liberal Psychologist got involved....then the Pro-choice / pro-g.ay news media got involved and smeared the Church.

          In the end, the Holy Spirit is moving and stirring people's hearts. In my Diocese, we have 60 Seminarians in school....record number. Sorry, but if you think your i.lk has my church on the run, you've got another thing coming.

          April 24, 2014 at 1:46 am |
        • mocasea

          @highplainzdrfter

          So to begin with, your ideology of the Bible, and historians (including Biblical Scholars) don't quite match up. First of all you are saying the Bible came out of the Church... So by your own words, the Church wrote the Bible. Don't you mean it the other way around? I mean, if the Church created the Bible, then what authority does the Bible have beyond the Church?

          As for the scandals... I see that you are just like every other person out there attempting to attach pedophiles to gays. You don't know jack squat about it, and are running off at the mouth the diatribe you have been told by the very people who are attempting to cover up and sweep away the scandal. These pedophiles were priests. Leave the "gay" out of it. The were priests, men who were supposed to be the most trustworthy people in the community. THAT is the scandal. This wasn't some attempt by the "left" to blemish the church, this was men who were supposed to be trustworthy breaking that trust in a horrible way, and the church doing nothing productive about it. As for the "Culture War" between the "hedonistic left" and the the Catholic Church, open your eyes. This is a country of people who are tired of the Church's attempts to constrain our society to Christianities restricted and narrow view. You want to blame the liberals, I put the blame squarely where it belongs: On the priests, and on the Church for failing to do anything about it. It has nothing to do with the Gays, and everything to do with the Church's failure.

          Stop trying to slander a group of people who doesn't fall in line with your religious beliefs. They could care less about your beliefs, and are only fighting back at your religious organizations direct attacks on them and the freedoms. This isn't some Church Martyrdom, this is freedom of and FROM religion.

          April 24, 2014 at 2:32 am |
    • realbuckyball

      It's "affecting" billions Kevy.

      BTW, who do these self-righteous people think they are, anyway ? Didn't Jesus himself gave communion (supposedly) to Judas ? They think they are holier than their umm .. Jebus deity.

      April 24, 2014 at 1:26 am |
      • highplainzdrfter

        You got it wrong again:

        " 20 When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples; 21 and as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." 22 And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?" 23 He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. 24 The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Is it I, Master?" He said to him, "You have said so."

        Then in verse 26 it says:

        "26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

        April 24, 2014 at 1:36 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Such an arrogant fool you are, jest because you have the bible doesn't make you right!

          April 24, 2014 at 7:11 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          **jest** should have read just

          April 24, 2014 at 7:12 am |
  7. highplainzdrfter

    Observer – you live in a Christian Structured society of the West.....1500 years in the making from that 2000 – this is REALITY....you live under the History of that book applied to Western Civilization and Laws. You live in the bubble of Christian / Jewish Laws formed off the 10 Commandments and the Gospels – they are loving and friendly laws...the laws are rooted in Love of Neighbor. You live in ignorance of Human History. Why don't you go live in China for a while and see how an atheistic society works.....but you'd better hurry, because in 20 years, China is going to be the largest Christian Nation in the World. Those people get it......their hearts are open.

    As for Christian History, there have been some bad people....we live on planet Earth....we have Free Will and have fallen from GRACE, all of us....Pope's, Preachers, Laity members, Priests, and everyone. Don't be so Naive. As a History Professor said our class once, "The previous 1400 years are kindergarten compared to the 20th Century....the 20th Century, because of Science and harsh totalitarian regimes murdering people....two world wars....and etc." IOW's, when the Catholic Church has control of the West, it was Kindergarten.....peanuts compared to what modern man has done. And now we can end it all in one day with Nukes.....Science is just great, isn't it?

    As for God taking life, God is not a "Mommy God" out to protect you from every little thing that comes your way. The God of Christianity is the God of Love, Mercy, Justice, and Wrath.....please note the "Justice" part.If you live near the Ocean and a Tsunami takes your life, you shouldn't have moved to the Ocean....but God has the power / right to take your life.....he owns your flesh, you're just on loan with it. God can take innocent life and guilty life. You get cancer tomorrow...it's part of nature.....and God will take your life in the end.

    Here is a harsh reality of life for you: God Exists and You're not God.

    As for Abortion, St. John leaped in Elizabeth's womb when Mary approached her with Jesus in the womb. Also, as for the Jeremiah quote....God said, "“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” And as for the Torah Laws on Abortion, it was a law against those who procure and abortion.....nice try, tho.

    April 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
    • highplainzdrfter

      1st line should have said "2000 year old book" as Observer called it.

      April 23, 2014 at 11:36 pm |
    • observer

      highplainzdrfter,

      Try again. The word "abortion" is NOT in the Bible. Keep looking if you want.

      FORTUNATELY, our nation doesn't use the Bible as a source for laws. We are intelligent enough to not support slavery and the discriminations that the Bible advocates.

      April 23, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "You live in the bubble of Christian / Jewish Laws formed off the 10 Commandments and the Gospels"

      Really? How many of the 10 commandments are actually illegal? 2 maybe 3 if you count lying as perjury. What laws are formed off the gospels? I think you are stretching things quite a bit.

      April 23, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The god you described in that screed is the ultimate dictator, why would anyone worship the asshat you detailed?

      April 24, 2014 at 12:00 am |
    • ddeevviinn

      Just two quick thoughts:

      1. " go live in china for a while and see how atheistic societies work"

      Not sure you can always make a direct correlation between atheism and deteriorating societies. Case in point, many
      of the Scandinavian countries often rank highest in best places to live and have the happiest people.

      2. " Here is a harsh reality of life for you. God exists and you're not God"

      The essence of both the human dilemma and the depravity of man. Well stated.

      April 24, 2014 at 12:28 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Yeah right. God is not a "mommy god". That must be why she let millions die from starvation last year, hundreds of thousands of innocent children die from disease and cancer, thousands upon thousands in the tsunami the year before.
      The Quickening of John the Baptizer has NOTHING in 2014 to do with clumps of cells, with NO neural tube that are "potential" humans, being terminated. The vast majority of all pregnancies spontaneously abort. So YOU god is really THE WORST "abortionist" there is. As for "free will" take a science class. Human decisions are made BEFORE we are fully conscious of all the competing factors involved. THAT cannot be "free will".
      http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/yet-another-experiment-eroding-free-will/
      Dr David Eagleman in Texas has also proven there is no "free will".
      If you NEED to reference all your ancient ignorant paradigms to explain the world you see around you, fell free to stay delusional. Don't expect other to share in your perverse ignorance.

      April 24, 2014 at 12:50 am |
    • mocasea

      You are aware that the laws of America aren't based on biblical laws, but on philosophy and rules that promote society.

      You are also aware that your precious ten commandments are actually stolen from societies that existed around the nomadic "Israelites."

      I Certainly hope you are because you want everyone to believe you are highly educated, yet let yourself stoop to ad hominem attacks and baseless assumptions on science you obviously know nothing about.

      April 24, 2014 at 2:04 am |
  8. realbuckyball

    Ohhhh the Fundi Catholic Trads (the "traditionalists") who say the See of Rome is "vacant" (the sede-vacantists) or empty-chair-ists are gonna be having little doo-doo spots on their back-sides over this one. "See, we told you he's a heretic".
    John XXIII listened to Satan when he called Vatican II, doncha know. Heh heh.

    April 23, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
  9. jcs6

    Adults with imaginary friends are stupid.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwYRPPAcBks

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZznlL7uG18

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPaTaq_FlWk

    April 23, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
    • tiglathpileser1

      and ones without them seem no smarter...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r83ROf8coSU

      April 24, 2014 at 1:17 am |
      • jcs6

        At least they don't have the mentality of a 6 year old pretending to talk to their invisible friend.

        April 24, 2014 at 2:01 am |
    • benhoody

      One thing for sure, some of these video clips prove there is a real Satan, how much more whacky can it get? Many of these scammers claim to be Christian to scam you out of your money, but Christian they are not. How could anyone fall for some of this stupidity, wow, that one guy is high on something and it isn't the holy ghost, this stuff is freaky.

      April 24, 2014 at 1:51 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Judge not lest ye be judged and stop using the No True Scotsman fallacy...every other sect of Christianity could say the same about you.

        April 24, 2014 at 4:35 am |
      • fintronics

        What's "freaky" is people believing satan is real....

        April 24, 2014 at 11:36 am |
  10. Reality

    For communion, said sacrament fails rigorous historic testing and is therefore null and void and therefore the topic is not worth talking about. See added details on p. 1.

    April 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
  11. incredulousmark

    "dealing with a human situation is always complex" Oh, so that's why the RCC imposes a black and white autocratic and unfeeling morality on its adherents.

    April 23, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
  12. Keith

    He is a good man working to change the Chruch

    April 23, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      Your church is a pedophile infested cult full of disgusting repulsive supporters of rapists of children. You and your fellow deluded imbeciles make me want to vomit.

      April 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
      • Keith

        you are an arrogant ass hole, it isn't my church. I do admire a man who is trying to make changes to the church to heal from the years of problems with pedophiles.

        It seems you aren't interested in the Church changing, you want to stay angry at something you do not even understand.

        April 23, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          And angry at Someone he doesn't believe in.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • Keith

          Plenty of folks hate things they know nothing about. I guess it make their lives meaningful some how.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          There is an alternative you might not have considered.

          You will find people here who are angry at an inst.tution that systematically condoned molestation, some of whom might even be victims.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • Keith

          That is true, but if they would speak their truth then I would address that and I would understand their hatred of the church.

          I am not a Catholic or even a Christian of any kind but I can see and admire a sincere man who is trying to lead his church in a different direction.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          @ topher: the level of your density is impressive. You said "And angry at Someone he doesn't believe in."

          NOOOOOOOO!

          Atheists aren't angry at your god. Sorry. Your God – capital "G". We don't believe in your god! Why can't you get that thru your thick skull?? One does not hate that which one does not believe in – pretty basic premise.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
        • Keith

          You are sure mad at someone, and you are awful upset at something that does not exist. I guess I don't get it. Topher had it right, and no one claimed to be an atheist, even you did not claim that although you seemed to be speaking for them.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • observer

          Keith,

          No, Topher didn't have it right. He said "angry at Someone he doesn't believe in.".

          NO ONE was ever angry at someone HE DOESN'T BELIEVE IN.

          Are you mad at Lex Luthor for trying to kill Superman? Get real.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
        • Keith

          You don't have to believe in the Pope, he is real no matter if you believe in him or not. Now god is another story but we were not talking about god

          April 23, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          You wouldn't be saying that stuff if you had been molested by one of their holy men.

          April 24, 2014 at 12:52 am |
        • Keith

          I do not know what I would be doing because that is not a part of my experience. Is it yours?

          April 24, 2014 at 9:02 am |
    • Concert in an Egg

      In what way is he working to change the church?

      April 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
      • Keith

        It seems you are really not interested or you would know some of the things he has already done. In this case he is making it easier for a woman that wants to be a part of the church to fully participate. In the past divorced people were not able to receive communion.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • incredulousmark

          The divorced still can't receive communion. Though, why anyone would want to participate in ritualized cannibalism is beyond me.
          This pope hasn't changed one iota of the RCC's vile doctrine.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • Keith

          I don't see how you can say that, he has made a lot of changes

          April 23, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
        • incredulousmark

          Name one.

          April 24, 2014 at 6:31 am |
        • Keith

          If you haven't noticed then you have not been paying attention. He is changing how the church relates to the people.

          April 25, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • georgiahedrick

          Keith, it is a joy to read your calm and peaceful remarks. Thank you. gh

          April 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Keith

          thanks

          April 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
        • incredulousmark

          In other words, he's no different than his predecessors...he's just more PR savvy.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Keith

          No not at all, he is doing something, not PR

          April 25, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
        • Keith

          you know, from your other remarks here I can tell that you do not like the Pope or the Church, so, why do you bother commenting?

          I am not a religious person and I am not a member of any church. I am interested in this Pope because he is so much different than the others in my lifetime. I believe that he will make lasting changes in the Catholic Church.

          April 25, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • incredulousmark

          The RCC is as vile organization that propagates beliefs and values that do real harm to real people and they often try to get their odious beliefs enshrined in law. I comment here because I want to challenge their ridiculous and awful beliefs so as to, hopefully, minimize their influence in society in some small way.
          I will continue to speak out against anyone who says my gay daughter is an abomination and deserving of eternal torment.

          April 25, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so you say she is not a sinner at all? we all sin..no one is perfect sir..we ALL deserve hell..but God gave us a way hnot to go to hell....

          April 25, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • Keith

          Protecting your daughter is an admirable thing for you to do, but you will never change the church commenting on this blog.

          What might help you with your anger issues is to learn more about the church, or do something in your community that is positive instead of worrying what religious folks are doing.

          I am not religious, in fact I believe that religion is the most destructive forces in Human history. I was raised by the most hateful people I have ever met and they were fundamentalist Christians, but I got over being angry a long time ago.

          I like following this Pope because he is different than any that have come before him in my life time. I am 65. I think he will make some positive changes.

          April 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
        • incredulousmark

          This isn't all I do ferchrissakes.

          April 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • Keith

          I never assumed that it was.

          April 29, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I think he talks a good game but I don't see anything more than talk at this point.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • Keith

          It seems you aren't watching.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Oh I am watching, he talks in "Catholicese". I am well versed in that BS.

          April 24, 2014 at 12:12 am |
    • Reality

      The "vomit-inducing" ped-ophilia and coverups will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks. The RCC is not alone in this.

      April 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
      • Keith

        At one time I agreed with you, but I came to the realization that I was not going to put an end to religion and you aren't either. You would be better off doing something that you can accomplish.

        April 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          The only cure for religion is education...get one!

          April 24, 2014 at 4:37 am |
        • Keith

          I am not religious, I think religion is one of the most destructive forces in Human history. I am commenting as an observer.

          April 24, 2014 at 9:07 am |
        • Reality

          It is actually quite easy. As noted previously:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Added details available upon written request.

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

          e.g. Taoism

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

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

          And you might want to review the recent discussion about how the Internet is destroying religion.

          April 24, 2014 at 7:02 am |
        • Keith

          I think religion is the most destructive force in Human history. I am commenting as an observer, not a member. The reality is that religion is here to stay until something else replaces it. For many people religion fills some basic human need. Just because I do not need it in my life, I can still understand how the leader of the largest religious organization in the world can effect many people and it seems to me that this is the first Pope in my opinion that was a servant of the people.

          April 24, 2014 at 9:16 am |
  13. seedenbetter

    So, this mortal man called the pope can now decide who is going to roast in hell and who is not and for what reason? You Christians are a truly a strange lot.

    April 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
    • caritas62

      You do not understand the RCC's doctrine. The Pope does not claim to know or dictate who will "roast in hell". We assume God's mercy is infinite and that hell is a state of self-exclusion from God. section 1037 of the RCC Catechism reads as follows: "God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance." The Church just points the way to living a better life. Francis, a pope who stresses God's mercy and not his just Judgments, would be the first to maintain this.

      April 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Besides, by her "doctrine" you can go buy yourself a Plenary Indulgence, and get out of hell free, anyway.

        April 24, 2014 at 12:54 am |
  14. MidwestKen

    Pope calls woman about communion.

    Sorry, but what's "communion" a euphemism for again.

    April 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
    • incredulousmark

      Ritual cannibalism.

      April 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        See John 6 and Matthew 26:26-29. Once again, get educated.

        April 23, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          It's proof the gospels were all just cooked up later, and not a word of them are truth. No Jew would, in a million years, even THINK about "drinking blood". Even touching it was an abomination to a Jew. The very thought would have made them vomit. The "eucharis't" was cooked up to compete with the "eucharists" in the Greek Mystery cults. IF it was so important, why is there no "inst'itution of the eucharist" in John ? Oops. He forgot.

          April 24, 2014 at 12:59 am |
        • incredulousmark

          From your own reference:"take and eat, this is my body". The RCC's ridiculous belief in transubstantiation means that Catholics truly belief they are eating the body of Jesus (and drinking his blood). Catholics also believe Jesus was a man. Eating a man's flesh is cannibalism.
          Having spent 8 years in Catholic school, I'm well-versed in what the RCC teaches during indoctrination.

          April 24, 2014 at 6:53 am |
    • caritas62

      "Communion" refers to reception of the Eucharist, an action seen as entering into a particularly close relationship with Christ and with one's fellow believers. The sacrament requires a mystical understanding of how recipients share in the divine life of Christ and in each other's lives.

      This explanation is for those who really want to understand, instead of people who are just who are just on this blog "performing for one another", or to bash Catholics, like Seedenbetter.

      April 23, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Wrong. It's (transubstantiation) all built on the (now debunked) ancient Greek notion of "substance" vs "accident". There is no such thing as a "substance" of something, apart from the "thing" itself. It's a meaningless set of words.

        April 24, 2014 at 1:01 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Oh but bashing catholics is easy when they support a hierarchy that protects pedophiles...when they stop doing that and stop sitting in those pews weekly (in turn showing support of keeping the peds from persecution) there might be reason not to bash them.

        April 24, 2014 at 5:50 am |
  15. ugetthefacts

    Just more deflections from the pope. Many children suffer a life long illness due to the abuse cover ups. They were denied as children and now watch this pope deflect.

    Imagine a lost life only to wake up from the trauma caused to find the pope enabling bishops to lobby against you, to continue hiding the truth.

    The pope spits on children victims. They are an inconvenience to him. The vast majority of the abused children received nothing, but spit from this church.

    April 23, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Catholics demonstrate a lack of intelligence.

      April 23, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
      • caritas62

        How do you support that conclusion? I work with many Catholics who are excellent lawyers, business persons scientists – esp. astronomers, and other professions that require high intelligence. Pope Francis speaks many languages. Pope Francis's native language is Spanish but he also speaks Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Ukrainian, some English, and Piedmontese (a language spoken in the Piedmont, an area in northern Italy). Of course Pope Francis is also conversant in Latin- the official language of the Holy See. How many languages do you speak?

        Just disagreeing with you does not make a person automatically stupid.

        April 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Sorry, dumb if pleases you more. No offense, just pointing out the obvious.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          No one asked if they were smart or said they were not excellent professionals. They are not experts in religion. KNowing about Chemistry does not make you a heart surgeon. Your "smart" business fails. IF they were ALSO experts in Theology of Ancient History, you might have a point. You don't.

          April 24, 2014 at 1:03 am |
    • Keith

      I guess you have not been paying attention. This Pope is changing the church.

      April 23, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
      • seedenbetter

        Why would a real divine church need to change? Stop drinking the kool-aide and grow a brain for heaven's sake!

        April 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • Keith

          It seems you can't decide whether you believe it is an evil infested organization, or divine.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
      • tallulah131

        This pope is putting a fresh coat of paint on the problems, but I have yet to see him fix the structural rot hidden beneath.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • Keith

          the eye of the beholder, I suppose

          April 23, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
        • fintronics

          The abuse is in the eye of the beholder?

          April 24, 2014 at 11:45 am |
      • benhoody

        If this pope, who has so many fooled, really wanted to change the church, why doesn't he come right out and speak against the horrors some of the perverts have done and are doing? Why doesn't he take action and tell the world what he is going to do about the filth and perversion going on in his church, as well as take action against those who are guilty of these crimes? Why does he hide it or side track it? The bible shows that those who are blatantly offending and sinning such as some of the perverts of the cloth are, then they are to be exposed and given the boot, now if he started there and did something about it, then I might take him as being serious and sincere, but until then I see him as putting on a big show and putting up a smoke screen, the sad thing it seems to be working for him and he knows it, how easily some people are fooled.

        April 24, 2014 at 2:19 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        What the pope is doing is trying to keep as many pews full as possible while avoiding the one issue that should be keeping any normal caring person out of them. Once all the peds are turned over to the proper authorities for persecution, there might be reason to support this man but until then he is as guilty as everyone going to the services knowing-yet ignoring the issue involving the innocent children. You obviously don't give a rats ass about those kids or you wouldn't be so stupidly supportive.

        April 24, 2014 at 4:49 am |
        • Keith

          I know that he has addressed the problem and although I am sure there is probably more to do I also know that there are other men in the organization with responsibilities to the church and the people they serve. One man can not do it all, this Pope is trying to heal years of church problems. Would you rather they have some one like the last one that did nothing?

          April 24, 2014 at 9:09 am |
  16. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    "Mathematics is a language.....someone or something designed it"

    Yes, mathematicians designed it. It's a model of what we observe. If God designed it why did he not write a maths text book to go with it?

    April 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Posted in the wrong place.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        In other words, D'oh!

        April 23, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      If God created mathematics and didn't include the instructions, well that would be really dumb.

      April 23, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
  17. Peaceadvocate2014

    I guess it is whats called forgiveness. Question is how do we know there is sincerity and remorse.

    April 23, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
  18. Doris

    Letting go of superst.i.tion

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yceHh5khkXo

    Speakers in order of appearance:

    1. Lawrence Krauss, World-Renowned Physicist
    2. Robert Coleman Richardson, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    3. Richard Feynman, World-Renowned Physicist, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    4. Simon Blackburn, Cambridge Professor of Philosophy
    5. Colin Blakemore, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Neuroscience
    6. Steven Pinker, World-Renowned Harvard Professor of Psychology
    7. Alan Guth, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Physics
    8. Noam Chomsky, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Linguistics
    9. Nicolaas Bloembergen, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    10. Peter Atkins, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Chemistry
    11. Oliver Sacks, World-Renowned Neurologist, Columbia University
    12. Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
    13. Sir John Gurdon, Pioneering Developmental Biologist, Cambridge
    14. Sir Bertrand Russell, World-Renowned Philosopher, Nobel Laureate
    15. Stephen Hawking, World-Renowned Cambridge Theoretical Physicist
    16. Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    17. Ned Block, NYU Professor of Philosophy
    18. Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    19. Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford Professor of Mathematics
    20. James Watson, Co-discoverer of DNA, Nobel Laureate
    21. Colin McGinn, Professor of Philosophy, Miami University
    22. Sir Patrick Bateson, Cambridge Professor of Ethology
    23. Sir David Attenborough, World-Renowned Broadcaster and Naturalist
    24. Martinus Veltman, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    25. Pascal Boyer, Professor of Anthropology
    26. Partha Dasgupta, Cambridge Professor of Economics
    27. AC Grayling, Birkbeck Professor of Philosophy
    28. Ivar Giaever, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    29. John Searle, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
    30. Brian Cox, Particle Physicist (Large Hadron Collider, CERN)
    31. Herbert Kroemer, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    32. Rebecca Goldstein, Professor of Philosophy
    33. Michael Tooley, Professor of Philosophy, Colorado
    34. Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    35. Leonard Susskind, Stanford Professor of Theoretical Physics
    36. Quentin Skinner, Professor of History (Cambridge)
    37. Theodor W. Hänsch, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    38. Mark Balaguer, CSU Professor of Philosophy
    39. Richard Ernst, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    40. Alan Macfarlane, Cambridge Professor of Anthropology
    41. Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, Princeton Research Scientist
    42. Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    43. Hubert Dreyfus, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
    44. Lord Colin Renfrew, World-Renowned Archaeologist, Cambridge
    45. Carl Sagan, World-Renowned Astronomer
    46. Peter Singer, World-Renowned Bioethicist, Princeton
    47. Rudolph Marcus, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    48. Robert Foley, Cambridge Professor of Human Evolution
    49. Daniel Dennett, Tufts Professor of Philosophy
    50. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics

    FEATURED MUSIC:

    Mozart – Requiem Mass In D Minor K 626 – 1. Introitus 00:03
    Massive Attack – Two Rocks And A Cup Of Water 02:28, 19:14
    Max Richter – Embers 05:13
    Ludovico Einaudi – Andare 09:27, 24:30, 26:31
    Ludovico Einaudi – Nuvole Bianche 13:13
    Max Richter – Vladimir's Blues 29:21
    Ludovico Einaudi – Eni 30 Percento (The Earth Prelude) 33:16

    April 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
    • highplainzdrfter

      Those that believed in God or a Creator:

      Einstein, Jefferson, Mendel, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Paschal, Boyle, Bacon, Kepler, Kelvin, Compton, Pascal, Haeckel, Schrodinger, F. Collins, Leibniz, Marconi, Maxwell, Eccles, Pasteur, Planck, Faraday, R.. Millikan, W. Heisnberg, W. Harvey, and etc. etc.

      April 23, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
      • observer

        highplainzdrfter

        How about some FACTS?

        Einstein was an agnostic and Jefferson thought the Bible contains so much NONSENSE that he edited his down to 50 pages.

        Let's not PRETEND that they believed in the SAME God that you may believe in.

        April 23, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • highplainzdrfter

          Wrong on Einstein.....he wrote in "What I believe"...he said:

          “To sense that behind everything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense...I am a devoutly religious man.” In response to a young girl who had asked him whether he believed in God, he wrote: “everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe—a Spirit vastly superior to that of man.” And during a talk at Union Theological Seminary on the relationship between religion and science, Einstein declared: “the situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

          And Jefferson was a Deist...he saw the design from God.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:44 pm |
        • observer

          highplainzdrfter,

          WRONG. Please try to do better research.

          “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish supersti-tions.”
          - Albert Einstein, letter 1/3/1954

          Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian and DID NOT believe in a God that impregnated an engaged woman and had a son named Jesus.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

          – Albert Einstein, letter to an atheist (1954), quoted in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas & Banesh Hoffman

          April 24, 2014 at 12:33 am |
      • rickcor2014

        Einstein died an agnostic. It's funny how religious people forget that he switched sides.

        April 24, 2014 at 12:58 am |
      • igaftr

        Drifter

        You have no idea what most of those you noted ACTUALLY believed. MANY people are claimed by religions simply because the parents. Did you speak to those people and find what they truly believed.
        Also, the argument from authority is a fallcay.
        The credentials of any believer has no effect on the validity of the belief.

        Leonardo Da Vinci would have been put to death by so called loving christians if they had found out he was gay for one, and used actual corpses for his research. Either one the christians would have killed him for, yet his drawings were so accurate, they are still used today.

        April 24, 2014 at 11:32 am |
  19. highplainzdrfter

    The blog isn't letting me reply to many of your posts....I'll try it up here:

    Mr. Bad Opinion – for most Atheist and liberals in the West, things usually come down to s.ex: 1) A.bortions rights; 2) G.ay Activities / marriage; 3) F.ornication (living with someone outside of marriage). Also, throw in the legalization of drugs and we can see what people are made of in the West these days. "Egg" most likely falls under one of those categorizes. I did say, "Most Likely" falls....it don't know this person from Adam, so I'm just going with the odds.

    Atheist: Proving the Negative? Such a weak argument. Again, Science has proved to us that the HINTS of a designer are all over the place. Ever heard of Antony Flew? Greatest Atheist apologist of the 20th Century....he became a Deist before he died because of what he saw in the Design of the DNA Genome in the 90's. The Cosmological Argument is strong....points to a Designer. There are over 20 strong argument for the existence of God....and I've only touched on one.

    Like I said before, Mathematics is a Universal ETERNAL Language used all across the Universe and in Nature.....it is a language.....someone or something designed it. There is order in the Universe between inanimate objects that obey laws. You have 70 Trillion cells in your body that accomplishes Homeostasis every second of every day; Photosynthesis can take light Photons and convert it to Energy....CO2....Food; and etc. etc.

    April 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
    • observer

      highplainzdrfter

      "for most Atheist and liberals in the West, things usually come down to s.ex: 1) A.bortions rights; 2) G.ay Activities / marriage; 3) F.ornication (living with someone outside of marriage)."

      Ooops. You have picked probably the 3 biggest obsessions in the thoughts of believers.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        Nope.....I'm nearly 50 years old....it is an observation of our culture....DUH!!!! The Democratic Party lives off those issues...take those issues away from the Democratic Party and it becomes the Whig party in 1 year.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
        • observer

          highplainzdrfter,

          Get serious. It's mostly Christians that have collected tens of MILLIONS of dollars to fight against equal rights for gays and it's mostly Christians that have used the Bible as an EXCUSE to try to change abortion laws in spite of the fact that the Bible NEVER mentions abortion.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Who the heck is nearly 50 and uses DUH!!!!! ?

          And this person told me to grow up?

          April 23, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The Cosmological Argument is strong

      Only to you because you already believe it.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        I was a philosophy major in College.....Religion has nothing to do with it.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Mathematics is a language.....someone or something designed it"

      Yes, mathematicians designed it. Math a model of what we observe. If God designed it why did he not write a math text book to go with it?

      April 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        Lame

        April 23, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
    • tallulah131

      highplainzdrfter:

      I don't believe in god because there isn't any evidence that any gods exist. That's it.

      Your bigotry and scientific ignorance are not proof of god.

      April 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        You're just closed-minded and 'bigoted' against people of faith. Admit it. Most of my points came from Philosophical Arguments.....101 Philosophy stuff....beginning level. The arguments get much more complicated as your go up in higher levels.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Rhetoric can't stand up against fact. You can't explain away reality. It doesn't work like that.

          April 25, 2014 at 1:06 am |
    • meatheist

      Funny and very odd. So a god was needed to invent photosynthesis. And you probably think we need a god to tell us it is wrong to murder. But apparently your god is so dumb he can't (metaphorically) put two and two together and make all life capable of photosynthesis so they don't have to go about killing each other in order to live. Your god works in mysterious ways.

      April 23, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        Study Free Will......maybe you'll be enlightened.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
        • observer

          highplainzdrfter,

          Study free will and maybe you will become enlightened. It OBVIOUSLY didn't exist for virtually all the people in the world when God torturously drowned them in the flood.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      meatheist

      "And you probably think we need a god to tell us it is wrong to murder."

      Of course. If we're nothing more than molecules in motion, there's really nothing inherently wrong with murder.

      April 23, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
      • observer

        noahsdadtopher,

        Christians aren't nearly as STUPID as you think they are. Most of them are bright enough to figure out that it's a bad idea for everyone to go around killing everyone without needing a 2,000-year-old book to think for them.

        You can speak for yourself.

        April 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Why is it bad? What if the person enjoys committing murder?

          April 23, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          It's bad because we collectively, *not* as an individual, say it is bad. That is the *only* basis of morality.

          April 23, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "It's bad because we collectively, *not* as an individual, say it is bad. That is the *only* basis of morality."

          So what? Why is it bad?

          April 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Because we say so.

          Because primates are tribal and the tribe decides what behavior is good for the tribe and what behavior is not good for the tribe.

          Morality is the consensus of conscience for a society it is relative and fluid, changing over time.

          You postulated "is murder wrong". With near unamimity people will say of course it is. Dig deeper.

          Let's use "wrong" and "immoral" to mean the same thing.

          Is it wrong for a soldier to shoot an enemy combatant?
          Is it wrong for a soldier to shoot an unarmed civilian?
          Is it wrong for a soldier to use a drone to kill a suspected terrorist with the full knowledge that there will be collateral casualties?
          Is it wrong to execute a convicted criminal?
          Is it wrong to shoot a home invader?
          Is it wrong to shoot someone who frightens you?
          Is it wrong to bait someone into a fight and then when they start beating the tar out of you shoot them because they are now hurting you?
          Is it wrong to shoot someone because you think they have a gun and might hurt you?

          It's not so easy any more. The big book of smiting can't tell you the specific answers to these questions even when we have near 100% unamimity that murder is wrong.

          We have to decide, as a society, what we think is right and what we think is wrong. This is the essence of morality.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Without a 2,000-year-old book to do your thinking for you, would you just go around killing everyone?

          April 23, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          So it's your opinion that it's bad. Is that it?

          April 23, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          Yes, I could figure that out without a 2,000-year-old book like you apparently do. Or could you figure it out ALONE?

          April 23, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Topher,
          I would suggest that morality comes from empathy and reciprocity. Murder is generally considered wrong because it hurts people and we don't want to be murdered ourselves, so generally we all agree to not allow indiscriminate killing.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
        • Madtown

          It's bad because it negatively impacts another human being, against their will, usurping their freedom and ending their life, a choice they wouldn't make for themselves.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
        • highplainzdrfter

          Mao and Stalin (and even H.itler) were Atheists.....they murdered over 100 million between the 3 of them. If there are not consequences for murder or sin, then I guess we can do anything we want once we get enough power to lord it over others....like Mao and Stalin.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          They were atheists, but they were totalitarian dictators.
          How many deaths have occurred in the name of God?

          Lame.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • observer

          highplainzdrfter

          "I guess we can do anything we want once we get enough power to lord it over others....like Mao and Stalin."

          Speaking of LORDing, the Bible says that when God got done with his killing spree, there were only EIGHT PEOPLE on the face of the earth.

          Those heartless tyrants NEVER came remotely close to that.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @highplainsdrifter,
          Hitler wasn't an atheist. Mao and Stalin didn't commit their atrocity because of Atheism, because Atheism is simply the rejection of proposition of god(s), it does not prescribe behavior.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm |
    • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

      Zdrfter,
      Sure. Most people who champion rights for others are generally frowned upon by "Christians", are actively lobbied against by "conservative" groups, while those same "Christian conservatives" are getting abortions or getting caught with their pants down with some male 'intern' while cheating on their wife.
      Atheists aren't the problem. The Christians are. Get real.

      April 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        We all fall short.....grow up. Guilt by Association is a weak argument. Learn some logic.

        Abortion is wrong and you know it....you've seen the 4D sonogram photos....it is a child....it is murder. And just because some young female "Christian" panics does not mean all Christians think the same way.....again, grow up.

        April 23, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
        • observer

          highplainzdrfter,

          Read a Bible someday. The word "abortion" isn't in there. There does seem to be a recipe in the Bible for how to cause an abortion, however.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          You set out to demonize atheists. Didn't work because the behavior your attempting to attribute to atheists are those that is exhibited overwhelmingly by Christians. And excuse it by claiming. "We all fall short".

          I'm not the one who needs to grow up.
          And you need to learn what embryo, fetus, infant and child means. Oh , and if you are against abortion, don't obtain one. And tell your Christian women, too, will you? Over 70% of the women getting abortions are Christian.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • mocasea

          "Guilt by association is a weak argument" says the guy who attributes mans short-comings on the "original sin" concept.

          April 24, 2014 at 2:41 am |
  20. seangregory1965

    It's sad that when CNN posts an article about religion the anti-theists come out from under their rock.

    April 23, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Wow – imagine that. A feature called the "Belief blog" where people discuss and argue about religious belief. Isn't non-belief just the other side of the coin?

      Or is the real problem that anti-theists, atheists, and non-believers make the believers very, very uncomfortable by posting questions and providing evidence and argument that the believers simply cannot relationally respond to?

      April 23, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
      • observer

        whippstippler7,

        Amen.

        April 23, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        Thanks, obs – btw, "rationally respond to" – my bad.

        April 23, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      @seangregory,

      You are incorrect, I'm sure anti-theists have way more than just one rock.

      April 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
    • readerpan

      Please explain why it is "sad" and where is this rock you see?

      April 23, 2014 at 10:27 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.