The first ever Latin American Pope

March 14th, 2013 at 8:35 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Cardinals have elected Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion , overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff in a remarkably fast conclave.

Bergoglio is the first ever pope to come from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis I.

Pope Francis is 76 years old, just nine years younger than the Pope Emeritus.

He has been a Cardinal for 12 years. It is speculated he was the “runner up” to Pope Benedict in the last conclave.

It will be interesting to see the style he adopts as Pope, the issues he focuses on, and especially how well he does at sorting out some of the corruption in the Vatican.

Latin America is home to more Catholics than any other continent. I imagine the news of a Latin American Pope will be a cause of much celebration there.

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66 Responses to “The first ever Latin American Pope”

  1. SPC (5,473 comments) says:

    It was said that Cardinals arrived at the Vatican intent on not selecting an Italian or a creature of the Vatican.

    The winner is of Italian ancestry from Argentina – he has worked a number of times at the Vatican.

    A Jesuit who ticked all the conservative boxes.

    He was at good odds of 33 to 1 this time.

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  2. Andrei (2,532 comments) says:

    It is speculated he was the “runner up” to Pope Benedict in the last conclave.

    LOL – then how come nobody “speculated” he’d be the new Pope in all the “speculation” as to who the new Pope might be. I love how all these “speculations” come to light after the event.

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  3. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    If the cardinals are advised by God why then does it take 5 votes to elect the new pope? what kind of capricious god is this? Or was she/he just fucking with them for the heck of it?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 19 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. SPC (5,473 comments) says:

    Andrei he was responsible for the pastoral care of Eastern Catholics in Argentina.

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  5. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    Yes, I don’t recall anyone from Argentina on the ridiculous short list of 3 announced on the radio this morning.

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  6. Cunningham (829 comments) says:

    Who cares, he will just be another dinosaur who is anti gay, anti women, anti progress etc.

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  7. Pete George (23,357 comments) says:

    I’m slightly curious about this so it’s interesting to see how much (a lot) this means to many people.

    Also interesting will be how a priest who is reported to have determinedly led a simple life in Buenos Aires (apparently choosing a simple abode over the bishop’s palace) fits in with the huge pomp, grandiosity and richness of the Vatican.

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  8. Lance (2,571 comments) says:

    Didn’t take long for trolls like “thecontrarian” to arrive.

    Tedious little boars

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  9. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    Didn’t take long for trolls like “thecontrarian to arrive”.

    It’s TheContrarian “thecontrarian to arrive”.

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  10. Adele Keys (39 comments) says:

    This is an awesome opportunity for the new Pope to make a stand against the ubiquitous abuse of young boys by priests in the Catholic Church throughout the world. For so long the church has covered this up and ignored what is a blatant problem.

    For me this is a no-brainer. Francis I should come out acknowledge, condemn and apologise for past injustices; make a stand. Declare that the abuses are completely inconsistent with the teaching of the church; that they are completely unacceptable and that he will do everything in his power to eradicate these atrocities from the church. Declare that he will personally see that those abusing their power in the most vulgar of ways are criminally and internally prosecuted and punished.

    This may seem bold, but to me it just seems to be the common sense thing to do. Accepting that mistakes have been made and trying to rectify them would do so much for a church battling to maintain numbers. It would do much for the publicity as well as starting the process of making amends to all those the church has hurt. No one loses.

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  11. sbk (310 comments) says:

    hardly has the smoker cleared…and Cunningham fires the first shot…”who cares”…1.2 billion at last count….and growing.

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  12. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    I found the whole thing very exciting- like watching a sports event. That crowd when the smoke hit was incredible.
    But here come the sneering Atheists….

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  13. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    What I was thinking this morning was that given the history of church and it’s endemic problem with past abuses what are the odds that at some point there has been a pedophile in the position of pope. I would say highly likely.

    (This is in no way directed at this current pope)

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  14. Cunningham (829 comments) says:

    sbk (215) the way they operate just annoys me is all. They have rules and views that are just wrong in my view. Shouldn’t religion be about love and inclusion for all regardless of their ethnicity, gender or sexual preference?

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  15. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    “Shouldn’t religion be about love and inclusion for all regardless of their ethnicity, gender or sexual preference?”

    No, its about twisting the words of ones particular holy text into a form that compliments ones own biases.

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  16. RRM (9,670 comments) says:

    I don’t have Jesus in my life, but I do love a good Royal Wedding or Papal election!

    It is very cool to see ancient living traditions doing their thing in a world where almost everything is brand new with a design life of 3 years or less.

    Hopefully Pope Francis will be a force for good in the world..

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  17. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Because no prominent Atheist has ever been a kiddie fiddler.
    What’s that you say? Arthur C Clarke???
    I guess most outspoken Atheists must be kiddie fiddlers then…

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  18. Cunningham (829 comments) says:

    TheContrarian (644) this is the problem. I would like to think that if there is a god he would be loving towards EVERYONE. Religion unfortunately does not work this way. It is actually quite sad I reckon….

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  19. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    “Because no prominent Atheist has ever been a kiddie fiddler.”
    Never said that

    “What’s that you say? Arthur C Clarke???”
    I bet he isn’t the only one

    “I guess most outspoken Atheists must be kiddie fiddlers then…”
    Why would you jump to that conclusion?

    What I am wondering as if the Pope were directed by God would God place a pedophile in such a high position?

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  20. Tautaioleua (293 comments) says:

    Es Lebe der Papst!

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  21. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    TheContrarian- You were alluding to the new Pope being a Paedophile. Which I thought was a pretty pathetic effort even by your consistently low standards..

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  22. RRM (9,670 comments) says:

    The Contrarian –

    In your view, is it possible to have a thread about the Pope WITHOUT the conversation being completely dominated by gay rights or child sex abuse?

    Those are worthwhile issues but there will be plenty of opportunities to talk about them.

    I have no idea what sort of swearing-in process a new Pope has to go through before he starts work, but shouldn’t we at least wait and see what he actually does on these things, rather than just ripping him a new one pre-emptively?

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  23. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    “TheContrarian- You were alluding to the new Pope being a Paedophile.”

    I made it very clear I was not doing that. Remember where I said “This is in no way directed at this current pope”.
    I have no reason to accuse or believe the current, or previous pope for that matter, to be a pedophile.

    But given the past endemic problems which seem to be historically rooted what are the odds like that at some point in history there has been one that has risen high in the ranks?

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  24. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    “In your view, is it possible to have a thread about the Pope WITHOUT the conversation being completely dominated by gay rights or child sex abuse?”

    Yep – see my first comment

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  25. sbk (310 comments) says:

    inclusion..yep..does the Church need to clean up its act…yep.

    but what i was alluding to Cunningham…the Man has just been elected…give him a chance before slagging him off…and hopefully the man will do wonders.

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  26. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    When is the rampant paedophilia in islam ever going to get a mention? the poor boys in Afghanistan , India , Pakistan , South east Asia..etc..When is anyone ever going to think of them? In one SEAsian country the common saying is ”Out the front Kolo Mee, out the back..sodomy.” Paedophilia is a huge epidemic within islam. I am not excusing the Catholic priests..I just do not understand why one major group of paedos are allowed to continue almost completely without scrutiny.

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  27. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    “Paedophilia is a huge epidemic within islam.”

    Quite right. But i think the major difference is it wasn’t hidden for decades and swept under the carpet.

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  28. Cunningham (829 comments) says:

    sbk (216) Says:

    “but what i was alluding to Cunningham…the Man has just been elected…give him a chance before slagging him off…and hopefully the man will do wonders.”

    Fair call, I really hope he breaks the mould as they could do alot more good if they were to try and become more inclusive and modern. I am not holding my breath (after all he is only one man) but you never know.

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  29. graham (2,295 comments) says:

    Adele Keys at 8:53 am:

    I agree, 100%. Your second paragraph nails it.

    I’m speaking as a Christian, although not a Catholic.

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  30. Pete George (23,357 comments) says:

    Adele, I agree, being more of a Vatican outsider makes this more likely, I hope. He needs to stop and repair some serious ongoing damage.

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  31. kiwi in america (2,486 comments) says:

    Im not a Catholic but I know several devout in the faith and an event like this is of enormous importance and excitement to them – and they all acknowledge the problems of pedaphile priests and that something needs to be done.

    Regardless of what you might think of their doctrine or practices, we ought to celebrate the election of a new Pope who hopefully will focus the church on the many good things that it does for millions globally. The time for dealing with the abuse issues will come immediately for Francis I but in the meantime it is wise to be positive and congratulatory today rather than sneering and carping.

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  32. Lance (2,571 comments) says:

    Stop feeding the trolls.
    The “TheContrarian” + “Cunningham” dog and pony act is a sad thread-jack.

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  33. TheContrarian (1,082 comments) says:

    Never mind Lance, I am done anyway because I just had a shit ton of work dropped in my lap.

    Though I do sincerely hope the best the new pope.

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  34. Don the Kiwi (1,650 comments) says:

    Adele Keys.
    8.53 am.

    Obviously Adele, you have not been listeing to the last 2 popes. The Catholic church has had protocols in place for 20 years now to take care of errant clergy, and it is working. Its a pity other organisations haven’t done the same thing.

    And I believe what is starting to happen is that sexual abuse of minors etc is being exposed in other areas – the arts, schools, medical profession, other faiths other than Catholic – and these will cause the Catholic problem to pale by comparison.

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  35. Cunningham (829 comments) says:

    Lance (1,774) I am not trolling. Are we not allowed to give views now? Or is it more that we are not allowed to give views you don’t agree with? I really do hope he does a good job but this organisation NEEDS some serious change. If you don’t see that then you obviously have you head firmly stuck up your backside.

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  36. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I think that today is a good day for faithful Catholics to take the day off Kiwiblog. Instead of grappling with the know-nothing trolls and the secular liberals who will be upset that, yes, the Pope is still Catholic – let’s just celebrate the fact that we have a new Pope – the first Latin American and the first Jesuit – who has chosen a wonderful name.

    An older man but, before the conclave, one cardinal is supposed to have said that four years of Bergoglio would be enough to start cleaning up the mess.

    Seeya.

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  37. Don the Kiwi (1,650 comments) says:

    This pope will continue on the same path as the last.

    Any change to conform to what the world thinks is NOT going to happen. So the dreamers who think the Church will now allow gay marriage, will agree with abortion, will say that homosexuality is normal, will advise that artificial contraception is okay – that’s all it is – a dream , by social liberals who have no concept of what God wants for His people – that’s ALL people – on earth.

    There is God’s way, and then there is The World’s way, and very rarely do they agree. We have been gifted with Free Will, so we can make our choices, and let the chips fall where they may.

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  38. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    sbk (215) the way they operate just annoys me is all. They have rules and views that are just wrong in my view. Shouldn’t religion be about love and inclusion for all regardless of their ethnicity, gender or sexual preference?

    The church does love all regardless of their ethnicity or gender or sexual preference.

    But being born a certain colour or gender isn’t a sin. The Bible makes it clear that certain sexual preferences are. The non-christian world is becoming increasingly hardened in their attitude that they are not.

    But follow me here.

    Were there no seperation from God (as Christianity contends), there would be no problem doing what felt good. But there is a seperation, so we are cut off from a direct line to God and we easily stray. It’s part the church’s duty (or job) to a) point out where society is straying from God and b) offer the alternative path of God’s love and forgiveness.

    Now, you interpret this as “not loving”. I won’t deny that there are groups that make this case in a very unloving way. But it is also true that there are people who are not willing to listen.

    I once yelled at someone to take a newspaper off a light that had just been turned on remotely. It was smoking badly at the time and seconds from bursting into flames. The person beside me took offense at my yelling, but yet I was right to do so because it conveyed the extreme urgency and arguably saved the room from fire. The person there did not see what I saw – the immediate danger of fire – and took offense. You do not see (or agree the existence of) the danger of excercising certain sexual preferences. But were I, who consider the existence of the danger as odvious as the computer in front of me, to not warn of it, that is not, from me, a loving act. It’s actually an act that puts the person *not* warned in danger – just as if I had not warned those standing near that newspaper, they would have been standing next to a dangerous fire.

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  39. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    Who cares? Catholicism is becoming more and more irrelevant to modern society as the years go by. Much like the Royal Family. Does any young Catholic teenager actually truly give a shit about this guy or what he stands for, or will they just live their lives the way they want and as per usual, give up on their faith once they reach their university years and realise religion for the irrelevance that it is.

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  40. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “If the cardinals are advised by God why then does it take 5 votes to elect the new pope?”

    It takes 5 fallible cardinals to elect an infallible Pope.

    Not for me thanks

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  41. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    The Catholic Church has never recovered since their English ‘Bloody Mary’ died and Catholicism completely suppressed in Britain and of course QE1 completely squashed the Catholic Spanish Armada …. three times actually. Which bankrupted Spain

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  42. Don the Kiwi (1,650 comments) says:

    The Catholic Church has never recovered since their English ‘Bloody Mary’ died

    Hmmm.
    Catholics in the world then, possibly around 50 million – if that.

    Catholics in the world now, 1.2 billion and growing.

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  43. metcalph (1,412 comments) says:

    It says a lot about the knowledge of the anti-catholic trolls on this thread that they mention pedophilia but don’t know anything about allegations of the Pope’s involvement with Argentinian Death Squads.

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  44. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    This is an awesome opportunity for the new Pope to make a stand against the ubiquitous abuse of young boys by priests in the Catholic Church throughout the world.

    As Don the Kiwi said, this has been dealt with years ago. Any reports coming out about abuse now will be historical, going back to the 1960s – 1980s (when some in the Church unfortunately were mirroring what was happening in the ‘free love’ culture).

    Adele, you obviously haven’t been following the subject.

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  45. cha (3,856 comments) says:

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  46. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    Jimmy Smits Who cares?

    Jimmy, here’s a question. How much time in your life have you spent considering the (to you) hypothetical possiblity that there might be life after death?

    If not, consider it now. Were death not to be the final act, or even if there is a chance that it is not, wouldn’t that be worth some time examining the various religions of the world to see if any of them had some credibility as a genuine alternative to the belief that it was all an accident with no guiding force behind the creation of what we see around us outside of a few laws of physics?

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  47. Paulus (2,568 comments) says:

    Pope Francis 1 is a Jesuit.

    One should look carefully at what constitutes the role and the world of a Jesuit Priest.

    He will be a very tough new leader, with the support of Jesuits worldwide.

    They are a highly educated, intelligent grouping, who are unafraid to take their stance in the World.

    The Vatican hierarchy will hate it – I believe he will make both serious pomp and austerity changes to the Vatican.

    Worth a watch – a great decision.

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  48. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Jimmy Smits, you only adore Queen Helen, so be it.

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  49. gump (1,555 comments) says:

    Francis is a girl’s name (technically it’s unisexual, but it’s unambiguously ambiguous).

    I’m pleased that the new pope is already building bridges with the GLBT community. The pretty dress that he was wearing at his presentation to the public really seals the deal.

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  50. Dean Papa (782 comments) says:

    How long before the first gay pope?

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  51. James Stephenson (2,097 comments) says:

    Francis is a girl’s name

    Francis – boy
    Frances – girl

    HTH

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  52. gump (1,555 comments) says:

    You’re quite right.

    But good on the pope for choosing a homophonically ambiguous name.

    He’s sending a signal on the fluidity of gender.

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  53. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    Who would want to follow a leader who has expressed no remorse for this behaviour…?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/jan/04/argenitina-videla-bergoglio-repentance

    Shameful. I don’t understand how these guys put themselves forward.

    Mind you, God, by definition, is quite capable of communicating directly with anyone in the world. No intermediary is needed.

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  54. Dirty Rat (383 comments) says:

    I thought the “Hand of God’ references were hilarious

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  55. rangitoto (222 comments) says:

    Old old bigot is replaced by new old bigot. At least the new one wasn’t in the Hitler youth

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  56. RRM (9,670 comments) says:

    Catholics in the world then, possibly around 50 million – if that.

    Catholics in the world now, 1.2 billion and growing.

    Yes, annihilating the indigenous cultures in South America was a real boon for Catholicism ;-)

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  57. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    scrubone (2,043) Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Jimmy Smits Who cares?

    Jimmy, here’s a question. How much time in your life have you spent considering the (to you) hypothetical possiblity that there might be life after death?

    If not, consider it now. Were death not to be the final act, or even if there is a chance that it is not, wouldn’t that be worth some time examining the various religions of the world to see if any of them had some credibility as a genuine alternative to the belief that it was all an accident with no guiding force behind the creation of what we see around us outside of a few laws of physics?

    Given that I was raised in a Christian household, quite a lot actually, and thankfully I no longer find satisfactory the answer that it is as simple as giving your heart to Jesus given the ridiculousness of the presumption.

    Here is a question for you. Have you actually read, for example, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, and not just excerpts from it from your favourite Christian authors or Church sermons on Sunday? What I have found is many Christians are quick to presume that atheists haven’t considered Christianity seriously, yet fail to bother actually finding out why people no longer believe in it and automatically presume, as did a NewstalkZB host this morning, that it’s because they don’t want to “face up to having to be accountable to God”.

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  58. tvb (4,263 comments) says:

    He will be a good administrator. He seems to run a pretty tight ship in Argentina and it seems the Cardinals are looking to tighten things up in Rome. Being of Italian descent probably eased his path past the Italian “mafia” who are way over represented in Rome. BUt Catholic doctrine is way out of date especially celibacy. The Priesthood is an unattractive career option for anyone who wants a family. Instead the Priesthood seems to be an attractive sanctuary to this who don’t, some of whom are perverts.

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  59. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    Have you actually read, for example, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, and not just excerpts from it from your favourite Christian authors or Church sermons on Sunday?

    No, I have not read it, though I’ve been meaning to finish Hitchen’s one. They’re not exactly quality reading though – any recommendations from anyone worth my time?

    I have read what several atheists have had to say about Dawkins. i.e. while I do listen to my christian friends, I make a point to check with other sources. Feel free to head over to my blog and read my comments about Tony Anthony.

    But I do agree with your comment – people are only too quick to explain other people with an answer that fits their worldview, rather than the facts. That a criticism of Christians BTW, not you.

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  60. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    No, I have not read it, though I’ve been meaning to finish Hitchen’s one. They’re not exactly quality reading though – any recommendations from anyone worth my time?

    Richard Dawkins. Hitchen’s one sucks (if you are referring to the book God is not Great). Richard Dawkins’ God Delusion is far superior, both in content and writing style. To use a parable, Dawkins is like the New Testament, Hitchens is like the Old Testament. Both write about the same thing, one is far easier to understand and agreeable than the other. Sam Harris is another good author.

    In terms of Christian authors, I have found this book to be one of my favourites:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Jesus

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  61. Belinda (128 comments) says:

    Darn was thinking of turning Catholic if Philippe Barbarin had been elcted pope. I think he is just what the Catholic church needs to survive.
    I think he might have got to hold the microphone while the pope talked.

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  62. big bruv (13,572 comments) says:

    He is one creepy looking dude.

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  63. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Good old Catholic Church. they go and elect another one with one foot in the grave, – too scared that if thay elected someone who could actually walk around the block that he might have a clean out and bring the church into the 21st century.

    Ho Hum becoming less relevant by the day

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  64. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Yes, annihilating the indigenous cultures in South America was a real boon for Catholicism

    Also North America.

    http://www.whale.to/b/canadian_holocaust.html

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  65. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    God Atheists are wankers.
    “Holocaust” in Canada? For fucks sake….

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  66. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    “Holocaust” in Canada? For fucks sake….

    Biological warfare rather than guns. But hey, if the mainstrem media doesn’t report it then it didn’t happen, right?

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