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Monday, February 07, 2011



Amen, Leanne! You have said what I think and believe. You have a supporter in me.

There's nothing I find more hypocritical than judgment of others. Remember, before you can remove the speck from another person's eye, you must remove the log from your own.


Leanne, you may want to (re)read Matthew 25:14-30. Specifically:

But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
Then the man who had received the one talent came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”


His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

We are not called to, as you say, "keep myself to myself, take care of my own, and I'm better for it. I think we'd all be better for minding our own business more." What keeps you in the Catholic Church?

Carl E. Olson

Leanne: Since you believe you know my heart and motives, you must either:

1. Be God, or
2. Be a mind-reader, or
3. Be forced to resort to ad hominem and wishful thinking to cover up your lack of logical position/argument.

I'm going to take a leap of faith and run with #3.

I've read many Rice's statements over the past few months, and she has never demonstrated any decent grasp of Catholic moral theology in general, or an understanding of why the Church teaches that homosexual acts, contraption, and abortion are sinful/evil. She emotes, plain and simple. And then, when taken to task for emoting, she or her friends emote about mean, nasty, horrible, and unChristian it is for Catholics to call her on the carpet for her empty, emotive criticisms.

She really doesn't express anything many, many other Catholics, some practicing, some no longer attending Church have expressed a thousand times before, yet people say things to her and about her they'd never say to their real-life neighbor or sister-in-law, for example.

If you spend some time looking through this blog and its 7500+ posts, you'll see that I have posted many times about the failure of many Catholics--including not a few priests--to understand, uphold, and support Church teaching on a number of moral matters.

It's cowardly. It's cheap. It's unmanly, quite frankly.

So publicly criticizing public attacks on the Catholic Church is cowardly and unmanly? Really? That is both sexist and senseless. If that is the best you have, you're in desperate need of a new approach.



I think if you read Carl's posts here in response to the wild accusations of Anne Rice very closely you will see he has never resorted to ad hominem. Others may have in other places.

She really doesn't express anything many, many other Catholics, some practicing, some no longer attending Church have expressed a thousand times before, yet people say things to her and about her they'd never say to their real-life neighbor or sister-in-law, for example.

Protestants for years have believed and echoed most of the wild, ridiculous and outright false claims that Lorraine Boettner has made about the Catholic Church.

What does that have to do with the truth or validity of those claims?

With respect to her claims, that is what Anne Rice needs to back up if she and her followers want a civil discussion. She has not done so to this point. We are still waiting. As to her celebrity being used for blog hits, that works in both directions.


Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. Luke 6:44

One does not seek wisdom from Anne Rice.

After reading yet another attack upon God’s Church it seems clear to me, that If a child turns homosexual, its sin often jeopardizes the salvation of its parents.

The author is correct when he asserts that "Frankly, it is tiring and annoying to be lectured about how we shouldn't criticize falsehood and judge error. ..."

Food for thought;
There are six sins that offend the Holy Spirit. These are:

(1) Despair,

"By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God's goodness, to his justice - for the Lord is faithful to his promises - and to his mercy." (C.C.C. # 2091)

(2) Presumption of God's mercy,

"There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit)." (C.C.C. # 2092)

(3) Impugning the known truth,

(Clarification: To "impugn" the known truth means to attack it by word or argument, to resist it, to contradict it, or even to oppose the known truth or to challenge it as false.)

(4) Envy the spiritual good of another,

(Clarification: Regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians states, "All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually as the Spirit chooses." To envy the spiritual good of another is to question the Divine judgment of the Holy Spirit in His distribution of spiritual gifts. It is to be jealous of another person who has a gift different than one's own gift. Through envy, one rejects the gift that he has received from the Holy Spirit, determining in his own mind that the gift he has received is not good enough for him and he wants someone else's gift.)

(5) Obstinacy in sin,

(Clarification: To be "obstinate" means to resist the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, to be stubborn, to persist in sin, to be unyielding.)

(6) Final impenitence.

(Clarification: "Impenitence" means to be uncontrite, unrepentant, hardened, unconverted, to be without regret, shame or remorse.)

Fernando Umberto Garcia de Nicaragua, Prefectus Minimus: The Jacksonian Institute

If anything has become clear here, it's that both Anne Rice and many commenters lack peace of soul. I too have strongly experienced this horrid lack recently, though I come not from the "left" like Ms. Rice, but from the "reactionary" side. Thus I sought out some resources to help me out of this hole. I think they could be of profit to everyone here, including Ms. Rice:



Pax Christi to all!


Anne Rice is no longer a Catholic. She's not obligated to uphold the teachings of the Church. Continually snarking away at her even though there's nothing new in her position, which isn't really an original position to take in the first place is pointless, yet so many Catholic bloggers do it -- and when they do, it tends to be contagious -- one blogger writes something about Anne Rice, a bunch more jump in.

She's become the favorite scapegoat of the Catholic blogosphere.

The real hypocrisy is that many of the bloggers who enjoy criticising her usually include some big spiel on how she's not properly catechised, she's emotionally immature, she's ignorant, and so forth, yet they can't resist going on about her. Why do you care if she's such an empty-headed, overly emotional ignoramus who writes bad books, etc., etc., etc.?

The reason this kind of gang-bang bothers me so much is because it serves no purpose whatsoever other than to garner the critiquing blogger some extra traffic and the usual snarks and scolds a whipping boy. It is cheap and petty and easy and comes off as pretty cowardly in the long run.

I probably wouldn't even have cared about this particular piece so much if you hadn't been so quick to claim you wouldn't pray for her. Fine. Don't pray for her. Oooh. That'll show her. Big man. I mean, WTF was that all about? What a rotten thing to say. What a truly, deeply, stunningly shitty thing to say.

Thing is, now you've said it and now I've seen it and now I think you're an asshole. OTOH, you probably think the same of me, so guess that makes us even.

Carl E. Olson

Anne Rice is no longer a Catholic. She's not obligated to uphold the teachings of the Church.

The discussion was not about her upholding Church teaching, but showing a basic understanding of it and critiquing it fairly and seriously. I've never seen her do so, or come close to doing so.

Continually snarking away at her even though there's nothing new in her position, which isn't really an original position to take in the first place is pointless, yet so many Catholic bloggers do it -- and when they do, it tends to be contagious -- one blogger writes something about Anne Rice, a bunch more jump in.

So...if Anne Rice continually attacks Catholics and the Catholic Church, it's all fine and dandy, but if folks like myself respond to her attacks, we're the bad guys? Beside, this cuts both ways: "Continually snarking away at the Church even though there is nothing new in the Church's position isn't original, yet so many former Catholics do it--and when they do it, it tends to be contagious--one blogger writes something about the Catholic Church, a bunch more jump in."

She's become the favorite scapegoat of the Catholic blogosphere.

She has made strong, often outrageously sweeping and sloppy accusations that directly attack and offend the sensibilities of a large group of people. Are you really surprised she has upset some people? The fact is, anyone expressing a strong opinion on the internet--about sports, politics, music, food, etc.--is going to get criticized and challenged, sometimes viciously and unfairly. But I don't see anything in my posts about Rice that is unfair or vicious, contrary to your unfounded accusations.

It is cheap and petty and easy and comes off as pretty cowardly in the long run.

Unlike your comments, which exhibit a cool rationality and obvious sense of fairness?

I probably wouldn't even have cared about this particular piece so much if you hadn't been so quick to claim you wouldn't pray for her.

I have never said such a thing. Never.

Thing is, now you've said it and now I've seen it and now I think you're an asshole.

Good grief. Take a chill pill.


I probably wouldn't even have cared about this particular piece so much if you hadn't been so quick to claim you wouldn't pray for her.

Leanne, help me out here. I'm looking for that in Carl's post but can't seem to find it.

Carl E. Olson

Leanne, help me out here. I'm looking for that in Carl's post but can't seem to find it.

She'll be hard pressed to find it since I've never said or wrote any such thing about anyone in my entire life.


Carl, thanks as usual for a thoughtful response to a blatant attack on the Church (a.k.a. the Bride of Christ, Christ's Mystical Body). Christ identified Himself with his Church upon confronting Saul on the road to Damascus: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?". When you defend the Church, which is more than the sum of its sinful members, you defend Christ who is always faithful to his Bride and who continues to build his Church (Mt. 16:18) and speak his Truth through Her.

Your comments in your article above were a reasoned response to an influential public figure's very public comments attacking the Church and in particular the Church's moral teachings. They were charitable in that you ultimately care about this person's soul (and the souls of those who might be influenced negatively regarding the Church by this attack) as demonstrated by your attempts here and in the past to disabuse them of the false beliefs they hold regarding Christ and his authentic Gospel lived out in the Church throughout history, including the teachings regarding human sexuality.

And for your troubles you are accused (by someone who must have God like powers of seeing into men's hearts) of doing it all to get page hits. Sigh!

Keep fighting the good fight in the Church Militant Carl and remember that last beatitude because I'm sure you are going to see more of it.


>>One commenter on this blog stated, "Anne Rice doesn't need our criticisms or judgments. She needs love, compassion and prayers." This exhibits both bad faith and pious myopia.<<

Quoting you quoting yourself.../eyeroll

This is tantamount to saying you won't pray for her but will criticise her instead. What's wrong with praying for someone you disagree with, or even dislike or find dangerous?

And if her statements are so sloppy, why pay attention? Why give them credence by taking the time to go over the same ground one more time? The only people who read her comments are already her fans anyway and probably won't even see your "critique".

I'm not claiming to be either cooly rational or fair. I'm just calling it like I see it.

How does this serve God? How? How does someone on some blog using Anne Rice's high profile status to stir up some attention serve God? Why not say a prayer for her and let God do what God needs to do? You seriously think God needs you to run around critiquing everyone who has an issue with the institutionalized Church?

I just know all too well what sort of person goes down this road and I know all too well the permanent damage it does. I read the discussion that preceded Anne Rice's announcement that she was no longer interested in pursuing her Catholic faith. I understand why she feels that way because I felt that way for a long time too. I know the kind of damage this continued picking away at people who are struggling, and struggling with good reason, does.

The day you've been on the receiving end of the kind of filth that was slung at Anne Rice because she has a gay son is the day you get to give her a hard time for her understandable feelings on the matter.

And, yes, I get it -- only the cold, dead, icy, emotionless, rigid, one-note automatons are the "real" Catholics. I've heard that one, too.

Just don't make the mistake of thinking being an inhuman dick makes you an intellectual. I had one of those for a father -- I could tell you stories that would make your hair turn white about the reality that lay behind THAT oh-so-holy facade.

Whatever. I don't expect anything I say will ever make a difference to your sort, but sometimes I just can't sit back and shut up and pretend everything that calls itself Catholic is a good thing.

Carl E. Olson

Leanne: Wow. Other than misreading my remarks, misrepresenting my stance, misjudging my intentions, and mislabeling me (I'm not sure any man is really an "inhuman dick"), you've got me pegged, marked, trapped, figured out, and otherwise conveniently labeled. Congrats!


>>I'm not sure any kman is really an "inhuman dick"<<

I am.


I can only hope and pray that the Hound of Heaven is not yet done with Anne. My own path back into the faith has had many twists and turns.
She obviously has fears for her son, and for her late, atheist husband; and those fears blind her to looking closely at the reality of the Church's doctrines both on faith and homosexuality.
Look deeper, Anne.
Truth Himeslf speaks truly.

Charles E Flynn


The ignoramus to which you refer has spent at least $160,000 at a self-congratulatory college or university, to learn that rational thought began with the Enlightenment, that there is no objective truth, and that buildings with flat roofs are a good idea.

Giani Natio

judge not lest ye be judged

let ye among you without sin cast the first stone

turn the other cheek

help your fellow man

wow, the general trend of this article, and these responses, seems to corroborate everything Anne feels on the subject.

I wonder how many of you are even familiar with Catholic Social Teachings...since you're so FAMILIAR with doctrine. Are abortion and homosexuality big topics there? No, seems to focus on social justice, avoiding war, entitling people to the basics of life, etc.

I'm thankful for the daughters and is their arm of the Church that lives out these doctrines and the word of Jesus. The arm of the bishops? Not so much. If you want to do something Jesus would have done, put down your keyboards and comments, stop going to church, stop worrying what other people think, and go help the poor.

I'm guessing Anne has done more for the poor than MANY Catholics.

And Carl...there's a broad chasm between real logic and specious, in all your unsubstantiations, would do well to learn the difference. Here's a list of many common logical fallacies...try writing an article without leaning on one of these and you MIGHT have a point to make.

Carl E. Olson

judge not lest ye be judged/let ye among you without sin cast the first stone/turn the other cheek/help your fellow man

Just as your heroine, Anne Rice, has done? Just as you do, when you go on to attack and judge me? Anyone familiar with the Sermon on the Mount knows that Jesus is not saying we must not making any sort of judgments, but that we cannot judge the heart (which I've never pretended to do) and that our criteria for judgment will be used against us (see Mt 7:1ff). My criteria for judging the words of Rice are truth, logic, and veracity, especially as they are realized and expressed in Magisterial teaching. I've posted a number of times about her remarks over the years, noting that she never makes any sort of case for why abortion is alright, or that homosexual acts are good, or that "same sex marriage" is proper, and so forth.

I wonder how many of you are even familiar with Catholic Social Teachings...since you're so FAMILIAR with doctrine. Are abortion and homosexuality big topics there? No, seems to focus on social justice, avoiding war, entitling people to the basics of life, etc.

And to think that I spent time and effort earning a Masters in Theological Studies from one of the finest Catholic universities in the U.S. (the University of Dallas) when I could have been sitting at your feet, soaking in the wit and wisdom of You—-and Wikipedia (I guess I can now toss out all of those silly books on moral theology and social doctrine I read and studied). God help me from ever being deprived again of such an honor. Well, let's see; the Church's Compendium of Social Doctrine states:

The first right presented in this list is the right to life, from conception to its natural end, which is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia. (CSD, 155)

There is more, of course, but let's take a look at what John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae:

The Church knows that this Gospel of life, which she has received from her Lord, has a profound and persuasive echo in the heart of every person-believer and non-believer alike-because it marvellously fulfils all the heart's expectations while infinitely surpassing them. Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15) the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree. Upon the recognition of this right, every human community and the political community itself are founded. (EV, par. 2)

In other words, the right to life and the recognition of the dignity of human life is essential for the realization of any true social justice; it is the basis for the Church's care for the poor, the ill, the marginalized. More from JPII:

The Second Vatican Council, in a passage which retains all its relevance today, forcefully condemned a number of crimes and attacks against human life. Thirty years later, taking up the words of the Council and with the same forcefulness I repeat that condemnation in the name of the whole Church, certain that I am interpreting the genuine sentiment of every upright conscience: "Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practise them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonour to the Creator".5 (EV, 3; quoting Gaudium et Spes, 27)

As for "same sex marriage", which Rice thinks is wonderful, the CSD states:

Making “de facto unions” legally equivalent to the family would discredit the model of the family, which cannot be brought about in a precarious relationship between persons [502] but only in a permanent union originating in marriage, that is, in a covenant between one man and one women, founded on the mutual and free choice that entails full conjugal communion oriented towards procreation.

Connected with de facto unions is the particular problem concerning demands for the legal recognition of unions between homosexual persons, which is increasingly the topic of public debate. Only an anthropology corresponding to the full truth of the human person can give an appropriate response to this problem with its different aspects on both the societal and ecclesial levels[503]. The light of such anthropology reveals “how incongruous is the demand to accord ‘marital' status to unions between persons of the same sex. It is opposed, first of all, by the objective impossibility of making the partnership fruitful through the transmission of life according to the plan inscribed by God in the very structure of the human being. Another obstacle is the absence of the conditions for that interpersonal complementarity between male and female willed by the Creator at both the physical-biological and the eminently psychological levels. It is only in the union of two sexually different persons that the individual can achieve perfection in a synthesis of unity and mutual psychophysical completion”[504].

Homosexual persons are to be fully respected in their human dignity [505] and encouraged to follow God's plan with particular attention in the exercise of chastity[506]. This duty calling for respect does not justify the legitimization of behaviour that is not consistent with moral law, even less does it justify the recognition of a right to marriage between persons of the same sex and its being considered equivalent to the family[507]. (CSD, 227-8)

My point is simply this: the Church has a coherent, cohesive understanding of the moral and social orders, rooted in her belief in a loving, personal God who is holy and desires men to be holy. Anne Rice and company form their vision of such matters on sentiment and subjective whim, upon understandings of "love" that are not rooted in the essential nature of man and his ultimate ends, but in transient happiness and pleasure.

Mary Magdalene

"Rice claims her faith is in Christ, but it is a Christ made in her likeness and image: politically correct and socially trendy, anti-Church, disdainful of authority, with an open hostility toward traditional morality"

So the blogger would rather have a Christ as politically incorrect as Sarah Palin, as trendy as Medieval attitudes, and as hierarchy-minded as a Church that has sponsored colonization and tolerated pedophilia. I want that Christ too.

"She simply assumes her position is correct...Meanwhile, the Church has formally issued all sorts of documents about those various matters and numerous Catholic authors—both at academic and popular levels—have written books defending Church teaching on these and other issues."

Even if Einstein or St. Peter wrote these books, damning homosexual acts is indefensible. There is no side to defend than tolerance. You'd be a HATE GROUP to do otherwise, which is what the Catholic Church essentially is.

Giani Natio

NICELY DONE: ARGUMENTUM AD POPULUM? Hard to say these numbered passage's what all the populace thinks but let's just say that it's popular opinion. That's not logic, nor right. It's a logical fallacy. All the populace used to think that the sun revolved around the earth. They were wrong. And still, no single person has ever observed independently the truth of the matter. So popular opinion can be flawed.

Appeal to authority? You cite a number of PAPAL / THEOLOGICAL / BIBLICAL articles as authority in logic. They are not. Matthew? Please. They are just the use of some words indicating what some people got together to say and think.

Never once did I say Anne was my heroine. I opined on what she's done in this world. Let's see, which logical failing you used there...a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter (hasty generalization).

Never once did I say YOU CARL were lacking in knowledge of Social Teachings...i said that I wondered how many. That you chose to extrapolate that to you is called Irrelevent conclusion. That you chose to attack my wit therein is argumentum ad hominem.

I could go on, but it would be boring.

Again, and again, you revert to FALSE LOGIC. Logic is the language of math, not english. Logic is 2+2=4, provable, undeniable. You speak many times of logic, yet appear not to know what it means. Your arguments are as much of emotion as Annes, or Leannes, or any emotive argument. Hence YOUR ANGER. The CHURCH is emotion, and the church is a business. Anne, nor anybody, have any more to validate their beliefs than you do yours...yet the church, which has spent thousand of years excoriating people for non believing suddenly feels like it needs blog writers to it's defense, or you feel it needs you to its defense?

FAITH, REAL FAITH, means not needing to defend. Ergo, where is your faith?

About the only logical statement you make herein is these words "Her belief in a loving personal god"...that's correct, the church is an entity with a belief...nothing more...and those beliefs are no more right, nor wrong, than Anne's, and no more in line with the teachings of Jesus than the beliefs of a host of others.

MY POINT...since you appear to have missed to go do good things FOR your fellow man... and stop trying to control him, or her. Only then will YOU have found Jesus.

Carl E. Olson

I could go on, but it would be boring.

At least you were right on that count. The rest is cheap smoke and broken mirrors. But thank you for the sermon: "Be nice. Do good." Powerful. You haven't changed my life, but you have wasted some of my time. Kudos.

Carl E. Olson

You'd be a HATE GROUP to do otherwise, which is what the Catholic Church essentially is.

Dan Brown just called. He has your meds. Hurry along...

Giani Natio

Nice reply. I see now that Anne, with her earlier apology when she was factually incorrect, had the kindness and decency to correct herself. "Cheap smoke and Broken Mirrors". Did you learn that in seminary?

BTW, since we're comparing notes, I'm very proud to say that I gave up Catholicism for lent and that subsequent to that, I now work in Catholic Healthcare BY CHOICE and spend my days doing good things for people vs. talking about how many articles or books or analyses I've written, or shows I've opined on, hail mary's I've said, or what not... It feels good to save lives and help the poor.

And as far as LOGICAL substantiations go:

CHA (Catholic Health Association - 60000 nuns strong) stood behind a hospital and against the bishop in Phoenix for excommunicating a nun and a hospital, for saving a womans life by giving her an abortion, thereby saving one life, versus NONE.

CHA Stood against the council of Bishops regarding the recent Healthcare Overhaul. Thereby ensuring healthcare for many, vs focusing on what might be few abortions and put their opinion where their mouths were in terms of doing the greatest amount of possible good in this world.

The APA, AMA, and numerous other organizations, using the same rigorous science used to conclude that the Sun does not, in fact, revolve around the earth, have concluded that homosexuality is not, in fact, abnormal or unhealthy.

Similar Studies have also concluded that FAMILY is not threatened by Homosexual unions. Perhaps, like Galileo, these good folks can expect an apology from the Catholic Church in, oh, 300 years. Or was it closer to 400?

So all your "THEOLOGICAL STUDIES" whilst interesting and certainly worth study, in the realm of LOGIC, amount to studies of opinions. Facts, which form the building blocks of logic, come from Science and Science has rarely been the strong suit of this "CHURCH".

I will say that it is a good sign that Pope Benedict took less than 2 years to redact his ridiculous position on the use of Condoms to slow the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Maybe there's hope for Logic in the church after all. Perhaps that will return the focus to the most good for the most people...and shift this entire discussion away from whether you or Anne Rice are prettier.

Carl E. Olson

Giani, you sound like Charlie Brown's teacher. Anyhow, I hope you didn't throw your shoulder out of joint patting yourself on the back. Since you started our little conversation with something from Matthew 7, I'll finish it with a quote from the same section: "Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you."


This was very well written.
I agree 100% with the author.
I'm a Christian and while I can not or choose not to live my faith 100% I certainly am not "hating others who don't either" or "wanting to change the entire set of beliefs the gospel is founded on to accomodate myself personally"

Also - if you follow her logic, 75% of the Catholic church are gay and the church is dishonest, dishonorable and immoral. If I were gay I'd be very insulted to say the least. I don't think these types of blanket statements can be said. She did not meeet every Catholic or spend time at every Catholic church and meet with every Catholic official and read every document in the Vatican Library....why does she think I will revere her opinion?
She's a shallow novel writer, not a scholar who has studied the Catholic faith for years. Also - why is she expecting perfection from a religion - we are all fallible human beings - part of being a Christian means admitting we are fallible. The church is having to constantly rebuild itself due to our fallibility not it's own.

Justin Boyer

Writing here is futile. The mood here is one of condescension. Every post that I've read so far has been spoken down from the loftiest plane known to man. I cannot help but feel highly dissuaded by these comments. So first, I advise you to be very careful with having an air of arrogance within your posts. Christ's love never become accompanied with credentials. True intelligence or Aquinas prudence should not follow with nominal degrees of titles. Already, your views themselves lose any kind of support or logic because they are purported by certificates rather than expressions of real logic.

Personally, I agree with the person who points out that the whole idea of scapegoating famous people is behavior that is typical of a disgruntled blogger. If you faith were true and honorable then you would not seek every opportunity to malign someone. If Anne Rice reads this, she'll probably make every effort to never reconsider venturing back to the Catholic church. Not when the prevailing mentality is one of moral supremacy or prudishness.

You also openly trivialize the faith struggles of people. C.S. Lewis most certainly would never have converted to Christianity if his Christian peers were putting their best effort forward to destroy every ounce of authentic faith.

A state of suspended unbelief is a terribly grim and difficult place to be. As a struggling believer, I find this blog to be potentially venomous and destructive to any person's hope of every relinquishing themselves to God. You're probably the type of Christian that denigrates sufferers of mental disorders as well. Imagine if I wrote a blog post about my OCD fueled worries and Christian doubts. You would have made a mockery of me with a blog post that made every effort to judge me for every ounce of uncontrollable thought. How do you know Anne Rice does not have scrupulosity of some sort? Maybe she is far too sensitive for someone as stoical as you to understand completely the hardships of strong empathy and cold judgement.

Please be careful with future posts and comments. This blog makes every effort to mock people with faith struggles that all Christians, if honest with themselves, could attest to having.

So yes, I encourage you to tear me apart verbally in the most malicious way possible. At least, I have faith that you are not a spokesperson or conduit for God.


>>If a non-Catholic was to visit a sample of the Catholic blogosphere and read through both the posts and subsequent commentary on most of them, I seriously doubt they'd want to become Catholic.

As a noncatholic speaking for myself and a few other traditionalist/conservative Protestants who pay attention to Catholic goings-on, the main aspect of the Catholic Church that repels serious people of other denominations is the level of open dissent and rebellion within Catholic ranks. That more bishops don't stand and defend their own faith more vigorously is scandalous. It's bizarre to watch the Catholic Left so aggressively try to water down their own church's theology, faith and traditions. The Catholic Church would be far more appealing (and better off) if the dissenting nuns, wacky theologians, pro-choice, New Agey, Spirit of Vatican II-following, red sashing crowd formed their own denomination and let the real Catholic Church be true to its foundations. THAT would increase the attractiveness of Catholicism to many faith-filled Protestants.

Fernando Umberto Garcia de Nicaragua, Prefectus Minimus: The Jacksonian Institute

Wow. These judgmental paragons of nonjudgment think Carl is really mean for speaking the unvarnished teachings of the Church. I'm afraid they'd suffer cardiac arrest if they were to read things like Pope Gregory XVI's Mirari Vos:

Or Pope Pius IX's Quanta Cura:

Or Pope St. Pius X's Pascendi Dominici Gregis:

For your own safety, Giani et al., definitely don't read this stuff. If you do, repeat this mantra while you're reading: "But we've progressed beyond this stuff. But we've progressed beyond this stuff...." Then look at the world around you for affirmation of this blessed progression.

Fernando Umberto Garcia de Nicaragua, Prefectus Minimus: The Jacksonian Institute

Speaking of Pope St. Pius X's Pascendi Dominicis Gregis and today's partisans of error, just a snippet:

"...who, animated by a false zeal for the Church, lacking the solid safeguards of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, put themselves forward as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the Person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious audacity, they degrade to the condition of a simple and ordinary man.

"Although they express their astonishment that We should number them amongst the enemies of the Church, no one will be reasonably surprised that We should do so, if, leaving out of account the internal disposition of the soul, of which God alone is the Judge, he considers their tenets, their manner of speech, and their action. Nor indeed would he be wrong in regarding them as the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church. For, as We have said, they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within."

David K. Monroe

How is Anne Rice "scapegoated?" Carl didn't tunnel into her house, she participated in a published interview where she made her ignorant and bigoted comments about the Catholic Church. Why should Catholics, bloggers or otherwise, fear to comment and challenge her opinions?

Left-leaning or otherwise "liberal" Catholics pose as the guardians of free thought, but it seems to me as if they just will not tolerate criticism of their opinions. Hypocrisy indeed.


I think all the idiots from the National 'Catholic' Fishwrapper have come to visit... sad indeed!

Giani Natio

Carl, You seem an intelligent sort and I willingly gave you credit in my first post that you "Might" have a point to make if you actually freed yourself from logical fallacy and substantiated anything you said with one piece of fact.

And your response, faced with real logic, is insult, sarcasm, and scripture.

Who then are you to judge the logical arguments (Or lack thereof) of another?

Can you not stay in the debate and follow the rules you would have others follow? Would you have hypocrisy as your calling card?

Sadly, this is all too often the face of Catholicism when confronted with real logic...fingers in the ears loudly proclaiming "I CAN'T HEAR YOU". Rules for others, a "bill of wrongs" to hang around the neck of all, but themselves.

Such luck we have to live in a country at long last based upon "A Bill of Rights". While the social teachings of the Catholic church are progressive, and in the direction of goodness, they came 100 years too late, and they are still too filled with "wrongs". The founders of the United states with their constitution, overtook your Churches history of "wrongs", listened to the teachings of Jesus, and others, and constructed a much needed bill of the "rights" of humans. It's not complete and has it's flaws, as do all human constructs, but it's perfection so far exceeds that of the gospels that it finally manages to deliver to people a world similar to what Jesus envisioned 2 millenia ago. And yet encodes very few of the "Wrongs" of leviticus that Catholicism appears to cling to.

Time will show us that the constitution of the US is OUR new religion, that it will replace the time worn bible as the document that encodes our rights as people and that because it's a better brand of humanity, the OLD brand will be phased out.

At the end of the day, religions are little more than BRANDS of belief systems that seek to market and promote themselves. They are not GOD. And how many sub-brands does Christianity have? In a free market society, when those Brands no longer deliver what the customers want, they lose market share.

Your Brand is losing market share in the US. And rather than reformulate it and deliver to the people what they want, you criticize those who turn against your brand?

That makes about as much sense as Coke telling pepsi drinkers that they are pigs or dogs. I'm certain that is not how Coke or Pepsi ensures they maintain market share.

Anne, and other consumers like me, who have turned from your brand, have valid points to make about what WE WANT in a brand and you can choose to use those inputs to improve the brand, or you can die with it.

But as customers of a brand, we have little need to substantiate our preferences. We lose little in leaving your brand, it's the only loser.

Jesus radically reformulated the brand from Judaism to Christianity. But the Catholic church seems to have lost the recipe and sank back into the "Old Covenant" recipe.

Is it any wonder people are no longer buying it in this country?

Thankfully, even the good nuns are not tied to the brand in perpetuity and perhaps one day, if it remains to fundamentalist, they will take the true meaning of Jesus and separate from the Catholic church and continue to be the brand that good folks really demand.

It's not too late for you. You could listen to Anne. You could help the church, this church CAN recover this brand and it's share of the people, but only if it's willing to stay ahead of the people...and not lag behind them as it's done for centuries.


@David K. Monroe

I am hardly liberal or a "progressive Catholic". Hardly. I'm so hardcore conservative I think a lot of sexual behavior is sinful, not JUST sinful homosexual behavior.

Anne Rice was interviewed by her gay son for The Advocate. I didn't realize so many conservative Catholic writers read The Advocate. Who knew? But why am I not surprised or, for that matter, shocked...? Hmmm.

Paul Zummo

Writing here is futile. The mood here is one of condescension. Every post that I've read so far has been spoken down from the loftiest plane known to man

The funniest thing about this comment is that the most judgmental, condescending, and obnoxious comments are from people like you. I believe that Carl wrote a post about this a few weeks ago, but this is one of the most tiresome tactics of people who troll this and a lot of other Catholic blogs. You make some noise about snark and judgmentalism, and then engage in nasty ad hominem attacks.

At least, I have faith that you are not a spokesperson or conduit for God.

But at least you're here to teach us about humility and charity.

Gail F

Giani: The church is not a "brand" of Christianity. It's the Church. It is not a democracy. It's the Church. It is not a member-created or member-driven institution -- it's the Church. It existed before it had an members. It will exist if all the members drop dead or leave. It has existed for 2000 years, in all sorts of societies and in all sorts of conditions.

I feel sorry for Anne Rice and I hope she finds some peace. I feel sorry for her son, who is apparently a gay activist of some kind, and I hope he stops listening to people who are a lot more interested in themselves and in what they want than they are in him and in his soul.


“I've seen the holiest-among-holies virtually sexually assault an innocent young girl they never even met on their blogs and in their comboxes.”

How does someone sexually assault someone on a blog? Which blog? What young girl? There are a lot of accusations here and no specifics.

“If I saw once, just once, one of these oh-so-holy Catholic bloggers give as hard a time to their fellow Catholics who spewed absolute filth at her and her son as they do Anne herself, then I might rethink my position.”

I haven’t seen anyone here spewing filth at Anne Rice. I’ve read posts from people disagreeing with her liberal positions, and people speculating about the deeper cause of her anger, and people talking about the merits of her books, but that doesn’t constitute filth. I think if you objectively went back over all the posts on this forum, the most mean spirited ones here are yours. Look at the things you say about your fellow parishioners sitting in the pews besides you and ask yourself if you’re overlooking the beam in your own eye?

Paul Zummo

Your Brand is losing market share

Anne, and other consumers like me,

But as customers of a brand

Thank you for so clearly articulating what you think of religion. For you it's a consumer product that must adapt to your consumer driven appetites. No thanks.



I've seen a lot of Catholic bloggers spew filth at Anne Rice over the past year or so. I also recall the original discussion that was the final nail in the coffin, so to speak, for Ms. Rice. The hate speech directed towards her, her son, and the gay community in general by Catholics was disgusting and I don't blame her one bit for feeling as she does.

Arm-chair analyzation of Ms. Rice is a sly, sneaky way of attacking her personally. Other comments on this thread directly sneer at Ms. Rice. You're not reading everything if you think everyone who's commented on Ms. Rice or others who support her or take issue with singling her out haven't engaged in direct attacks. Scroll up and read JD's comment, for example.

I haven't condemned my fellow parishioners at all. I don't have a regular parish and rarely attend Mass at the same parish two days in a row. Based on my previous experiences, I have chosen not to become personally involved with a parish. That's not a reflection on any random parishioner who happens to be sitting next to me in a pew.

Verbal and/or written attacks are sexual harrassment or, as I put it, virtual sexual assault. Ask your employer or a lawyer.

Fernando Umberto Garcia de Nicaragua, Prefectus Minimus: The Jacksonian Institute

Giani's act is hilarious. Good stuff, G!

Carl E. Olson

Verbal and/or written attacks are sexual harrassment or, as I put it, virtual sexual assault.

Including, I presume, you calling me an "inhuman dick" and an "asshole"? Shall I sue? Or would it only work if you were a man and I was a woman?

I've seen a lot of Catholic bloggers spew filth at Anne Rice over the past year or so.

And so it follows that my criticisms of Rice's comments must be part and parcel of the same? That since some folks spew filth at Rice, it follows that no one can criticize her? By that same logic, no one should be able to criticize my post about Rice now that you've called me vulgar names. If you cannot tell the difference between unfair personal attacks and fair, firm attacks on remarks/opinions, you really should abstain from being involved in these sort of discussions.


Calm down. Neither comment was sexual in nature and you approved them before they were posted. The situation I was referring to is personal and involved adults mocking up a situation in which a specific young girl was having sex with an older man, much like Letterman's comments about Sarah Palin's daughter, only worse and with intent to cause distress. Different story altogether.

All comments addressing Anne Rice's current position on the institutionalized Church aren't necessarily hateful or ugly in nature, nor does it follow that responding to her points falls into that category. That so much of the response she has received at various venues has been so ugly and hateful is why I empathise with her because I can relate.

She responded personally on this thread. She provided an email. That you've chosen to ignore her post or, worse, that you may be engaging in a private conversation with her while still providing a forum for people to snark at her skews your criticisms towards the ugly.

Dale Price

I'm not going to try to read a motive into Anne Rice's actions--I'm neither a confessor nor an analyst. I think her "Christ The Lord" books show an appreciation for scholarship and history, and her essay at the end of the first volume is excellent. I also think her Vampire works have merit--think of the vampires as prisoners of original sin in a world without a redeemer.

Which makes the quality of her arguments about Catholicism since she pulled the ripcord all the more appalling. Yes, she should be appalled by the clerical corruption that led to the abuse of countless (mostly, but not always) boys. But beyond that, her arguments are more rants than sustained reasonable indictments. I hate to use the word, but it's much, much closer to a tantrum than the 95 Theses. Nonetheless, I pray for her and wish her peace.


Rice is ABSOLUTELY right in pointing out the bigotry, hatred, homophobia and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. THANK YOU Anne for pointing out the harm that the Catholic Church does to homosexuals in promoting homophobia and distorting truths. I have left this corrupt institution last month as well.

Giani Natio

GAIL: The Mustang is not a "brand" of Car. It's the Mustang. It is not a "car dictated by the needs and desires of the people". It's the Mustang. It is not a buyer-created or buyer-driven car-- it's the Mustang. It existed before it had any buyers. It will exist if all the buyers drop dead or leave. It has existed for 40 years, in all sorts of societies and in all sorts of cultures.

There, see how much sense and nonsense your statement makes. You may not understand Brand so I'll use "Denomination". The mustang of today barely resembles the mustang of the late 60's...but people who own them now can recognize the older version. It's unlikely people from 1967 could have envisioned the mustang of today JUST AS it's unlikely that the Christians of 2000 years ago would recognize "THE CHURCH" of today.

Among the adherents of the ABRAHAMIC Brands of monotheistic religion, Christianity is but one arm and within that there have been a number of reformations, councils, protestant splits, etc. which have resulted in today's dizzying array of ABRAHAMIC / Judeo-Christian / Christian / Brands of "YAHWEH". Not unlike all the brands of CARS we now see since the development of the FORD.

Strangely, it seems, they all have but one god. And just like the CAR who's purpose is to get us from A to B, that God likely has a primary purpose (and not an array of adherent determined purposes). I wonder what he would think of all these brands and all these fights over which brand is better or worse.

As for you Carl...the vulgar names of 2000 years ago were swine and dogs...but I guess it's not "Spewing filth or unfair personal attacks" if you do it using scripture. Such is the fair firm attacks on remarks/opinions of the religious.

Abstinence indeed.

Paula Brooks

Millions of people will watch Anne Rices videos and read of her condemnations of the Church... While perhaps a thousand of already like minded hard core Conservative Catholic's will read this condemnation of her....

That mean Rice wins.... and you lose... because now a million how corrupt your church is .... so sorry

Dale Price


I'm sympathetic to struggles with faith and can't imagine battering someone who does struggle.

But I'm much less sympathetic with those lose the struggle and subsequently fire thunderbolts of rage, derision and contempt at those they left behind.

"[I]t was not a fine religion, that it was dishonorable, that it was dishonest, that it's theology was largely sophistry... and that it was basically a church that told lies. And that it was for me, for my conscientious standpoint, an immoral church; and I had to leave it."

There's no way to sugarcoat that--it's an attack on Catholics who still practice their faith. It mocks those of us who remain as the denizens of an edifice built entirely on lies. If you follow her arguments, only an idiot or willing dupe would remain a Catholic. In fact, she only needs to add "Whore of Babylon" to be indistinguishable from a Chick tract.

And she does it to wholly uncritical reportage in the media and thunderous applause from hundreds of thousands.

I cannot sympathize with what she is doing on that point. I'm at a loss as to why those who support her are giving her a complete pass for her rhetoric.


Anne Rice is unable to separate the sins of the institutionalized Church from the Church as Mystical Body of Christ. She's intellectually capable of understanding the difference but perhaps she's emotionally incapable of doing that right now.

If you think of losing your faith, or losing trust in something/someone dear as a death of sorts, try to understand that people have to go through a grieving process. Anger is often part of that process and that seems to be where she's stuck right now.

If people didn't care, if people didn't on some level, understand the truth about the Church, the essentials of it all regardless of the bad human behavior, they'd walk away and never give the Church a second thought.

I think people like Anne Rice (and myself for a long time) stay stuck in the anger part of the process because there are Catholics out there who enjoy kicking people when they're down. They especially enjoy it when they're part of a mob. That's what's happening here. Anne Rice says something, the "news" (not-news) zips around the blogosphere, all the Catholic know-it-alls and "me too" bloggers have to weigh in, with links back to Anne Rice's article or website just to make SURE she reads it, and then she feels she has to respond, and nothing ever gets past the angry point.

It's such a stupid energy suck and for what? To prove you're better than Anne Rice, a woman whom most of you seem to think is stupid, vapid, evil and a crappy writer?

What does that say about you?

Disclaimer: "You" is meant in the general sense throughout.

Carl E. Olson

Calm down.

Good call, Leanne. Here I am, swearing at people, making wild and angry comments, and calling the blogger names, while you are simply responding to my outlandi——um, never mind.

Carl E. Olson

Writing here is futile.

Then why did you go on to write seven paragraphs? Seriously. I think the thing most remarkable about your comment, Justin, is how laden it is with victimhood. I'm not sure why that it is, but please don't try to foist the blame on me or this blog.

Carl E. Olson

Giani: Are you related to Tim LaHaye, by chance? Because your method of "arguing" is remarkably similar to his: angry ranting, general incoherence, personal attacks, ridicule of anything having to do with Catholicism, and so forth. But, to be fair to LaHaye, he was generally more polite and certainly more succinct.

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