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Monday, February 07, 2011



Can we please stop paying attention to Anne Rice? Who cares what she thinks?

Even by the lowly standards of anti-Catholic bigots she is a hack. Apart from being a second rate novelist (I doubt very much her books will still even be in print in 20 or 30 years), she is a demonstrably shallow thinker. That sounds mean-spirited, I know, but I'm just being honest (seriously, I wish her only the best), but I can't help but think that we are only paying any attention to her because she has a small margin of celebrity status.

We need to stop worshiping at the alter of celebrity. It is a form of idolatry.

There are many far more intelligent, thoughtful,and challenging critics of the Church. We should be engaging them.


There are Catholics who put politics before faith, and I can sympathize with them. Perhaps they are the ones being referred to by Anne, who I can sympathize with as well.


Poor soul, ran back to being a catholic fearing death and fearing she might end up in hell just to do a 360 because she can't get things her way. LOL

Ms. Rice, even the devil believes whole heartedly in Christ, just the same he hates everything about the Catholic Church!

Anyway, good luck in your new free fall life, but rest assure Jesus will still love you and will give you your FREE WILL....wait, can't use that, that's Catholic teaching.LOL


I am a faithful Catholic who believes the Catholic Church is the true church founded by Christ (believe me, after much study). So I don't understand, why is Anne Rice more obsessed with the Catholic Church than I am? She seems to eat, live and breathe the church (or hatred of it.)


ALL of America and the rest of the Catholic faithful should say one sincere, heartfelt Hail Mary for this much needed soul. As wicked and evil she may write and speak let's not forget that we are obliged to pray for those who have most need of His mercy. Anne obviously forgot to read and do major research about the eternal fires of hell written by the greatest writers of the church -the saints. Please give 30 seconds of prayer for her.

Brian Jones


Your point is well taken, but I do not see this as reason for ceasing to pay attention to Ann Rice. In fact Carl, and many other outstanding commentators, are seeking not so much to pay attention to Ann Rice the person, but the shallow arguments she puts forth.

Rice's anthrocentrism (where she, instead of God, is the center of all that is) is deeply ingrained in the culture, and requires a sustained effort to argue against these currents. Her emotivist laments are the standard framework in which people put forth so-called arguments. They are not based on reason, faith, or any in-depth and prayerful consideration and study.

The reality is that there are not many "intelligent critics" of the Church, but rather, like Rice, many who seek to make their thoughts and emotions the standard by which everything is judged. I would even venture to say that most people that most people do not have a coherent and intellectualy credible philosophy that could answer (let alone ask?) the ultimate questions concerning God, ourselves, and our meaning in the world.



You're right. BUT the problem is when a person like her-albeit with minor celebrity status-supposedly converts to the Catholic faith, then splits-ville willy-nilly, then uses her celebrity status as a means to encourage others to apostatize as well. Ms. Rice would have been better off never converting in the first place. God will have more compassion on the ignorant pagan then the apostate. “…it would be better if they had never been born then to cause one of these little ones to sin…” and “…the dog returns to its vomit…”

Gregory Williams

I just want to make sure I understand what she is saying:
So liberals haven't had control of the Catholic Church for years even though 75% of the priesthood and the hierarchy are gay. And that 75% gay priesthood is dishonorable, dishonest and immoral.

And I have a confession to make. I don't floss on a daily basis. It's more like every 2-3 days, but it's not daily.

Dan Deeny

I agree, more or less, with Andre. Aren't dissenting Catholics more of a problem than Anne Rice? Please see Fr. Dwight Longenecker's fine article on the new anti-Catholicism.

Rebecca Hale

Anne Rice was on the 'cutting edge' of the Vampire trend in popular media - her novels about vampires and the walking dead opened the doors for a number of other writers and "creatives" to exploit the subject. The amount of $$$ those types of films, tv shows, novels and other marketing spin-off generate gives her celebrity status because she has pumped the economy and made herself and others quite rich by dealing with sexually-themed and anti-Christian motifs.

Rather than continue to focus on individual sexuality as the Church has been doing for a number of years - constant references to ABORTION even to the point of discussing bloody fetuses in a homily directed to a congregation filled with young children and parents - a horrible topic with a disturbing mental visual - i humbly feel the Church should "take up the cross" of subject of income and opportunity inequality. People's lives are defined as much or more by their socio-economic status than by their sexual status. The Church at this point has the same 'income inequality' as secular corporations and this is truly an injustice. The Vatican is being investigated by European authorities for money-laundering and fraudulent financial practices. At the parish level, there is seemingly always a shortage of money for teacher salaries and programming and parishioners are constantly asked to give more. How is that possible ? the Gospel has as many or more teachings on financial and community life than on personal sexuality. If Church wishes to attract and retain more of the Faithful i personally suggest takiing the focus OFF sexuality, a very personal issue, and put the focus on communal financial practice with intention of creating healthier and more just communities.


Thank you for that last quote from Danielou. You just sealed my conversion from liberal mainline Protestant blah TO Catholicism. Have a blessed week!


Years ago when I heard she had converted and left her previous obsession with demons, which is at the heart of vampirism (nice culture we have going, by the way...), I was very happy. Now, this stinks. She sounds sorely deluded and oppressed by the master and minions whom she thinks she can observe safely. No such safety exists! This is not a demonic zoo where the danger is kept behind glass.

Thomas Aquinas

Absent father, overbearing mother. Hmmmm! Wonder how Christopher got that way?

Anne Rice

Allow me to take this opportunity to say I should not have said that 75% of the clergy are gay. I don't know that for a fact, not at all. Some have estimated that the clergy is 50% gay. Some have estimated far less. But nobody really knows, and I apologize for presenting something I was told as fact. Also, obviously, nobody knows what the implications might be of the gay presence in the clergy. Obviously there are many gay priests and bishops who keep their vows, live celibate and blameless lives. How their orientation might affect the church, no one knows. Thank you, Anne Rice. [email protected].

M. L. Martin

Rebecca--You assume that the focus on sexual matters is of the Church's choosing. It seems to me that it has all the marks of a defensive fight against a culture that is only a few steps away from outright deifying sexual desire.


I think it's imperative that we pay attention to Anne Rice, precisely because she has set herself up as the spokesman for the ages-old, anti-Catholic, do-it-yourself popery that continues to bedevil so many of the ill-informed.

Allowing Ms. Rice to spew her venom without contradiction is not an option. Why should we allow hateful -- and incorrect -- distortions like these to remain unchallenged? Isn't the stream of public discourse polluted enough already?

Finally, I love it when Carl loses patience: "Frankly, it is tiring and annoying to be lectured about how we shouldn't criticize falsehood and judge error."

Indeed it is.

Indeed it is...



We already know that SOME of the clergy and hierarchy are gay. And given the nature of what has been hitting the news the past few years, I think we can see at least some of the implication of that.

Are you going to publish a retraction of your statement on a larger forum than the Ignatius Blog?

I admired your honesty when you publicly announced you were leaving the Church. But your ongoing, inaccurate critique of the Church is wearing thin and eliminating any standing you had away from the host of others who do the same.


Actaully Rebecca the Church is charitably warning people there are consequences to their actions. If sexual immorality is truly sinful then it will have eternal consequences.

Here is a scenario.
Person wants to jump off a cliff. Well one person says don't- you get hurt and very possibly die. The other person says go ahead. I hear its quite a thrill on the way down but don't worry you won't get hurt because it isn't really a cliff. Besides I don't believe in gravity or for that matter the principal of cause and effect. Either way since you really want to do it it would be unkind for me to warn you about anything negative and that might hurt your self esteem. Have fun and if you want a push just let me know.

Which person should the person listen to? After all we all have free will and God does let us choose- despite the consequences. Those who truly love will warn but in the end each person is loved enough by God that He lets them choose their own end.

Donal Mahoney

Ms. Rice opines that 75% of the clergy is gay. The estimate that I had previously heard was 50%. I wonder if any accurate objective survey or sampling has been done on this matter--or whether it should be done. Personally, I think a gay man can be as good a priest as a straight one. I said "can." The problem raised by the majority of the child abuse cases revolving around clergy and adolescent boys is another matter that complicates my belief. Those cases do not strike me as examples of pedophelia. Perhaps before AIDS struck our society, gay priests, wishing to stray, prospected furtively among adult peers of the same-sex persuasion for companionship. Before AIDS, adolescent boys were not viewed as a "safe outlet" from a health perspective.


In as much as devil hates Jesus Christ he still can't deny his am not surprise that Ms Rice is eager to live with a lie because she is afraid of the truth......May Our Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on her through the intercession of Our Dearest Mother Mary


I can understand Rice changing her mind. I can understand almost anyone getting disillusioned: pre-Vatican II, with a brittle legalistic Church, post-Vatican II with a soft, can't-pontificate-at-all Church. At least those are caricatures I can see how someone could embrace. Especially with of drift of culture challenging almost all of our underlying assumptions. So I pray for her. After aLL, her books on the life of Christ are really good. She reminds me of Arianna Huffington, who was conservative, wrote brilliantly on PIcasso, and then went violently liberal. There are converts and reverts on both sides--such is the mystery of the gift of faith. What I cannot understand or appreciate is a line like this: "it was basically a church that told lies immoral church." Good grief. Can't we all remove ourselves emotionally at least onenotch from our rhetoric. Bush is and idiot, Obama the Sell-out, the POpe a child molestor? Is that really where we are. Rice I think knows better, and is probably unconsciously playing to the MetroWeekly's gay audience. Incidentally, Christianity Today just gave her last novel a book of the year honor, which piques curiosity. Of course, they also gave top album of the year to an artist who eschews traditional Christianity as well. The inevitable end of the extended arc that begins with "What's a Christian artist, and ewhat is Christian art, anyway?!"


As far as abortion it is really murder. I wish people would stop using bolshevik/nazi like terms such as liquidation instead of genocide or assasinations, murder, etc. They try to turn the victim into a nonentity in an attempt to create the impression what is happening is not really wrong.

Perhaps it can be an issue addressing some sexual issues in a context where there are young children. However, unfortunately very few parents address it these days and often they are permissive regarding deviant behaviors. Thus the priest often has no choice. Besides aside from these claims many parents let their children watch immoral shows/ movies where deviant sexuality is promoted or introduced. I have seen some parents that raise the same issues let their young daughters watch shows where it can be very suggestive- and even shows them getting into bed (sometimes more). I try to avoid those things myself as an adult- I can see why people think its okay for children to watch and then complain because their priest warns against it in the homily. I find it sort of strange that those parents complain so much and then are so permissive when it comes to what goes on in their own house.

Besides if sexual issues aren't addressed then you will never properly address the issues of income, etc. One reason we have so many rapes and violent murders today (at least those of women and children) is pornography and yes it is definitely on the increase. Don't people realize that if you encourage the sexual appetite and place no boudaries or restrictions on it it will become a monster? If you are too afraid to address that then you will have a society where income, etc will be the least of your worries. It is probably one of the main reasons that sex slavery is on the increase and hundreds of young children and young women(much more worldwide) go missing every year. So yes bravo to your priest if he is trying to prevent that. As a parent and a woman one should be thankful that some are willing to stand in the gap and try to protect youth and innocence from the perversion of our society which has been degenerating into a cess pool.

As far as the money laundering yes that needs to be dealt with but I think that most people would feel that people's eternal salvation and their children are much more important than money.


Anne Rice makes valid points about some things, IMO, and I believe much of what she's come to think of the Church is the result of the Catholics she's encountered on her journey.

There are really awful Catholics out there who give repulsive witness to the Church. I've encountered those same sorts of people, too, and I empathize with Anne given that she does have a gay son and has been the target of some really filthy personal attacks as a result. If I was in a similar situation, I'd probably leave too. That kind of stuff is too painful and upsetting when it's about your children.

These days I go to Mass, stay focused on the Eucharist and mind my own business. I don't join things, I don't make friends at Church, I don't get involved. I chose to stay, but I'm not going to hate on Anne for leaving or for using her high profile status to voice her opinions.

The Church has told lies. It has engaged in immoral behavior -- heck, it's engaged in outright criminal behavior, and the kind of criminal behavior that makes your skin crawl and your stomach turn -- that's a fair criticism, one the Church brought on itself, and one they'll just have to man up and deal with as long as it goes on. They engaged in those crimes for decades and decades, so decades and decades worth of criticism is their just due. And if I had a gay child and I saw those gutless, soft, whiny men try to blame their sins on the gay community, I'd do more than criticise or leave -- I'd have tracked down every single whiner who tried to blame his piggery on innocent gay people, nailed him to the floor through his kneecaps, cut off the offending member, run it through my Cuisenart and poured it down this throat 'til he choked on it. I'm not nearly as nice as Ms. Rice.

And I'm still Catholic. Sitting next to you in the pews. Go figure.

Thomas S

I was just now on The Curt Jester and clicked on his link to Fr. Most's FREE FROM ALL ERROR. I happened to notice Amazon has a forum on Catholicism at the bottom of the page. I clicked on a thread entitled "Are Conservative Catholics trapped in "the times and unable to seek for the timeless teachings of Christ?".

Guess who started the thread? Anne Rice!

The 136 responses include probably 70% from Rice herself. This in edition to her other, ridiculously extensive, forays into the Catholic blogosphere. I'm thinking of NCRegister in particular.

I can't help but think there is a really unhealthy obsessive compulsion working here. It seems unhinged.

I don't mean this to be mean, but her vapid, tedious, self-absorbed, voluminous, and REPETITIVE postings remind me of a true lunatic.


Alas, Ms. Rice is a good writer with a bad philosophy. Because her rants are loud and heard almost world-wide, her ignorance and hatred do a lot of damage. Ignoring her is a sort of shrugged, "Hey, she's right."

I wish Ms. Rice would read Plato's _The Symposium_. A homosexual pagan writing about a dinner party of bisexual and homosexual friends, he introduces basic concepts sympathetic to many: Sexual intercourse isn't just for personal pleasure; it has a sacred responsibility to the community. Hetero- or homosexual, all must contribute to the welfare of the community. Agathon's same-sex partnership is approved ONLY because he writes great tragedies that teach citizens how to live virtuous lives. Alcibiades is damned, because he is irresponsible, untrustworthy, and ultimately a traitor.

M. Love

It's a terrible shame. I read Ms. Rice's Christ the Lord novels, and (like many orthodox Catholics, including Peter Kreeft) found them to be beautiful and moving, particularly The Road to Cana, which imagines Christ's adult life just prior to the beginning of his ministry, up to and including the Wedding at Cana. I loved her depictions of Mary, Joseph (who is depicted as an enormously holy and admirable man, the unquestioned head of his extended household), Jesus's half-brother James, and of Jesus himself, a man patiently waiting for the time to begin his ministry, while his contemporaries wonder when he's going to make something of himself.

But I can't help noticing that Ms. Rice's book left off at precisely the moment when she would have to deal with the decidedly unimaginary Jesus of the Gospels, the Jesus who warns strenuously of Hell, who tells us that he has come to set family members against one another, who informs us that "mere" lust is equivalent to adultery, among many other hard sayings. And I've wondered if Ms. Rice's "unversion" was at least partly driven by the stark incompatibility between her imaginary Christ and the real one. We Christians all at various times have to face up to the fact that Jesus is not the person we might wish him to be (one who gives us free passes and lets us bend the rules when it suits us), but very few of us have set ourselves the task of writing novels about him. Perhaps when she realized that she couldn't shoehorn the Christ of the Gospels into her preferred narrative, she was left with the options of either conforming herself to him, or rejecting him. Sadly for herself and for us, she chose the latter.

I will keep her in my prayers.

Kathleen Sable

I think her big problem is having a homosexual son. I had an aunt with the same problem. After he died of aids she stopped going to Mass. But she would go with me if I asked her.
My aunt didn't go nuts and attack the church like Anne Rice. It was just so painful for her to try and reconcile church teahings and her love for her son. Of course she was a cradle catholic, not a convert like Anne. It was a pitiable situation.


A very astute comment on CMR

"Well, which is it? That the liberals have no power, or the 75% of the clergy are gay? These are contradictory claims; she makes them both in the same sentence.


"Apart from being a second rate novelist (I doubt very much her books will still even be in print in 20 or 30 years), she is a demonstrably shallow thinker. That sounds mean-spirited, I know, but I'm just being honest (seriously, I wish her only the best)"

Do people hear themselves?

Poor sinner

Lord Jesus master of the impossibles, we entrust to you our sister Anne Rice. You know her problems and understand her situation better than we do. In your great love Lord, I pray through the intercession of the Virgin Mary and all the angels and saint, grant Ann a pure heart and have mercy on her in the midst of this storm she is in.
Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed in the fruit of your womb Jesus. Holy Mary mother of God and the Church, pray for Ann and us poor sinners now and at the our of our death Amen.
Friends let us offer our pains and sufferings for this poor soul. She is like the possessed man ( in the gospel) who lived in grave yard who had legions of demons, and came to Jesus crying "Son of God what have you to do with me." Ann recognizes the true Church of God, but evil has overtaken her . I pray and hope like this man, her demons in the name of Jesus will be cast away and sent to the pigs and once again Anne will find peace in the church of Jesus and rejoice in the saving power of the Sacraments, especially the sacrament of reconciliation. For now let us surrender her and her need to Jesus through Mary.


@ Andre

Unfortunately we cannot ignore Anne Rice. She has a large following and, unfortunately, many will believe her words about the Church without questioning.


@ Leanne

Ok there are bad catholics, even bad priests... but not all of the are evil or bad.

You say:
"These days I go to Mass, stay focused on the Eucharist and mind my own business. I don't join things, I don't make friends at Church, I don't get involved. I chose to stay, but I'm not going to hate on Anne for leaving or for using her high profile status to voice her opinions. "

and I think that is a little sad. The Church is a COMMUNITY, we are SHARING our life in Christ.

Most Catholics I know are good people... and they are not an exception to the rule.

If you believe everyone around you is evil... what kind of neighbour are you? Remember the parable of the good Samaritan... how can we good neighbours and indeed good Christians if we hold everybody in contempt?!

Jesus asks us to love one another, not to have a 'holier than thou' attitude.

Reflect upon this.


The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen was indeed prophetic when he said (paraphrased) there are very few who hate the Church, but multitudes who hate what they think it is, "which is an entirely different thing". Indeed. Ms. Rice falls squarely in the latter.


Brian & JP,

Yeah, yeah, you're right...we do need to respond to this, for the reasons you both describe. My off the cuff post was just an initial sigh of aggravation, sort of like "Oh no, not HER again...."

In case you missed it, Fr. Longenecker had some interesting comments on this situation:

Maigstra Bona

For All and Kathleen Sable: The pre-VatII Church could not even speak about homosexuality--nor could the larger culture. When VII became the excuse for many priests to leave the priesthoo--often for marriage, the homosexual priests had to stay. There was no role or open space for them to go to. No way they could come out. The closet defined the collared who served us then and now Only well after VII did homosexuality have greater openess in the larger culture. AIDS hit, and as our priests dropped dead from it, the silent Church has had to talk about things it never mentioned before, never confronted before, and never before developed a vocabularly with which to talk. The silver lining in any Church scandal is the Church's eternal capacity to rise up out of the dust and mud, clean herself off, and try again. Anne Rice's difficulty comes in having actually been raised Catholic before VII, never having gotten around to actually dealing with the New Catechism, and being adequately mentored as an adult Catholic. Many adult Catholics stumble along in ignorance of the Faith because no one will teach them, mentor them, or value them. After your confirmation, you are considered "done". Never darken the Church's door again. I say: Cut this poor woman some slack. Get her into a real, not new-Agey touchy-feeling stupid RCIA program, and get her back to Mass. And, drag her son along. The Church does not exclude homosexuals. It holds all persons to a high standard of sexual conduct which can be simply stated as: Only married people have sex. The rest of your life and spirit should be directed to living up to the Beatitudes. That's a lifetime of effort! Who has time for vampires? Also, Anne may not have had the intellectual ammo of an Aquinas because all this time she has suffered from a publicly admitted learning disorder. Re the son: All Moms rush in to protect their children from perceived threats, real or not. In a healthy parish, her son would be welcome. He would also be held to the same standard of sexual morality as any straight or undecided person: No sex outside of marriage. Would the all of our priests would observe this simple rule. A tough rule, yes. But fair.

Christopher Hinn

I'm sorry but I disagree with Rice on some points. Yes there are gays in the priesthood but that doesn't mean every gays in a holy cloth are immoral. Negative talks about the church and priest should not be taken in to a general perspective. We should give credit also to those who are true in serving God.


Rebecca Hale needs to memorize the quote: " Fidelity to the Gospel can never be infidelity to the Church. The true, the only legitimate reform is that which has its source in love of the Church, which causes the agony of not seeing the Church so perfect as Christ would wish it, but which at no moment can be separated from the Church. For this, the unique Church, remains ever the Spouse of Christ Jesus, whatever be the sins of the men who make it up. We do have the duty of humbling ourselves; we have never the right to humble the Church.".

I grew up knowing of the Holocaust, and of Slavery...the depth of the better believe I wish even my young children to know of the same about the evil of abortion. Yes, especially even from the pulpit. Do you think i want my children to ask me someday why I did not speak up of the holocaust of millions of babies?
Abortion is not a sexual issue. I pray the scales someday fall from your eyes...

Rebecca Hale

Do you consider sending children to war to be murder? Do you believe that endorsing policies that ensure the early death of millions of innocents makes individuals accomplices to the murder of living children? Do you believe it is correct that the military and arms budget of the United States is ten times larger than that of China, according to some reports ? Do you feel it is correct and "Gospel" that there are homeless and sick children who are alive and cannot recieve care due to lack of funds?

Please do not pray for me. no one knows who is saved until the last hour.


She used to live in New Orleans, too, valued it and put it into her stories, she owned property there. Then, she moved away, and speaks of it with regret. Maybe she's having issues with the roots of how and where she grew up and beliefs instilled in her while growing up. What she seems to be doing is making some kind of Grand Exit from whatever she began with in life, much like when someone long time participating in a chat web site becomes disgruntled with it, they post one last "Harummpph!"-type posting to vent, then out they go. It's not very mature, and unpleasant to read about or hear. If Ms. Rice wants to live somewhere else, worship a different way, she's always had that freedom and option. No reason to publicly "Harummpph!" In the Oprah-ization of our society, she feels she has to announce publicly what in prior generations used to be lived privately. If she's that unhappy with her former city and her former religion, sorry 'bout that, and peace to her wherever she goes.... and best wishes to the next city or religious faith belief or anything else she decides to publicly "Harummpph!" about in the future.


I am absolutely on-board with the doctrine that sex is for married couples only and should always be open to life. So here are some rough estimates: about 2% of the male population is believed to be gay and somewhat less of the female population; let's go long and say 2% of both. About 80% of the general population is believed to commit onanism or the analogous female activity; let's suppose Catholics are really, really good on this and only 60% of us do. Then we should hear the bishops condemn onanism approximately thirty times as often as we hear them condemn homosexual acts. I don't; do you?


Her only church is that of hedonism and worship of self. She doesn't wish to conform to the church, she wants the church to conform to her desire never to be questioned or judged on her behavior. It can't be much of a surprise that she turned away from a faith that actually puts occasional moral demands on its adherents.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Southern Baptist, but I have great respect for the traditions of the Catholic church, and many of the finest people I know are its adherents. It's sad that Anne Rice stumbled toward the light and then turned away again, but she was drawn for a reason. Maybe she'll stumble back again.

Mark Mills

In response to Rebecca Hale,
you are correct that there are some very large issues which need to be addressed, but the salvation of a single soul is equally important. yes, sexuality is personal, but the misuse of sexuality damages the single person and that single person, if Christian, is a member of the body of Christ.
always remember, if there was but one sinner on the face of the earth, Christ would still have given his life for that person. whether murderer, rapist , thief, fornicator, unbeliever, hertic or even homosexual, our Lord calls all to repentance


Well, what else can we expect Ms. Rice to do when confronted by a choice between upholding Catholic teaching regarding her son's embrace of the homosexual death-style, or getting on board with the homosexualist agenda to remain in good standing with her son? I've seen other Catholics with this same dilemma, and they usually end up caving in to the agenda because they are afraid of a fractured relationship with their son or daughter. But in doing so, do they realize they are in reality encouraging a destructive, immoral, and potentially life-threatening addiction? Maybe they do. To calm their guilt they rationalize the addiction by pretending their child was born gay, etc. - ignoring that science does not support a gay gene - anything but admit to themselves this is a misbehavior that can be controlled. Because that admission would cause major trouble with their relationship with their child, which the parents are scared to death of losing. So instead of helping their child out of the death-style they are participating in, they make the choice to let them sink into the depravity of the homosexualist world and blame the Catholic Church. If the Church would just go along, they think, they wouldn't have all this guilt!



I don't believe everyone around me is evil. That's the problem -- I don't hate the "right" people enough for too many Catholics. I don't think Anne Rice is evil, and I don't think practicing gay people are evil, either. I don't think other people's perceived sins are mine to focus on. I've got enough of my own to worry about.

Also, I've experienced firsthand just how appalling the more-Catholic-than-the-Pope holier-than-thou crowd can be. I know firsthand what they are capable of doing. 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. I've seen filth I never thought I'd see in my lifetime coming from the mouths of the self-proclaimed "chaste". I've heard too much gossip over the years, seen too much of the mean-girl spirit of most parish cliques, and I've also seen deliberate dishonesty under the guise of "protecting" the Church.

I've just seen too much. I know too much. My experience of Catholic "community" is that it's not something I want any part of. The negative outweighs the positive. I go to Mass. I fulfill my obligations. I affect a polite detachment. I 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.

I get where Anne Rice, rightly or wrongly, is coming from and I don't blame her and I'm not going to hate her to please some "community" of perennial complainers and finger-pointers.

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. But I never do. It's easy to hate Anne Rice and write blog posts about her because she's famous and she's open and she's honest. But the same people who slam her refuse to take their own to task when they're guilty of terrible, terrible sins, so I don't believe a word they say about anything.

It's possible to disagree across the board with all of Anne Rice's opinions without the hate and the snark and the meanness. It's possible to listen, really listen to her and those who feel the same way and be honest enough to admit they have valid points. Or you can just hate and snark away and be mean and petty and cheap because it's easy and she's a public figure and it gets you bloghits. Whoever wrote this took the second road, therefore he showed me who he really is and what he really believes.


"Anne Rice makes valid points about some things, IMO ... There are really awful Catholics out there who give repulsive witness to the Church. ...

"The Church has told lies. It has engaged in ... the kind of criminal behavior that makes your skin crawl and your stomach turn -- that's a fair criticism, one the Church brought on itself, and one they'll just have to man up and deal with as long as it goes on.

"... if I had a gay child and I saw those gutless, soft, whiny men try to blame their sins on the gay community, I'd do more than criticise or leave ..."

Well said, Leanne. One of the most clear-thinking and human comments in this entire section. You make a point which Catholics continually try to gloss over and minimize.

Anne Rice is, I believe, serving as one of the "unpaid bills of the Church."


..the silent Church has had to talk about things it never mentioned before, never confronted before, and never before developed a vocabularly with which to talk. - Maigstra Bona

I don't think that is true. In fact, if you look in the letters of St. Paul, he speaks unequivocally against homosexual activity. The Church has always been aware of the tendencies of some men toward homosexual behavior as well some who have a tendency toward children. That came out in the report from Judge Murphy in Ireland. His point was that if the Church had followed its own already existing protocols to deal with these problems the situations we see today would have been avoided.

So I would reverse your premise and suggest that the post-Vatican II culture has been the encouragement for aberrations within the priesthood as well as it has in the wider society.

And I disagree as well with the premise of our culture that "talking about" something is the equivalent of effectively dealing with it.

Virginia L. Connor

Just because there are gay priests in the Church doesn't make it right. I'm sure the Protestant Churches have that problem too,especially those under the NCC-like the Episcopal Church for example. Maybe Anne Rice would be happier going there with her son. An Episcopal Ch. near me welcomes gays in their Church and a Lutheran Ch has a gay pastor;however,like my priest (from the ACC)says,"you can't pick and choose." I do prefer her Angel stories over the vampire stories though. Does she still say she's a Christian?

Carl E. Olson

I affect a polite detachment.

That ship has apparently sailed. But seriously, Leanne, your comments are far more harsh, judgmental, snarky, and unfounded than anything I put in my post. Also, I was unaware that anytime I responded to unfair attacks on the Catholic Church (as opposed to specific, founded criticisms of a bishop, priest, layman, etc.) that I had to ferret out mean-spirited comments about Anne Rice on other Catholic blogs and denounce them. Feel free to disagree with me or anyone else on this blog, but make an attempt to actually use some logical, fact-based arguments rather than relying on ranting, Rice-like emotionalism.


That ship certainly has sailed when it comes to the Catholic blogosphere.

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.

I think bloggers single out Anne Rice because she's an easy target and she's bound to get you a lot of traffic -- look at the number of comments on this post compared to the rest of your recent posts.

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.

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

For all that the blogosphere singles her out and enjoys the benefits of her fame, they never respond to her directly even when she responds to them directly. They never really engage in a genuine discussion. They don't want to know why some Catholics disagree on things or feel alienated, they don't want to ever accept that both the actions of the Church as an institution and the actions of individual Catholics have pushed away thousands and thousands of people, some from just the Church, some from Christ Himself.

Pretty much says it all. You run a Catholic blog, you want attention and hits and all that pride-bound stuff, fine, but the world is watching and, more often than not, the witness they're seeing is abysmal.


I didn't even know Anne Rice was still alive. >_>


....that it's theology was largely sophistry....

Anytime you see a comment like this you can be pretty assured the person saying is well...a sophist themselves, and certainly a person who has never actually read any of the theology of the Catholic church.

When one considers that for more than 1500 years, the Catholic Church was the center of learning, education, thought and Philosophy in Western Europe. What type of ignoramous could believe that the entire theology of such an organization, a theology which spans from the most mystic to most educated and considered men of the ages would consist only of sophistry?

Such a statement truly makes Ms. Rice appear to be a reactionary.

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