Nice Anne Rice?

Carl Olson lets fly here about novelist Anne Rice’s latest anti Catholic tirade.  I have to admit that I really liked Anne Rice’s books about Jesus. I was asked to interview her, and she very kindly sent me detailed answers to lots of questions I emailed her. She was polite and respectful to me as a priest and seemed like a really nice person.

However, I sensed a problem. When she was discussing women’s ordination or homosexuality she was clearly tiptoeing through a personal minefield. Her answers were honest, but cagey…”I fully accept the church’s teachings, but I personally wish they were different…” I felt she was being real careful in order to get good reviews from the Christians she hoped would buy her book. OK. You can be a faithful Catholic and feel such things. You can be a faithful Catholic and still try to be shrewd in how you handle interviews. That wasn’t the real problem.

I think the real problem is her personality type. From her writing and her letters to me I could tell she was very much the intuitive, emotional, heart to heart kind of person. A sympathetic, loving and kind person, and a mama as well–she’s simply allowed heart to triumph over head. To put it bluntly, she’s a sentimentalist, and locked into a society where sentimentalism rules, she simply couldn’t swim stronger than the sentimentalist undertow.  The mama bear instinct ruled and she couldn’t bear to see her baby mistreated. Having spent years in the bleeding heart liberal world, a Rooster Cogburn Catholic Church was too much to take.

I think I understand and I’m genuinely sorry. After she publicly announced her renunciation of the Christian religion I wrote her another email saying how sorry I was to hear of her decision and reminding her that not all Christians or Catholics were idiotic, fundamentalist, homophobic bigots. I encouraged her to re-consider and admitted that sticking with the church required huge amounts of humility, stamina and good humor. Anne fell into the trap of mistaking Catholics for Catholicism, and then ruled against Catholicism because of the Catholics. Good heavens, if we all judged Catholicism on the Catholics we’d all come unstuck!

The problem is that, for whatever reason, we feel that we can be the judge of the church and not the other way around. We want the church to live up to our expectations, when in fact, we should be asking how we can ever live up to the church’s expectations.

Beneath this problem is good old fashioned spiritual pride. Anne spotted the hateful hypocrites, the lying loonies, the uncaring apologists and pompous prelates and thought she was better than them. What she (and all of us) need to do is see these folks and mutter in shame, “Geesh, they’re awful, but they’re my brothers and we’re all in the same lifeboat, so we’d better pull together.” Anne couldn’t do that, and like so many of her sort, thought she rose above it all, only now to end up saying stuff that’s just as judgmental and shallow and uncaring as the people she was blaming.

Anyhow, one of the good things Anne contributed was a smart criticism of the modern Biblical critics. Her essay on the subject in her first Christ the Lord book was great. She wrote from the perspective of a historical novelist doing research, and a bit like C.S.Lewis, who criticized the Biblical critics as a literary critic, she revealed the naked emperors in the halls of theological academe for what they are.

The biggest problem for Anne now is that she has fallen into the same trap she accused of which she accused the New Testament scholars. She rightly said that they were creating a Jesus in their own image, or as someone has written, “They were writing autobiography as New Testament studies.” Poor Anne has now done the same thing. Cut adrift from the authority of the Catholic Church she can only do what all the Protestants have done for the last 500 years: create a Jesus in her own image.

So Anne now ‘follows Christ’, but what Christ? It will be the loving, sympathetic teacher, gentle Jesus who is, well, somewhat effeminate really. Anne was a flower child in college, so her Jesus will be the kind of hippie Jesus we’re all familiar with from that generation–a long haired, groovy kind of beach bum who meditates on mountaintops, mixes with down and outs and delivers a real cool anti establishment, John Lennon kind of sermon. Then when Anne or her son is ‘persecuted’ by the hard hearted, hypocritical religious leaders she’ll understand how Jesus was persecuted too.

That’s a real nice Jesus, and that kind of Jesus isn’t unknown to the gospels, but remembering that heretics don’t preach lies, they preach half truths, we have to say that the hippie, flower child ‘give peace a chance’ Jesus is only part of the story. Anne Rice needs to meet the Jesus who is also the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings–Christus Rex and Christus Pantacrator.

  • Fr John Abberton

    To be honest I think this lady needs another kind of help. No one could write the kind of books she has written in the past and not have "issues". I wonder if she ever sought out any kind of spiritual deliverance. It doesn't look like it.

  • Marilyn

    Really top-notch postings lately. I always felt Anne Rice was deceiving us in that photo in which she clumsily grasps the Rosary. At any rate, I pray she reads Fr. Longenecker’s charitable post. She also might benefit (as well we all would and which I am reading due to Fr. Longenecker’s recommendation) from reading Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence, a portion of which:“I thank God ceaselessly for everything, receiving everything from his divine hand. And never does he fail us, so long as we put all our confidence in his protection. But what do people do as a rule? They try to substitute their own blind and impotent providence for the infinitely wise and good providence of God; they base themselves on their own efforts, and by doing so they place themselves outside the order of divine love and lose all the support they would have had in carrying out that order.”

  • On the side of the angels

    Ms Rice and myself have had MANY run-ins over the past year and a half, especially when it came to her maniacally obsessive compulasion to condemn the Pope for cover-ups during last year's witch-hunt; to the point of her issuing twenty-plus articles on the issue within a matter of hours – the Church had to be wrong – it had to be guilty – there was no other way. She simply refused to listen to any possibility that the reporting in the NY Times could be factually imprecise, that the testimony from well-known people 'fallen from grace' with obvious agendas and grudges were anything other than wholly accurate. It was almost a compulsion with her, and one I'm sorry to say which reveals a great deal of denial and pain behind it. I say this as someone who has grown to Love her over the years in our correspondence – but her break from the Church is like a teenage rebellion devoid of rationality – she has no desire to listen to reason or facts. This came to a head over the excommunication of margaret mcbride – she was utterly insensed by it and could not brook any possibility that there was any ulterior motive or utilitarian expediency – she was adamant that the mother had no alternative recourse and that the sister had not done anything other than save a life – and the Church was evil [her words] and intolerably cruel to do such a thing, and it was indicative of 'everything else wrong with the church' and so proceeded weeks of multiple posting on advocacy for same-sex marriage and the Church's cruelty etc, and any opportunity to cast a dark shadow upon the Church – even from the most ludicrous sources or with outrageously counterfactual or fallacious arguments – it did not matter.She remained fervently charged to the point of obsession over the issue – amidst the ostensible serenity it's obvious she is seething – and it breaks my heart – she is angry and hurt and defiantly so,,,it is more akin to a family rift at some slight and she wishes to believe the most heartless of motives and advocate the most anti-'established Church' positions as less a point of principle and more a belligerent act of wilful defiance. I do not for one instant believe she truly believes or supports half of what she purports to believe – she is simply in some sort of phase which she must go through. She is a lovely woman, a caring woman devoted to her son – but at present she terrifies me with her obsession over how wrong the Church is over everything – reality does not matter..I only fear one day it wil come rushing in…

  • Howard

    At an emotional level, I understand blaming the mirror and the scale when they say I'm fat, but a grownup should not spend more than about 5 seconds raging against the scale. Oh, and notice that no one is angry at the scale if they believe it to be genuinely wrong! If the scale said I weighed 600 lbs, that would be laughable, but it wouldn't hurt.What she is doing is the same kind of thing. She is angry at the Church because she knows the Church is right. It isn't really healthy, for her or for anyone else, to coddle her in her outrage at the nature of reality.

  • Fr Longenecker

    on the side of the angels, would you drop me an email? I would like to discuss this with you further outside the combox…thanks. FD

  • Mary Rose

    I agree with Howard. I remember your posts, Fr. Longnecker, where you had a video of Anne Rice being interviewed by Rev. Joseph Cocucci. I remember some of the other commenters being taken with Rice while I had my doubts because I could see the dissension ran deep. My opinions may not have been popular, but something didn't add up.I'm saddened by the whole thing. I believe Carl Olsen is spot on with his assessment. I also believe that the root of Anne Rice's rage against the Catholic Church is because her son (in her eyes) has been judged. And a word about "judging" – St. Paul in 1 Cor. 5:12-14 says he is not about judging those in the world, but those within the Church. The Church does have standards and either we are living by them or we're not. No one likes to be told their going in the wrong direction, but thank God for those brave enough to do it. If I really want to reach my destination, I'll get over my wounded pride and turn around.Fr. Longnecker, you have exhibited a great deal of charity in this matter. Although it's hurtful when others attack the Church, I know the right thing to do is to pray. It is my prayer that Anne Rice's heart will be softened by God and she will come back home.

  • Paul Rodden

    Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa…Thank you for putting me right, and helping me deal with my own frustrations. :)

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    'Although it is lawful to beleeve a truth which the devil tels us, yet it is not lawful to goe to School to the devil, or to make inquiries of him, because he that does so, makes him his Master, and gives something of Gods portion to god's enemy.'Revd. Jeremy Taylor, from 'Astrology', Ductor Dubitantium, 1660 A.D., vol.i, p. 61.[are those tantric prayer beads or something she is coddling?. ED]

  • CatholicMum

    Recently I heard a wonderful sermon about marriage and relating Jesus and His bride, the Catholic Church. He will ALWAYS be faithful to His Bride and he asks us to be faithful to His Church. As in any marriage, there are always problems, but He will always stay faithful to His church and Jesus doesn't ask us to do anything more then what He does.

  • Donny

    I think Anne takes a very brave and long over due stance against the catholic church and its archaic teachings.It is interesting to me how quickly supposed "Christians" judge someone has a view different from their own. Anne's personal relationship is just that…PERSONAL. Who are any of you to judge her or what she believes?? You dont know her life, her needs or her struggles. Shame on all of you.I think Jesus was a great Man, but his followers have sadly lost their way

  • Elizabeth

    This is a ridiculous post. I happen to be very interested in Anne, and know for a fact that she is not condeming the Catholic religion. She is condeming the hateful 'laws' that many MEN of the church have put into place. It upsets me that you are saying that by Anne being a person who cares about moral issues and who is sentimental and empathetic, that she is less of a person. Do you think Jesus would condemn women, divorced couples, or gay men? No! He would welcome them with love and teach them the true way to live and celebrate God. He does not judge, he does not hate, he does not turn the needy away. The catholic church does.

  • Amy

    I'm sorry, I wanted to leave a comment here that was intelligent and reasonable but I can't seem to stop laughing at the following excerpt:"We want the church to live up to our expectations, when in fact, we should be asking how we can ever live up to the church's expectations."Indeed, we should all aspire to turn a blind eye to abuse and protect pedophiles and rapists. You are so right, the world would be a much better place.

  • Kevin

    "A Rooster Cogburn Church?" That is one of the most awesome things I've ever read. Ah, if only it were really the case.PAPAL NUNCIO: Your Excellency, how many men have you excommunicated since your consecration as a bishop?BISHOP COGBURN: Denied communion to? Or formally excommunicated?PAPAL NUNCIO: Let us restrict it to formal excommunication so we may have a manageable figure.

  • Tabatha

    This is for fr. John Abberton….you're ignorant. What you just said was judgmental and crude. Are you saying you do not have "issues" or for that matter do you deny to say that those who have read her book have "issues" as well. This is absolute snobbery! Judgmental is the last thing a messenger and servant of the lord should be!

  • JeanetteVictoria

    Expect to be deluded by Anne minions as she has posed a link to this blog post on her fan page. It is my personal opinion that Ms Rice is a very disturbed person who is doing Satan's work. Using her bully pulpit she demonize Christ's bride and extols perversion (homosex, the slaughter of the unborn). In fact in one post on her wall she stated that she saw nothing wrong with incest.

  • Deej

    Thank you Elizabeth. I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm so offended by so much of that entry what they say about Anne Rice, but by what he refers to protestants are like. It is things like this, that people leave the church. They don't want to attend a church that can't over come "pride" and has themselves on a pedestal that is so high, that the day they fall, they won't reach the ground but keep falling. He who has not sinned cast the first stone.

  • Sarah

    God help those of you here, including the author, who judge others and still call yourself Christians. You not only judge, but you do so very publicly. I suppose that is just a way of life now. Do you not realize that every human being on earth is part of the Body of Christ, that they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Why can't you simply look at Anne's reasonings or feelings and either forgive her for what you determine is ignorance or sinfulness, or forgive yourself your own inability to look objectively at the reasons? This obviously seems to strike a nerve in you somewhere, reminding me sadly of many a homophobic reaction by those who have yet to come to terms with their own homosexuality. Really,why does it bother you so that one woman leaves the Catholic Church? This happens every day.While you are at it (praying for the sinners of the world), pray for me, because it gets harder and harder as a woman not to have equal opportunity for leadership as a Catholic woman.

  • Frank

    Jeanette – You should really be careful of your hateful and libelous accusations. Your actions are distinctly not "Christ-like", and records of your own-hate speech and postings on the Internet abound!

  • Austin James

    It's no wonder church attendance is low. The Catholic Church and so many within it simply don't get it.It's easy to dismiss someone by calling them names (hippy, liberal, overly sentimental (after all women are just so emotional, please note the sarcasm because I was personally disgusted by this argument). Unfortunately, this doesn't change the fact the people have real problems with what the Catholic Church does.The truth is, what Anne Rice is saying resonates with many people for a good reason.If you look at the history of the church, it isn't hard to see that it isn't perfect (after all, only God and Jesus are perfect, at least in my opinion), but that doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to the horrible injustices that are being promoted or covered up by the Catholic Church.Maybe as more and more people leave the church and less and less people donate money to an organization that is using money to…1.) Promote homophobia (and bullying)2.) Covering up a scandal that it's more embarrassed of than genuinely horrified at.3.) Treat woman as second class citizens.Christ led by example. I don't expect all Catholics to be perfect, but I do expect the Catholic Church to try and do the right thing (and it's simply not).

  • Brad

    Danny, Catholics do not think Christ was a "great man". That is the ancient heresy of Arianism still hounding the would-be faithful, today.

  • veneremurcernui

    Very interesting to see folks at the lack of understanding of Christianity of two priests, one of which is an accomplished author on Catholicism in his own right. First, a basic lesson. The concept that Christians are not called to judge is one of the most sophmoric bits of modernism to inculcate itself in the culture. Of course we are called to judge, and constantly. We must judge people, situations, activities, everything, to assess whether these things will draw us nearer, or further away, from Christ. If a given person is a confirmed murdering satanist, I can judge that this person is not walking with God and is someone to pray for but not associate with socially. I can judge that abortion and 'homosexual marriage' are very damaging to society as a whole based on sociological evidence, a constant 2000 year Tradition of the Church and the dozen odd OT and several NT descriptions of homosexual acts as inherently sinful and offensive to God. The only kind of judging Jesus was referring to in Matt 7:1 was the Pharisaical judgement of the state of another's soul, or to state that such and such thing (like blindness) happened because an individual, or their forebears, were sinners. Christianity has always been opposed to homosexual acts. There are some sects in terminal decline that have detached themselves from this constant belief, but their connection with Christianity is becoming increasingly tenuous and the sects themselves will likely hardly exist, if at all, in a few years. Why has Christianity always believed this? As I said, numerous Scripture passages, the belief of all the Church Fathers, and the whole of the natural decry homosexual acts. You can scream and rage at God all you like, but that is what He has revealed through Sacred Scripture and through the true Tradition of the Church. I'm sorry if this offends, that is not my intent. I am certain I will do nothing but make many Rice supporters even angrier, but all I can do is relate the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church. We are all called to conform our thinking to this Truth – St. Paul confirms that the first act of faith is obedience. I am sorry Ms. Rice apparently cannot do this. I am sorry she and so many others have confused charity and sentimentality. I'm sorry for the 'wisdom of the world' and all its lies and false promises.

  • 2d59f59a-33e2-11e0-b3ec-000bcdcb5194

    This blog/peice/whatever you call it is very unchristian & judgmental in my view, and it's these kinds of arrogant attitudes that prevail in the catholic "church" that cause many to leave an organization that is corrupt, greedy, lies to the public about child molestations, and doesnt care that it's homophobic policies cause many pain & suffering.

  • veneremurcernui

    I must note the irony of the commenters blasting Fr. Longenecker and others for their judgementalism, and giving a complete pass to Ms. Rice judging, and condemning, not only the Church, and Church leadership, but, in effect, the Bible. That is the ultimate source of her "problem" with the Church. The Church did not make up its Doctrine out of thin air. It comes straight from Sacred Scripture and the earliest Tradition of the Church. It seems some judgements are more equal than others.

  • thewhitelilyblog

    To say that two plus two equals five is incorrect and bad math, is judgemental, but not uncharitable, because judgement of right and wrong is what grownups have to do to make the world work. When Anne came back to the Church, she failed to do her basic homework. I know for a fact she was warned about the divisions in the Church, and that these divisions have enormous consequences for saving souls. But she didn't follow through. Humility and homework. To erect a building on the math of two plus two equals five is stupid. When it falls down, it probably will hurt someone. So you have to make the judgement, and then warn the builder, so that the potential harm might be avoided. You can bet the builder won't like it. And so? Judgement is love. It's so funny that when a stock manipulator loses your retirement in a ponzi scheme, but not only doesn't get busted, earns a huge, an obscenely huge, bonus for the year, everyone twitters that someone should have warned somebody, somebody should have called the feds. But here, when Anne is being warned to try to save her from the consequences of the scandal she is causing,the consequences of which you might recall involve heavy things being hung about your neck and you being thrown into the deep, for eternity. But now, suddenly, judgement is not okay. Would you please let that argument go, then, liberals, and discuss content? At issue is who defines the Church. And the answer is the timeless tradition of the Church, based on Christ.I like Anne Rice. I don't "love" her because I don't have the opportunity to know her except5 through her work. She's wrong, seriously and grievously wrong, about women priests, and abortion, and homosexuality, and underlying those single items she is wrong about principles regarding the priesthood itself, and womanhood, and the purpose and majesty of human sexuality, and her own role in the cosmos. She will cause our house to fall. And then she'll stand before God responsible. So we're warning her. Judgement is love.

  • Ellis Adler

    To Fr. Logenecker, I found your blog post to be very patronizing, unprofessional and unethical. But, you may get some book sales out of it….Oh wait, you aren't concerned with making money – your blog is a ministry.To Fr. Abberton, Thank you for your honest, professional opinion of Anne Rice. Just one more example of the many reasons why I don't go to mass anymore.Keep up the good work Fathers!

  • Woodie

    i am sorry but i have to post after what i have seen here. jeanette victoria is one of those out of control nuts that go on sites and post the most insane and unsubstantiated liable. she has done it here again today. anne never said she was pro-incest. she questioned the churches obsession with it given all else it has given a nod and a wink to. i personally at the time corrected this lie jeanette started on that very subject. this jeanette was removed from the site after she posted hate speech after being warned time and again. anne is very passionate about God, and was also about the church until priest started saying obama was another stalin, and a nun was excommunicated for saving the life of a mother who would have died with the baby(it was not old enough to survive out of the womb). more than a few people would have seen not given medical aide to this woman as murder. then the pope claims it's normal in society at christmas to molest children! with all the sex cover ups, you people should be the last on earth to judge others, but here you are judging anne rice for speaking up like most of the great saints did. for the priest that said anne needs help, just wondering how many little boys you have raped over the years. you hypocrites!! if any thing anne is a voice that will echo long after your dead asses are stinking in the grave.

  • Marilyn

    I think I have read reports that Ms. Rice’s final book in the series, Christ the Lord: The Kingdom of Heaven, has been shelved indefinitely. I really have to wonder if the Cross has been a stumbling block for her. When she renounced Christianity she stated: “I quit being a Christian. I'm out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of . . . Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.” Ms. Rice seems to have a desperate conflict between the need for religion and spirituality and revulsion for the reality of the Cross. What would she do with the Cross in her final book? Is she attempting to eliminate sin and suffering and in so doing create utopia, if not for herself, for her son and Lestat? If so, Father Abberton may be spot on in his assessment that she needs spiritual deliverance. I certainly sympathize with her dilemma regarding her son — we mothers try to eliminate the Cross for our children and do sometimes irreparable harm to our own souls and the souls of our children.

  • JARay

    Well, there are one or two sensible posts on this issue but clearly it has been subjected to self satisfied ex-Catholics who have expressed their opposition to Church teaching because they don't like having sin exposed as being the result of the work of the devil.Thank you Fr. John Abberton for your thoughtful post and thank you too Jeanette Victoria for pointing out the obvious fact that the trolls were urged to get out and post because Anne Rice had set them loose.

  • thepracticingcatholic

    I'm saddened by the way Ms. Rice talks about the Church these days, though not entirely surprised. The first couple of years of my return to the Church were incredibly difficult. I often failed miserably in renouncing the "popular" culture in which I'd been so deeply ensconced. I often failed even more miserably in rejecting Satan, in whose clutches I'd lived willingly for so long. It was hard to be courageous and steadfast in my faith when the backlash from both Satan and some of my fellow man was so furious. I was cowed by them so many times, to the point where I totally turned against the Church and God.I can't help but wonder if Ms. Rice isn't going through the same thing. Being caught in that same violent clash. I feel nothing but sympathy for her. I sincerely hope that she may become a strong and faithful Catholic in the end. Stranger things have happened, really. If you'd told me less than 10 years ago that I would one day be a faithful, practicing Catholic, I would have spat in your eye and told you to go to hell. And probably worse in addition. Fortunately that never happened, because boy would I be eating crow now!God bless you, Father Longenecker. Funny that many of the commentors accusing you of being so uncharitable are… so uncharitable. But, it's a sign that you're doing something right!

  • Mike

    Father Longenecker you the man! I'd go to spiritual battle with you any day! Keep being a one of Mary's soldiers in here Heavenly Army…keep freeing enslaved souls that are or have been POW's in the chains and prisons of sin. Charity is what you show and that is a power weapon, niceness is a form of mediocrity with a smile.

  • JeanetteVictoria

    BTW to clear things up I never said Ms Rice was pro incest. I said she didn't see anything wrong with it. This became evident when I posted a link to her wall about Switzerland considering repealing its incest laws because they are "obsolete".Anne and the people who are her "fans" have redefined "hate" as anyone who takes a stand against immorality. I did that and was subjected to an amazing amount of ad hominems, not to mention attacks by her fans via private emails. Ms Rice herself told me I hated gays and most likely wanted them dead. Of course that isn't true. But these days tolerance means full agreement with the other person.When Anne returned the Church she seems to have missed some essential teachings. She finds Atonement disturbing and ugly (her words)She does not believe in the inerrancy of scripture and she is under the delusion that the Catholic church will not recognize woman as fully human and merely sees them as chattels for husband father and the unborn.Ms Rice holds up sexual immorality as virtuous, which I contend is promoting evil, especially to the emotionally confused.

  • WBB

    And @Amy wins the prize for being the first to bring up the pedophile scandal! She gets 1 billion points for being original and informative. Way to go @Amy! Woot!I really think we need to add a couple of corollaries to Godwin's law. Corollary A: when a discussion about the Catholic Church and her teachings is posted on a blog, the probability of the abuse scandal being mentioned within 15 comments in the combox approaches 1. Corollary B: that commenter's knowledge of Catholicism is equal to the square root of zero.

  • Mari

    This whole thing is ridiculous. These postings have nothing to do with God anymore. It is all about who can shout the loudest. So what if Anne Rice has turned her back on the church? How is it hurting anyone personally? And so what if she made her decision based on her son? What would you call her then if she washed her hands of her son? At this point there are always going to be critics when a famous person does something controversial. Get over it and move on.

  • Steve

    For those of you who have visited Fr. Longenecker's blog to post about your hopes for a more compassionate, generous form of Catholic-Christianity, one that recognizes that at least some of Anne Rice's concerns are legit, there ARE indeed other Catholic blogs out there — progressive blogs, such as mine, The Mighty Ambivalent Catholic. The voice of angry, ultra-conservative Catholics is not the only Catholic voice out there.

  • jac

    When anybody enter the Church he/she is free to adhere to the RCC's teachings. I he/she don't why to keep claiming being a catholic? Anne Rice's decision is sad but perfectly logical. She herself alone decided to get out. Nobody attempted to keep her inside the Church since its doors are wide open. There are a number of cafeteria catholics who never cease criticizing the Church's standards claiming that since our time's standards have changed, the Church's ones must change too.They cannot understand that these standards stayed the same for 20 centuries and they will stay so forever, otherwise that Church wouldn't be the true Church of Christ.Among these "cafeteria's catholics" I dare to include many priests and bishops who are teaching the contrary to what I say hereabove putting at great risk their salvation and that of the souls they shoud take care of.Tha's no a simple matter of mental comfort and consistence or a matter of sentimentalism: THAT'S A MATTER OF SOUL'S ETERNAL SALVATION.Many people are looking to forget this.

  • Brad

    Re: Mari's comment:Sister, you are evincing great uncharity. Yes, uncharity. I know this will surprise you. I will explain. We know that the baptised are members of the mystical body of Christ. Catholics who have received the Eucharist, perhaps, shall we say, are even more literally so His Body. When a member of the body departs, this is tragedy. Do not be so cavalier. It is a great loss to the remainder and a deadly danger to the departed member. We know that there is "great rejoicing in heaven at the conversion of even one sinner" (paraphrase); the reverse is true. Do not be so cold where the angels and saints are so warm.Secondly: you are in denial that there is a 3rd choice Rice can make regarding her son. That third choice is to love the sinner, yet hate his sin. St. Monica was an exemplar par excellence of this. Rice and you should please follow her example. Charity is, ultimately, ultimately, doing what we can to help a soul in his wayfaring state keep on the narrow path that will lead him to heaven. Rice is telling her son to forget this path. You, dear sister, are telling Rice to forget that she's doing such an uncharity. And you are telling us to do such to her as well.May God bless and forgive us.

  • K

    Thank you Fr. Longnecker. I agree with Fr Abberton that the woman needs some help she is not getting. I read several of the vampire novels she wrote back in the 80's and enjoyed them … but I remember mentioning to my spouse that the person who thought all that stuff up had to be really messed up in their own mind or soul. I'm sure that kind of spiritual disorder doesn't just go away without some outside help. Praying for her and all the hateful posters above.

  • Brad

    Adult catechumens are publicly exorcised several times during Lent, on their knees, in front of the altar, during Sunday Masses. I wonder if the people who despise Father Abberton's advice also dislike our Church doing something so beautiful and charitable for the catechumens, who, God knows (literally: God knows), need it.It is good, not bad, to relieve human souls from the oppression or possession of satan and his legion.Or is that no longer believable in the age of aquarius? Too cool for school?

  • Woodie

    it is obvious this group here lacks any moral integrity. from the flipent remarks of fr.abberton to the nut case, jeanette, it is clear you people delude yourselves. for those who have problems with anne rice's works, it demonstrates you have neither read them or understood what you read. they all have deep spiritual themes that millions have come to love and cherish. her "issues" are human issues that transcend the genre she wrote them in. the more you people say here, the more you really all look pretty ignorant, as well as petty. and completely unchristian, but given how many here probably rape children, i am not surprised. the church is masterful in deflecting their own sins by pointing an accusing finger at others. you never change do you. sad. as for you jeanette… why don't you tell them about the hate articles you posted and the hate speech you have incited on anne's page. it is almost like reading another person here. speak in the tone and hate you had on anne page and show them here the contempt in your heart you really have. having gone to catholic school and seen how priests can treat nuns, it is not surprising the female and anne rice bashing here. one last thing: it is very telling in our day and age when a nun like sister margaret mcbride can be excommunicated for saving the life of a dying mother, when what was killing her was the fetus. that one thing more than anything demonstrates just how deeply the catholic church is morally bankrupt and out of touch with even its own christian principles. shame on all of you for your hypocrisy. i really hope you wake up before it's too late for you and the church.

  • jac

    Blanche de Castille, the mother of Saint Louis, king of France, was reported saying him:"My son, I would have rather seeing you dead at once than to know that you are in a state of mortal sin"Comments are off.

  • Mari

    Re: Brad's responseI admit that my words about how this can affect anyone personally may be incorrect but we were all given free will. Anne's choice, I am sure, was not made lightly. The only thing absolute and perfect is God. The church is flawed as we all are. Should we condemn all believers? Definitely not but we are given free will to express our disappointment. To put down Anne because she chose to speak about it is strange to me. We can talk all we want about the good but cover up the bad?Also, being gay is not a choice for most people. It is something they were born with. Who would choose to live a life with so much hate aimed towards them? To say she could choose to love her son and to hate the sin is not applicable in the eyes of a woman who believes her son was born this way. In closing let me say that harsh words lead to anger and that isn't helping anyone. Put your words to better use.

  • Nan

    My guess is that Anne Rice denounced the church simply because her book sales have faltered; her pagan and goth audience isn't interested in Christianity and I would find her to be a questionable source due to a combination of her past and my lack of theology so know I'm better off reading the Church Fathers, Saints and recent papal writing. The truth is out there, she just doesn't like it.

  • Paul Rodden

    Mark Brumley makes some important points worth reading on this issue, here:

  • Robert H

    as I understand it Ms. Rice left the church at one point in her life, then made the decision to return to it. Now she finds her teachings unacceptable. No one sees any discrepancy here? At the least it gives the impression of her returning to the church in order to attack her, then melodramatically leave. Certainly it has created drama and given high visibility given her stature. Why are so many of the ex-Catholics here so obsesses with the failings of the church such that they are all they see when considering her? I am sure there are many reasons why that is, applying to varying degrees to each of them. However it is important to be clear that that is the attitude going on here: the outstanding and considerable good that is done worldwide is being overshadowed by the actions of a very few, relatively speaking. Finally, the attitude of Ms. Rice and her defenders show the direct line from the Reformation to Post Modernist thought: that the individual is the ultimate arbiter of what is true, what is good, and what is just. For those who follow this line, the Church is a major problem to be removed; else she is the primary institution we have in society protecting those very values.

  • Achilles

    Fr. Longenecker,Excellent and incisive post. I am astounded at the intellectual flaccidity and conversely proportional pride in the self that several posters here exhibit. The hypocritical statements are as invisible to them as the true intentions of our Christ. Amor sui usque ad contemptum Dei- The simple idea that we are to judge behavior and not condemn hearts is lost on the soft self esteem building generation I suppose. Christ himself told us to “judge correctly” and our critics have mistaken permissiveness for charity. Keep up the excellent work dear Father, it takes great courage. Pax Christi tecum, Achilles

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    Steve at 0235 amwhat is it with you lot and your ultimate litmus test being 'Angry'when PC heretics and pervs try to tell me my sons should really get into their 'sexuality' this old 'Daddy' gonna enlighten those PC boys like they ain't never seenbring it… we can't wait

  • Blak Jak

    I was at a Catholic lecture one evening and was having a conversation with the speaker (priest) after the lecture and he said to me that there are three "isms" in the church that are causing most of the problems for the members…"legalism,clericalism,and triumphalism". Interpret this as you will.

  • Blak Jak

    I was at a Catholic lecture one evening and was having a conversation with the speaker (priest) after the lecture and he said to me that there are three "isms" in the church that are causing most of the problems for the members…"legalism,clericalism,and triumphalism". Interpret this as you will.

  • http://none Rebecca A

    I am astounded by your bold assumption that none of your readers may find this (article, commentary, passive aggression, lukewarm judgement?) anything but filled with contradiction? Are you yourself not peppering your conclusion of how Ms. Rice came to her personal decision to denounce the CHURCH (not God) and subsequently insure her place in hellfire for all eternity……with compliments and sweet banter? Your nausea-inducing self portrait is as diluted as your view of God.
    When did the “church” replace The Lord?
    “The problem is that, for whatever reason, we feel that we can be the judge of the church and not the other way around. We want the church to live up to our expectations, when in fact, we should be asking how we can ever live up to the church’s expectations.”
    Are you out of your less than God fearing mind? When in the history of Christ, or The Father did He tell you to worry about living up to a man-made institution?
    Jesus and God, they’re some straight shooters. You, with your like minded and your CHURCH are why I find religion so abhorrent.
    Did I skirt around or sweeten up anything? This outright damnation (generally reserved exclusively for the Almighty, I believe) must be more to your liking.

  • http://none Rebecca A

    Also, “venerimercernui” simply because your church has ancient tradition does not give you any preferential rights. There were MANY religions before you, do they reserve that right just as you say you do?
    Judge away, all of you. It is your right. But do NOT say that God gave you the ride of way to condemn. Fishers, are you not? Examples of Christ and his relentless love, correct? John the Baptist did not go running about the Roman empire preaching INtolerabce. It’s very likely that Anne responded with less than holy intentions. She IS human. But does she say to YOU as you do to her that you are JUDGED and found wanting? Who are you people? Honestly, tell me what right YOU have to behave as though you have a special RIGHT? If for one moment you say as a member if the church, you have the right, than I feel for those in your congregation. Men of god are to show the utmost humility above all men.
    I think you should go to church if it brings you to God. Your belief is your own. Only heaven will know in the end. Why don’t you leave it that way.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      When a person writes in all capitals it is perceived as yelling. Is that the impression you wished to give?