A Church of sinners or a Church of one

Anne Rice has left Christianity.  While the author of vampire novels is not a figure of such towering intellectual stature that I anticipate droves of believers following her, the arguments she gives for leaving the Church are common enough to deserve comment.

Rice claims to have “quit Christianity in the name of Christ.”  The problem, she claims, isn’t Jesus:  it’s his followers, who are “quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous.”

In the Facebook announcement of her departure, Rice works herself up into a rhetorical snit over how awful Christians really are:  they’re “anti-gay,” “anti-science,” “anti-secular humanist,” even—wait for it—“anti-life”.  Rice herself, of course, lacks such faults and is sure Jesus does, too, so he can stay even if everyone else must go.

The problem with such a line of argument is that Rice hasn’t really rejected the Church:  she’s simply created a Church of one.

There are several versions of the old Christ-without-Church argument, and Rice is partially right in some of the things she says—though I don’t remember the papal encyclical declaring Catholicism “anti-life.”  But Christ’s followers are quarrelsome and sometimes hostile.  Remember James and John bickering over who was greater, Peter’s bombastic boasting at the Last Supper, all that bad blood over what to do with Gentile converts.  And then there are the adulterers, the tax-collectors, the thief who joined at the last minute, the quarrelsome Corinthians, bone-headed Galatians, and the Apostle who condemned those Galatians in language far more intolerant than anything ever written by the CDF (Gal 3:1).

So, yes, Rice actually understates her case:  the Catholic Church is filled with really horrible people (except Mary) who have completely failed to live up to the vision of her founder.  (I’m still a member of the Catholic Church, but that’s fitting because I’m pretty much a moral clod myself, the same as the rest of ’em.)

But Rice’s argument, insofar as her screed can be battered into an argument, is that the Catholic Church is not just filled with infamous people, but that it has also started teaching things contrary to the will of Jesus.  And I suppose we Catholics are at a disadvantage here:  in order to know what Jesus taught we have to rely on what his followers (nasty folks) wrote down in Sacred Scripture as well as the living tradition handed down to us through the apostles and their successors (nasty folks in funny hats).  We don’t have access to the private sources of revelation Anne Rice has—in which Jesus, apparently, endorses secular humanism.

More than entering into the specifics of Rice’s charges, it’s perhaps most important to point out the flaws in her general approach, flaws likely to be less obvious because they are bolstered by the individualistic prejudices of our age and culture.  We’ll start with the obvious:  I am not Jesus and neither is Anne Rice.  If we hope to follow Jesus, our only option is to receive the message of his life and teaching from other followers of Jesus. The only alternative to listening to Christ’s followers is to make up the message ourselves, and this is what claiming to follow Jesus without the Church amounts to.

Going it alone presents some fairly insurmountable logical and historical hurdles—who exactly introduced Anne Rice to Jesus if it wasn’t members of his Church?  And how does one bridge the two thousand year gap between his lifetime and ours if one leaves out everyone in between?

Jesus preached a message that was both unsettling and surprising, a message at times almost impossibly hard to follow (Matt 5:48).  Jesus’ message clashed at times with the dominant ethos of his age, and it clashes with the dominant ethos of our age too.  If the Church is faithful to Jesus’ teachings it will mean telling each one of us from time to time that some of our actions, attitudes, and behaviors are wrong and need changing.  That’s never an easy message to hear, but the alternative is losing Jesus.

If we reject all external Church authority we end up submitting to our own egos, doing what we want, and anyone with even an ounce of self-knowledge should recognize that such a Magisterium of Self is far more tyrannical than anything that’s ever come out of Rome.  Most likely, since none of us are really all that creative—and those who trumpet their individualism tend to be the greatest conformists of all—if we reject Church authority we’ll end up trotting along behind all the unofficial magisteriums the world offers us:  Hollywood, Madison Avenue, political parties, the Zeitgeist.  Anne Rice’s list of anti-’s shows that she has indeed bought into the Zeitgeist and adopted the fashionable prejudices of the age.  (Is there a bigger bugaboo out there than Christians being “anti-science”?)  She is somebody’s follower.  It just isn’t Jesus.

How do we know?  Because Jesus knew just what a motley bunch his followers were, and he didn’t leave.  Yes, Peter and Paul were quarrelsome and infamous—and they were also the men Christ chose to lead his Church.  A wise professor once advised me, “If you find a church that’s perfect, don’t join.  You’ll ruin it.”

A young Joseph Ratzinger put it more eloquently in Introduction to Christianity:

Because of the Lord’s devotion, never more to be revoked, the Church is the institution sanctified by him forever, an institution in which the holiness of the Lord becomes present among men.  But it is really the holiness of the Lord that becomes present in her and that chooses again and again as the vessel of its presence—with a paradoxical love—the dirty hands of men…  One could actually say that precisely in her paradoxical combination of holiness and unholiness the Church is in fact the shape taken by grace in this world…

Is the Church not simply the continuation of God’s deliberate plunge into human wretchedness; is she not simply the continuation of Jesus’ habit of sitting at table with sinners, of his mingling with the misery of sin to the point where he actually seems to sink under its weight?  Is there not revealed in the unholy holiness of the Church, as opposed to man’s expectation of purity, God’s true holiness, which is love, love that does not keep its distance in a sort of aristocratic, untouchable purity but mixes with the dirt of the world, in order thus to overcome it?  Can, therefore, the holiness of the Church be anything else but the bearing with one another that comes, of course, from the fact that all of us are borne up in Christ?

In the end, I’ll take the Church Ratzinger describes—this Church of sinners—over Anne Rice’s Church of one.

35 Responses to A Church of sinners or a Church of one

  1. Philip Endean SJ says:

    in lots of ways, very well said. But at the moment some of us are finding the strain of living with this vision very difficult. I’m reminded of Yeats’s lines about the Easter 1916 uprising in Dublin: ‘Too long a sacrifice/Can make a stone of the heart’.

  2. Jon Winterburn says:

    Fr. Endean,

    It was always very difficult, it is very difficult now, and it will always be very difficult. Persevere, with God’s grace. Shore up the Cardinal and, first, Theological Virtues; practice the devotions; live in, with, and by the sacraments; live eucharistically, sanctifying this life with your life first. Give thanks and praise at all times, confess and do penance for your sins, and shore up humility before the awful majesty of God. Transform yourself and life by and in and through the source of Life. God love you.


  3. Qualis Rex says:

    Excellent Post, Anthony. I’m immediately reminded of the annectdote of when Archbishop Sheen (RIP) was confronted by a woman who said she’d never become a Catholic because the church was full of hypocrites, he responded, “Surely it’s big enough for one more.”

    I LOVE the premise/title of “a church of one”. This is exactly the pseudo-spiritualism and in fact neo-protestantism plaguing the church (and Christianity in general) today. Same &$@# different century. I think the difference here is that while during previous centuries the “celebrities” were in fact Catholic (Mozart, Raphael, Vermeer), today the “in-thing” to do is to test-taste a wide variety of spirituality; sampling them all long enough to be associated, yet not adhering to them long enough to be considered a “follower”. We see this over and over with the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Brittny Speers.

    Great post as usual.

  4. Kaylan says:

    Anne Rice is entirely wrong and obviously influenced by the secular/liberal world. It is unfortunate that she could not free herself from the darkness that the immoral world has filled her mind with. The Church is anything but anti-life. IT is the VOICE OF all things PRO-LIFE! How could she miss that?! And the Church needs to uphold the basic foundation of the family unit: marriage between a man and woman. Catering to the sexual disorder of homosexuality is NOT moral, intelligent or even natural. Homosexuality will always be a disordered behavior no matter how they package it.

  5. Kaylan says:

    I should add, her view is nothing new. It is actually based on protestant thinking which believes that one can create Christianity to their own design. Anne Rice imagines Jesus the way she wants Jesus to be, not how He IS. That is the essence of all the protestant churches. One founder interprets the Bible, another splits away and interprets the Bible another way. Each following their own design. That is why we have “Christian” churches that cater to homosexual lifestyle and those that uphold the morals against it. Personal interpretation can not be relied upon. Jesus knew this. That is why He created the ONE and ONLY Catholic Church.

    • Ed says:

      Can you explain what you mean by “protestant thinking”? It seems that you believe only Catholics have the right “thinking”. I am not Protestant, but I guess I fall into the protestant category because i am not “catholic”, but I can assure you I do not believe I can create a Christianity to my own design. I truly would like to understand the intent of your statement. At this time I can’t decide if my understanding is in error or if you should just be dismissed as an idiot.

      • Qualis Rex says:

        Hello Ed, if you are Protestant, then you ARE following Christianity of someone’s design other than Christ. The simple math here is Christ founded His church on Pentecost and gave St Peter the authority to lead it and pass on His teaching and interpretations guided by the Holy Spirit with an unbreakable line of succession from apostle, to apostle, down to our current magesterium which retains that tradition and knowledge. Whatever Protestant sect you belong to was founded by a man (or woman) at some point. And if it contradicts the teaching of the Catholic church, it is not the truth, but in fact the absence of truth (i.e. a lie).

  6. Sam Sawyer SJ says:

    I’m reminded of Haze Motes watching his “Church Without Christ” become the “Holy Church of Christ Without Christ” in Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood. In parallel, this is something like the “Holy Church of Christ Without Church”: the difference, of course, is in the particulars of the schismatic. O’Connor’s prophet, being basically Protestant, takes aim directly at Christ who was haunting him; a Catholic is more likely to take aim at the Church, but I think the logic is much the same.

  7. I am Catholic, but I didn’t hear first about Jesus from the Church, I learned from Baptist sermons on the radio. Jesus is too big to fit into one church or even one religion. The Catholic Church is just a part of his legacy. While Jesus did say that Peter was the rock upon which he would build his church, there are other churches which follow Peter as well as the Catholic Church. I don’t think apostolic succession is all that important in a personal walk with Jesus. On our particular judgment days, we won’t be able to point to any Church, but only to what we as individuals did with Christ’s message in our lives.

    • The Reverend Doctor Lulu says:

      Hmm… despite the fact that Anthony touched on this kind of thinking very well in his post, it sounds like you’re saying that “one Church is as good as another.” If that’s so, then why don’t the other Churches and ecclesial communities unite with the sole Church of Christ as described in paragraph #816 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?


    • Qualis Rex says:

      The fact that you don’t think apostolic succession is all that important makes me really doubt you are Catholic in any way other than in your own mind and for the purposes of this conversation to base your opinion on any sort of legitimacy. Apostolic succession is absolutely paramount to the preservation of the faith, teaching and tradition passed down from Christ. Without it, one church is indeed just as good as another. And that is not the case. Your opinions are noted, but dismissed.

    • Gail F says:

      Well, Dr. Howard, none of the apostles would have agreed with you on that.

  8. Jason V. says:

    To take the most cynical perspective possible: Rice’s ‘reversion’ and now ‘quitting’ of Christianity do fit in with her writing career — i.e. the topics she was/is writing about around the times of each event.

    While I don’t think that anyone would use their (so-called) “faith journey” as a marketing tool, you never know, and the coincidence is interesting…

  9. Bob Henry says:

    Somewhere in scipture can be found something similar. A person wanting to build a house should sit down first and consider the cost, otherwise they may run out of funds and be unable to finish building, becoming the laughingstock of many. Becoming a church member also requires humility, not wanting to sit in the front pews at first conversion.

  10. John Macleod says:


    “O when may it suffice? That is Heaven’s part,…”

    and the terrible beauty is the cross, isn’t it.

    We need you to be strong, so that you may change those hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.

    God be with you.


  11. Mason Slidell says:


    There is one thing you may be missing, which is the need to read Rice’s terse statement through the lens of the Southern literary tradition as Sam alluded to above. With all affection, a pointy-headed Yankee may be more likely to miss this.

    Rice’s work is not only vampiric, but also solidly Southern. (Good) Southern literature is haunted literature. It is firmly founded in existential crisis, family dysfunction and external paranoia (Faulkner, Mitchell, Williams, O’Connor and Percy are the classic examples). The added ingredient is the figure of Jesus. The Christological figure, however, is almost never perceived in a higher fashion. Characters like Scarlett O’Hara, Brick Pollitt, Hazel Motes, Joel Harrison Knox or Quentin Compson are loathed to be subjected and have little need for a savior. Instead, they seek out companions in suffering. The Christological figure is often then morphed into co-dependency, as a method for coping and for not suffering in solitude.

    The Southern literary tradition is endeared to Jesus, but not to the Trinity. Or let me put it this way. In my years living north of the Mason-Dixon, there seemed to be one routine misunderstanding about the South, which is that Southerners are family-focused and family-friendly. One half is right, the Southern ethos revolves around the family, but the family is also a place of intense drama and dysfunction that regularly drives individual members far away from it. The Southern literary tradition encapsulates this feature well: the character deeply desires friendships/relationships, but family pressures/expectations/embarrassment cause tremendous anxiety and alienation. The Christological figure brings solace in that the divine may be singular, human and contained by the character. The church, however, is yet another extension of the corrosive influence/instability of the family.

    Now, admittedly this is not the experience of every Southern, but instead the experience of the social misfits who make up the legends of Southern literature. My point is that Rice fits into this group of Southern misfits (though her work is not legendary). Her language of a passionate longing/need for Christ, but no need for the quarrelsome congregation known as church follows well in this tradition. So, I think some of the theological speculation as central to her decision is misplaced, despite what she may have said in haste on Facebook. Subsequent interviews I have read or seen of her focus in much more on her inability to conform back into the family (the church) of her youth.

    • Jay Hooks says:

      What you said about Southern literature is the sort of picture that Walker Percy’s “Moviegoer” offers: a man who’s trying to put his finger on exactly why he feels alienated from the world and himself, all the while dealing with his cousin Kate’s simultaneously tragic and alluring character. Then of course, there are the high expectations of his traditional aunt and Southern society.

      To quote a New York Times article by Evelyn Toynton:
      “‘I’m sick and tired of talking about the South and hearing about the South,’ the novelist Walker Percy says in the mocking self-interview that concludes “Signposts in a Strange Land,” a collection of his occasional writings. Yet, like so many other Southern writers, he seems unable to stay away from the subject.” (1991)

      His image of the Catholic Church in “Love In The Ruins” – the Church that the narrator chooses and calls his own – is true and telling as well: small, rickety, ivy-covered, attended by social castaways, and whose priest is a sinewy recovering alcoholic.

      I wonder what Rice would make of these images and Percy’s dark prophecies… and abiding sense of hope.

      • Mason Slidell says:

        I love the story Percy tells of paying a visit to Faulkner in Oxford, Mississippi with Shelby Foote. He was so paralyzed with awe that he was unable to get out of the car and just watched as Faulkner and Foote talked in the porch.

        It is fitting to juxtapose Faulkner and Percy in this regard. Rice seems to have grown tired of the camaraderie provided by other hope-seeking misfits a la Percy and is following after Faulkner into general despair about the whole affair.

        Well, at least for now. Rice has proven herself to be quite fickle. With her old nemesis Al Copeland dead, she seems to be have lost focus. Plus, some years ago she moved out to California, where serious sojourners die in shallow vapidity.

      • Jay Hooks says:

        “With her old nemesis Al Copeland dead, she seems to be have lost focus.”

        Heck – we all need somebody to hate, right?

  12. Jerald Franklin Archer says:

    In my opinion, Ms. Rice is simply using her fame to use a more famous institution to sell more books. I question the usefulness of it as real Catholic news, except that everyone knows who she is. I can see a great lesson here, so I must say that at least that should be taken in account.

    The tragedy happens to many people, but if you are famous for something, it seems to get the attention of others. She writes novels about vampires (a worn out subject today, but still popular due to it’s very “nature” that celebrates sin). She is as responsible for misleading many young people, allowing them to believe that evil is good. If Dan Brown and her were to co-author a novel, it would be If she were to be a noted Catholic literature writer, then I could see the problem.

    It appears that she, like many who achieve fame and forget Christ, has become a victim of her own genius, which has inevitable lead her down the diamond studded road of modernism and liberal thinking.Her works are full of the ideals of such philosophies.

    I would very much imagine the answers she gives in interviews are very different than what really goes on in her mind–that is between her and God. She has people in her employment called “publicity agents” who keep her books selling. Granted, she is openly defending that which is wrong to save a career, and writes about that which is wrong to glorify sin, and Follywood finds another disciple to glorify in her Temple of Iniquity. There is no new story here and it has been the way of the entertainment business since day one.

    On a positive note, I can see where her actions could incite constructive dialogue (as to WHY we stay in the Church), but that is about it. It really makes one think about where they are and what they really stand for. Our society has blurred the division between right and wrong for so long, that many don’t have a clue as to where they stand. Many will ask someone else where they should stand just to be accepted and some are just ignorant. Some are just plain wrong and pride themselves by calling it being “individualistic”. Hell is full of “individualistic” individuals, yet people there find they are all really the same–a true hell for the modernist, liberal individualist, I can assure you.

    It is situations like this that remind me WHY I (and many others) remain in the Church, faithful. What can we do?–pray for her and anyone else who is so misled in believing that the world is worth more than their own immortal soul.

  13. Jerald Franklin Archer says:

    If Dan Brown and her were to co-author a novel, it would be…..(I could not find a proper phrase here to describe the damage it could do, so use your own imagination).

    If she were to be a noted Catholic literature writer, then I could see the problem. (I could not find a proper word here, so use your own imagination).

  14. crystal says:

    You wrote … “The only alternative to listening to Christ’s followers is to make up the message ourselves, and this is what claiming to follow Jesus without the Church amounts to.”

    Do you not count religious experience through prayer as a way to know Jesus? I think Ignatius of Loyola said somewhere that he’d believe the evidence of his religious experience even if mention of it couldn’t be found in scripture.

    It would be hard, I think, to say that the church hasn’t diverged in some ways and at some times from what Jesus taught – just war theory? death penalty?

    • Anthony Lusvardi, SJ says:

      That’s a good question. Private prayer is certainly a way — to my mind, an indispensable way — of growing closer to Jesus. But, as Ignatius was very aware, the Evil Spirit is quite capable of giving us private “revelations” that seem on the surface to come from God.

      Ignatius is also very, very clear that private prayer experiences are never to be preferred to the public teachings of the Church. This is why he includes the “Rules for Thinking with the Church” in the “Spiritual Exercises”. He goes so far as to say that if something seemed black to him and the hierarchical Church said it was white, then he would believe it was white. That statement can be unpacked a bit more (and I’m toying with the idea of doing a post on the “Rules for Thinking with the Church” in the future), but for now it should suffice to say that for Ignatius, private prayer experiences can never come at the expense of the public teaching of the Church.

      As to the other question, I’m not really sure where you’re getting Jesus’ teachings on just war or the death penalty. I assume you’ve got something from Scripture in mind, but I can’t think of anything in Scripture that forms a clear cut theory on war or the death penalty. And, in any case, it’s important to remember that Scripture itself is handed on to us through the Church.

    • Qualis Rex says:

      Crystal, let’s not forget that as we have seen from the differences between the New and Old Testaments, that while the truth itself is unchangeable, human understanding, interpretation and implementation of that truth often changes with historical circumstance. Not sure you’ll grasp this concept so I’ll leave it at that.

  15. Tess says:

    I feel sorry for Anne Rice, she didn’t really know the Catholic Church and its teachings. If she had delved into finding out exactly what the Church teaches by reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, she probably wouldn’t be leaving the Catholic Church, she would be out there calling people to come and drink the waters of the one truth faith!

  16. Father Joseph Leppard says:

    I will defer to all the “intelligentia” within the Church to debate Ms Annie’s decision to leave the Church because of reasons stated.

    For me as a pastor and priest, it is important that I attempt in someway through my own weakness to lead people to God through the tradition and magisterium of the Church.

    There are so many Anne Rice’s within the Church, that it is somewhat difficult to be surprised as to what she has to say or write.

    Great job in the presentation of the debate and thought. I would hope that we would not get into a somewhat pharisee thinking of “thank God, I am not like the rest of them”.

  17. crystal says:


    Strangely I was just reading about the rules for thinking with the church – someone else had brought the subject up with me. I read a bit about it in John O’Malley’s book, The First Jesuits …

    “{…} The Rules for Thinking with the Church … should not be invested with the exaggerated orthodoxy they were often later made to represent. Moreover, important though they are in many ways, they were not seen to be integral to the Exercises …”

    And an article on them by Fr. Kolvenbach …

    “We must take care to avoid misinterpreting Ignatius when he speaks of “the
    hierarchical Church.” He does not take it to mean the world of popes and bishops,
    ecclesiastics and clergy. It would seem that Ignatius was among the earliest to appreciate
    the hierarchical Church as a church of mediation. The divine grace that is given to the
    world is mediated by each believer, of high and low estate, according to his or her life and
    place [189]. Each person, as a member of the Church, exercises a responsibility in the
    work of salvation. Thus Ignatius’ perception of the Church is that of a body with a head
    and limbs, each part fulfilling its proper role as God wills. The head cannot say to the feet,
    “I do not need you.” Is a part of the body suffering? The other parts suffer along with
    it. Is one person honored? All the others share the joy [cf 1 Cor 12: 18-26]. Ignatius looks
    on the Church as a whole of which nothing can be ignored: neither its ecclesial hierarchy
    nor the rest of its members, neither its charismatic expression nor its canonical discipline,
    neither its holiness nor its sinfulness.”

    But I just meant that I think that even fraught with the need for discernment, the experiential relationship in prayer that exists between a person and Jesus wouldn’t cease to exist if they left the church, like Anne Rice has done.

    • Anthony Lusvardi, SJ says:

      Oh, I see what you mean, Crystal. Yes, one hopes that Ms. Rice will continue to have some sort of relationship with Jesus through prayer — and even that this relationship will be the source of repentance and conversion.

      Regarding the “Rules,” much more could be said, but I’ll confine myself to three points:

      (1) As with commentary on Scripture, commentators can be helpful but shouldn’t prevent us from finally letting Ignatius speak for Ignatius. Occasionally commentary tells us more about the commentator than the original source.

      (2) Fr. Kolvenbach’s Pauline analogy is instructive because it warns against several opposing errors. One is thinking that only some parts of the body are necessary, and the other is what happens when everyone tries to “go it alone.” If both feet stop listening to the head and just move independently wherever they will, we end up with a neurological disorder and our faces in the gutter.

      (3) The point I made earlier that for Ignatius private revelation can never legitimately be placed in opposition to public Church teaching can be seen not only in the “Rules” but throughout his life and teachings. His remark after founding the Jesuits, which involved much prayer and even visions, that he would need only 15 minutes of prayer to compose himself if the Pope told him to disband the Order shows that he was always ready to submit to legitimate Church authority even if it seemed to contradict his private visions, etc.

      Annotation 22 in the “Exercises” is also instructive on this point because it ends with Ignatius writing of the necessity of correcting unorthodox opinions — but it begins, of course, with Ignatius saying that we should always be eager to put the best (ie, an orthodox) interpretation on others’ words. For Ignatius, magnanimity and generosity of spirit are the best ways of preserving orthodoxy.

  18. Milites Domini! - TEXAS says:

    Some “Catholics” insist on picking and choosing only the Teachings of the Church they themselves see fit. They somehow gather that the Church should accommodate a sinful society with the changing immoral times, adapt and adjust to whatever is “fashionable”. Pray for these lost souls.
    Dr. Donohue writes:

    “August 6, 2010 – THE TRAGEDY OF ANNE RICE

    Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on writer Anne Rice’s decision to quit Christianity while still professing a belief in Christ:

    Anne Rice started as a believing Catholic; then she quit the Church; then she rejoined the Church; now she has quit again. All of this is as amusing as it is sad, and would be of no interest to the Catholic League save for her parting shots at the Catholic Church.

    Rice said this week that when the American bishops opposed homosexual marriage, that was the “last straw.” She offered, “I didn’t anticipate in the beginning that U.S. Catholic Bishops were going to come out against same-sex marriage.” Did she think they would be silent on one of the most contentious moral issues of our day? Or that they were silently cheering for gay marriage all along? Either way, her virginal views are startling.

    Here’s another beauty. She said this week that “I refuse to be anti-gay,” thereby separating herself from all those awful Catholic bigots. But when she was asked two years ago on ABC-TV whether the Catholic Church condemns her gay son to hell, she said, “I don’t think anybody in my church would say that. I think our view is far more compassionate.” She got that right. But does she have any idea how she looks now?

    Last night, Rice told Joy Behar “I myself am anti-abortion.” It didn’t take long before the pro-abortion and anti-Catholic Behar snapped, “You would deny other women the choice to have an abortion?” To which Rice said, “I would not deny them the choice.” Yet in the same breath she added, “I do think it’s the taking of a human life.”

    Rice came back to the Catholic Church in the 1990s, but only the day before yesterday did she learn that the bishops are not fond of guys marrying. She said in 2008 that Catholicism is not anti-gay, but in 2010 it was so anti-gay she had to quit. She is pro-life, knows abortion kills, but sides with the agenda of Planned Parenthood. She wants Christ without the Christianity. This is more than an odyssey—it’s a tragedy.”

  19. Greg says:

    “Quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous.”
    Yep thats me.
    Great Post.

  20. crystal says:

    Thanks, Anthony. Good points. I look forward to your post on the rules.

  21. Gail F says:

    “Quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous.” Like the apostles — and the rest of the human race.

  22. […] I acknowledged a few weeks ago, contention and politics are part of living in any human community and the Church is no exception, […]

  23. […] the whole blog-o-sphere was on fire with “what it all means” posts. The one I liked, I posted on our Facebook page.But I was on vacation, see, and sorry—I wasn’t going to write a post […]

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