I've been reading with some sadness many of the rather tart if not caustic comments about what Anne Rice recently wrote concerning Christianity and her rejection of the label Christian. It saddens me because I saw someone who truly wanted to come back but perhaps was seeing through a glass darkly. I reviewed Ms. Rice's two books on the early life of Jesus here, both of which I enjoyed, and she was kind enough to drop by and comment. I truly believe she wants to find the truth, and I also believe the Church is the place she will find it. However, it seemed to me that she was responding less to the teachings of the Church and more to personal attacks on her struggles with those teachings. The responses just proved her point. Christians, and particularly Catholic Christians, can be an uncharitable lot. I'm not saying anyone should discard the truth for a lie, but we should speak the truth in love. When we don't, we look like the caricature she has in her mind of us. How do we say that we don't support homosexual activity, abortion, and contraception because we love, then we turn around and act hateful? We have to act on love in our insistence of the truth about the teachings of the Church.
Fr. Robert Barron of the Word on Fire ministry posted what I think is the only really compassionate response I've seen, which is why I haven't posted anything myself. At the end, he posts, "Come back, Anne. We need you!" To which I agree. We need all the members of the Body of Christ and their gifts. And also importantly, come back, Anne, because you need the Church.