Anne Rice's Christ

More

This has not been Roman Catholicism's finest month, to put it mildly. The Pope's badly-handled de-excommunication decision is still rippling, and the Vatican has only just now gotten around to issuing the sort of statements that should have accompanied the initial announcement. And yesterday came news that the late Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ and a favorite of John Paul II, may have been even more like a character straight out of a Jack Chick pamphlet than he previously appeared: To the persuasive accusations of sexual abuse, it seems we can add mistresses and illegitimate children as well.

The only good news (for Catholics, but not only for Catholics) is that institutional failure has been a constant in the life of the Church for two thousand years and counting, and Catholicism's capacity for renewal - on a corporal and individual level alike - has endured for two millenia as well, the errors and crimes of its leaders notwithstanding. For a modest example of what such renewal can mean in practice, I recommend this exploration of Anne Rice's recent return to Catholicism, and of her attempt - which may be more successful than you'd expect - to paint a fictional portrait of Jesus of Nazareth. (And I hope you won't be dissuaded from reading the essay just because the author is my mother.)

Jump to comments

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down