I just finished Anne Rice's Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession. Let me tell you, I liked it. Of course, I like Anne Rice's writing. It's not all perfect, but some of it is brilliant. This is a good book. She was raised uber-Catholic (daily Mass, Tuesday night novenas, etc.) and yet left the Catholic Church and Christ to become an atheist for nearly forty years. And then she was gently called home by Christ. It's a great little autobiography.
She says some interesting things at the conclusion of her book. One of the things she brings up is the idea of gender and sexuality in the Catholic Church. She is at odds with the teaching of the Church here, and yet she's very quiet about it and, it seems to me, very humble about it. She doesn't demand the Church change anything, but suggests that perhaps our view of gender and sexuality needs to be informed by science much like our views of evolution or heliocentrism have been. Now to understand Anne, gender plays a huge role in who she is as a person and how she sees herself throughout the book (throughout her life). For years she never thought of herself as a girl, but simply as a person. Anne also has a son who is gay. So these ideas of gender and sexuality are important to her personally. But she's honest with it and she sincerely communicates, in spite of where she wishes the Church would change, her love for both Christ and Church. It's an altogether interesting little mix.
(On a related note, Avery was talking to me yesterday and said she was going to be a priest when she grew up. I explained to her that it wasn't possible, and her eyes fell and she told me it wasn't fair.)
This view of Anne's might be something offensive for some of you, but I don't think it ought to be. There are issues I have with Church teachings: I think after a half dozen children or so an occasional *ahem* condom shouldn't be considered grave sin in a financially challenged home. Yet I still do my best to be obedient and submit myself to the teaching of the Church. I may never completely understand why the Church teaches some things. My view of hell leans toward Orthodoxy, but I don't make an issue of it. And I like my Nicene Creed without the filioque, but I still happily pray the Creed with it when I worship with my brothers and sisters. These are areas of tension for me with our Church. But she is the Church. And I love her. And I want nothing but her. This is the same feeling I get from Anne Rice in her book with her "objections." It's worth the read.
And Happy Father's Day to you dads out there. To my dad especially (I love you so much). And to all our priests. And, of course, to our Father, God.