Cary McMullen the religion editor for The Ledger wrote a post on Anne Rice that I generally agree with.
There is an old saying, attributed to Cyril of Alexandria (supposedly one of those anti-science, anti-feminist dead white guys): “Outside the church there is no salvation.” Now before Anne Rice starts to get huffy, I think what Cyril meant is that the church has been the (decidedly flawed) custodian of the gospel. How would Rice even know about Jesus if it hadn’t been for the millions of faithful people who sometimes at the cost of their own lives openly declared that they were in fact Christians and dedicated themselves to perpetuating the only organization that has Jesus as the subject of the simple statement that he is Lord?
Rice’s memory is awfully short. And contrary to what she thinks, by rejecting the church she is in danger of rejecting Jesus as well.
First off what St. Cyrill actually said was ” ‘mercy is not obtainable outside the holy city’.” The dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus means much more than that the Church is the custodian of the Gospel, but does not mean as much as the rigorists would have it say. Regardless this is a side point. I would certainly agree with anybody who rejects the Church is in danger of rejecting Jesus if in fact they haven’t already done so by rejecting his Church. As Sy Cyprian said “He cannot have God as his Father who does not have the Church as his mother.”
What I totally disagree with was the headline for this article “Church Won’t Miss Rice.” If the Angels rejoice when one lost sheep is returned, surely they are unhappy about every single sheep that is lost even if the sheep posts on Facebook that they are getting lost on purpose. While I totally disagree with Anne Rice’s reasons for leaving the Church which I find quite juvenile, I want her and everybody else for that matter within the Catholic Church and the Body of Christ does miss Anne Rice. Every person is God’t unique creation and they are intended to live with him forever. Anne Rice’s separating herself from the Church means she is separating herself from the sacraments means she is separating herself from the various helps in the Christian life that Jesus intended. Jesus gave us the Church to lead us to salvation and to reject his Church is to reject his will.