St. Joseph’s in Phoenix: a note about their “follow” list on Twitter

As the problem in Phoenix with St. Joseph’s Formerly Catholic Hospital develops, I went to look at their St. Joseph’s Twitter feed.

You can’t read too much into the list of followers, because you don’t know what sort of person is actually handling the Twitter feed in some basement office, but the feed was interesting.

For a once-Catholic hospital, I note that they – at the time of this writing – they didn’t follow the Twitter feed of the Catholic Bishops, or any other Catholic institution I recognized.

On the other hand at the top of their list was the apostate authoress Anne Rice.

Rice on Twitter has been backing St. Joseph’s against the Bishop.  I’m SHOCKED! SHOCKED!

I have no idea what this means… if anything.

Vampire analogies leap to mind.

In the meantime, to the administration of St. Joseph’s: How sharper than a vampire’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Lighter fare and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Fr. Basil says:

    If fans of the Grateful Dead are Deadheads, and fans of Nine Inch Nails are Ninnies, are fans of Twitter Twits?

  2. danielinnola says:

    I was mrs Rice neighbor for A few years, when she lived at her last home in New Orleans. Never saw her out much. I used to chat with her gardener from time to time. And I used to battle the hordes (literally) of fans camped outside her front gate on 1st street, here in the garden district of Nola. Then her husband passed away , the same year as my sister. She kept a wreath on the door for A year. My heart really went out out to her, as I was dealing with my own tremendous loss. and then she suddenly started showing up at Mass from time to time… I prayed for her conversion (and my own) and next thing you know shes leaving nola for good. I hear (from the media) she has since written some pretty wacky things. oh well I pray she returns to the faith she knew as a child.

  3. benedetta says:

    That is pretty sad. If I were shopping for a hospital, going to one that lists a celebrity pop author on the twitter feed would not sway me to patronize it. But maybe she is now employed as a pr person for the hospital? Maybe as a volunteer?

  4. templariidvm says:

    I have waded through her replies at NCR and this may sound simplistic, but she just doesn’t get it! 1) As much as she would like to think she knows all about the circumstances – she doesn’t. Yet, I would bet Bishop Olmstead knows considerably more about the case than she does. And 2) as stated by the USCCB on June 23, 2010 :Nothing, therefore, can justify a direct abortion. “No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.” And that doesn’t say “unless Anne Rice were to disagree with us – then ignore everything we just said”. Our culture TRULY needs strong leaders speaking out unequivocally (as in the USCCB statement) about moral issues. Sometimes you have to grab people by the ears to get their attention, but nonetheless, guidance is needed in a firm, consistent manner.

  5. sejoga says:

    It’s now official, Fr. Z: You are indeed the best priest ever. You referenced King Lear, jabbed at Anne Rice, and have thrown your support behind the unparalleled Bishop Olmsted all in one post.

  6. teaguytom says:

    If the mainstream Sister’s of Mercy staff the place, then there is your answer. Just googling their website brings up images of lay dressed nuns promoting the liberal agenda. As evidenced that Anne Rice is at the top of their list, Christianity Lite* is wimpy. If you are going to be Catholic, be Catholic. If your not, then call yourself something fitting. Catholic identity is being rediscovered and this gang jumped ship for Christianity Lite*

  7. Fr. Basil says:

    My instincts tell me that the public media has NOT given the whole details of the pregnancy that was terminated at St. Joseph’s hospital. Nor need they, really; it’s nobody’s business.

    I mention this ONLY to say that people are expressing opinions–and rather strongly–on an issue they don’t have the full story on.

    Nor do I know the history of the relationship of SJH with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Was it ever considered a diocesan institution? I have no way of knowing.

    HOWEVER: The Bishop of a diocese has the last word on what is and is not Catholic in his diocese or where the Eucharistic Sacrifice may be celebrated, or where the Mysteries may be reserved.

  8. Laura says:

    Wow, so a woman almost dies, a baby does die and you want to make fun of Anne Rice? *huh?*

    How about posting the report that the hospital has put out that actually has the medical fact of the case? How about actually responding to their moral assumptions and basis for their actions?

    If we can’t be charitable, can we at least have some substance?

  9. MikeM says:

    Their response seems kind of disingenuous. They say that they’re so saddened… What, exactly, was so impossible about the bishop’s demands at this point?

    Their ethical analysis of the abortion case is, by standards of orthodox Catholic ethics, wrong. An abortion is not permissible for ANY reason… even to save the world. No matter how beneficial the ends, they cannot justify the means of murder. Now, had another treatment been available that threatened, but did not directly target, the baby’s life, that would have been permissible.

    They also dwell on that one case, which was apparently what drew +Olmsted’s attention, but the violations of Catholic teaching there were not limited to one instance. They weren’t even limited to abortion.

  10. benedetta says:

    The substance has been discussed thoroughly here on different occasions as well as many other places. Apparently the diocese itself discussed the substance over the course of years. Now that the diocese has finally made its determination concerning pervasive practices, not just over a single incident, Anne Rice seems to have jumped in as the hospital’s de facto spokesperson. It’s a free country and we are free to comment. Perhaps you could also enjoin her to charity when she vilifies the Bishop who seems to have been backed up against a wall to do what he did in this case. Or by the same token you might also defend those who are being ridiculed as backward and women-hating for standing by the Bishop. By the way, if you look at Anne Rice’s defense of the hospital, she persistently does not acknowledge that a baby died yet she singles out the care of the mother as brave and noble and applauds it. Being a mother I cannot imagine living with that outcome and I would find no cause for applause in the entire situation. So maybe it is that kind of insensitivity that leads those of us here to throw up our hands when we see that the hospital via Twitter has enlisted a pop author, who has made a public spectacle of bitter anger against the faith, as its primary spokesperson at this point. But it is an excellent idea and in your charity we ought to remember the mother, the baby, the bishop and the nun in prayer.

  11. Joel says:


    LOL! I can even envision you saying it with all the appropriate expressions.

  12. danielinnola says:

    We should pray for everyone in this sad tragic case. Including Mrs Rice. shes not an evil person, shes sincere but misled.

  13. Scott W. says:

    Who is this Anne Rice person? Is she the same person as the one being a human toothache over at Jimmy Akin’s site?

  14. teomatteo says:

    ScottW…. please… please… as a dentist i dont take kindly to you referring to someone as a “human toothache”…. homosapien pulpitis maybe….

  15. Dr. Eric says:

    WOW! Anne Rice has clogged Jimmy Akin’s comments sections on NCR.

  16. Sam Urfer says:

    “Who is this Anne Rice person? Is she the same person as the one being a human toothache over at Jimmy Akin’s site?”

    Famous novelist. Mostly trash novels, but she had a very public reversion to the Catholic Faith a few years back and wrote some novels about the life of Jesus which were alright. [I read a couple. She gets on thin ice with her presentation of Jesus as only slowly figuring out who He is. But… the books don’t pretend to be theologically deep.] Recently, she’s publicly apostatized due to the Church’s stance on the usual suspects (abortion, contraception, homosexuality, etc.).

  17. everett says:

    Of note is that in the analysis presented by the hospital, they are claiming the the procedure was not in fact properly an abortion, but the necessary removal of the placenta, which resulted in the death of the child. If they are accurate in making the claim that the D&C in this case was not primarily an abortion procedure, they may have an argument similar in nature to that of dealing with tubal pregnancies or a cancerous uterus. I don’t know enough about D&Cs to know if their claim is accurate, which is what the argument would be predicated on.

  18. danielinnola says:

    @ sam urfer, I agree. Her novels were mostly trash. I found her best work was the first “interview with the vampire” she really captured the soul and feel of new orleans. You would have to be a native to appreciate it. As for her public reversion… Well like I said, she just started showin up at mass on sunday. This was after her husband passed away in Dec. Of that year. anyone who says, writes, or believes that Christ only gradually became aware of his divine nature, is on more than thin ice… Pray for her

  19. Laura says:

    danielinnola, you are kind.

    Look, if you read the report you will see that the baby was dying–the pulse/ox levels were too low for the baby to continue to live. The hospital staff acted to remove the placenta–not kill the baby directly. The placenta was the additional organ that was putting the strain on the mother’s heart to the degree that the right chamber was caput.

    And I guess most men wouldn’t know this, but many, many Catholic hospitals push birth control after a woman has had a baby. The one in our area does…. I don’t think this is a big secret–and I don’t see the bishops swooping in and removing the Blessed Sacrament.

  20. benedetta says:

    The placenta is not an “additional organ”. To remove a placenta would directly result in the death of a baby. To hasten death, as the euphemism is currently advanced.

    And the ethical standards are adopted by all Catholic bishops.

    But be that as it may, how does one get around decades of openly defying Church teaching?

    I don’t think we need to be condescending towards men to agree that Catholic hospitals by and large do not “push birth control”. It may be that private doctors prescribe it. A 2 Billion dollar health care plan which pushes it en masse is quite a different hill of beans.

  21. danielinnola says:

    Thank you Laura. I dont know the facts in this case nor do I pretend to know them. I just know Mrs Rice is A person who feels and suffers loss the same as all of us. I lost my sister in Oct her husband passed away in Dec, and as I posted earlier she kept a funeral wreath on the door for a year. I really felt for her. And I repented of all the mean thoughts I had because of the tourists clogging our neighborhood to see her home. I mean she was living alone in this giant pre civil war mansion with nothing but those ole antique dolls for company. but at least she started goin to mass again… I dont agree with most (if any) of her religious views. I assist at the EF Mass, sometimes SSPX sometimes diocesan. nor do I like 99% of her books. but she deserves our charity and prayers… and understanding. How can we (or I) tell someone about the love of Christ if we dont exhibit it ourselves?

  22. benedetta says:

    Thanks Super mum! Well worth watching in its entirety.

  23. brassplayer says:

    An abortion is not permissible for ANY reason… even to save the world.

    Is this true? God would rather have 6.8 billion people die to save the life of one person?

    I might have missed it, but I don’t remember being taught this. Where is this written?

  24. Scott W. says:

    Is this true? God would rather have 6.8 billion people die to save the life of one person?

    I might have missed it, but I don’t remember being taught this. Where is this written?

    St. Paul in Romans 3 : 8 Let us not do evil that good may come. Deliberately killing an innocent human is always wrong, even to save other people. Even to save alot of other people.

  25. Sam Urfer says:

    Her Jesus books basically had a Nestorian Christology, it is true (maaay-be Balthasarian, but it is hard to tell what he meant half the time). Her Jesus does *know* who He is the whole time, but has limited Himself so as to live a “normal” life. Super sketchy theologically, but it was an alright read as far as literary quality goes; not great, not bad, alright. The after-word of her first book, about the research she did, is actually pretty interesting:

  26. danielinnola says:

    Interesting Sam. I never read any of her Jesus books, only the first 2 vampire novels. But ill take a Nestorian over an Arian any ol day, and raise you a monophysite. ;)

  27. Geremia says:

    The good news is that Bp. Olmsted consecrated a new Extraordinary-Form–only church, run by the FSSP, in Phoenix, AZ, last night.

  28. catholicmidwest says:

    Americans are so infatuated with celebrities. Ann Rice is a pulp novelist. Period. Big deal. It’s not like we’re short of those, and it doesn’t mean she knows the first thing about anything else. She’s a pulp novelist, folks. Get over it.

  29. catholicmidwest says:

    I’m not sure what grade anyone here got in junior high basic science and all, but removing the placenta is disconnecting and removing the child from the wall of the womb. The placenta IS BETWEEN the child and the attachment on the wall of the womb. Just a technical note, there, for the seemingly science-challenged amongst us. Google for diagram if necessary.

  30. danielinnola says:

    “Americans are so infatuated with celebrities. Ann Rice is a pulp novelist. Period. Big deal. It’s not like we’re short of those, and it doesn’t mean she knows the first thing about anything else. She’s a pulp novelist, folks. Get over it.”

    She is also A Human being, and A Christian. .. in error for sure. But demonizing her is not the way to convert her or anyone else… we run the risk of falling into the spiritual mindset of the Pharisee who prayed in the Temple and thanked God He was not like the sinner next to him. “God I thank you that I am not like this one!” Luke 18: 9-14

  31. catholicmidwest says:


    Calling her a pulp novelist is demonizing her? Shhh…..Don’t tell Barnes & Noble. The fact is that she has one chief talent, one claim to fame: specifically, she writes paperbacks that sell for entertainment. She’s not a Church father, she’s not a pope and she doesn’t even sell toothpaste, although that may be next. Give me a break!!

    And as far as your throwing the pharisee crap around, I’m not in twitter trying to diss a Catholic bishop for doing what he’s supposed to do. I also assume that you are not there doing that either. People ARE responsible for the specific things they do, pious groveling by assorted bystanders notwithstanding.

  32. danielinnola says:

    as I said, she is a Human being and A Christian. Calling her a “pulp novelist” is a slanted comment. an attempt at denigration. I said myself she only wrote 2 books I liked. and those were the two that made her famous. (they appeared in hardcover editions btw) And I only liked them because im a native of New Orleans and she captured an earlier time very succinctly. A time that in some ways is still with us here, Katrina notwithstanding… She has no right to chastise Bishop(s) And I think her to be in grave error theologically and morally speaking. But A little Charity goes A loooooong way. As for pious grovelling… I suggest you re read Luke 18: 9-14 and see who Christ said was more justified… just a suggestion

  33. catholicmidwest says:

    She IS a pulp novelist. She writes paperback novels that sell in grocery stores for less than $10. People buy them for entertainment and some people apparently really like them, which is fine, but that doesn’t change what they are. She writes pulp (on cheap paper) novels (fiction), which makes her a pulp novelist. From New Orleans, apparently.

    But she’s no expert on medical ethics, moral philosophy, theology or anything else, except writing a pulp novel and getting it published. That’s her business, but her expertise doesn’t extend to everything because she happens to be good at writing pulp novels.

Comments are closed.