Is ex-nun Mary Ann Collins real?

Everyone has got to be familiar with ex-nun Mary Ann Collins. She is often referenced and has a ton of articles about Catholicism - certainly not friendly.

As I started to think about her and the history of fake nuns, I started questioning her existence and all the clues pointed to her being made up. I shared this with Julie Davis, a Catholic weblogger, who wrote an analysis about it that I wanted to share and invite any information that anyone may have about her.

Will the real Mary Ann Collins please stand up?
Critically questioning the existence of ex-nun Mary Ann Collins

There is a boatload of stuff on her site. Has any Catholic gone through it all offering rebuttals?

Scott

I can say for certain, no. She’s been under the radar since she appeared on the web in Catholic circles and there has never been a critique about her until now. But, she’s well-known within Fundamentalist circles.

At the same time, though, her issues are the same distortions of Catholic teachings so essentially, they’ve all been covered before.

But no one until now has examined Mary Ann Collins, the source of this material. For example, when I first mentioned her in this forum, I was pointed to her biography that she wrote as proof that she was real. :smiley:

Gotta love webarchive.org.

It was invaluable during the US Presidential election and it’s become invaluable on a couple of points since the election has ended.

Will be interesting to see if this “nun” finds points to refute her own archived “testimony,” and your friend’s blog. :slight_smile:

I was just going through pages from her site, which was being quoted by anti-catholics, and on just a few pages I found the following outright lies…

the last official Spanish execution for heresy occurred in 1826. A schoolmaster was hanged because he substituted the phrase “Praise be to God” in place of “Ave Maria” (“Hail Mary”) during school prayers

A truly preposterous lie! Never in history could anyone be executed for such an “offense”!

*When I went into the church something hit me hard. It had always been there, but I had never noticed it before because I was used to it. There were statues of Mary and the saints. They looked solid, real, as if they represented people of power. Jesus only appeared as a helpless baby in Mary’s arms, as a dead man nailed to a cross, and as little wafers of bread hidden inside a fancy box.

A stupid lie. Every catholic Church I have ever been into has numerous and large images of Jesus.

According to the 1913 edition of the “Catholic Encyclopedia,” when the Catholic Church anathematizes someone, the Pope ritually puts curses on them.

Untrue. Nowhere does this appear

*The Orthodox church also believes in transubstantiation. They believe that when validly ordained Orthodox priests consecrate bread and wine, Jesus Christ is literally present in them.

There is a third religious group that believes in transubstantiation. Satanists have a reputation for stealing hosts in order to desecrate them during satanic rituals.
catholicconcerns.com/Trans.html

A foul lie. Apparently the only three groups who believe in transubstantiation are Catholics Orthodox and Satanists!

*Sometimes a Catholic priest (or Orthodox priest) becomes a satanist. And sometimes a satanist priest finds a way to become ordained as a Catholic (or Orthodox) priest.

Satanists believe that, as an ordained Catholic (or Orthodox) priest, the satanist priest can say Mass and turn the bread and wine into Jesus Christ. Then the satanists attending the ritual can do disgraceful things to that bread and wine in an attempt to hurt and disgrace Jesus. This is known as a Black Mass.

This stuff is disgusting. Apparantly catholic and orthodox priests are supposed to hold joint dark rituals with satanists! This woman is deranged by her hatred,

*Constantine declared that a mosaic of the Roman sun god (riding in a chariot) was a representation of Jesus. During Constantine’s reign, many Christians incorporated worship of the Roman sun god into their religion. They prayed kneeling towards the east (where the sun rises). They said that Jesus Christ drives his chariot across the sky (like the Roman sun god). They had their worship services on Sunday, which honored the Roman sun god. (Days of the week were named to honor pagan gods. For example, Saturday is “Saturn’s day,” named for the Roman god Saturn.) They celebrated the birth of Jesus on December 25, the day when sun worshipers celebrated the birthday of the sun following the winter solstice

what can you say to this stuff. We all worship the Sun God???

*For centuries, Christians were forbidden to possess the Scriptures in any language, including Latin. Reading the Bible was considered to be proof that someone was a heretic. Men and women were burned at the stake for reading the Bible in Latin.

Absolute nonsense. An outright lie

*William Tyndale was burned as a “heretic” because he translated the Bible into English.

Falsehood. Translation of the bible was not the reason for his execution.

*Bibles became so plentiful that they could no longer be suppressed. That is why people like us, who are not Latin scholars, are able to read the Bible today

Falsehood and deception. Bibles in vernacular languages were common long before the Reformation.

*The Roman Catholic Church was created by Emperor Constantine and Bishop Silvester in the year 314 A.D.

Utter falsehood. This stuff is just appalling nonsense. “The big lie” as Adolf Hitler said.

A lot of this stuff is acknowledged to be taken from A Woman Rides the Beast by Catholic-hater Dave Hunt.

It just shows that when people have to tell lies about the Church like this, their inspiration is from another spirit than the Holy Spirit!

This is off the topic, but this is actually true. Satanists used to break into the church I currently attend to try to desecrate hosts, they chipped some marble from the altar to get to the tabernacle and stole some liturgical vessels. Hosts that they have stolen have been discovered thrown out on the grass too.

No, I don’t think ‘Collins’ is real. Reasons:

  1. Generic Irish Catholic name
  2. No public appearances
  3. No details, places, names, etc. in bio
  4. Reliance upon the same fraudulent sources (Hislop, Boettner) as Jack Chick
  5. The doggerel poems on the ‘Collins’ site are ludicrous
  6. The numerous errors concerning Catholic teachings
  7. The writings of ‘Collins’ herself; they have no sense of personalization.

Recipe for a Mary Ann Collins:
3 parts Jack Chick + 1 part Maria Monk + a tablespoon of Alberto Rivera; mix well with a handful of Hislop; cook until half-baked; serve to people starved for anti-Catholic gruel. Makes millions of servings.

That’s odd. The Spero news article says that she left the Church and joined her parents’ Protestant church. In the bio that was posted a month or so ago, she says that she was raised without a religion and was taught by her parents that Christians are “gullible”. The reason she said that she looked into Catholicism on the same bio is that, as a teenager she fell in love with a devout Catholic.

I wrote to her several months ago asking her to join us at Catholic Answers. “She” (?) e-mailed me back three weeks later to say “thanks” but she doesn’t have time to “chat”. :hmmm:

It’s good to finally see the radar turning on “Mary Ann Collins”. I still doubt the claim that Eric Svendsen was ever Catholic (very un-Catholic, very Scandanavian Lutheran name for starters) but that’s a whole other story!

She contradicts herself all the time…Whatever sounds worse for Catholics, or whatever seems to make her point, is what she says.
I don’t pretend to have spent a lot of time reading her rubbish, because she looked to me from the start, to do an enormous phony.

My guess is that she is about as:nope: real an ex-nun, as Alberto Rivera is a :whacky: real :whacky: ex-Jesuit.

[quote=Anima Christi]This is off the topic, but this is actually true. Satanists used to break into the church I currently attend to try to desecrate hosts, they chipped some marble from the altar to get to the tabernacle and stole some liturgical vessels. Hosts that they have stolen have been discovered thrown out on the grass too.
[/quote]

Of course that’s true. Satan knows full well what those Hosts really are - that’s why his followers want to desecrate them! You don’t see satanists breaking into protestant churches and stealing their crackers and grape juice. But it’s interesting that anti-Catholics would bring this up. It goes against them, if you think about it.

However, the Hosts on the lawn probably have a more innocent origin. I have heard of non-Catholics who visit a Mass without really knowing what’s going on. They get in line like everyone else and someone hands them a Host. They don’t really know what to do with it - they seem to realize by instinct that it would not be proper for them to eat it, but they don’t want to just toss it in the trash (more instinct) and they are too embarrassed to ask anyone. So they toss it on the church lawn. I think they are trying to be as reverent as possible while avoiding embarrassment. And they’re pretty close - you may properly dispose of consecrated Hosts (moldy, etc) by burying them or dissolving them in water and pouring them into an earthen drain (not a sewer or septic system). So leaving them on the ground is almost OK (and they mean no disrespect). Hey, at least they aren’t selling them on eBay!

[quote=Axion]A stupid lie. Every catholic Church I have ever been into has numerous and large images of Jesus.
[/quote]

Peace be with you!

How true! My church has a giant stained glass window (the biggest in the state and beautiful at night when the light shines through it) of the Risen Lord above the front doors. In fact, there’s only four statues in the church (not including the Stations): the crucifix above the altar, Our Lady and St. Joseph, and St. Matthew (the namesake of the church).

In Christ,
Rand

From JosieElaine :
Nuns who went into the convent before the 2nd Vatican Council had a very different experience than do nuns nowadays . The rules then were from a very long time before . It did not appear so weird to us then . Read the life of some of the Saints from Miedieval times . Some strange things happen then , too . I am not pretending we were saints , just saying our rules were very old . Why don’t you get your hands on a Book of Rules from one of these pre-1960 convents ? You might be surprised . After the Council , everything changed very rapidly .
One who was a nun before and after the Council.

Calling things lies is not convincing unless one can replace them by true accounts. If people seem to be, or are, mistaken, it’s not unreasonable to wonder how the mistake came about.

Nowhere in the papal bull does Pope Pius XII say the following:

"The Pope further declared that any person who attempts to do so thereby incurs the wrath of God and the wrath of the Apostles Peter and Paul."

Anne Collins quote with additions:

"On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII issued a papal bull defining the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. He ended by saying, "It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it." *The Pope further declared that any person who attempts to do so thereby incurs the wrath of God and the wrath of the Apostles Peter and Paul.*** [This article is available on-line. Note 8 gives the address.]"

Actual quote from Pope Pius XII:

"After we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church;* by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.*** Hence if anyone, which God forbid,** should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.**

The person using the pseudonym Ann Collins is really hoping that no one will verify her/his quotes. They put the following words in the Popes mouth. In other words he/she lied:

**The Pope further declared that any person who attempts to do so thereby incurs the wrath of God and the wrath of the Apostles Peter and Paul

**

[quote="Zooey, post:10, topic:31456"]
She contradicts herself all the time...Whatever sounds worse for Catholics, or whatever seems to make her point, is what she says.
I don't pretend to have spent a lot of time reading her rubbish, because she looked to me from the start, to do an enormous phony.

My guess is that she is about as:nope: real an ex-nun, as Alberto Rivera is a :whacky: real :whacky: ex-Jesuit.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: A very good point Zooey! And very likely true.

It seems to me that an anonymous "personal testimony" is worthless. If someone has something to say about something then they can write a book about it, or articles, and go to the trouble of doing research and making a credible case. Alternatively, they can use a "personal testimony" which saves them from doing original research - the "research" becomes ones own accumulated experience. This can, indeed, be a very powerful and convincing argument, however, it's credibility comes from the credibility of the author, so if the author will not even name them self, and give places and dates for their experience, then it is worthless.

[quote="Zooey, post:10, topic:31456"]
My guess is that she is about as:nope: real an ex-nun, as Alberto Rivera is a :whacky: real :whacky: ex-Jesuit.

[/quote]

How true. But is 'Mary Ann Collins' a real person, or just an alias for even a group? About ten years ago was the first that 'she' came on the scene on MB's. I believe it was Former Catholics for Christ that she began posting her 'story' and debating some very knowledgable Catholics. They kept asking questions about vague referrences and never got good answers. Finally it was determined that she never made final vows as a nun, but left on the advice of the Superior. Never would she name the convent or the locality, thus leaving the question of "was she real"?

Kotton

[quote="Kotton, post:18, topic:31456"]
How true. But is 'Mary Ann Collins' a real person, or just an alias for even a group? About ten years ago was the first that 'she' came on the scene on MB's. I believe it was Former Catholics for Christ that she began posting her 'story' and debating some very knowledgable Catholics. They kept asking questions about vague referrences and never got good answers. Finally it was determined that she never made final vows as a nun, but left on the advice of the Superior. Never would she name the convent or the locality, thus leaving the question of "was she real"?

Kotton

[/quote]

My personal opinion is that she is a real person (but not an ex-nun, & probably **not **named "Mary Ann Collins")) who started all this, and that, since then, her "identity" is being used by whatever anti-Catholic group put out her original nonsense, to serve as a generic name for whatever wild horrors any of them can invent to tell about Catholics in general, & nuns in particular.
After all, how good a big lie could you tell about being an ex-nun, if your name was actually;) Alice Kramden, or;) Buffalo Bob?

I want to say that I really appreciate you posting this thread.
I was raised protestant,but listen to EWTN regularly.
I really enjoy the programs and I felt like I wanted to become catholic.
Then I saw this book by Mary Ann Collins,and didn’t like what I was reading.
Now that you have pointed out the errors and the fact that she may not even exist.
I am more confused then ever!
Protestants believe they have the truth.
Catholics believe they have the truth,because they were first.
Protestants don’t believe that there is any other way to reach the Lord without Jesus.
Catholics believe we can pray to Mary and she intercedes for us.
I understand that those who die are alive in Christ.
And that that’s why Catholics believe we can pray to the saints in Heaven.
But still, Jesus did say,“I am the way the truth and the life”.
And,“No one comes to the Father but by Me”.
So I’m back to step one.
A protestant listening to Catholic radio and being pulled both ways.
Pray for me.
Thank you!
God’s Peace

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.