I write this as a private individual expressing contrition for things I did which were wrong to have done.
I write this blog post as a private individual speaking about actions I took as a private individual. I do NOT speak for any organization or as part of any organization, nor do I speak about anything which involves any organization. I speak - personally (these words are my own) - about things I did personally. I do not direct these words at anyone specifically - I offer an apology and acceptance of responsiblity, and in the second half of this post I address and explain some issues raised by the CNA article.
As detailed in this article, I wrote fictional stories which contained elements which were inappropriate and likely to be a near occassion of sin for those reading them.
To write such things was wrong and shows a lapse of judgment and was a grave error. I regret writing the things in question and I have sought forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. I humbly ask forgiveness from anyone who might have read the materials and been led to sin and those who are or were scandalized by reading them or hearing that I wrote them.
Although it is clearly the case writing material which is a near occasion of sin is wrong for any person, the matter of scandal is a serious one and I realize this. I apologize for having scandalized the faithful in any regard.
I do not, under any circumstances, seek to justify what I did or avoid responsiblity. I did things which were wrong. I have done all in my power to rectify them (seeking forgiveness in confession, removing the material in question so it is not available for people to read and be tempted by). I did something which was wrong, and I am solely responsible for it.
However, while not seeking to justify my actions, I feel I must offer an explanation and a clarification concerning matters raised in the article by the CNA. Again, I do not offer this to defend or justify my actions - what I did was wrong. However, I would like to be able to offer the explanations so people can better understand.
The specific piece of work in question is an interactive adventure set in a fantasy universe similar to that of Tolkien's Middle Earth. The theme of the adventure game (the objective of the game, if you will) is to fight and defeat a group of evil vampires terrorizing a village. The work is based on the novel "Dracula" and other classic horror stories.
As is common in these stories, the vampire is used as a metaphor for lustful, inappropriate sexuality. Throughout the work, the hero is encouraged to fight against these vampires both with combat and intellect, and also with moral resistance to their seduction. The vampires attempt to seduce the hero character and - if they succeed - then the player has lost the game. His character is destroyed by the vampires.
Set against the evil of the vampires - a debased sexuality which takes and does not give (a contracepted and barren sexuality) is a figure of love; the goddess Asrel. Within the logic of the gameworld, she is the author of all life on the fictional planet as well as the source of goodness and love - the very antithesis of the undead vampires.
The portrayal of this figure in an erotic manner may seem appropriate for the genre, but it is something which is inappropriate to do. Certainly, to portray the character with such a lack of morals as I did is completely wrong.
I do not offer the above explanation as a justification or a defence, but rather simply as an explanation.
The article describes the writings as "sexually explicit". This is a description I would not have used, although the way I wrote the piece was certainly inappropriate and is it definitely "vividly" written (as the article says). The work does not contain explicit descriptions of sexual acts as I would define the term. Obviously, this is no defence - what I wrote was wrong to have written - but I feel the article may give an erroneous impression of what I wrote.
The article describes a single encounter within a much larger narrative. As mentioned above, the objective of the game is to defeat the vampires and resist their seduction - not to have sex with beautiful elves. While it is certainly the case that this particular portion is inappropriate and therefore what the article from the CNA should concentrate on, I feel the focus does give greater weight to the inappropriate elements than is perhaps fair. As I said, this is a story about killing vampires in the main. Certainly, this scene is inappropriate and I do not seek to justify it, but the main focus of the story is something else and I do not feel the CNA article showed that.
Again, I offer none of this as a defence or justification - I wrote stories which contained elements which were at the very least a near occasion of sin. I do not deny that and I accept full responsibility for this.
My concern is that the CNA article - likely due to the desire to meet a deadline for publication - has glossed over many nuances and has, as a result, presented (doubtless unintentionally) what I did in the worst possible light. Certainly, what I did was absolutely wrong and I am not saying that because it is not as bad as it looks it is okay - it is NOT okay and I am deeply regretful I did it. However, I wish to avoid scandalizing the faithful any more than I already have - and by offering a better understanding of just what I did I hope I can achieve that.
Another aspect of my work not touched on by the CNA article - again, likely because of time constraints - is the reason behind my writing these stories. The vast majority of my stories - including, as bizarre as it may seem, these two - were written with the explicit purpose of advancing at least a portion of a Catholic agenda.
The Castle Dracula story was written with the emphasis on the hero fighting against the evil, peverse sexuality of the vampires as a direct attempt to encourage heroic behavior in the player character. Obviously, in trying to write such a thing I made gross errors of judgment and (through pride and hubris) created a work which was so vivid it became inappropriate. I do not seek to say that because I began with good intentions what I did was okay; it is not. I simply wish to state, for the record, that my initial desire was good. I sought to write a story which would be well-received by a specific audience and might "smuggle" some positive ideas. While there are certainly positive aspects to what I wrote, the particular episode addressed in the article clearly shows I made a grave lapse of judgment and created something completely inappropriate.
Similarly, the Star Wars story (characterized by the article as introducing lesbianism into the narrative) was an attempt to introduce genuine love into the narrative. Star Wars is a story of selfless individuals (the Jedi) who do not express real love - they lack a Catholic understanding of the virtue. They can be cold and logical, somewhat unfeeling and motivated by the end result. The changes I made to the narrative of Star Wars to write my story were to inject love into key characters, and allow them to grow positively as a result.
The lesbian characters are shown as deficient in love (the story was incomplete, so the final denoument of the piece is not seen) but gradually grow in love and realize the incorrectness of their position. The main heroine of the piece has a very clear growth from selfish lust to genuine love (and even motherhood).
Additionally, I have written other stories (most of which I have now taken down), many of which had similar foundations. I will review these stories and - if I deem it appropriate - may put some of them back up (I removed the majority of my stories simply because I did not wish to have even the chance of leading someone to sin).
However, a couple of stories specifically were left up - one is an alegorical story patterned after Lewis' "The Great Divorce" but written to be explicitly Catholic. Another is a story set in Narnia which is (again) explicitly Catholic and tells the tale of the conversion of a young woman through God's use of a fictional world.
This particular story has received many very positive reviews, and there have been (and I do not say this to boast, but rather because it is the truth and I have no desire to obfuscate, lie or otherwise attempt to hide anything) individuals who have written to me saying they have converted or grown stronger in the faith because of it. Yesterday (the 17th) a young man who wrote to me a while ago asking if he could speak to me (in my capacity as the author of this story) about Catholicism has announced he intends to join the Church and accepts that Catholicism contains all the truth.
None of the foregoing is intended to suggest, even for a second, that what I do on balance is okay because there are some good things in it and those outweigh the bad. I would never make that case and I do not make it.
The case I would make is that I was wrong to write elements what I wrote, and I accept full responsibilty for it. I write this as a private individual, not as a respresentative of any organization. I wrote things that were wrong to write and they may have led people astray and that causes me deep pain because it was never my intent. My intent was precisely the opposite.
I have sought forgiveness and been to confession. I seek your forgiveness too and beg your prayers and prayers for those scandalized by my actions.
I wrote this explanation firstly to apologize and ask for prayers, and secondly to address what I feel are limitations of the CNA article (caused, I have no doubt, by the pressures of deadlines and limitations in research time - my stories are long and someone may be unwilling to read them all having seen the selected excerpts sent to the CNA). In reading that article, it is possible to infer I am some kind of monster wholy consumed with writing dark, evil fiction designed to corrupt the souls of others.
That was never my intention. I had far nobler intentions and, through hubris and pride and too-much intellectual speculation without enough prayer and stepping back to see the wood for the trees, I have failed spectacularly.
I have done wrong. I admit my wrongdoing. I have confessed my sins to Jesus Christ in confession. I humbly ask you to pray for me and, if you are able to do so, forgive me for the hurt I have caused you and the faith I love dearly.
EDIT : After advice from others (and seeing that commentators cannot understand this is about what I did, as a private individual, and nothing else) I am disallowing comments. My email address is available in the article from CNA - if people have comments to make to me, then can use that.