Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Let’s Quote Sr. Joan Chittister

March 1st, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

From Fr. Tanck:

The passage above is not one of her dissenting comments, but surely there are more appropriate persons to quote when it comes to Catholic theology than a person who supports the ordination of women contrary to the definitive teaching of the Church? Sr. Chittister is also involved with the dissenting “Call to Action” conference and is a writer for the progressive National Catholic Reporter.

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12 Responses to “Let’s Quote Sr. Joan Chittister”

  1. Mike says:

    While that quote is not overt dissent, it hits all the notes popular with her kind of ‘progressive’ Catholicism and ignores those that would complete a truly balanced picture.

    Thus we read about the ‘assembly’ and the ‘community.’ We are reminded of the ‘good news’ we have received, of ‘our journey’ and of our ‘liberation’ and it concludes with allusions to the social gospel. In short, it’s all about us, who we are and what we are to do for others.

    What is missing entirely – and what would complete the picture – is any reference to Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, to the Mass, and to our obligation to worship God the Father on this day.

    We cannot have Easter Sunday without Good Friday.

  2. annonymouse says:

    Mike, you really should read the Vatican II documents. All of the things you’re complaining about are there in the teaching of the Council Fathers. You don’t need to go searching for some “spirit” of Vatican II here – the Council Fathers really did desire a rather significant change in the meaning of the Eucharistic celebration.

    C’mon, Mike, a conservative Catholic would truly embrace what the Fathers of the Church definitively teach about the celebration central to our Faith!

  3. annonymouse says:

    As an example, read just the very first paragraph of Sacrosanctum Concilium:

    “This sacred Council has several aims in view: it desires to impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change; to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church. The Council therefore sees particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy.”

    There is no reference here to Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary. It’s implicit, But the Magisterium really does want you to change your thinking about the Mass. You seem to be stuck in a pre-Vatican II mindset, but we the Faithful are bound to follow the Fathers’ teaching, aren’t we?

  4. Assuming anonymouse is sincere and not a parody of a reactionary Rochester “progressive,” a proper reading the the conciliar documents, taught by both Pope Benedict XVI and the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on twentieth anniversary of the close of the council, requires that the faithful view them in continuity with the Magisterial teachings that have gone before and after them. And leaving aside the fact that Sacrosanctum Concilium embraces the word “sacrifice” eleven times, Pope John Paul II reminded us that the Mass is “preeminently” a sacrifice in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

  5. Nerina says:


    You’re not really going to cherry-pick from SC, are you? I mean, I could mention that Chapter 1, paragraph 5 does specifically mention the Cross of Calvary:

    The wonderful works of God among the people of the Old Testament were but a prelude to the work of Christ the Lord in redeeming mankind and giving perfect glory to God. He achieved His task principally by the paschal mystery of His blessed passions resurrection from the dead, and the glorious ascension, whereby “dying, he destroyed our death and, rising, he restored our life” [12]. For it was from the side of Christ as He slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth “the wondrous sacrament of the whole Church” [13].

    (emphasis mine)

    I’m curious to know what “significant change” you think the Fathers desired. And, yes, I’ve read SC. I think Mike’s point is spot on and I also think it is valid to question the prudence of quoting someone who is known to be hostile to fundamental Church teachings. Why not quote Sacrosanctum Concilium in the bulletin? Or better yet, our current Holy Father? Why do priests in our diocese constantly regurgitate the musings of dissenters? But, then again, we still have Father McBrien showing up in the Catholic Courier, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

  6. Nerina says:

    Oh, and I would bet money on the fact that Mike has read the documents of Vatican II.

  7. Monk says:

    Fr. Tanck is a not only a radical liberal but a mean one at that (aren’t they all!).

  8. annonymouse says:

    Nerina and Rich, of COURSE the Mass incorporates the Cross of Calvary. I did not mean to say that it doesn’t. But it ALSO incorporates ALL of the things that Mike is complaining about. Mike seems to want to disregard the reforms of the liturgy which OUR CHURCH LEADERS, in communion with the Pope, in solemn ecumenical council, teach us.

    The faithful, conservative Catholic has no choice but to embrace ALL of the Church teachings.

  9. While Mike can speak for himself, he doesn’t “seem” to want to disregard or reject the reforms of the liturgy, but rather rightly criticizes the almost exclusive focus on what can loosely be called the liturgy’s secondary “horizontal” dimension.

  10. Maureen says:

    The reason I love this blog has to do with the absolute expertise and rationale expressed by a number of “regulars”. I am learning so much about the truth of Church teachings, where and what to research for supplemental information that enhances my knowledge, and in general am becoming an informed Roman Catholic able to formulate an opinion about right and wrong. The exchange above with annonymouse is a paradigm of the factual knowledge that here abounds. I wish responders like annonymouse could hold their ground for just a little longer so I could further admire the strength and quality of the rebuttal. Thank you all for the eloquence, logic, and direction toward the right path you have given to me and I’m sure many other readers. Saints Thomas More and John Fisher are praying for you. Thank you for all the time and effort…its tangible evidence of the Gifts we receive at Confirmation…true warriors!

  11. Mike says:


    My apologies for my hiatus. I don’t normally post a comment and then disappear for a couple of days, leaving others to defend my position. However, every now and then the real world raises its ugly head and demands attention.

    That said, my friends did do an admirable job. I would only add a request that you carefully re-read my comment. I do not think I complained about any of the aspects of Church teaching Sr. Joan wrote of. Rather, I took issue with her emphasis on certain aspects (the ‘horizontal’ ones, as Rich referred to them) to the exclusion of other, equally valid and equally important ones (the ‘vertical’ ones).

    To be a bit more specific, I just don’t see how my phrase, “What is missing entirely – and what would complete the picture – …” could be construed as rejecting anything that Sr. Joan wrote. Rather, it indicates (to me, anyway) that I consider her position to be okay as far as it goes, but that it doesn’t go far enough.

  12. Dr. K says:

    The following post was flagged as spam and I accidentally deleted it. I was able to restore it by hitting the ‘back’ button in my browser:

    From: JLo

    “If I may opine here, the quote from Sr. Joan Chittister is not the point. That she is put forth as a source of teaching by a Catholic IS the point! Out of the millions of words written on the subject by saints and faithful Catholics, why oh why would a pastor choose to put forward a person who campaigns endlessly AGAINST Church teachings? THAT’s the point! It seems Fr. Tanck has an agenda quite apart from that of Catholic faithful; and what’s really painful, at least for me, is that so many in his charge don’t even know it! They won’t blink an eye at his using such a teaching source in that bulletin! May our dear Lord send a warrior 499 days from now to rescue all the captives. +JMJ”

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