In-between is a dangerous place to be


From where I stand, it seems to me that now may well be a time when the church should proceed with great tenderness, an open mind, a listening heart – and a clear sense that, just as in times past, God’s future is on the way.

After reading Sister Joan Chittister’s article I use my imagination see how it is that some end up standing where she and others are. What do you think? Is In-between really a dangerous place to be? And where are you? Just wondering.


This is a non-issue.

Roma Locuta Est. Causa Finite Est.

If you want religion by democracy, join the Methodists or the Episcopalians. One has already split and the other will not be far behind.

Opening seminary to women and married men will do nothing to alleviate the priest shortage. If it did Anglican and Episcopalian seminaries should be full to the brim. As it is, they can’t pay people enough to be Anglican priests.

If your diocese needs more priest, perhaps you should do more to recruit them.


I’m not sure what she means by “In-between is a dangerous place to be,” but the author is in a spiritually dangerous place and risking putting other souls in danger as well. She is clearly in disobedience to the Church, which has definitively determined that the ordination of women is not a possibility. We are all required to assent to the Church’s teaching on this. Her claim that two-thirds of Catholics disagree is irrelevant. The Church is not a democracy; the Church is obligated to teach the truths Christ gave us without alteration.

From Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, John Paul II, May 22, 1994:

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

What part of “No” doesn’t she understand?


I believe the place in-between is somewhere being damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Yea - damned if you do and damned if you don’t.


There is no in between. This is a yes or no question, and the answer was no.

Why waste time reading this writer who does not submit to Rome?


I am continually astounded (sickeningly so), that some people give up there lives to God in service of His church only to work to change it! It’s like picking your parents before you’re born and then trying to make them different people to suit your needs. It’s absolutely mind-blowing to me.

There is no humility in this sister’s statements. She may think there is, but then she is blinded perhaps by selfish interests.

I continue to pray for all priests, religious, lay faithful and the whole Church. Through the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary may He hear and answer us.

Scruffy the Wonder Mutt :thumbsup:


For some - I think there is a place called in - between.

Teilhard de Chardin whose sin was the acceptance of the theory of evolution

A few days before his death Teilhard said “If in my life I haven’t been wrong, I beg God to allow me to die on Easter Sunday”. April 10 was Easter Sunday.


Why waste your time reading a person who does not submit to Rome? Sister Joan is main stream and out there. It is important to try and understand where our fellow Catholics are. After all - she hasn’t been excommunicated yet.


The Catholic Church doesn’t wait around looking for excuses to excommunicate people, believe it or not. In many cases, doing so would cause more disunity with the Church because the excommunicant will play the victim and pray on people’s sympathy. It’s the old, “Look at me! I’m so progressive and forward thinking that my own church tossed me out, just ignore the fact that I have placed myself outside the rules of my own religion” defense.

Sister Joan is anything but mainstream. She’s a remnant of the 60’s culture that embraced moral relativism. She’s also been disciplined for attending these heretical ordinations of women. Folks like her are at the end of their respective religious careers and have nothing to lose. This is a swan song.

Speaking of the ordination of women in the Catholic Curch, I have an important announcement. I am now the starting quarterback for the Big 12 Champion University of Oklahoma Sooners football team. In this capacity I will be calling the plays this January 8th during the BCS National Championship Game. Now, it is true that neither the University of Oklahoma Athletic Department nor Head Coach Bob Stoops recognize me in this role. But, that is only because both OU and Stoops hold antiquated and biased views concerning out of shape 27 year olds with no division I collegiate football experience. I, however, know in my heart that I am the starting quarterback for the Sooners and I expect to be treated with all the respect and benefits of my new role.


I understand damned if you do, damned if you don’t, but I’m not sure how you are working this into that woman’s article.


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
In making a good point, you used humor well. I really thought you WERE on the team at first. :slight_smile:

And that’s indeed one of the deceptive tactics boldly used by Sister Chittister. Her efforts to make people believe she’s a “mainstream Catholic” are a part of her agenda to “reform” the Church and to validify her efforts in the eyes of Catholics. She openly defied our former pope’s personal instruction to her not to give a talk at a women’s ordination conference in Ireland. She is an active advocate for Catholics for Choice and other dissident groups (NOT mainstream Catholics). Because our Holy Church will not compromise according to Sister Chittister’s will, she continues to attack Church leaders and of course what our Church infallibly teaches. She has excommunicated herself. If only we had more people with her zeal and speaking abilities to advocate FOR the Church, rather than against her.

Let us continue to ask Saint Paul to pray for us.


And for this ‘sister’.


Left or right we are all going off the edge into eternity – what eternity means for any one of us is up to God to decide. God alone is The Judge. Some folks appear to feel their paths are straight and right and that others are wrong. In the end I believe most will be surprised to see just how different God’s ways are from human ways.

So to answer your question – I think Sister Joan is saying that zigzagging from the accepted truth is a dangerous place to be. It is in fact true - when we leave the path of Truth we jeopardize our souls.

I do not know the hearts of Sister Joan and Father B. Only God knows them most intimately.

My original post asked if being in-between is really a dangerous place to be. My feeling is no – as long as one has intentions to do God’s Will only. And again – only God knows the true intentions of the heart. It is up to us to try to understand and love our neighbors -not lambaste them for right intentions that might appear skewed. Some one mentioned earlier that the “Catholic Church doesn’t wait around looking for excuses to excommunicate people.” This is evidently true. The Church offers a margin – a very generous margin at that – for people to find the right path to God before deciding that severance is an immutable action. I believe in Sister Joan and that God’s plan for her – in the end – will lead many to Truth.
Boil this down.
Excommunication of one can lead others to Truth.
Change of heart of one can lead others to Truth.
So actually the only really dangerous in-between place is when we refuse to do what we believe to be the Will of God. We all have a heart – each to his/her own – and we must answer what we firmly believe is God’s call to that one heart regardless of whether it appears right or wrong to others.


I’m sorry, but the what you propose is both dangerous and contrary to Catholic teaching. You misunderstand the reason behind the Church’s reluctance to impose excommunication more liberally. It’s not because there is a margin of error. The Church is, to be blunt, without error. In many cases excommunication is ex post facto. Adolf Hitler was never formally excommunicated by a bishop simply because he had already excommunicated himself. I think in Sister Joan’s case, the only reason she’s not been formally excommunicated and/or removed from her community is the charity of the Church and her local bishop. The woman is 72 years old. Where would she go if she found herself removed from the Benedictine Order? She can do her little blog and submit poorly written articles to online magazines, but no Catholic familiar with Church teachings takes her seriously. Her articles are less factual and more persuasive, intended for those already weak in the faith.

This idea that anyone can independently discern the Will of God without the structure of established religion has been the root of every single religious atrocity in history. Jim Jones believed he was doing the Will of God when he began handing out kool-aid laced with poison. David Koresh believed he was doing the will of God when he began stockpiling automatic weapons and hand grenades inside his Waco compound. Muslim extremists thought they were doing the Will of God when they slit the throats of airline pilots and flight attendants before flying airplanes filled with men, women and children into buildings. And just this week, Wayne Bent was convicted of child abuse for following God’s Will that he sleep with seven underage virgin girls.

In every case I just mentioned, these misguided souls believed in their heart that God had called them to do these heinous acts. Does that excuse them from the justice of God or man?

The path to God is a narrow road and often people wonder in the wilderness for years until they find it. As Catholics, we believe that this road leads through Christ’s Holy Church. This “in-between” Sister Joan speaks of is straddling the Path to God and the well beaten path of man’s blind wondering. It’s Cafeteria Catholicism in practice. Saying your’re Catholic while completely disregarding the teachings of the Catholic Church.


Whoa! I’m not sure who you are referring to here. No one here has said what you claim.

But I will repeat myself.

Some one mentioned earlier that the “Catholic Church doesn’t wait around looking for excuses to excommunicate people.” This is evidently true. The Church offers a margin – a very generous margin at that – for people to find the right path to God before deciding that severance is an immutable action.

Take away an individual’s freedom to find Truth wherever that may take them - take away a human life. The Church is not in the business of squelching life. It is not up to us to make it our business to squelch the path another feels called to take.


I want to add here that I was surprised to see the connection Fr. B. had to changing the US policy for the SOA. This is news to me.

The following is an interesting thought I will extract and share from Sister Joan’s article - which by the way I don’t feel entirely comfortable with.

When the dust settled, however, nobody remembered who excommunicated the saints who were pioneering a new church but everybody remembers the saints. And everybody came to believe what the saints had attempted to teach.

No body remembers who excommunicated the saints - this is something I want to part with today and think about.


Keep in mind that none of those “saints” are actually canonized by the Church. Though they would be “saints” to her, since they were disobedient like she tends to be.


This statement is where the danger lies. Right and wrong are not subjective, and neither is truth. The idea that what’s right for one person but wrong for another is moral relativism. In moral relativism, all truths are of equal value, which actually makes these so-called truths have no value. On person’s truth could be that abortion is good and pure and divinely inspired. And another person’s truth could be that abortion is a sin against God and a crime against humanity.

In Catholicism, we do not have the freedom to believe in whatever we want because there comes a point when those beliefs can become so outrageous that we separate ourselves from the Body of Christ. Of course you have the freedom to leave the Church, but publicly stating that you are Catholic while acting and speaking in total contrast to the Catholic Church is a grave issue, one that many politicians will have to answer for one day.

The Catholic Church is in the business of saving souls. Part of that business and outlining clearly the path to God. This business also requires that paths to destruction are also clearly defined. If you told your priest that you have found a path to God, but it involves joining an incestuous sect that promotes child abuse, wouldn’t it be the priest’s moral and Godly duty to do everything in his power to prevent you from seeking this path?

Charity is mentioned often in Catholicism, but don’t confuse charity with permissiveness. Someone correcting your misunderstandings is not trying to berate you, but rather trying to be charitable and loving because every soul is worth saving. Just as a child sees his parents as unfair because they won’t let him eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every single meal doesn’t mean the parents are unjust. Quite the opposite, the parents love the child and want him to be healthy.


Drilling4Truth, your explanation is OUTSTANDING! I’ve tried to explain the same thing to others but could not quite explain it so eloquently. Maybe your post should be made a “sticky” for any future questioners!


Joan should at least be silenced. And if she refuses to be obedient to that then excommunicated. She is a well known author read and admired by both Catholics and Protestants. This makes her doubly dangerous to the souls of those innocents who read her not knowing that she opposes the Church.

As for her buddy, Roy, he knowingly and intentionally was disobedient to the Church. Defrock him.


So when should one believe that a point-of-view is outrageous? When one stops resembling anything that mirrors the Church or when a nun writes a way out letter on a website magazine or when a bishop for 2 decades allows women religious and laypeople to give talks during the time reserved for a homily or a Msgr. offers the longest coffee hours ever recorded rather than a Sacramental Mass or a priest ordains a group of women who want to be Catholic priests?

Can you explain to me why for the past 2 decades the Church has ignored a US Roman Catholic bishop’s routine allowance of women religious and laypeople to speak during the time reserved for the priest’s homily? Not only do women religious and laypeople speak of the readings during this time but I’ve heard them speak of women religious deserving equal participation as male priests.

Does not what this bishop do mirror Msrg. Dale, Sister Joan, Father B. and the chorus line of women priest wanna’ bes? Are not Sister Joan and Father B. and those women who have lined up for pseudo ordinations plus all those who support them doing the same thing this bishop is doing? So the bishop isn’t exactly running a sideshow with all the bells and whistles and publicity that you suggest some do but aren’t the seeds of discontent in this diocese going to be more far reaching and persuasive after 2 decades of unaccountability than some sideshow kicks we see?

At what point does someone in the upper end say enough is enough to particular individuals such as the folks aforementioned? After thousands of people have been lead astray from the Church and all one has left to do is amputate half of the body because it is dead? Are they really dead or just trying to find a path to God on the crooked narrow like the rest of the world’s population?
I’m beginning to wonder if this point of excommunication is really the point where the condemning transitions into being the condemned.

I think this place in-between is a place we all skid into. Lives don’t end at excommunication but rather when we breathe our last and like I said before – it will be then that God will make his final judgment.

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