Joan Chittister's "In Search of Belief"

Our atholic book /prayer study group recently started and quickly discarded this book. Two of our members were none too happy with our decision to stop reading it but it appeared to the rest of our group as being highly feminist and anti-male. One of the pro-Chittister women tonight mentioned Chittister was a very highly regarded Catholic writer and that the book had the imprimater. when I got home I confirmed to myself this was not true. Does anyone have anything they can pass along on this negative book, pro or con, or Sr. Chittister. I am quite surprised she has not been censured yet. Thank you.

Deacon Bill Dunbar
Stillwater, OK

Ick. Of all the Cathlolic authors to read, why her? She is a “pioneer” of the melevolent “feminist” movement within the Church, an outspoken proponent of women’s ordination (read: dissident) and a supporter of “reproductive rights”. What more do you need to know!

I found this book in our church library and read it. My impression was the book was about Sr. Joan and her agenda, and not the Lord.

I wouldn’t read her books if they were the only books around. She advocates for women’s ordination, among other things. I respect sisters who love their vocation as a sister- and do not try to pretend to be priests- or that they can become priests. The sisters I respect the most are the ones who wear a full habit, who know they are brides of Christ. I respect sisters who are content being a servant of Christ, who respect the ordained priesthood- and acknowledge that it isn’t for them, who love the Eucharist and are humble and reverent in the presence of the Sacrament, who work with the Church on social justice and human rights issues- instead of working against the Church.

Joan Chittister is a member of the dissenting group Call to Action, supports feminist theology and women / homosexual priests, among other things. She is also a columnist for the dissenting magazine National Catholic Reporter Link

The Dissident Celebrity

As startling as Wijngaards’s open opposition to Church teachings may be for orthodox Catholics, the appearance of U.S. Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister at the WOW [Women’s Ordination Worldwide] conference was an even greater drama. Three months before the conference, Sister Chittister’s prioress, Sister Christine Vladmiroff, had been negotiating with Vatican officials over Sister Chittister’s participation in an event that was clearly organized as an act of defiance against Church authorities. Chittister planned to represent the U.S.-based Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC). The Vatican “ordered me to prohibit Sister Joan from attending the conference where she is a main speaker,” Vladmiroff said. The prioress declined Rome’s request. “I cannot be used by the Vatican to deliver an order of silencing… Benedictine communities of men and women were never intended to be part of the hierarchical or clerical status of the Church,” she said.


Avoid her like the plague.

You can read more here.

She’s involved in all sorts of dissident activities and denies some core teachings of the Church. Sr Joan Chittister is a long time supporter of Call To Action, militant pro-abortionist, and is mentioned many times in “Ungodly Rage”. She has publicly stated that she prays to Sophia.

I heard a priest say that the term “feminist” is a modern word for heretic.

Who is Sophia? And has any statements ever been stated about what she teaches?

God Bless

Sophia is supposedly the feminine side of God in the person of the Holy Spirit. “Sophia” means “wisdom” in Greek.

If you want a quick read of Joan Chittister’s point of view, CLICK HERE for text of a speech (including an introduction by former Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton) that she gave to a dissident organization of Detroit priests that calls itself “Elephants in the Living Room.”

Note: The link is to a Word document – you’ll receive a popup to either open or save the document to your hard drive. Just choose “open.”


Yes, highly regarded by dissenters, man-haters, and malcontents.

I find this very informative and entertaining as well. Does anyone have any first-hand experience with the book I had mentioned, though…In Search of Belief? Of course, any other information would only help me to understand Sr. Chittister’s feminist agenda further. I do wonder why the Vatican has not taken any steps to censure her activities.

As I stated in an earlier post,I found this book in our church library and read it. (I like to know what the opposition is up to.:slight_smile:
I have since joined the Library Committee and at least will have some say in the book selection. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert, but I have found out how truly ignorant many of our Catholic brothers and sisters are of some of the things that are going on in our Church.
Basically, what she did, was take apart the Creed, article by article, and give her own interpretation of it. At first, (like all such deceptions,) it seemed rather reasonable (but not quite “on”), but soon began to degenerate into a polished harangue against the Church’s position against women’s ordination, how badly women have been treated by the church, environmental issues, and other things on her agenda. By the end of the book I was tired of her whining, because that was what it appeared to me to be. In the book she gets into calling the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier, which of course is descriptive of the things they do, but are not the proper names of the Persons of the Trinity. As Christians, however, we pray in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we baptize using this formula, we pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus, etc. This is how Jesus told us to pray, to baptize, etc.

The Name of Jesus is powerful, and every knee shall bow down to it, someday, and to replace the Names of the Persons of the Trinity with their functions makes Christianity no better than any other religion which recognizes such functions in their gods.

I heard Sr. Joan speak at a conference a few years ago, and was sickened by this touchy-feely, New Agey form of Catholicism. But I couldn’t leave because I was a thousand miles from home.:o I did, however refuse to take off my shoes because I was standing on “sacred ground”, or acknowledge the parade of dancing nuns twirling their rainbow-colored banners in the opening procession of Mass. It is no wonder this particular unnamed organization is now defunct. People don’t want this. They want the Truth.

So that is my actual experience with the subject. Sorry this is so long. We must pray for our Church and for people who are so deceived.
PS: How do you put a signature at the end of your posts? I’m new here, and haven’t learned the ropes.

Click the word “Profile” on the menu bar near the top of your browser window (just under the ad banners). When the new window opens, along the left side you’ll see a lot of different options. One is the Signature option.


The worst thing about her is not that she is a feminist. It’s that she ignores or misinterprets theology in favor of various social causes. And her writings show her to be restlessly scatterbrained and muddle-headed,and intent on using the Catholic Church as a vehicle of her brand of social activism.

Thank you.

I saw her interviewed on PBS once. I had no idea who she was and she was supposed to represent the Catholic perspective–well, let’s just say I almost blew a gasket–I wanted to just correct all the errors she was passing off as Catholicism to all the viewers, but I was helpless to do so–sooooo frustrating!!:banghead:

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