NCR’s Joan Chittister compares apostate lesbian androphobe Mary Daly to the Mother of God

Some things you couldn’t make up if you tried.

In the ultra-dissenting fishwrap NCR that perennial gaff generatrix Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB. has compared the late apostate lesbian androphobe Mary Daly to… wait for it… the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I am not making this up.

My emphases and comments.

For Mary Daly: in memory of courage walking

by Joan Chittister on Jan. 13, 2010

I did not know Mary Daly personally. I never met her professionally. I never heard even one of her public speeches. My concern for women’s issues did not come from Daly. I got that from my mother.

My sense of Daly’s impact on history comes from every discussion of women’s issues in which I ever participated. The impact Daly’s ideas and courage was having on other women was palpable. [I believe certain maladies of the liver are also palpable.] In those living situations, [?] then, I learned a lot from Daly. Most of all, I learned how to look newly at things I’d looked at for so long that I was no longer really seeing any of them.  [Boy oh boy, she sure did a number on you!]

Recently I heard a commentator remark on her role in the development of thought in our time that "when the theological history of the period is written, Mary Daly will, at most, be only a small footnote in the study." That depends, I would argue, on who is doing the history. Women, I think, will have a great deal more to say about Daly than any amount of footnotes can possibly hold. [Lemme guess… you are going to "share the story", right?]

Remote as my own associations had been, for instance, when the word of her death came I realized instantly that women in general, whether they knew it or not, had a great deal for which to thank her.  [Okay, Joan, you are repeating yourself now.  Get on with it.]

Women need to thank Daly for raising two of the most important theological questions of our time: one, whether the question of a male God was consistent with the teaching that God was pure spirit, and two, whether a church that is more patriarchal system than authentic church could possibly survive in its present form. These two questions have yet to be resolved and are yet rankling both thinkers and institutions. [Mainly because the answers people like this come up with are heresy.]

Women need to thank Daly for bearing the rejection that too often comes to those who say a new insight first and say it consistently and say it in the face of the very system in which they themselves have been raised.  [More repetition.]

For example, in later years, Daly refused to accept men in some of her classes, forcing men to experience the exclusion that women had endured for centuries. [Ohhhh…. I seeee…. is that what she was doing?  Or… was she an androphobic zealot full of rage?] As a result, she lost her tenured position at a Catholic college for allegedly failing to offer equal service to all students, both men and women.  [Allegedly?  Let’s see… she actually did refuse to let men be in her course.  Right?] But at the same time, no one else in Catholic colleges — or elsewhere — lost their jobs for excluding women from access to theology degrees or various medical specialties, among others, on the grounds that women, as women, were unfit for such programs.  [Wait a minute.  Where were women excluded from study of theology or medicine?  I think everyone will acknowledge that it was hard for women in, say, med schools.  But they were admitted.  Am I wrong?  Were there male only med schools?  Yes, there were male only seminaries… which is reasonable.  But that doesn’t mean there were no other theology programs out there.]

Nor did anyone — now that men had finally experienced what it felt like to be made invisible in the public arena [B as in B.  S as in S.  Daly hated men.] — officially apologize to women for having kept them out of schools, offices, work, leadership positions, discussions and decision-making in both church and state for two millennia. However much theology claimed we were all equal. [yawn]

Women need to thank Daly for modeling the adulthood, the psychological maturity, the strength it takes to accept the social isolation and loneliness that comes with refusing to agree that just because we have never questioned a thing that it is, therefore, unquestionable. Thanks to her relentless questioning of women’s social circumstances and theological exclusions everywhere, the woman’s question became a major and profound theological question. It is thanks to Daly and the myriad of women theologians [?] after her that "Because we say so" is no longer either a logical or an acceptable explanation for the exclusion of women anywhere.

Women need to thank Daly for exposing to us a whole new way of being alive. [Good heavens… make an end….] She freshened thought about the role and place of women by using language to show us what we could not see. [Put your coffee down before reading this part… and savor the irony…] She dug into history to trace the original meanings of words like hag and witch — once terms of reverence for the spiritual qualities and feminine wisdom of women, but now used to reduce them to the level of the malevolent.

She forced us to think newly, to think creatively. She called on women to Re-member themselves, [?] to put themselves together differently than they had been taught was right for a woman. She talked about Gyn/nocide [For the love of God, … ] to make us understand that the infamous centuries of witch burnings were really the genocide of women practiced long before this century’s Holocaust and under the guise of holiness.  [How proud the editors of NCR must be of their weekly columnist.]

Indeed, Daly’s work is an icon to women. She was a groundbreaking thinker, a threat to any patriarchal institution, a creator of an entire new way of seeing life, of being alive, of celebrating life. She touched a culture deeply. Indeed, we owe her thanks.  [How many times can she repeat herself?]

From where I stand, a person’s influence is measured, not so much by virtue of their effect on the institutions that bred them, but by their influence on those who never knew them at all. It is the women who never knew Daly but now know the things she knew that are the real evidence of her legacy, her impact, her meaning not only to this generation but to generations to come. [And here it is… ] As in "all generations shall call her blessed."

… !?! …

Sr. Joan Chittister just compare an apostate androphobic lesbian to the Mother of God.

Does she have no shame?

Does NCR have no shame?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. o.h. says:


    Aaargh. It’s things like that that made me drop out of grad school. It’s not even up to the level of Lacan’s “hommelette” (man made up out of shattered pieces–get it).

    Chittister is a bigot, as was Daly, and I say that as a woman. To say things like “now that men had finally experienced what it felt like to be made invisible,” and to proffer it with a straight face as a justification for sexual discrimination against innocent young men, as if males were some sort of class of fungible beings, should not be tolerated anywhere. Shame on NCR.

  2. thereseb says:

    Sr Chittister is most fortunate in that her surname begins with a C. She very nearly qualifies for a very naughty crossword clue.

  3. irishgirl says:

    Oh my word….what a piece of drivel that is!

    Thanks for pulling this apart, Fr. Z!

    How can she have the gall to use Our Lady’s words in the Magnificat?

    She needs a smackdown, FAST!

  4. Geoffrey says:

    “Does she have no shame? Does NCR have no shame?”


  5. wanda says:

    Mother of Mercy, hear our prayers in reparation for sins against The Sacred Heart of Your Son, Jesus Christ, and in reparation for sins against your Immaculate Heart.

    O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy Mercy. Amen.

  6. Antioch_2013 says:

    I feel ill after reading this…

  7. Mariana says:

    Words fail me. But “the infamous centuries of witch burnings” are not historical fact, and also, witches were mostly men. So much for “the spiritual qualities and feminine wisdom of women” by which less bright historians explain the dragging of witches to the stake.

  8. TJerome says:

    Thanks Father Z for presenting “Comedy Central” today. Tom

  9. vox borealis says:

    Who? And who?

    Yawn. Increasingly irrelevant.

  10. btdn says:

    I suppose I won’t have to see what their Young Voices article for yesterday was about now; I have had my fill.

  11. caterham says:

    “this century’s Holocaust” was a freudian slip about abortion…

  12. The absolute insanity and blasphemy is ‘mind blowing’, to say the least.
    I counted five obvious female responses to this ‘drivel’ here; the rest, unless obviously male, may, in fact, also be female. Good for you, ladies. And I don’t mean this to be a patriarchal “patronizing”:<)!
    M. Daly is no hero(ione?)…she’s a sad, time-bound, disgusting example of what the dissident and secularist forces within and without the Church have produced.
    Another Mother of God?
    In the ideas of hell, maybe.
    How can this woman religious even make this connection?
    Okay, I know; the disconnect from authentic Catholic Faith.
    She is to be pitied as much as the woman of whom she speaks.

  13. Melania says:

    I note that Sr. Joan Chittister admitted to never having met Mary Daly nor heard one of her public speeches. This, from a prominent member of the dissenting feminist Catholic Left, indicating how important Mary Daly really was to the Call to Action crowd.

    Chittister did not mention one of Daly’s books or articles. One wonders if she knows the titles of any, if she thought it was worth the bother to look them up. She certainly expressed no desire to read any of them or go searching for any recordings of Daly speeches so she can savor all that wisdom she had somehow overlooked in the past.

    Chittister mentioned the name of no one that was influenced by Mary Daly or felt gratitude towards her. There is no telling anecdote about Daly other than the fact that she excluded men from her classes.

    Chittister mentioned not one original or signature idea that Daly promoted. The patriarchal Church hierarchy and male God memes were standard for all the radical feminist “theologians.”

    This entire article is just one long string of cliched compliments Chittister and her crowd routinely accord to each other: “… groundbreaking thinker [give us an example!] … threat to male hierarchy … new way of being alive [what does that mean?]…”

    It shows me how very insignificant Mary Daly really was.

    The insult to the Mother of God at the end is an outrage.

  14. Bill in Texas says:

    I read through Chittister’s screed one time, and through the foul rant of the Mary Daly disciple on Carl Olson’s blog one time. I can’t look at them again. They amount to an occasion of sin for me, considering the amount of anger I felt when I read them.

    The gibberish, nastiness, and heresy of people like Chittister and the M.D. disciple are not worth wasting any part of any day on.

  15. gsk says:

    John Paul II echoed the unchanging teaching of the Church, that “the Marian dimension of the Church precedes the petrine dimension” (MD 27). Both are essential, but the “evil patriarchy” is a manufactured bugaboo to obfuscate the matter and allow women to wallow in a myopic pity party. I am surprised that these two Grande Dames of Dysfunction had never met. I’d imagined them (and others) in a cozy coven somewhere plotting their next ill-informed attack on the very Church that invited them to be its radiant icons in a dark world.

  16. irishgirl says:

    nazareth priest-thanks!

  17. As with E. Schillebeeckx, the NCReporter is “canonizing” this woman; if you have the fortitude and temperance to check the comments on this abysmal article, you can see for yourself.
    Are these people practicing Catholics? That’s my question and fear.
    If it is, in fact, the case, the apostasy is much greater than we might think.
    These people are scarier than the tortures of Reformation England (hung, drawn, quartered); the thought of so many people being possessed by these evil spirits, the torture and destruction of the soul (hopefully, not forever in hell; but who knows?).
    How can you live being so angry, so nasty, so absolutely separated from the beauty, love, truth and glory of God?
    I don’t get it…sin is one thing; we can always repent. Dissent is a living hell, as far as I’m concerned.

  18. Mariana says:

    Yes, thanks, nazareth priest!

  19. Genevieve says:

    Even before my conversion when I attended an extremely liberal women’s college for undergrad and bought into some of these ideas, Mary Daly was off my radar. Not even this generation of wymyn is calling her blessed. I don’t know what commentator remarked that Daly would be at most a footnote, but s/he was right on target.

  20. smallone says:

    I am trying to be charitable, so I am going to assume that Sr. Chittister either (a) is a couple of bricks short of a load; or (b) inhabits some kind of parallel universe in which all of this drivel has some basis in fact.

  21. Susan the Short says:

    I once looked at one of Daly’s books in a bookstore, and noted that the inside back flap said that Daly referred to herself as “a revolting hag.”

    Despite her lame attempts to ‘rescue’ words such as hag and witch, I think ‘revolting hag’ is a pretty accurate description of her.

  22. Susan the Short says:

    Nazareth Priest,
    In the movie “The Passion of Bernadette” as war rages just outside her convent, the saint is asked if there is anything she fears, expecting that she will be afraid of the Prussian armies.

    But she is not afraid of the war. Is there anything she does fear?

    “Yes,” she answers, “bad Catholics.”

  23. gsk: Absolutely!
    The Marian dimension of the Church is so holy, so faithful, so absolutely a part of the martyrs, virgins, confessors, and saints of our Church.
    “Hag”? “Witch”? Good Lord Jesus, have mercy!
    What, in heaven’s name, possesses ‘womyn’ to exult in these horrible names?
    The Father of Lies, I am afraid.
    And he, and his minions, must be expelled.

  24. Susan the Short: Wonderful. I agree!

  25. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    “Truth?” said Mary Daly. “What is that?”

  26. Ferde Rombola says:

    What’s everyone getting so riled up about? I thought it was kind of funny. Hilarious, actually. I laughed throughout.

  27. Ferde: And, why is this funny? I’m curious.

  28. Girgadis says:

    I shall perhaps have to plunge the depths and find a way of directly contacting Joan so I can inform her she has no say about to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. Those men who were excluded from md’s class probably have no idea how lucky they were. How long is she going to whine over the fact that she wasn’t born with a y chromosone? I can’t even call her evil, as blasphemous as her references to the Holy Mother of God are, because she doesn’t appear to be especially bright. She comes off as an angry, militant, man-hating pseudo intellectual who thinks because she loathes herself, I should hate myself too. It would be laughable if not for the peril she has subjected herself to along with those who would actually accept what she spews as truth. Thankfully, her ilk will go the way of the dinosaurs. In the meantime, I pray for her.

  29. greg the beachcomber says:

    So excluding women is wrong, but excluding men is OK?

    Once again we see that the oppressed don’t want to end oppression, they just want their turn with the stick.

    [And I’m not buying that these women were oppressed, btw.]

  30. PomeroyJohn says:

    So probably more people read Chittister’s nonsense on Fr’s blog than read it in the NCR? Maybe if we ignore her and her ilk they’ll just fade away.


  31. Jack Hughes says:

    so inanity rules again at NCR, when does the Holy Father/her bishop excommunicate chitister ?

  32. Gabriel Austin says:

    I do believe the National ‘Catholic’ [Mis]Reporter continues in existence because people allow themselves to get upset by these kinds of rants. Far more interesting are the anti-Catholic rants among so many fundamentalist groups. They at least believe they are acting to protect the Word of God against us papists.

  33. edwardo3 says:

    Am I just being cynical or do these people who so desperately hate the Church remain a part of the Church because it allows them to live pretty high on the hog. Wouldn’t it be much more honest for them to say “I don’t believe what the Catholic Church teaches, I’m outta here” and to actually leave?

    Also, does anyone know any men who wanted tried to attend Mary Daly’s classes, or have any idea why they would want to attend them?

  34. edwardo3: From the many comments I have read for months, these folks believe it’s “their Church” and the hierarchy are just anarchistic “holdovers” from the Middle Ages. They are waiting for the “New Church” to emerge…from the embers of this present moment…from the likes of M. Daly, J. Chittester, E. Schillebeeckx, et. al.
    The “New Church” will emerge when we have women and married priests, homosexual unions, contraception blessed by the teaching Church, and God knows what else (oh, yeah, “Eucharist” celebrated by the assembly rather than by an ordained Catholic male priest).
    They’re prayin’ for it and waitin’ for it. They sing about “Sing a New Church”…
    You’re not being cynical at all. They hate the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ founded upon Peter, the Rock (the Pope as his successor). You are spot on.

  35. And they are like leeches sucking blood out of a body or barnacles on a boat…hang on for dear life until the thing capsizes and we can take over.
    No way, Jose!
    Jesus promised it won’t happen. Uh uh.

  36. tygirwulf says:

    When I was an atheist, I didn’t understand people who tried to “subvert” a large, very well-established religion. Either you believed a religion was true, and you followed it the best you could, or you didn’t, in which case, why bother staying? It’s easier to make up your own religion or variant, but why pester people who were fine with the way they worshiped, unless you merely wanted to be praised as “revolutionaries” or “martyrs?” Besides, they way I saw it, Catholics looked at Mary with a sort of adoration and love on par with what the new pagans regarded their earth goddess.

    My Feminine Spirituality professor was very taken with Mary Daly and admired her because she, too, was a “passionate Catholic” who had problems with the male hierarchy. I still have the textbooks from the class, and I view the writings of the various authors the same way now as I did then, albeit from a different side of the aisle. Nonsense, with overly-emotional feel-good “spirituality”, hand-wringing and “poor us” mentality, poorly-cited assertions, and for good measure, a healthy suspicion of “masculine” reason and science. I thought it was a bad combination of whining, self-worship, and trying to hack away at the branch that supports you.

    One piece of nonsense I read was that the serpent had been seen as a friend and protector of women in that long-ago past when matriarchies were common, but when those aggressive, violent men overthrew their loving mothers, sisters and wives, they made up a story which blamed the serpent for tricking women and causing all mankind’s ills. This was to ensure that women would never again turn to their loving goddesses and animal friends for help and self-actualization, but be enslaved to the brutish will of men.

  37. tygirwulf: It’s interesting you would mention the whole combat between masculine and feminine.
    I see nothing “feminine” in M. Day nor J. Chittester. They are very masculine (in the bad sense of the word) in their combative, aggressive and violent hatred of anything(one) that opposses them. Not the feminine, at all.
    The Marian dimension, which is at its core strength, fidelity, receptivity and complete gift of self, is anything but this caricature of what being “feminist”, feminine is really all about.
    Men are to be “tamed”, if you will, by the “feminine”, not feminized, but formed properly into men of virtue, strength, honor, fidelity (the knight’s spirit, if you will) by the love of the “Woman”, whether it be Mother, Spouse, Sister or Beloved (for celibate men, the Church as personified in our Lady).
    This is such a ghastly deformation of the truly feminine and masculine. It’s absolutely frightening. Who can live like this, whether a woman or a man? Thanks be to God, our Catholic Tradition offers such a rich tradition that properly forms man and woman according to the mind of God, whether consecrated virgin/celibate, married, or single person. The alternative is just hellish.

  38. Kimberly says:

    Why do these women always look like men? If I was a child, that is the last person I would want to run to for motherly affection! Yuk!

  39. bookworm says:

    My most recent post under “WaPo’s whiny slop on wymynpriestsssss…” probably would have fit better on this thread. Instead of repeating it in full here I will just hit my main point. They seem to have forgotten that the “patriarchal” leadership roles they so despise, are in the words of C.S. Lewis, either “crowns of paper” that like all earthly things will pass away, or “crowns of thorns” that they (and most men, for that matter) would just as soon do without.

  40. irishgirl says:


    FDR had a term for some of his wife’s friends-he called ’em ‘she-males’! That’s what I would call Chittister, Daly, and their kind!

  41. Ferde Rombola says:

    nazareth priest, People like Chittister are silly beyond words and I find it real hard to take them seriously. Fr. Z’s comments are funny and explain why I think it’s funny, too.

    I understand your outrage, but us anyone really concerned that Chittister is making any headway in her resolve to destroy the Catholic Church? I’m not.

  42. This article is just further proof that Sr. Joan has gone bonkers beyond belief — literally!

    And since when has Mary Daly become the Mother of God? She ain’t perfect, she broke away from the Church, and she acted in ways that even in Mary’s time (Roman Empire times) would have been considered improper and sinful (such as lesbianism)!

    Wow — these dissident nuns need a major history lesson!

  43. tygirwulf says:

    nazareth_priest, of course there is nothing “feminine” about such women. They look down on femininity while they pretend to long for lost ages in which loving, caring, gentle women ruled societies. I cannot tell you how many times I heard from my professor “you cannot help what sex you are born as, but gender is only a social construct”.

    However, my professor was not a total lost cause. She honestly meant it when she said she did not look down on women who freely chose to stay home and raise children with their husbands in a traditional family unit, provided no abuse was involved. But of course, other ultra-liberal “feminists” don’t think this way at all.

    J-T Delacroix, these dissident nuns would not likely believe any history lessons we would have to teach them, because they would “know” that it is the tyrannical male hierarchy who have made up and perpetuated all the “history” we currently remember in an effort to keep women oppressed. They are conspiracy theorists in that regard. This kind of mindset they call open-minded, but really is only an extreme confirmation bias and insulates them against almost any attempt to correct or convince them.

    I briefly looked into the mens’ rights movement, too, and while I agree with many of their complaints, the bitterness and resentment and tendency to paint all women as evil manipulators just struck me as being exactly the same as “feminist” anger at men. I remember dear Uncle Screwtape telling Wormwood that errors are sent into the word in opposite pairs, so that someone running from the one will most likely run into the other.

  44. tygirwulf: Thank you for your comments. Your quote from your prof is really quite sad. Gender is not a social construct. It is written in the very essence of our identity as man or woman. That is where the real struggle is, I’m afraid. And the abuse of women has contributed to their hatred of men, there is no doubt about that. But as Gloria Steinem was once quoted, and I don’t remember the exact words, so I’ll just put it out here ‘ad libitem’: We became the men we wanted.
    Yep, that’s sad.
    Because the true “feminine genius” as Pope John Paul II wrote about in “The Dignity of Women” is something that is absolutely essential to our lives on this earth. And it does not mean being like a man; it means being a holy, virtuous woman.

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