Father Brendan Flynn: Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone.
Father Brendan Flynn: A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?' 'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. 'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. 'Did you gut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.' 'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!'
Father Brendan Flynn: [to Sister James] There are people who go after your humanity, Sister, that tell you that the light in your heart is a weakness. Don't believe it. It's an old tactic of cruel people to kill kindness in the name of virtue.
Mrs. Miller: You can't hold a child responsible for what God gave him to be.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: [to Sister James] What have you seen?
Sister James: It is unsettling to look at people with suspicion. I feel less close to God.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: When you take a step to address wrongdoing, you are taking a step away from God, but in his service. What have you seen?
Sister James: How can you be so sure that he is lying?
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: Experience.
Sister James: You just don't like him! You don't like it that he uses a ballpoint pen. You don't like it that he takes 3 lumps of sugar in his tea. You don't like it that he likes Frosty the Snowman and you are letting that convince you? Of something that's terrible... Just terrible...
Sister James: [Exasperated] Well, I like Frosty the Snowman!
Father Brendan Flynn: You have no right to act on your own! You have taken vows, obedience being one! You answer to us! You have no right to step outside the church!
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: I will step outside the church if that's what needs to be done, 'til the door should shut behind me! I will do what needs to be done, though I'm damned to Hell! You should understand that, or you will mistake me.
Father Brendan Flynn: Even if you feel certainty, it is an emotion not a fact.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: Look at that. You've blown out my light.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: May I ask what you are writing down with that ball-point pen?
Father Brendan Flynn: Oh, nothing. It's an idea for a sermon.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: You have one right now?
Father Brendan Flynn: I get them all the time.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: How fortunate.
Father Brendan Flynn: I forget them so I have to write them down.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: What is the idea?
Father Brendan Flynn: Intolerance.
Mrs. Miller: Sister, I don't know if you and me are on the same side. I'll be standing with my son and those who are good with my son. It'd be nice to see you there.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: Is Father Flynn in doubt? Is he concerned that someone else is in doubt?
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: [about a boy who was sent home with a bloody nose] He's a fidgety boy. He will do anything to get out of his seat. He would set his foot on fire for half a day out of school.
Father Brendan Flynn: [referring to Sister Aloysius] The dragon is hungry.
[Father Flynn enters Sister Aloysius' room, looking very nervous]
Father Brendan Flynn: [nervously] May I come in?
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: [not looking at him] A third party would be required.
Father Brendan Flynn: Look, what was Donald's mother doing here?
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: [looking at him] We were having a chat.
Father Brendan Flynn: About what?
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: [slowly approaches him] A third party would truly be required!
Father Brendan Flynn: [entering the room] No sister, no third party. Me and you are due for a talk, you have to stop this campaign against me!
Father Brendan Flynn: [to Sister James about Sister Aloysius] The dragon is hungry.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: [to Sister James] Penmanship is dying all across this country!
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: Then why do you look like you've seen the devil?
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: [to Father Flynn] You will tell me what you have done.
Sister James: I don't think Father Flynn did anything wrong.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: Frosty the Snowman espouses a pagan belief in magic. The snowman comes to life when an enchanted hat is put on his head. If the music were more somber, people would realize the images are disturbing and the song heretical.
Sister James: I never thought about Frosty the Snowman like that!
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: It should be banned from the airwaves.
Christine Hurley: Jimmy? Come on! You're serving today.