Vertical Inclusive Language

God the Father, the Trinity
and Vertical Inclusive Language
By James A. Urda
and Bruce Sabalaskey
Copyright 1999. All Rights Reserved.

Introduction

It has been said "a church believes as she prays." Some within Catholicism are encouraging use of vertical inclusive language in the Liturgy, i.e., referring to God in so-called "neutral" or both masculine and feminine terms. "Inclusive language" in itself is a verbal creation of dissenters, and is a misleading term. Before proceeding, a definition on the types of inclusive language is necessary. Vertical inclusive language deals with how we refer to God, while horizontal inclusive language deals with how we refer to each other. This article is focused on the vertical inclusive language problem.

It is critically important to understand that the Blessed Trinity defined as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, is a dogmatic definition, that is an infallibly defined theological reality. This is re-stated at every Sunday Mass during the profession of Faith in the Nicene Creed said after the Gospel reading. This Creed was formally defined to clearly state the Church's unchanging teaching at the Second General Council of Constantinople in the year 381 to defend against the heresies of Arianism and Macedonianism. The remainder of this article deals with a fuller explanation of this Truth and its relation to vertical inclusive language.

God's Name is Divinely Revealed and not Derived from Culture

Some say a patriarchal society was the reason for a masculine Judeo-Christian God; yet, Israel's pre-existing and co-existing pagan neighbors (e.g. Canaanites, Greeks, Egyptians, and Persians) had prominent goddesses and priestesses. They were quite at-home with male and female religious images, although not in economics, politics, or in the military. Why didn't God make use of this pre-existing religious mindset by using the Mother/She title in revelation to the emerging Israel or to the Apostles? Indeed, Israel not using feminine personal names and pronouns for deity was counter-cultural. [1]

Absolutely nowhere in Sacred Scripture is God called Mother. Rather it is just the opposite, whereby Jesus refers to God only as the Father numerous times which prove both Jesus' Sonship and God's Fatherhood in a proper physical sense [2] [3]. Several examples are shown below (source: RSV Catholic Edition):

Matthew 11:27 "All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him"

John 10:30 "I and the Father are one."

John 5:26 "For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself"

John 1:18 "No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known."

Luke 11:2-4 "And he said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.'"

Mark 13:32 "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

John 6:32 "Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven."

John 8:42 "Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me."

John 14:5-6 "Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."

John 14:16-17 "And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you."

He significantly strengthens and deepens the Father title though culturally that was not required. [4] Shouldn't we better understand Jesus' use of the name Father rather than change, de-emphasize or delete it? After all, Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and He is Truth (John 14:6). The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) also repeats the teaching of the Church:

CCC #2779 Before we make our own this first exclamation of the Lord's Prayer, we must humbly cleanse our hearts of certain false images drawn "from this world." Humility makes us recognize that "no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him," that is, "to little children." (Matthew 11:25-27)  The purification of our hearts has to do with paternal or maternal images, stemming from our personal and cultural history, and influencing our relationship with God. God our Father transcends the categories of the created world. To impose our own ideas in this area "upon him" would be to fabricate idols to adore or pull down. To pray to the Father is to enter into his mystery as he is and as the Son has revealed him to us.

The expression God the Father had never been revealed to anyone. When Moses himself asked God who he was, he heard another name. The Father's name has been revealed to us in the Son, for the name "Son" implies the new name "Father." (Tertullian, De Orat., 3:PL 1,1155)

CCC #2780 We can invoke God as "Father" because he is revealed to us by his Son become man and because his Spirit makes him known to us. The personal relation of the Son to the Father is something that man cannot conceive of nor the angelic powers even dimly see: and yet, the Spirit of the Son grants a participation in that very relation to us who believe that Jesus is the Christ and that we are born of God. (Cf. Jn 1:1; 1 Jn 5:1.)

Quite simply, if God tells us to refer to the First Person of the Blessed Trinity as Father, then we must without question! The key point is that God's Name has been revealed to us by God Himself, through the inerrant inspired writings of Sacred Scripture [14] and through God's own presence on earth through His Eternal Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord. God's Name is not a result of man's reasoning process at a particular point in time. The Catechism explains in detail:

CCC #238 Many religions invoke God as "Father." The deity is often considered the "father of gods and of men." In Israel, God is called "Father" inasmuch as he is Creator of the world. [Cf. Deut 32:6; Mal 2:10] Even more, God is Father because of the covenant and the gift of the law to Israel, "his first-born son." [Ex 4:22] God is also called the Father of the king of Israel. Most especially he is "the Father of the poor," of the  orphaned and the widowed, who are under his loving protection. [Cf. 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 68:6]

CCC #239 By calling God "Father," the language of faith indicates two main things: that God is the first origin of everything and transcendent authority; and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his children. God's parental tenderness can also be expressed by the image of motherhood, [Cf. Isa 66:13; Ps 131:2] which emphasizes God's immanence, the intimacy  between Creator and creature. The language of faith thus draws on the human experience of parents, who are in a way the first representatives of God for man. But this experience also tells us that human parents are fallible and can disfigure the face of fatherhood and motherhood. We ought therefore to recall that God transcends the human distinction  between the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God. He also transcends human fatherhood and motherhood, although he is their origin and standard: [Cf. Ps 27:10; Eph 3:14; Isa 49:15] no one is father as God is Father.

CCC #240 Jesus revealed that God is Father in an unheard of sense: he is Father not only in being Creator; he is eternally Father by his relationship to his only Son who, reciprocally, is Son only in relation to his Father: "No one knows the Son except the Father, 441-445 and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." [Mt 11:27]

CCC #242 Following this apostolic tradition, the Church confessed at the first ecumenical council at Nicea (325) that the Son is  "consubstantial" with the Father, that is, one only God with him. [The English phrases "of one being" and "one in being" translate the Greek word homoousios, which was rendered in Latin by consubstantialis.] The second ecumenical council, held at Constantinople in 381, kept this expression in its formulation of the Nicene Creed and confessed "the only-begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father." [Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed; cf. DS 150]

Vatican II Upholds the Name of God as Father

This aforementioned teaching of God the Father is upheld and re-iterated within Vatican II. In Dei Verbum, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation [14], Vatican II teaches that point quite clearly and specifically. Note that Dei Verbum is a dogmatic document, and therefore infallibly expresses the Church's teaching on Divine Revelation.

Dei Verbum #2,4: "In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (see Eph. 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (see Eph. 2:18; 2 Peter 1:4). Through this revelation, therefore, the invisible God (see Col. 1;15, 1 Tim. 1:17) out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (see Ex. 33:11; John 15:14-15) and lives among them (see Bar. 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself. Then, after speaking in many and varied ways through the prophets, "now at last in these days God has spoken to us in His Son" (Heb. 1:1-2). For He sent His Son, the eternal Word, who enlightens all men, so that He might dwell among men and tell them of the innermost being of God (see John 1:1-18). Jesus Christ, therefore, the Word made flesh, was sent as "a man to men." He "speaks the words of God" (John 3:34), and completes the work of salvation which His Father gave Him to do (see John 5:36; Divine Revelation 17:4). To see Jesus is to see His Father (John 14:9). For this reason Jesus perfected revelation by fulfilling it through his whole work of making Himself present and manifesting Himself: through His words and deeds, His signs and wonders, but especially through His death and glorious resurrection from the dead and final sending of the Spirit of truth. Moreover He confirmed with divine testimony what revelation proclaimed, that God is with us to free us from the darkness of sin and death, and to raise us up to life eternal."

Vatican II also clearly teaches that we are to obediently assent to such revealed Truths.

Dei Verbum #5: "The obedience of faith" (Rom. 13:26; see 1:5; 2 Cor 10:5-6) "is to be given to God who reveals, an obedience by which man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals," and freely assenting to the truth revealed by Him."

Lastly, we know with absolute certainty that what God has revealed to us through His Church is correct and error free. This means that there is no possibility that we are unsure of the teaching of God as Father.

Dei Verbum #5-6: "Through divine revelation, God chose to show forth and communicate Himself and the eternal decisions of His will regarding the salvation of men. That is to say, He chose to share with them those divine treasures which totally transcend the understanding of the human mind. As the sacred synod has affirmed, God, the beginning and end of all things, can be known with certainty from created reality by the light of human reason (see Rom. 1:20); but teaches that it is through His revelation that those religious truths which are by their nature accessible to human reason can be known by all men with ease, with solid certitude and with no trace of error, even in this present state of the human race."

Therefore, it is clear that Sacred Scripture naming God as Father is wholly proper, required and inerrant. Anyone who claims that the " spirit of Vatican II" means something different clearly does not wish to assent in Faith to the Church's teachings.

Other References of God as Father or Mother

In certain Scriptures Jesus does not use the term father:

Mark 3:35 "Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother."

Here He speaks of people - created beings - not God - who have a family relationship with Jesus if they follow God's Will. Why does Jesus leave out father? Jesus would not have us creatures called Father since He already has a Father, God the Father. Therefore, Jesus family consists of His Father - the uncreated source of everything - and all creatures who do His Father's Will, where we are His brothers and sisters. Every Catholic should know that Jesus has a Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Also in Matthew it reads:

Matthew 23:9 "And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven."

When Jesus says "Call no man father" he means that no one is Father as God is Father. This highlights the uniqueness of God as Father, for this is a revealed name, not a metaphorical name. [9]

Some advocate referring to God as Mother because a mystic had sometimes referred to God in this way. One example of such a mystic is named Julian of Norwich, a nun (sometimes also named Juliana). The Church acknowledges that the writings of mystics can be useful in providing insights about truth, but only if they conform to Church teaching. The Church has never claimed infallibility for mystics - their messages and visions simply do not have the authority as do Scripture and Sacred Tradition. In fact, all mystic's writings or visions must be tested against Scripture and Sacred Tradition. It is quite possible for mystics and theologians to be wrong, not necessarily from malice but from misunderstanding.

Also, mystics writings, although they may conform with Church teaching when properly understood, can be misinterpreted or, as commonly found with dissenters, misrepresented in a distorted manner to make an invalid point. Juliana applies the Mother reference, either directly or indirectly, to Jesus - not the Father or the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, only the Second Person, Jesus, is both God and man (in the strictest sense - a male). Although speaking of God as Mother, Juliana always uses masculine pronouns. Her references to God as Mother relate to Jesus' humanity since all humanity is feminine before God. Why? Just as the Church is feminine being called Holy Mother Church, so too are its members in one key attribute. This is because femininity has the attribute of receptivity and we receive God's Truth from Him, both His Church and its members. But Juliana's masculine usage refers to His Divinity. [12] It should also be noted that she was never formally beatified; "the title 'blessed' was given Juliana by her admirers without the explicit approval of the Church, though no official objection seems to have been made of it." [13]

Problems with Changing God's Name

Perhaps some might claim that Jesus limited His revelation to account for a patriarchal society, a feminist assertion, that being in spite of the clear teachings of Vatican II previously mentioned. In today's terminology that would mean that Jesus was "politically correct." Let's examine that assertion in more detail and analyze how it rips through the entire fabric of God's revealed Truths.

God the Father is not merely an image among numerous images; Jesus specifically instructs us to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19). In Jewish thought a name described one's very identity. [5] God's personal name gives us insight to Trinitarian life. Scripture says God can behave like a mother, which simply illustrates God's attributes. God possesses all attributes of both a father and a mother, but God's personal name is never 'Mother.' In creation, God made a man to be a father and a woman to be a mother. Both are created with equal dignity in His image, but have different attributes for those different roles. One example of God's motherly attribute, using a Scriptural example to put it into earthly terms that are understandable, is:

Matthew 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!"

The CCC further explains that one of God's attributes, that of parental tenderness, can be the image of motherhood. But that certainly does not support changing God's Name.

CCC #239 By calling God "Father," the language of faith indicates two main things: that God is the first origin of everything and transcendent authority; and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his children. God's parental tenderness can also be expressed by the image of motherhood, [Cf. Isa 66:13; Ps 131:2] which emphasizes God's immanence, the intimacy  between Creator and creature. The language of faith thus draws on the human experience of parents, who are in a way the first representatives of God for man. But this experience also tells us that human parents are fallible and can disfigure the face of fatherhood and motherhood. We ought therefore to recall that God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God. He also transcends human fatherhood and motherhood, although he is their origin and standard: [Cf. Ps 27:10; Eph 3:14; Isa 49:15] no one is father as God is Father.

God's personal name, Father, cannot be used as mere metaphor. The context in which Jesus uses Father does not allow Father to be placed in the same category as functionary terms such as "farmer", "vineyard owner", or "nursing mother" [6] [7]. God the Father is a Divine Person, and a Person has a Name, not just a "job." Imagine how impersonal it would be if everyone one referred to you by only your function. This distinction between name and function seems to be increasingly blurred today, perhaps purposely so.

The Feminist, Homosexual and New Age Connection

The feminist believes that a fundamental principle of all human societies, sex-role differentiation, is essentially an arrangement by which men in power via a patriarchal society oppress women. Therefore a God with the name of Father - in their thought process - just continues and reinforces said "oppression." Naming God as Mother is a method of liberation to help shed the shackles of oppression because traditional theology is believed to assume that men's experience is normative for all of humanity, and the existence of an andro-centric bias is considered a serious theological problem. As discussed earlier, the idea of goddess is clearly ancient and pagan, as is reflected in feminist theology. Wicca is belief system which promotes the concept of goddesses (as well as gods) and is one in which many feminists participate. It gets even more disgusting.

A Catholic should know that Jesus of course has a Mother. The CCC clearly states the Church's teaching on this matter.

CCC #495 Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." ( Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.) In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251)

Not only is the Virgin Mary Jesus real Mother, but Jesus in His generosity while hanging on the Cross, gave us His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, to be our Mother too.

John 19:26-27 "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."

So are we to believe that Jesus and we have two Mothers rather than God our Father and the Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother? Such an implicit logical step fits well into the radical homosexual belief system (and feminist as well) which seeks to destroy the normal family definition of a mother and a father. Following the dissenters view, since God the Holy Spirit, as a 'Mother' came upon a feminine Mary to conceive Jesus Christ, Jesus and we humans - through God's adoption of us - are a product of an implicit homosexual union. It gets still more disgusting.

A next step would be to conclude that if God is Mother, then the Trinity as defined would be schizophrenic because how could one God be "part male" (Jesus) and "part female" ('Mother')? This further leads to the "female Jesus," which sometimes is called the "SophiaChrist." Some people have seen a "crucifix" holding a "Jesus with breasts." How absolutely repugnant. By this point of logical conclusions, fatherhood and maleness have been totally eliminated from God. God is now a result of human logic rather than being known via His revelation - truly a pagan victory. Feminists would be happy.

Lastly, if God is Mother, creation is 'birthed' rather than made out of nothing by God our Father. This concept is strong within Wiccan beliefs. Therefore, creation is no longer limited to being simply good, as described in Genesis, but 'divine.' The essence of New Age, a modern form of paganism and pantheism, is to worship "Sacred Creation." The Church teaches differently of course, as explained in the CCC:

295 We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom. (Cf. Wis 9:9.) It is not the product of any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance. We believe that it proceeds from God's free will; he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom, and goodness: "For you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." (Rev 4:11.) Therefore the Psalmist exclaims: "O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all"; and "The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made." (Ps 104:24; 145:9.)

God creates "out of nothing"

296 We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create, nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance. (Cf. Dei Filius, can. 2-4: DS 3022-3024.) God creates freely "out of nothing": (Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800; cf. DS 3025.)

299 Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered: "You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight." (Wis 11:20.) The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the "image of the invisible God," is destined for and addressed to man, himself created in the "image of God" and called to a personal relationship with God. (Col 1:15; Gen 1:26) Our human understanding, which shares in the light of the divine intellect, can understand what God tells us by means of his creation, though not without great effort and only in a spirit of humility and respect before the Creator and his work. (Cf. Ps 19:2-5; Job 42:3.) Because creation comes forth from God's goodness, it shares in that goodness - "And God saw that it was good ... very good" (Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 31.) - for God willed creation as a gift addressed to man, an inheritance destined for and entrusted to him. On many occasions the Church has had to defend the goodness of creation, including that of the physical world. (Cf. DS 286; 455-463; 800; 1333; 3002.)

Rather than a 'birth' which emanates from the substance/body of a mother, creation is the result of the Will of our Father, who creates from nothing. A mother must receive the seed from a father to later give birth. God as Father needs no seed - absolutely nothing - since He the source of all things.

We are to take care of the gift of creation that God the Father has presented to us. However, we are to worship God and God alone since He is distinct and separate from His creation. The CCC tells us:

CCC #2096 Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love. "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve," says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy. (Lk 4:8; cf. Deut 6:13.)

Can't We All Just Get Along with "Neutral Terms?"

Some would like to replace Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with so-called 'neutral' terms such as "Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier". However, this example puts focus on God's functions or roles or activities rather than God Himself. God's Being should not be equated with His actions, nor is His nature dependent on creation nor His activities with respect to creation (e.g. redeeming and sanctifying). The true Trinitarian relationships would exist even if man, woman and all creation did not exist "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" really does express God's Being. Furthermore, "Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier" falsely implies the persons of the Trinity act separately of one another; yet, Scripture says, for example, that Jesus also took part in creation (Jn 1:13), and sanctification Eph (5:26). [8] We use these terms only so that we may understand - to the degree possible - our loving God who is infinite and beyond our understanding. The CCC reminds us:

CCC #2779 ...  God our Father transcends the categories of the created world. To impose our own ideas in this area "upon him" would be to fabricate idols to adore or pull down. ... 

CCC #42 God transcends all creatures. We must therefore continually purify our language of everything in it that is limited, image-bound or imperfect, if we are not to confuse our image of God - "the inexpressible, the incomprehensible, the invisible, the ungraspable" -with our human representations. Our human words always fall short of the mystery of God.

CCC #43 Admittedly, in speaking about God like this, our language is using human modes of expression; nevertheless it really does attain to God himself, though unable to express him in his infinite simplicity. Likewise, we must recall that "between Creator and creature no similitude can be expressed without implying an even greater dissimilitude"; and that "concerning God, we cannot grasp what he is, but only what he is not, and how other beings stand in relation to him."

Using so-called neutral terms only portrays our God as impersonal and defines Him only in the value of His "utility," that is creating, redeeming, and sanctifying. One interesting observation is that atheistic communists (i.e. the belief of Marxism which has been condemned by the Church [15]) use this impersonalizing process also - a person is only as valuable as his function and individual names are replaced with "comrade."

Beware of reducing God's personal name to an image - this allows God to be re-imaged as one wishes. It is true that human nature is limited in describing God, but in God's Word the Holy Spirit is doing the 'limiting' and descriptions are adequate if inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Some use Gen 1:27 to suggest God's image was somehow "divided" between the sexes. First, God is the perfect Unity, the One God and totally indivisible. The CCC explains:

CCC #689 The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God. [cf. Galatians 4:6] Consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world. In adoring the Holy Trinity, life-giving, consubstantial, and indivisible, the Church's faith also professes the distinction of persons. When the Father sends his Word, he always sends his Breath. In their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable. To be sure, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals him.

CCC #2789 When we pray to "our" Father, we personally address the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. By doing so we do not divide the Godhead, since the Father is its "source and origin," but rather confess that the Son is eternally begotten by him and the Holy Spirit proceeds from him. We are not confusing the persons, for we confess that our communion is with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, in their one Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity is consubstantial and indivisible. When we pray to the Father, we adore and glorify him together with the Son and the Holy Spirit.

"Male and female" only refer to the biology of His creation and not God's image, for animals are also described in Scripture as "male and female" yet animals were not made in God's image. Since animals are male and female but not in God's image, that which makes us in God's image is independent of male and female. [10] Our soul, intellect and will constitute our image of God. Obviously, both males and females have those faculties. The CCC explains (#1701-1705):

"Christ, ... in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, makes man fully manifest to himself and brings to light his exalted vocation." [Gaudium et Spes 22] It is in Christ, "the image of the invisible God," [Col 1:15; cf. 2 Cor 4:4.] that man has been created "in the image and likeness" of the Creator. It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God. [Cf. Gaudium et Spes 22] The divine image is present in every man. It shines forth in the communion of persons, in the likeness of the union of the divine persons among themselves (cf. chapter two). Endowed with "a spiritual and immortal" soul, [Gaudium et Spes 14 2] the human person is "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake." [Gaudium et Spes 24 3] From his conception, he is destined for eternal beatitude.

The human person participates in the light and power of the divine Spirit. By his reason, he is capable of understanding the order of things established by the Creator. By free will, he is capable of directing himself toward his true good. He finds his perfection "in seeking and loving what is true and good." [Gaudium et Spes 15 2]  By virtue of his soul and his spiritual powers of intellect and will, man is endowed with freedom, an "outstanding manifestation of the divine image." [Gaudium et Spes 17]

Although Scripture recognizes God the Father is not biologically male, nevertheless, from Scripture's consistent use of masculine personal pronouns and the name Father it is clear it reveals Him as fundamentally masculine, [11] that is Him being the source of everything.

Beware of Changing God's Name

Before experimenting with God's Word, heed advice found in the Word of God:

Proverbs 30:5-6 "Every word of God is tested, ... Add nothing to his words lest he reprove you and you be exposed as a deceiver."

Most enlightening is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states that failing to call God our Father is the result of a cruel and inhuman heart.

CCC #2784 The free gift of adoption requires on our part continual conversion and new life. Praying to our Father should develop in us two fundamental dispositions:

First, the desire to become like him: though created in his image, we are restored to his likeness by grace; and we must respond to this grace.

We must remember ... and know that when we call God "our Father" we ought to behave as sons of God. (St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat. 11: PL 4:526B)

You cannot call the God of all kindness your Father if you preserve a cruel and inhuman heart; for in this case you no longer have in you the marks of the heavenly Father's  kindness. (St. John Chrysostom, De orat Dom. 3: PG 51, 44.)

We must contemplate the beauty of the Father without ceasing and adorn our own souls accordingly. (St. Gregory of Nyssa, De orat. Dom. 2: PG 44, 1148B)

Conclusion

Some may argue they are only changing the Liturgy. This is clearly erroneous, since referring to God as Mother defies the revealed inerrant Word of God, which is re-iterated in Vatican II, and implicitly supports the dissident radical feminist and homosexual views. The Liturgy must reflect the theological Truth of our Faith, in spite of the modernistic pagan influences within the Church today. [16] Daily pray to God our Father because He will always provide what you need.


REFERENCES

[1]
"The Politics of Prayer," article by Juli Wiley page 310.
[2]
Ibid page 310.
[3]
"What Will Happen to God," William Oddie page 104.
[4]
"Experts ponder God the Father," Catholic Courier, Rochester N.Y. Diocese 2/18/1999 page 10.
[5]
EWTN Q&A Forum "Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier", 5/22/1998 - Fr. Hedderman.
[6]
"The Politics of Prayer," "Old Testament Iconology and the Nature of God", article by Paul Mankowski, S.J. pages 158-160
[7]
The Politics of Prayer," "Father Son & Holy Spirit - so what's in a name" article by Deborah Belonick, pages 297-306.
[8]
Ibid pg 299.
[9]
EWTN Q&A Forum "Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier" 5/22/1998 - Fr. Hedderman.
[10]
"God or Goddess", Manfred Hauke, page 149
[11]
"Does the Bible Support the Feminist 'Goddess'," Mark Brumley at http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ208.HTM
[12]
"Women in the Priesthood?" Manfred Hauke, pages 271-274.
[13]
EWTN History Q&A Forum "Juliana of Norwich" 3/29/1999, Dr. Warren Carroll.
[14]
Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Vatican II.
[15]
Divini Redemptoris, On Atheistic Communism, Encyclical by Pope Pius XI, March 19, 1937.
[16]
Current Situation of Faith and Theology, speech by Cardinal Ratzinger in May 1996.

Home ] What's New ] Articles ] Bible ] Canon Law ] Dissent ] Faith ] Indulgences ] Liturgy ] Prayers ] Renew ] Saints ] Teachings ] Links ] About Us ] Reviews ] Contact Us ] Our Lord ] Our Lady ] Table of Contents ]