Expert Answer Forum

God the Father QUESTION from David J. Stahl, Jr. May 24, 1999
John, You've previously discussed this topic, so I'm not looking for a lengthy answer. I seem to recall the Holy Father Pope John-Paul II recently (within the previous year or so?) speaking on the subject of use of gender-sensitive language in the Liturgy, that God revealed Himself as Father, and that the gender sense of the ORIGINAL languages of recorded Scripture - with God as Father - shall be retained. In what document or speech or audience was that pronouncement made? Christ's peace be with you. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on May 24, 1999 Dear David,
The document that immediately comes to mind is titled; NORMS FOR THE TRANSLATION OF BIBLICAL TEXTS FOR USE IN THE LITURGY. It was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1995 and approved by John Paul II. In this document we find the following instructions; 4/3. In fidelity to the inspired Word of God, the traditional biblical usage for naming the persons of the Trinity as Father, Son and Holy Spirit is to be retained. 4/4. Similarly, in keeping with the Church's tradition, the feminine and neuter pronouns are not to be used to refer to the person of the Holy Spirit.. 4/5. There shall be no systematic substitution of the masculine pronoun or possessive adjective to refer to God in correspondence to the original text. I hope this helps. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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