Why not use gender-neutral reference for God?


We have been fortunate to receive The Catholic Messenger as a gift from my sister in Ottumwa for the past 20 or more years. We appreciate the various perspectives presented, and look forward to reading it.

In the Feb. 4 issue, Deacon Frank Agnoli’s article about changes in the liturgy included a paragraph that seemed worthy of comment. He says:

“This change will also take care of the division manifested in some communities where some say ‘give him thanks,’ and others say ‘give thanks’ or ‘give God thanks’ in order to avoid the masculine pronoun. (As an aside, I would hope that, for the sake of unity, everyone will make the response to the invitation to prayer as written; if the masculine pronoun for God can at times be avoided there is no reason why at times it should not be used. God transcends gender.)”

I would entirely agree that God transcends gender. That being the case, it would seem that the appropriate usage would either be a neutral reference at all times, or an equal use of the feminine and masculine pronouns (or perhaps a tri-partite split between the use of neutral references and male and female).


Thank you for an excellent paper.

Teri Carns

Anchorage, Alaska

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