Inclusive language, God talk, and truth speaking
Ilia Delio speaks truth to power: 'Fratelli Tutti'- Papal dreams or Vatican diversion?
Ilia Delio, globalsistersreport.org | October 19, 2020
Who could argue against the valiant efforts of a world
leader trying to restore a sense of moral goodness and rightness in the
world? Indeed, my purpose is not to belie the pope, whose heart seems
to be in the right place; however, it is to call attention to the
deeper problem underlying the world's problems, namely, the evaporation
|As in his previous encyclical, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our
Common Home," the pope calls attention to the world's problems, the
radical disparity between rich and poor, the bloated consumer culture
that is enhancing global warming, and the rampant individualism
associated with excess wealth. The encyclical aims to promote a
universal movement toward fraternity and social friendship grounded in
compassionate love, following the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke
On this note, the pope's encyclical is alarming. Jesus of Nazareth
admonished his disciples not to take the splinter out of their
brother's eye without first removing the plank from their own eye
(Matthew 7:3-5). This admonition bears reflection in light of the
pope's advice to the world.
Liturgies on Zoom
- Ilia Delio speaks truth to power: 'Fratelli Tutti'- Papal dreams or Vatican diversion?
- Migrational faith journey from "mind places" as a movement for reform within the Church
- How a longstanding suspicion of inclusive language is killing the Church's message
- Are women involved in a toxic relationship with the church? -- Gaslighting and cognitive dissonance mar papal documents
- Catholic women lament “unfortunate androcentric shadow” over “mostly radical” ‘Fratelli tutti’
- Why is God not female?
- Comments to the Editor
- Effort to curb toxic masculinity before it takes root
who are socialized to conform to 'traditional masculinity ideology' are
often negatively affected in terms of mental and physical health
- Commemorate WOC’s 45 Years of Prophetic Persistence
- Possibilities when rearranging world-weary words
- Instead of ableist words, use inclusive language at work and everywhere else
- “The idea that God is male is by far the biggest religious travesty in human history”
- RCWP Canada Bishop's Message: Women: Icons of Christ
- Mary or the Feminine Utopia -- The story behind the article
- Women Erased: Adam Has a Womb
- Comments to the
Editor address and form
- RCWP Canada Links
- Related Links
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Canada Bishop's Message
Women: Icons of Christ
Kamala Harris as vice-president elect is inspiring. From
once-upon-a-time when white men were the only elected officials in the
USA to the 20th Century where we saw increasing numbers of women and
men - black, indigenous, and people of colour – elected to leadership
roles, society has been building to this day. Increasingly women have
stood on the shoulders of their predecessors to achieve greater levels
of acceptance as competent and inspirational leaders. Stacy Abrams, who
nearly won the Governorship of Georgia in 2018, remarked about Kamala
Harris’ election: “We (referring to black women) need to see ourselves
reflected in our leaders.”
is so true and applicable to women in all aspects of life including the
Church. When the only image we see of God is male, can we really expect
women to see themselves as reflections of God or made in the Imago Dei?
Mind you, systemic sexism and misogyny would prefer that women be seen
as Adam’s rib. Words and pictures we use to image God do matter. They
matter a great deal!
the 1980’s feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruther (Sexism and
God-Talk) performed ground-breaking work on the use of language when
speaking to and of God, and of its impact on how women see themselves
in various social/cultural settings. Through careful examination of the
root teachings of the Bible and ancient Goddess-oriented cultures, she
hears the voice and sees the prophetic Jesus as liberator of the
marginalized, including women, from domination of empire and
patriarchy. She envisions a new non-sexist understanding of
Christianity, of egalitarian communities served by women and men where
God is named and experienced in the fullness of the diversity of the
Divine Being. She has certainly helped women see that their truth is
found inside - not what is imposed on them by others, and laid the
foundation for many women theologians who came after her.
and theologians, canon lawyers and administrators, educators and
pastoral workers are all acceptable roles for women to hold in the
Church today. Ordained ministry is still taboo due primarily to the
manipulated history of the Church that refuses to accept that women can
authentically be icons of Christ. This will change as more and more
women see themselves reflected in the lives of women who dare to answer
the call of God to priesthood. Roman Catholic Women Priests are making
visible something that has been kept invisible: the truth that God can
and does call women as well as men to ordained ministry so that the
fullness of the face of God can be seen and the abundant and boundless
capacity of loving compassion can become evident. Our daughters (and
sons) can look to us and see the face of God. They can aspire to be the
fullness of whom God calls them to be.
Kryzanowski, Regina, SK
is bishop for RCWP Canada]
Mary or the Feminine Utopia -- The story behind the article
Marie-Andrée Roy, Special to The Review | November 15, 2020
than thirty years have passed between the writing of "Mary or the
Feminine Utopia" by Marie Gratton and its being posted posthumously on
the L’autre Parole website. Here is the story.
1988, Monique Dumais and I published a collection of essays in Souffles
de femmes, Lectures féministes de la religion at Éditions Paulines. The
original manuscript contained a chapter written by Marie Gratton,
entitled Marie ou l’utopie faite femme. In her essay, Marie Gratton
proceeded to systematically deconstruct Marian mythology by unraveling
each of the dogmas that are the building blocks of the Marian
myth: Mary, Mother of God (Council of Ephesus, 431); the
Perpetual Virginity of May (Lateran Council, 649); the Immaculate
Conception (1854); and the Assumption of Mary (1950). Her position is
quite radical. She maintains that “Marian theology is the finely
chiseled masterpiece of a triumphalist and triumphant patriarchal
system carved out of a dualist and profoundly sexist anthropology.… By
presenting Mary as the antithesis of Eve, … the patriarchal system has
paradoxically succeeded in ‘demonizing’ all other women.” The
system that proclaims these dogmas has become the “tool and privileged
locus of ecclesiastical triumphalism”. In her conclusion, the author
admits how sad it is that the figure who exemplifies autonomy and
freedom in Luke’s Gospel has been so “outrageously mischaracterized,
and has turned against women all the glory lavished upon the mother of
Jesus, a woman who would have only wanted to be remembered for what she
was: a “righteous heart”.
it was published, the entire manuscript had to be vetted by the
publishing house. This is nothing unusual. The manuscript had already
been rejected by another publisher because it was so blatantly
feminist. The publishing house decided it would accept our manuscript
if we removed Marie Gratton’s chapter. We were caught in a bind. There
were eight other texts and authors waiting to be published.
Disheartened and deeply embarrassed, Monique Dumais and I accepted to
have the book published without Marie’s text. In her great kindness,
Marie never held it against us, for which I am truly grateful.
far as we were concerned, this was a case of Roman Catholic censorship.
The Marian issue is a sensitive one in which much dogmatic energy has
been invested. It plays a decisive role in the construction of how
women are represented, especially in relationships between men and
women and the norms which govern them in the Church. In 1988, John Paul
II, who was fervently devoted to the Virgin Mary, had occupied the See
of Rome for 10 years, and had published his encyclical Redemptoris
Mater just the year before. This provided the context in which a
Catholic editor would refuse to raise hackles in Rome. He was well
aware of the Church’s teaching on Mary and also knew full well what
questioning it would cost him. He did not want the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith intervening after the fact. Women, feminist
thought and freedom of expression were the losers.
four years ago, I asked Marie Gratton for permission to include her
text in the suggested readings for my course on women and religion at
l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). It was so well received
by the students that it confirmed my sense of its relevance and
timeliness. So I suggested we publish it on our L’autre Parole website.
Marie agreed. When I visited her in May, 2018 at Maison Aube-Lumière,
just a few days before she died, I told her it would soon be published.
Thirty years later, it is high time amends are made and the words of
Marie Gratton are truly set free.
[The above article by Marie-Andrée Roy and "Mary or the Feminine Utopia" by Marie Gratton were translated by Marie Bouclin, Sudbury, ON]
Read the 22-page article "Mary or the Feminine Utopia" by Marie Gratton
Women Erased: Adam Has a Womb
A film presentation and discussion by FutureChurch
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 8pm ET
with Dr. Lizzie Berne DeGear
story of Adam and Eve has been used for centuries to put women in their
place ("Eve was made from Adam's rib as a helpmate for him") and to
castigate the LGBTQ community ("It's Adam and Eve not Adam and
Steve!"), but did you know that the Bible does not actually tell that
us for a special screening of the delightful and eye-opening animated
short film (m)adam: Adam's Rib Reframed and a no-holds-barred
discussion with filmmaker, Catholic Chaplain Lizzie Berne DeGear, PhD.
View the 7 minute video, Adam's Rib Reframed, on YouTube
|Migrational faith journey from "mind places" as a movement for reform within the Church
Marie Bouclin, Special to The Review | November 15, 2020
Catholic Women Priests are an instrument of reform and renewal within
our church. This means urging it forward, courageously forging ahead.
It also means migrating. We are on a migrational faith journey as a
movement for reform within our Church, even if we’ve been marginalized
by its authorities and deemed to have excluded ourselves.
As a movement, we are deeply aware of some “mind places” we have left behind.
we have had to move out of our comfort zone in a church that gave us
moral and spiritual certainty, comforting rituals, and for many of us
fulfilling and gratifying employment. We seek a Christ-centered
spirituality with new rituals still to be created. The future at times
may look uncertain, but as we journey we are been blessed with the
solidarity of a small and very diverse company of friends and
supporters. We are truly grateful.
have also migrated from an institutional mindset that excludes women
and LGBTQ2+ and divorced persons and all heretics (defined as those who
think differently) to a community spirit which is inclusive and
accepting of differences. This is symbolized in our all-are-welcome
have migrated from imposed, infallible doctrine to asking questions and
“doing” theology, liturgy and pastoral practice based on our Baptismal
priesthood, our personal experience of life and prayer, and our
listening to voice of the Spirit speaking both within and through
the People of God.
have migrated from a narrow Roman Catholic Christianity to authentic
ecumenism, finding support and learning from other Christian churches
and their prophetic voices.
have moved away from pyramids of governance based on descending
domination to circles of leadership which strive to model transparency,
accountability and collegiality.
have moved from dogma to dialogue, engaging in conversation with people
of other faiths or of no faith because we don’t preach about how to get
to heaven but rather the Hebrew Tikkun Olam or healing of this world,
and we honour all wisdom paths because they too, to quote the book of
Proverbs, “are blessed with insight and understanding.”
How a longstanding suspicion of inclusive language is killing the Church's message
Robert Mickens, international.la-croix.com | September 11, 2020
is discouraging that Pope Francis still does not seem to appreciate
just how unnecessary and unhelpful using masculine language is in the
But, then again, he's an elderly priest from Latin America, from a generation and culture where this was never an issue.
kid yourself, the culture warriors, clericalists and social
conservatives in the Church who refuse to use inclusive language do so
purposely as part of their misguided zeal to defend orthodoxy.
Are women involved in a toxic relationship with the church? -- Gaslighting and cognitive dissonance mar papal documents
Phyllis Zagano, ncronline.org | October 29, 2020
not what they say; it's the way that they say it. Documents and
Scripture translations annoyingly border on gaslighting women. Not the
big-league, drive-her-crazy gaslighting, just the subtle cognitive
dissonance that slips into relationships large and small.
Catholic women lament “unfortunate androcentric shadow” over “mostly radical” ‘Fratelli tutti’
Mada Jurado, novenanews.com | October 13, 2020
Catholic women of the Women’s Ordination Conference have lamented the
“unfortunate androcentric shadow” over the Pope’s “mostly radical” new
encyclical Fratelli tutti.
. . .
English translation refers repeatedly to Brothers and Sisters, perhaps
in response to the legitimate criticisms of the title, but linguistics
aside, no women theologians or thinkers were quoted in the text — not
even St. Clare, a partner in ministry with St. Francis.
Why is God not female?
Stephen Tomkins, bbc.com | June 2, 2015
To talk about God we have to call God something, and avoiding pronouns
altogether is cumbersome, as I've just demonstrated again. "It" seems a
bit rude, talking as if God was an impersonal force like gravity or
inflation. So God has to be "He" or "She", and in a patriarchal society
there's no contest. As The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "God
is neither man nor woman: he is God".
The Archbishop’s Annual Fund request letter had arrived and my annual dilemma surfaces.
many deserving groups will benefit and continue their work; they
need funding to operate. I also very much appreciate the appointment
and work of the ecumenical coordinator, Nicholas Jesson, who works with
all religions and faiths on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.
brings me pause is the refusal of the Roman Catholic Church to
recognize, support and work with Roman Catholic Women Priests. What
will it take to move forward to correct this unfortunate omission?
question is whether to donate or to withhold my donation along with a
letter to the Archbishop? Is the time right to raise this issue?
laypeople want women priests what has to happen to accomplish this
official change? What is delaying this sacred justice correction?
[Woman in a dilemma, Regina, SK]
am so deeply glad that there are women priests being called into
service, with some of you daring to actually make it happen.
Thank you for following your call.
[Cat Charissage, Lethbridge, AB]
Thank you for alerting me to the reflection for All Saints by Susan Roll. Another clear example of what we are missing by not having Catholic women priests.
[David Jackson, Edinburg, TX]
Thank you for keeping me on your mailing list.
[Tom Quinn, Danbury, CT]
Effort to curb toxic masculinity before it takes root
Sarah Treleaven, broadview.org | September 4, 2020
In a Nova Scotia classroom, educator Morris “Moe” Green invites a dozen
pubescent boys to draw their chairs into a circle. He helps them relax
with a silly icebreaker question — like “If you could speak an animal
language, what language would it be?” — and then gets down to business.
Green’s program is called Guys Work. Aimed at boys in grades 7 and 9 in
Nova Scotia, it covers topics such as sexual coercion, power dynamics
in intimate-partner relationships, pornography and gender-based
who are socialized to conform to 'traditional masculinity ideology' are
often negatively affected in terms of mental and physical health
Click here for 36-page APA GUIDELINES for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men
Commemorate WOC’s 45 Years of Prophetic Persistence
This November (27-30), the Women’s Ordination Conference will
commemorate 45 years of prophetic persistence with a virtual gala and
auction: “Breaking Bread at the Table of Justice: A Celebration of
Possibilities when rearranging world-weary words
Ellie Harty, womensordination.org | October 6, 2020
possibilities arise when we take on rearranging world-wearied words,
exhausted expressions, tiresome traditions, tedious tenets, parched
principles, prosaic practices to discover, or even create, something
utterly fresh, invigorating, maybe even electrifying!
fact, perhaps the one good thing that comes out of the Catholic
Church’s centuries old ban on any other than male words, expressions,
traditions, tenets, principles and practices is that we of those other
genders now have abundant pent-up creative energy waiting to burst
Instead of ableist words, use inclusive language at work and everywhere else
Monica Torres, huffingtonpost.co.uk | October 16, 2020
When you talk about something going poorly at work, how do you describe it? Think carefully.
If you say “insane,” “psycho,” “lame,” “moronic,” or “crazy,” that’s ableist.
may work with someone who has a disability or have one yourself, so it
behooves you to learn about the power everyday words hold and the pain
you can inflict by using inconsiderate language at work.
“The idea that God is male is by far the biggest religious travesty in human history”
Luis T. Gutiérrez, novenanews.com | September 2, 2020
Since the inception of human history, patriarchal ideology has driven
human behavior in ways that are very detrimental to human relations and
to the entire community of creation.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
J. A. Dick, anothervoice-greenleaf.org | Novemeber 12, 2020
Some brief (and non-political) thoughts this weekend about biblical translations.
the years I have done a lot of translation work and have learned that a
translator must try to understand the context, meaning, and nuance of
the original text and then pass that on in the new other-language
Read More of this 3-page article which has the following sub-headings:
- SAME WORDS DIFFERENT MEANINGS
- SEPTUAGINT – FROM HEBREW TO GREEK INTERPRETATION
- NEW TESTAMENT BROTHERS AND SISTERS
- CONTEMPORARY INCLUSIVE PRACTICE
- MOVING AWAY FROM PATRIARCHAL INTERPRETATIONS
- A FINAL OBSERVATION
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