Monday, April 2, 2007


Revealed to us by a Jesuit

I got this e-mail a few days ago from Catholic Culture, and had been meaning to blog on it once I had the time. Lately I've been busier than a one-legged monkey in a butt-kicking contest. Now that I got the latest podcast up and running (with a little help from my wife's computer and my Olympus DS30), and finishing off my son's birthday yesterday, I managed to get a little time on my hands.

Most of the mailings I get from Catholic Culture ask for donations (this one does at the bottom of the post), but periodically they send me some really sensible stuff too. In this mailing they mention their dislike for inclusive language as well and speak thus:
When it comes to Scripture, we don't like inclusive language either. Apart from mere clunkiness, the full meaning of a text in Scripture is often obscured by substituting generic forms for masculine or feminine nouns and pronouns. This is very obvious, for example, in Old Testament texts with multiple layers of meaning, one of which might be to foreshadow Christ Himself. It's hard to foreshadow Christ with "people" or "them".
Ultimately, if language doesn't express the truth, it is useless. Any time we choose our words to favor social acceptance over truth, we erode the fundamental responsibility we have as human persons.

Not to mention in a good share of hymnody as well, Christ or God in masculine pronouns being replaced with using the same proper noun multiple times in one verse, resulting in very poor grammar, or re-writing a line of text, resulting often in changing the entire meaning of the text (sometimes creating an exact opposite).

Catholic Culture also gives us this article by Fr. Paul Mankowski, SJ, which speaks of the failures of inclusive language, citing claims given by proponents of inclusive language, as well as Fr. Mankowski's well-thought-through counter-claims. He even uses a couple of "stick figure" no-littering signs to prove how the meaning of something can change with just one word. He also compares translations of select Bible passages. Doesn't it seem funny that we use RNAB in the US, other English speaking countries use NRSV, both which use inclusive language, for the Lectionary, but the RSV (i.e., New Ignatius Bible, RSV Second Catholic Edition), which conforms to the wishes of Liturgiam Authenticam, isn't used for the Lectionary at all?

Now Fr. Mankowski is one Jesuit knows where it's at!

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