Tuesday, 11 December 2012

US Catholic Bishops: Aiming for a fellowship of straight men?

USA Today reported that the US Catholic bishops decided to create:
A new directory for music and liturgy, which calls for establishing a core group of "doctrinally correct" hymns. It requires a bishop to sign off on all new songs in his diocese andrules out using feminine pronouns or imagery for God or other incorrect theology.

This puzzles me. Doesn't the bible use female imagery for God, even though it is not the predominant view? This seems unbiblical, and un-Christlike.

Interestingly, I found the following from the New Zealand Catholic Church from 1997:
Hymns are a form of poetry, and some poetic license can be used in order to avoid non-inclusive language. However, this must be done in ways that respect doctrinal integrity, our Catholic heritage, the music and poetry of hymns, and, where appropriate, copyright. Given the need to respect all these,there should be some room for tolerance of language which was originally intended to be inclusive even if it isn't today. Generally, however, music which has regard for gender-inclusiveness should be preferred.

I wonder what is going on in the American Catholic Church. It seems as if they don't really want people to come, or they only want certain types of people (i.e. straight males only). Take for example, the bishops' recent decision on homosexuality. From the New York Times:
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops adopted new guidelines for gay outreach Tuesday that are meant to be welcoming, while also telling gays to be celibate since the church considers their sexuality ''disordered.''

Gay Catholic activists said the approach was so contorted and flawed that it would alienate the very people it was trying to reach.
Sadly, perhaps that's part of their plan.

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