52 Movies: Week 26 - Shotgun Stories
The Blasters: Samson and Delilah

Is the Church female?

I'm writing something of an apologetics nature that has me producing sentences like "The Church has always stuck to [its|her] story." I kind of like using "her" instead of "its." I like the old tradition of using feminine pronouns to refer to the Church, and I have some idea of why that's theologically appropriate. But I'm wondering what the current status of this usage is. Is it now bad manners, like referring to grown women as "girls"? (I guess that can still be permitted in certain contexts and with certain intentions, but I recently heard someone do it in an old-fashioned patronizing way that made even politically-incorrect me cringe.) I don't want to be servile to contemporary fashions, especially as they're generally based on non-Christian attitudes. But I don't want to be needlessly annoying, or just antique in manner, either. What think ye?


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With the preponderance of male pronouns in the anthropomorphising of God I suppose it is nice for the Church to be female.

Makes me think of a small Richard Rohr book I read many years ago where he wrote about this subject. I think he was looking more at the eucharist part of the liturgy though, with priest and others setting a table, then clearing it. Traditional wife roles.

Of course! Holy Mother Church. The Bride of Christ.


I'm reading Pope Benedict's 2010 conversation with Peter Seewald, Light of the World, and Benedict uses "she" throughout when speaking of the Church.

And here's Pope Francis last year:

“The Church is our mother. She is our ‘Holy Mother Church’ that is generated through our baptism, makes us grow up in her community and has that motherly attitude, of meekness and goodness: Our Mother Mary and our Mother Church know how to caress their children and show tenderness. To think of the Church without that motherly feeling is to think of a rigid association, an association without human warmth, an orphan.”

Those phrases aren't just fanciful concepts, they are ontological statements.


Ok, she/her it is.

Like I said I know those theological/devotional aspects. So really matters of journalistic/academic usage shouldn't matter.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

The law of praying is the law of belief.

"Ite, missa est."

"Go [pl.], she has been sent."

Eucharistic Prayer #1
"In primis, quae tibi offerimus pro Ecclesia tua sancta catholica: quam pacificare, custodire, adunare et regere digneris toto orbe terrarum."

"These we offer to you first for your holy Catholic Church. In your goodness grant her peace; guard, unite and govern her throughout the whole world."

Never knew that about the dismissal. Thanks.

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