The entire Episcopal Church, not just one diocese, is now actively considering replacing all masculine pronouns referring to God such as “Father” and “Him” with gender-neutral terms.
According to Fox News, the Episcopal Church “formed a committee Wednesday to ‘provide a pathway’ toward revising the Book of Common Prayer to include gender-neutral language.”
Church leaders were alarmed by the “overwhelming use of masculine language” throughout the book and called for immediate revisions, saying it creates a kind of spiritual exclusion.
“As long as ‘men’ and ‘God’ are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete. I honestly think it won’t matter in some ways,” Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible and strong advocate for the edit, told The Washington Post.
The Episcopal News Service said that Church leaders felt the masculine pronouns created a “barrier to evangelizing young people.”
Kathleen Moore, a seminarian from the Diocese of Vermont, said that such masculine pronouns get in the way of faith.
“Let’s let God be God,” Moore told the religious news agency.
Throughout scripture, God continually refers to Himself as “Father” and presents Himself to humanity as masculine. Christ, who is also both man and God, called God the “Father” and ascended into heaven in a male body. For Catholics, the feminine aspects of the Church have always been represented in the Virgin Mary, whom they believe was crowned “Queen of Heaven,” and by the Church itself.
In 2017, the Church of Sweden also elected to call God only by gender-neutral pronouns.