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*Image: The Virgin of Mercy by Enguerrand Quarton, c. 1452 [Musée Condé, Chantilly, France]

By David Carlin, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 9, 2019

David Carlin

One of the great strengths of Catholicism is its delicate balance between the “feminine” and “masculine” elements of religion.

I’m aware that talking about masculine and feminine elements of religion is not the thing to do nowadays.  We are supposed to think of religion as genderless, just as God is genderless; that we are Catholic, not qua male or qua female, but qua human being.

Well, I think that’s baloney.  I grant that philosophers and theologians (Thomas Aquinas, for instance) hold that God, being an immaterial and hence bodiless being, is sex-less.  All the same, Christianity has always used anthropomorphic language when speaking about God: God as male, as Father.  Jesus himself spoke of God as Father.

Our number one prayer begins with the words “Our Father.”  It doesn’t begin with the words “Our gender-less Supreme Being.” And the second person of the divine Trinity is also spoken of as male, the Son.  What’s more, when the Son became incarnate in humanity, this God-human was a male human being, Jesus of Nazareth. ….