God, Godself, and God

God, Godself, and God

Want to know the general state of leadership of religious orders in the US? Here’s an indicator.

The Conference of Major Superiors of Men has a new executive director: Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv. What do we know of Fr. Lininger? In an October 2004 article from The Evangelist, the newspaper of the diocese of Albany, on the topic of sin, we see this tidbit from the good friar:

The Church has always held onto [the idea] that God does not separate Godself from us.

“Godself”? What a tortured twisting of pronouns you have to go through in order to avoid the politically incorrect usage of the masculine reference to the Lord.

The rest of his “dialogue on sin” isn’t much better. We get the typical post-Vatican II stuff that says that enumerating sins is immature and old hat (we just weren’t mature until 1962, don’cha know?), and so now we engage in self-evaluation. I’m OK, you’re OK.

Bottom line: If smeone I didn’t know used the word “Godself” to avoid saying “Himself” or some similar construction, everything they said after that point would immediately be suspect and go down a peg in my estimation, no matter how orthodox is sounded on the surface. It’s just too bizarre.

Source: Catholic World News

  • Don’t be too quick.

    I came across this the first time recently in one of Cardinal Ratzinger’s works.

    I suppose it is possible it was a translation thing, I don’t know if he originally wrote or spoke it in English or it was translated, and I further don’t know if it might reflect accurately German. I remember the context being some other theologian’s work(Bultmann or Barth), and I took the terminology to be a cue taken from that, but I don’t really know.

    So, we should be charitable on the use of Godself – but, I happen to agree on the overall issue with so-called inclusive language, which, in fact, is merely exclusive to the masculine. (Have you heard of anybody clammoring to change the references to the personification of wisdom as a feminine? Obviously not.)

    In fact, my cry about this echoes a previous one: Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the open squares she raises her voice…“How long, you simple ones, will you love inanity?”

  • This reminds me of something I, as a woman, find really insulting, in the Credo…when people, including too many celebrants, drop the word “men” as in:

    “For us and for our salvation” instead of “For us men and for our salvation”.

    It’s goofy on two points.

    One, it’s an insult to my intelligence to infer that I don’t understand that in this context the word “men” refers to all human beings. I mean, come on, I’m not stupid.

    Two, it’s inaccurate. (Of course much of the Credo’s English translation is inaccurate but that’s another issue.) “For us,” omitting the word “men” implies that Jesus came down from Heaven to save just the folks who happen to be reciting the Creed.

    “Godself” is pretty tortured. People just don’t talk that way. I can imagine someone saying, say about me, (not that I’m comparing myself to God, sheesh):

    “Kelly keeps herself pretty busy.”

    I can’t, on the other hand, quite fathom:

    “Kelly keeps Kellyself pretty busy.”



  • “If you look back in the early Church, you don’t see anything [like the Sacrament of Reconciliation] for the first 150 years” and “The roots of what we today call Confession…really come from Irish monks in the sixth century and on.” says Sullivan who is evidently a Lutheran of some sort.

    And Kelly I agree – what a silly thing to change little words in the Creed. I wonder why these guys do not just just go ahead and say e.g.  “He will come again in glory to welcome the living and the dead…”.