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Centurio Epistula – Inclusive Language

A little over twenty years ago Father Paul Tarazi wrote "An Orthodox Christian Response to the Inclusive Language Lectionary " at this link at the Orthodox Research Institute.

In the Order of Centurions we use the ancient liturgies to model our Chapel Eucharist and Daily Devotional and they are as they were written [translated], with the male gender used in referring to all of mankind, and always for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Father Tarazi warned readers then how the new inclusive language could affect the Church. He disapproved strongly of rewriting the Scripture to accommodate the feminist political and social movement. In his paper, he also spoke of the debates at that time concerning homosexuality. Today most national churches of the Anglican Communion and all of Orthodoxy and Catholicism are out of sorts with the Episcopal Church of the United States over the ordination of a homosexual bishop, and the blessing of same-sex unions. The ECUSA adopted the inclusive-language NRSV about 20 years ago. I attended several services where an ECUSA priest or priestess would use inclusive language in the liturgies and sermons. One must wonder if the feminization, or neutering, of liturgies, the Scripture, and the proclamation from the pulpit affected Christians. Has it led to some sort of blurring of the understanding of sexuality in God’s creation and our understanding of God? Father Tarazi’s paper appears prophetic today, and I commend it to you.

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