“Inclusive Language” Update

by James Akin

Currently in the English-speaking Catholic world there is a controversy prompted by dissidents who wish to gender-revise biblical, liturgical, catechetical, and other Church texts in order to strip them of the inclusive usage of terms such as “man,” which in standard English can denote both men and women (e.g., “Man first came to the North American continent thousands of years ago…”). Ironically, this attempt to ideologically purge English of such inclusive usages wishes to depict itself as advocating “inclusive language,” though it is more accurately described as advocating “gender-revised language.”

Dissidents in the English-speaking Catholic Church have tried to foist gender-revised versions of key texts, including biblical ones, on the faithful in an attempt to re-indoctrinate them socially and politically. The purpose of this page is to keep advocates of standard English updated on the current situation regarding the gender-revision of ecclesial texts.

Last Updated: September 22, 1997

  • At their meeting earlier this Summer, the U.S. bishops voted on whether to accept for use in America a lectionary based on the Revised New American Bible (RNAB). This lectionary had been cleared through the Holy See’s norms regarding the use of standard English (see below).

    The vote was inconclusive, and absentee bishops are being polled by mail. If the measure does obtain a two-thirds majority, the non-gender-revised RNAB lectionary will be approved for use. If the measure fails to obtain a two-thirds majority, the current lectionary, based on the non-gender-revised New American Bible will remain the standard lectionary in America. Either way, advocates of gender revisionism lose.

    You can read more about it in an article by the (highly dissident) National Catholic Reporter.

  • The Holy See has issued strict norms mandating the use of standard English.
  • Advocates of gender-revised language claim that they are only responding to popular demand. A recent study shows this is false.

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