Catholic schoolgirls being taught god is gender-neutral while words like 'lord', 'father', and 'son' are banned from prayers
Some Catholic schools are teaching their female pupils that God is gender-neutral and are also banning them from using words such as 'lord', 'father', and 'son' while praying. Many elite Catholic schools in Brisbane are attempting to teach their students to use inclusive language when they refer to God.
Schools including All Hallows, Loreto College and Stuartholme School are leading the movement towards promoting the idea of a female interpretation of the Christian Bible. Stuartholme School which charges more than $40,000 a year and is located in Brisbane's inner city is encouraging its students to use the word 'Godself' instead of 'himself'.
According to the Sunday Mail, a spokeswoman said, "As we believe God is neither male or female, Stuartholme tries to use gender-neutral terms in prayers … so that our community deepens their understanding of who God is for them, how God reveals Godself through creation, our relationships with others and the person of Jesus."
The Loreto College which is in Coorparoo has taken away the word 'Lord' from their prayers as it is a 'male term'. The principal of the school Kim Wickham said that prayers written for use within the college did not assign God any gender. She also said that the school was committed towards inclusive language but did admit that there were places where gendered language was appropriate. St. Rita's College Clayfield uses gender-neutral terms except for in traditional prayers where they use gendered language.
The assistant principal Richard Rogusz shared that context is always important and also helps to decide what language is appropriate and when. The Catholic Office for the Participation of Women director Andrea Dean shared that she was absolutely "thrilled" and it was "terrific" that schools were moving towards more inclusive language. Brisbane's top Catholic boys school St. Joseph's College replaced the term 'brothers' with "sisters and brothers" and "brotherhood".
A spokesman shared, "This has been an area of growth for us in recent times. We have made changes to a number of prayers to be more gender-inclusive." The Queensland Catholic Education Commission does not provide any guidelines for what sort of language is appropriate but the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference did suggest that schools use gender-neutral terms when it is appropriate.
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