Thursday, May 8, 2008

Silly Rabbi, Trix are for Catholics

I hate to make you have to watch all of THIS LITURGY. At 6 minutes or so, it's a lot to actually sit through, and well, very aggravating. Not to mention I'm violating a personal belief that the Real Presence should not be filmed. Or am I? There's nothing particularly sacrilegious, but validity can be questioned. Well, the dancing is also funny in a very disturbing way, so it's worth it if nothing else than to help you realize your parish isn't the worst out there.

For those of you who choose to not watch it, following a particularly gender-neutered homily by the black woman, the 'priest' ended the 'Mass' with his own version of the sign of the cross: 'In the name of the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier'.

The funny thing is, those words are among the very few in English that are gender specific-they are particularly masculine loanwords. In fact, one could argue they are more masculine than 'father' or 'son'- words that are not themselves gender specific, but signify and emphasize masculinity by their meaning and intrinsic gender.

Words often have a grammatical gender that is not tied to their significant gender. This is easy to see in other languages, where masculine objects are signified by feminine or neutral words and vice versa. (such as in Gaelic, where cailĂ­n 'girl' is grammatically masculine, yet obviously feminine in significance). Even in English, which is almost completely neutral, we use grammatically gendered words such as actor/actress. Catholic English takes this to the next level, with words such as Co-Redemptrix, which is only used in the Catholic sense.

The point is that in English, when a word has grammatical gender, it is significant to the the actual gender of the object signified, and is usually used for the effect of emphasis. When speaking of Nicole Kidman, if we say 'actress' rather than 'actor', we are choosing to emphasize the femininity of the person, rather than merely the occupation of the person, when we could have just said 'actor'.

So, back to the priest changing the Sign of the Cross: the idiot intended to undermine the actual gender of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and ended up reinforcing and emphasizing their masculinity through the use of particularly masculine grammar.

This is what happens when priests and lame-men try to play -trix on the language of the Church-- they end up making sacerdolts of themselves.

1 comment:

"Father Barry" said...

Yeah, I definitely prefer this title. What's Ray got to say on the matter?