Catholics in row over catechism

First Edition

DISTINGUISHED British Roman Catholic theologians have been denounced as 'heretical . . . blackguards' by an American priest in a bitter dispute over feminist language in the Catholic Church's new catechism.

The publication of the catechism in English has been delayed for more than a year after anti-feminist American Catholics complained about its use of 'inclusive'language - including female pronouns to describe mankind.

The 700-page original, the first catechism for the Roman Catholic church in 400 years, has been available in French for nearly 18 months.

An English version which had been approved by the bishops of both England and the United States was ready for the printers last February. But it was stopped by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office which used to be known as the Inquisition.

The text was then sent to Hobart in Tasmania, where Archbishop Eric D'Arcy has been purging it of 'feminist'language.

Now a British commentary on the catechism has been vehemently denounced by the right-wing group which forced the rewriting of the original document.

Mgr Michael Wrenn, one of the leaders of the campaign against inclusive language, told the right-wing Catholic news magazine Catholic World Report that A Commentary on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is edited by Michael Walsh, the librarian of Heythrop College, London, was 'on crucial points, nothing short of heretical'.

'There are a few decent essays . . . but one's overwhelming reaction is to ask how those few sensible people with the remainder of the blackguards involved,' Mgr Wrenn said. 'The commentary is an attempt by theological dissenters to undermine the teachings of the Catholic church. If it reaches a wide public audience . . . that will be both a tragedy and a scandal.'

The commentary has not been published yet, though it will be published in this country by Geoffrey Chapman, which publishes religious and theological literature and which is also publishing the catechism.

All but one of its 24 contributors are professors at Catholic universities. The editor, Michael Walsh, said yesterday that one essay might have to be rewritten if the catechism had been purged of inclusive language. But he described the attacks on the book as 'completely absurd'.

The catechism was originally published in French, which ises "l'homme" for "man" "mankind" and so on. The campaigners have insisting that no other terms such as "the human race" or "us" should be used in the translation.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester - Computer Futures

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures (an SThree br...

SEN Learning Support Assistant

£60 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Youth Support Workers Glouceste...

IT Technician - 1st Line

£19000 - £21000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPOR...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London