While speaking at St Martin-in-the-Fields church, in London, on Wednesday, November 21, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, was asked by an attendee about God as a father. Welby responded that God is “not male or female,” reported The Times.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who previously said that boys wearing dresses to school wasn’t “a problem” went on to elaborate what he meant, explaining that “all human language about God is inadequate and to some degree metaphorical”.
He continued: “God is not a father in exactly the same way as a human being is a father.
“God is not male or female. God is not definable.
“It is extraordinarily important as Christians that we remember that the definitive revelation of who God is was not in words, but in the word of God whom we call Jesus Christ. We can’t pin God down.”
Both Catholic and Protestant Churches have already said that God is gender-neutral and the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that God can be seen as a father or a mother but never as literally being either.
“He also transcends human fatherhood and motherhood, although he is their origin and standard: no-one is a father as God is.”
“God’s parental tenderness can also be expressed by the image of motherhood,” it reads, before warning that “human parents are fallible and can disfigure the face of fatherhood and motherhood.
“We ought, therefore, to recall that God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God.”
This follows on the heels of the Church of Sweden urging their priests and religious leaders to refer to “God and the Holy Trinity” in their sermons rather than the more popular “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” and to drop references to “Lord” as it is a male identifier.
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