(Of no interest unless you are interested in Christianity)
I believe in the origin
of all life,
in a God who is Father-Mother.
The basis and meaning of my existence,
hope and prospect each day.
It is a pretty loose reformulation, to put it mildly, of the original opening of the Nicene Creed: Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεόν, Πατέρα, Παντοκράτορα, ποιητὴν οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς, ὁρατῶν τε πάντων καὶ ἀοράτων / Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem cæli et terræ, visibílium omnium et invisibílium.
Coming as I do from a rather conservative Catholic culture, I was stunned that our local church (presumably at the instruction of the Belgian hierarchy) recognises God as both Father and Mother in this way.
Of course this is a Good Thing, and it is entirely right to look behind the particular words agreed as the result of a political debate almost seventeen centuries ago to try and reformulate the essential message in language that is more relevant today. (We can debate whether or not they have actually succeeded – the punctuation and grammar are also rather loosely consructed, and the Belgian formula is much less specific than the Greek; but that’s a different matter.)
There’s still a bit of me that wonders, though, if the Belgian Catholics are praying with a different Creed to the Irish Catholics (and indeed the other Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox and other Christians who use the Nicene Creed), are they still in the same church? (And then another bit of me responds, does that really matter so much?)
The picture is of our local church, taken by Carolien.