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Council of Nicæa? What Council of Nicæa?

(Of no interest unless you are interested in Christianity)

This is the start of one of the five versions of the Creed supplied in our local parish missal:

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.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
saare_snowqueen
Sep. 10th, 2006 11:13 am (UTC)
I go with - does it really matter - we are praying to the same God.
dougs
Sep. 10th, 2006 12:59 pm (UTC)
I believe in God, who loves me, and who hopes and trusts that I will respond to that love.
captainlucy
Sep. 10th, 2006 01:41 pm (UTC)
Can't find my copy of "The Last Battle" at the mo, but Aslan's quote to the young Calormen springs to mind, "that which you did unto Tash with good and honest heart, you did unto me" (heavily paraphrased, but that's the gist of it anyway).
sammywol
Sep. 10th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
Wasn't it the Council of Nicaea that chucked the Gospel of Nicdemus out of the Bible? Hmmm - must go and Google/Wikipedia that and stop relying on my undergrad' medieval mystery play notes. Not that it stopped large chunks of the gospel being fondly adhered to by the medieval Church in any case (the Harrowing of Hell was too good to lose I guess).

Have you ever played the card game Credo? It attempts to replicate the politicking around the generation of the Nicene Creed and while the game is (as usual with Chaosium) overlong, the background research is excellent and so the cards make entertaining reading.
sammymorse
Sep. 10th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
Remembering your local church, it doesn't surprise me. It struck me as being rather Roman Methodist, and I'll never forget singing 'twee and twee gang samen' to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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