Star of Comedy Central and the Jesuit order, Fr James Martin, has tweeted about the Holy Spirit.


The tweet is part of a campaign he has been waging for some time in favour of women’s ordination. It will be as well to point out the absurdity of the above.

The gender of nouns in Indo-European languages does not necessarily – indeed  rarely – refers  to sex. Tables are not intrinsically female, and doors (unlike human beings) can variously be masculine, feminine and neuter, depending on the noun used. Similes, moreover, are not gender specific: a Jewish athlete who runs ‘like the wind’ is not necessarily female because of the gender of ‘ruah’ in Hebrew. It is the same with persons of the Blessed Trinity.

All language about God, moreover, is necessarily analogical. This does not mean, however, that all analogies are of equal value or status. The governing analogies for the Christian God are relational: of a Father (in relation to a Son) and a Bridegroom (in relation to a Bride).

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