Catholic adolescents add an inclusive plus sign to the name of God


Central Europe


Photo Unsplash, Sharon McCutcheon

The Catholic Young Community (KJG) in Germany no longer speaks about God but about God+. They see this change as a measure against the prevailing male notion of God. The decision was made during the last federal conference in Altenberg.

God is more than a "male white Person", the KJG writes in a press release. According to the association, this image of God estranges young people. With the plus sign, the KJG wants to emphasise that God can be thought of in many ways. Yet, it also leaves room for people who see God in a traditional manner.

Julia Niedermayer, federal director of the KJG, says to Katholisch.de that she understands that people have to get used to the idea of adding a plus sign to God's Name. "Our concern is not that we can now only speak of diverse images of God. Everyone can continue to imagine God with a long bushy beard if he or she wants to. Rather, we want to point out that God is so much more."

Image of God influences image of man

The way one speaks about God shapes the way one thinks about man, the KJG argues in its press release. And because the organisation sees it as essential that people can develop themselves regardless of sexuality, religion, and background, it wants to be as inclusive as possible. An acceptance of many different views of God fits within that trend.

For now, the change in the use of God's Name only applies to written language. However, in the future, it might extend to spoken language as well, Niedermayer says. "Another way of pronunciation could be to add a short pause after the word to indicate the place where the additional symbol is", she tells Katholisch.de.

It is not the first time that the KJG has reconsidered the use of God's Name. Last October, the association started to use the spelling God*, Die Tagespost reports. The motivation then was the same as now: to remove the association of God as an "old, white and punishing Man."

Austrian transgender youngsters celebrate special day

To promote the inclusion and visibility of transgenders in the Catholic Church, the Catholic Youth (KJ) of Austria celebrated the "International Day for the Visibility of Trans* People" on March 31, Kath.net reports. "Even transgender people believe in God", the organisation writes on its Facebook page.

The organisation points out that transgenders are still confronted with "prejudice, ignorance and insecurity, also in the church." According to KJ, this would lead to "exclusion and stigmatisation." The message concludes: "It is time to recognise all people as part of the church. Hosi*anna!"

The "International Day for the Visibility of Trans* People" is an American phenomenon. It was first celebrated in 2009.



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