Question concerning the Nicene Creed

About 15 years ago, a priest told me that it was perfectly ok to say “For us and for our salvation” instead of “For us men and for our salvation” as well as “He became human” instead of “He became man”. In fact he suggested that these changes were much closer to an accurate translation from Latin.

I’ve stood next to priests and nuns at Mass and have heard some of them say the Creed this way as well.

Now I know that some folks on this board will hoot and holler and scream that these nuns and priests are hell bound heretics trying to drag me to hell… But I’ll ask the question anyway…

Is this a valid translation of the original Latin Creed?

Thank you for your thoughts.

God bless…

At a certain point that “politically correct” Creed crept into usage. Its not the right usage but some people who may have memorized it that way may have a difficult time changing. Maybe a gentle reminder about it.

Yes, those are perfectly valid translations of the Latin. The Latin phrases at issue are “Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem” (given as “For us men and for our salvation”), and “et homo factus est” (given as “and became man”). In both cases the word in question is homo (plural homines), which means “a human being, person, man” without any specific connotation of being male (this is why the Latin name for the human species is Homo sapiens). Of course, the English generic “men” does include women, just as in Spanish the male plurals (e.g., “amigos”) includes females, and not the reverse. The Latin word for a man-man is “vir,” from which we get English words like “virility.” Needless to say, of course, Jesus became not only homo but vir.

That’s the technical answer to your question. As to whether we are permitted to make little edits to everything on our own to satisfy our own predilections, and whether it’s a good idea, the answers are “no” and “not in my opinion.” For liturgical use, certainly, it is not at all correct – and more than a little pathetic – to engage in personal editing of this sort. We are not asked to write our own Mass texts to accord with our private opinions.

As Mark said, Homo may be translated as “Man” in a general sense, meaning “a group of Men and Women”, but this should not be used in a liturgical setting. There is only one version of the Nicene Creed that should be used. It will change in November, but even after that, there will still only be one version (the new version).

In short: Yes, it is a correct alternate translation of the latin, but it should not be used in the context of The Mass.

I hope this helps.

If I remember correctly the words “for you and for all men” were used in the English consecration in the 60’s and shortly afterwards the “men” was dropped as it was deemed too sexist. I can’t seem to find the timeline on this, however.

This is a wonderful explanation!:thumbsup:


Thank you VERY much. You’ve made it crystal clear.

God bless

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