London, Mar 1 : The Vatican has ruled out the use of 'feminist' baptism formulas, saying that God must always be recognised as Our Father.
In a move designed to counter the spread of gender-neutral phrases, the Holy See said that those baptised in the name "of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier" or "of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer" and who wished to convert to Catholicism, must be rebaptised.
"These variations arise from so-called feminist theology and are an attempt to avoid using the words Father and Son, which are held to be chauvinistic," the Telegraph quoted The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, as stating.
Instead, it said that the traditional form of "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" had to be respected.
The Pope, who wrote the ruling, has been a strong opponent of feminism in the Catholic Church.
In his book, The Ratzinger Report, he wrote: "I am, in fact, convinced that what feminism promotes in its radical form is no longer the Christianity that we know; it is another religion."
Rosemary Radford Ruether, a professor of feminist theology at the Graduate Theological Union in California, said that among "liberal" Catholics, the Pope "is not our Pope".
The Vatican said anyone baptised under the feminist terms could invalidate their marriage.