Why was the term Holy Ghost replaced by Holy Spirit?

By March 27, 2015 One Comment

Full Question

Why was the term Holy Ghost replaced by Holy Spirit? Have all rites observed this change or just the Latin rite?


The term has nothing to do with rites. It was replaced only in the English language. Due to its unique history, English is a language that has multiple synonyms for almost everything. In this case, we had the words ghost (derived from German) and spirit (derived from Latin). In recent years, the latter has become the more common term even though originally they were synonyms. Thus, in the last few decades Catholic English translators have preferred spirit to ghost, whether referring to the Holy Spirit or other spirits.

One Comment

  • jose says:

    perhaps “The Holy Spirit of Family Love ” would be a more beautiful word among prayers…wherein “spirit” is “the essence of character” – could encourage people to be “holy” (to be “pure” and of “innocence”), to be a “family” (to accept one another as family members of the same family group), and “love” (to nurture the human needs of people for welfare and spiritual needs to be more caring)…thus, “The Holy Spirit of Family Love” could rather bring love, justice, unity, and peace among all people to unite as one family of humanity as God’s Holy Family on earth…God bless all families…

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