Why was the term Holy Ghost replaced by Holy Spirit?


Full Question

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

Answer

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.


Catholic Answers Staff