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proper, although most seem to prefer simply being called This includes titles! The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. Secular/Diocesan priests were still being called “Mr” in the 18th century, as letters by Bp. Male clergy continued to be addressed as “Father” in too many places. What do we call the clergy – male or female (or transgender, even)?  I suggest that in most situations we can just use our names, pure and simple: Flora, Tom, Lynn, Bob.  I don’t know what would better embody the Christian community and ministry of all the baptized that we preach.  In those contexts where a title might be called for, I would recommend “Priest,” with thanks to Priest Brian McHugh who suggested this to me more than 20 years ago.  As Brian pointed out, it is the practice in the Episcopal Church to address a bishop as Bishop Mary or Bishop Jones and to address deacons as Deacon Jim or Deacon Miller, so why not address a priest as Priest?  The title “Priest” communicates recognition of the order, but does not import hierarchy or gender.  It may be awkward at first to use a word as a title that has not functioned as such before, but, as with most changes, the awkwardness will soon dissipate as we adopt the practice.  There are other titles that some women and others are using such as “Pastor” or “Parson” or “Reverend.”  These are gender neutral though they still suggest a relationship in which laity are dependent on or less holy than clergy.  And there are always those who argue that “Reverend” is not proper English if not preceded by “the”. . ordain women, through … It is how I relate to the priest. This is why it is essential for priests to be Marian or they run the risk of falling into disordered bachelorhood or ending up detached from the needs of the women in their care. In the convention debate I was saddened at so many male priests associatingthe word “Father” with their very identity as priest, in spite of the impact on their sister priests. Yet, at the same time, we did not change our habits. There are female Abbesses and they are sometimes referred to as mother. I respect that. Some senior priests have other titles. Women clergy have had to adapt to this norm, either by adopting “Mother” as our title or coming up with something else, but there is not anything equivalent. The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. All Rights Reserved. And as he gets up to 200, she peeled off all her clothes. There is certainly a lot of precedent, and a great deal of spiritual fatherhood references in scripture to support the practice of calling priests and bishops father. I do not consider ” mother” subordinate or derivative. The Role of a Priest. “[T]he so-called ‘presbyteresses’ or ‘presidentesses’ are not to be ordained in the Church” (Canon 11 [A.D. 360]). In parishes I have served we have consistently encouraged the use of Rev. Who is the longest reigning WWE Champion of all time? Paul J. Carling, PhD, Episcopal Chaplain. When we are talking about priests here, we are talking about the ministerial priesthood, not the priesthood of believers. But the women priests behind the idea argued that using ‘He’ suggests men are closer to God and called … On the upside, there really is pretty much no wrong answer. Many family members celebrated the occasion with him at my house. – male priests are still often called “Father.”  As a result, the church has not developed forms of address that work for both male and female priests. The term "Mother Church" can still exist just fine even if there were female priests who were also called Mothers. When did organ music become associated with baseball? The issue has become especially problematic in the Episcopal Church, where more than 800 women have been ordained since 1976 into a priesthood whose ranks include many called "Father." Hardly. Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. Jane believing that linguistic / grammatical flexibility is far more preferable to injustice. he asked. Dr. Flora A. Keshgegian is a retired priest, seminary professor and university chaplain. Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted. John and Rev. I liked the question, and was trying to search some information! No. 43 views. "Only a baptized man ( vir) validly receives sacred ordination. For male priests, I generally say Father and their first name, unless I know they have strong objections to it. If all else fails, anyone for Amma? In Orthodox Christianity the are no female Priests. John Carroll illustrate. . They are not called priestesses since that term is used for pagan priestesses, and in the English language the female version of certain have negative connotations of inferiority to the male version. Priests—like husbands and fathers—need women to grow in their spiritual fatherhood. I applaud this articulate posting, even as I find the proposal to use Priest conceptually brilliant, and consistent with the other orders, but impractical. Rev. Before I was ordained, before women could be ordained, and even after, what drew so many of us to ministry was the vision of a transformed church: a church that was less hierarchical and more egalitarian, that not only respected the laity, but empowered them.  We prayed that, as women, we could help make those changes happen. The kiss is one of respect for an elder or wise person. [GASP!] . Send the hierarchy to Rome. In a 1950’s book on Catholic Etiquette that I have it has both diocesan and religious priests called father in direct address, but on a letter the form was just “Reverend Surname” the latter “Reverend Father Religious Name” I tend to think that the advent of the ordination of women had something to do with it, since use of the term "Mother" never really caught on. Just as I immediately think Father with a man, I think Mother with a woman. All priests are entitled to be styled The Reverend and many male priests are called Father. In many contemporary Episcopal parishes, a priest will be called Father or Mother, but this is a relatively recent development.I will briefly explore the options that are commonly heard today: Father/Mother, Reverend, and Pastor.I commend the use of Pastor to my fellow Episcopalians as the most reflective … A male or female becomes a High Priest/ess once they attain the second or third degree, depending upon which tradition of Wicca they belong to. I can remember in elementary school all the priests went by their last names, but now they seem to want to be called by their first. There was never an accepted order of female priests. There is as yet no widely used alternative title to “Father” for female priests. Before that it was common practice to address a priest as ‘Mister’, but it would not be true to say that addressing a priest as ‘Father’ was a nineteenth-century invention. The Diocese of CT passed a resolution 2 years ago, which I was proud to author, noting the patriarchal, sexist and clericalist roots of “Father” and “Mother” titles and encouraging parishes to engage in conversation about their continued use. Jesus said; “call no man father on earth, for you have one Father, the one in heaven” (Matthew 23:9).  Yet, in the Episcopal Church, which has ordained women as priests for more than 40 years – 40 years! In an unlawful and basphemous ceremony . 1. According to Wikipedia: The term "priestess" is often used for female priests in historical and modern paganism, neopagan religions such as Wicca and various reconstructionist faiths; however, in Christian churches such as those of the Anglican Communion, female Priests are simply called Priests without regard for gender. those who have them, like Episcopalians, "Mother" is perfectly The cool thing about Anglicanism is that we like to conflate rather than exclude things from the Christian past. I am Episcopalian with a female priest. Here’s a little history just for context. An Abbess is greeted almost like a Priest (we kiss their hand). I don't think the Catholic World would stop turning if they had to share the term. Granted, I am in a setting where “Chaplain” covers everyone, lay or ordained, administrator, staff, or student. You certainly don’t call her Father. There are, of course, no female priests in Catholicism, but those who have them, like Episcopalians, "Mother" is perfectly proper, although most seem to prefer simply being called "Reverend." She was thrilled at the speed. Rather, he suggested we let them make up their own minds, because it would tell us a great deal about that person.  Many of us hoped to move toward models of mutual ministry and more egalitarian practices. However, I have found it interesting over the years to realize that it means about another person who is led by his or her own feelings to make the choice. Afterall, God is called Father and so are priests. There are, of course, no female priests in Catholicism, but I, who have been a priest for more than forty years, have been in so many settings over those years, and still today, where the male clergy are addressed as “Father Tom” or “Father Smith” and I am addressed as “Flora”.  In truth, I prefer Flora, but just as much, I would want the men to be called Tom or Bob.  What is communicated when male priests are addressed as Father and female priests are called by their first names? Like I said, a male priest can be Father, and a female priest can be Mother. Epiphanius of Salamis “Certain women there in Arabia [the Collyridians] . Both the Coptic and Greek patriarchs of Alexandria are still called "Pope and Patriarch of the God-protected City of Alexandria." Anglican priests were called Father once upon a time, but not as often as Roman Catholics. Posted by Chorister (# 473) on : Our vicar has a wicked sense of humour - when our female trainee priest was ordained, he introduced her to us during the party afterwards to welcome her, as 'Father Julie' - we all laughed but she tends to get called Reverend Julie or just Julie. Sr_Sally October 1, 2007, 12:18am #4 Now with Women priests it is logical, and makes sense to say Mother. I don’t feel “mother” should be limited to monastic use. They are called by their name informally, or more formally, the vicar, or in writing addressed as Reverend. Bard 1st degree (after candidacy/initiation) title used by the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids that is primarily centered … The feminine of Priest is Priestess. Rather than throwing out previous titles or names for pastors, we keep all of them in play.  That practice was rarely challenged. The late Urban T. Holmes, Dean of the School of Theology of the University of the South, suggested that we not instruct folks in what to call us. The lack of change signals that male clergy have clung to their privilege. To have privilege means the world as it is works for you.  You have place and acceptance and access.  So why change?  Few did.  As a result, 40 years later, we have not changed enough – either in terms of full inclusion of women clergy or in terms of empowerment of the laity.  As long as the title of “Father” is used, women will be second class and laity will be viewed as children.  “Mother” is problematic because the framing of mother, whether as a title for nuns in religious life or for a female parent, is still in a context of women as subordinate to men.  After all, “Father knows best”.  “Father” is the head of the household.  “Father” is the one in power.  “Mother’s” power is derivative. Priests called "father" are only found in Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox churches. “Father” and “mother” place our clergy in a patriarchal/matriarchal relationship to the laity that is wrong for the 21st century Episcopal Church. Jesus said; “call no man father on earth, for you have one Father, the one in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? "If I do 200mph, will you take off your clothes?" “Abbot” is just “abba” is just “father”. Yet, in the Episcopal Church, which has ordained women as priests for more than 40 years – 40 years! I know some priests feel uncomfortable, Male and female, with the terms and I know priests who tell people to call them Reverend. On the downside, this can be confusing because people aren’t sure how to address me. Among the group supporting prohibited priestesses was Father Tony Flannery, a male Irish priest who was ... Catholic priests under an organization called the ... female priest … If you are referring to Catholicism, Catholics refer to Priests as Father, but since there are no Priestesses in Catholicism, there is no equivalent to Father. What do you call a female Episcopal priest? Original English useage seemed to restrict “Father” to monastic priests. By Drew Nathaniel Keane. Author has 305 answers and 600.1K answer views. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators. I need the archetypal divine feminine modeled precisely as a counter-balance to centuries of the divine masculine. "Yes!" So to call a priest "Father" is to use a metaphor that seems in odd tension with church teaching about celibacy. said his adventurous girlfriend. Why are priests called "father?" – male priests are still often called “Father.”. The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ. I'm sure many of … ... which began ordaining women as priests 40 years ago, female priests … It amazed me to see the Episcopal blogosphere filled with micking rather than thoughtful responses. The answer is simple. Well, first we call them "priests," not "ministers." Or just follow tradition, and live into the glory that is low church Virginia. Being neutural (or worse neutered) completely deprives me one of the unique highly emotive archetypes a woman priest has to offer me. T he question of what to call the minister can be confusing. Two Episcopal priests, Julia M. Gatta and Eleanor McLaughlin, argue in an article by that title (Episcopal … How do we change?  Change has to begin with male clergy eschewing the title “Father.”  Only then will the practice change enough to make a difference.  Bishops can take the lead by not addressing or referring to male priests as “Father” in meetings and other settings.  Male priests can actively promote change to more inclusive forms of address. This is a myth put forth by those who would like to undermine the Magisterium, and who would like to bring about what they call the French Revolution to Catholicism where the common people take the authority from the Magisterium, much like the Reformation of the 1500s, the fruit of which is 33,500 different denominations. ’ was used to refer to priests in religious orders for a long time before that, the question and., first we call a priest ( we kiss their hand ) entitled be. 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