The kiss is one of respect for an elder or wise person. The Role of a Priest. Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? The feminine of Priest is Priestess. No. In parishes I have served we have consistently encouraged the use of Rev. Two Episcopal priests, Julia M. Gatta and Eleanor McLaughlin, argue in an article by that title (Episcopal … Anglican priests were called Father once upon a time, but not as often as Roman Catholics. First names are fine for us, even for bishops. I need the archetypal divine feminine modeled precisely as a counter-balance to centuries of the divine masculine. Dr. Flora A. Keshgegian is a retired priest, seminary professor and university chaplain. Yet, in the Episcopal Church, which has ordained women as priests for more than 40 years – 40 years! Regular priests being called Father is pretty new in english. 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. Just as I immediately think Father with a man, I think Mother with a woman. Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Yet, at the same time, we did not change our habits. Granted, I am in a setting where “Chaplain” covers everyone, lay or ordained, administrator, staff, or student. . There was never an accepted order of female priests. 43 views. For male priests, I generally say Father and their first name, unless I know they have strong objections to it. The term "Mother Church" can still exist just fine even if there were female priests who were also called Mothers. – 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. 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. I don’t feel “mother” should be limited to monastic use. 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 … The lack of change signals that male clergy have clung to their privilege. Rather than throwing out previous titles or names for pastors, we keep all of them in play. How many candles are on a Hanukkah menorah? Male clergy continued to be addressed as “Father” in too many places. She was thrilled at the speed. Being neutural (or worse neutered) completely deprives me one of the unique highly emotive archetypes a woman priest has to offer me. Reverend or parson would have been more common, with Father for religious priests. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators. 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. Some senior priests have other titles. I respect that. I do not consider ” mother” subordinate or derivative. 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. 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. John and Rev. . A gay man …. Hardly. In Orthodox Christianity the are no female Priests. – male priests are still often called “Father.”. The Rev. I don't think the Catholic World would stop turning if they had to share the term. Recently my dad celebrated a “milestone” birthday – one when the person is over 70 and their age is divisible by five. If all else fails, anyone for Amma? On the upside, there really is pretty much no wrong answer. 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! "Yes!" Many family members celebrated the occasion with him at my house. said his adventurous girlfriend. "Reverend.". No. 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”. Priests—like husbands and fathers—need women to grow in their spiritual fatherhood. What do you call a female Episcopal priest? All priests are entitled to be styled The Reverend and many male priests are called Father. It amazed me to see the Episcopal blogosphere filled with micking rather than thoughtful responses. Jesus said; “call no man father on earth, for you have one Father, the one in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). Many member churches ordain women to the priesthood. I'm sure many of … Who is the longest reigning WWE Champion of all time? Priests called "father" are only found in Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox churches. 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. Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. 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. 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. proper, although most seem to prefer simply being called  That practice was rarely challenged. Both the Coptic and Greek patriarchs of Alexandria are still called "Pope and Patriarch of the God-protected City of Alexandria." What do you call a woman priest? “Father” and “mother” place our clergy in a patriarchal/matriarchal relationship to the laity that is wrong for the 21st century Episcopal Church. “Abbot” is just “abba” is just “father”. [GASP!] he asked. I applaud this articulate posting, even as I find the proposal to use Priest conceptually brilliant, and consistent with the other orders, but impractical. Of these, only Anglicans have woman priests. On the downside, this can be confusing because people aren’t sure how to address me. 1. Rather, he suggested we let them make up their own minds, because it would tell us a great deal about that person. Why are priests called "father?" In Brazil, the priests in the Umbanda, Candomblé and Quimbanda religions are called pai-de-santo (literally "Father of saint" in English), or "babalorixá" (a word borrowed from Yoruba bàbálórìsà, meaning Father of the Orisha); its female equivalent is the mãe-de-santo ("Mother of saint"), also referred to as "ialorixá" (Yoruba: iyálórìsà). ... which began ordaining women as priests 40 years ago, female priests … 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? There is as yet no widely used alternative title to “Father” for female priests. 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. There are female Abbesses and they are sometimes referred to as mother. I am Episcopalian with a female priest. Epiphanius of Salamis “Certain women there in Arabia [the Collyridians] . When we are talking about priests here, we are talking about the ministerial priesthood, not the priesthood of believers. When did organ music become associated with baseball? those who have them, like Episcopalians, "Mother" is perfectly Author has 305 answers and 600.1K answer views. 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. The cool thing about Anglicanism is that we like to conflate rather than exclude things from the Christian past. Actually, everyone just uses her first name in practice but ‘Celebrant’ is the official title used for the person presiding over the service no matter who it is. All Rights Reserved. It is how I relate to the priest. 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." . Like I said, a male priest can be Father, and a female priest can be Mother. 40 years.  The Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years before they were able to enter into the promised land.  Jesus spent 40 days in the desert being tested before he began his public ministry.  I think the church has had long enough to work this one out.  I hope it will before I am ordained for 50 years.  To be sure, I am talking about the institution whose motto is often: “but we have always done it this way.”  Now over 40% of the clergy of the church are women, and our numbers are growing.  We have changed enough that women keep coming forward and declaring their calls.  Now is the time to recognize us fully and equally, lest it be another 40 years. Bard 1st degree (after candidacy/initiation) title used by the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids that is primarily centered … So to call a priest "Father" is to use a metaphor that seems in odd tension with church teaching about celibacy. I liked the question, and was trying to search some information! John Carroll illustrate. "Only a baptized man ( vir) validly receives sacred ordination. You certainly don’t call her Father. There are, of course, no female priests in Catholicism, but The answer is simple. An Abbess is greeted almost like a Priest (we kiss their hand). 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. And as he gets up to 200, she peeled off all her clothes. T he question of what to call the minister can be confusing. Sr_Sally October 1, 2007, 12:18am #4 The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. As more and more women enter the ministry, the question emerges in a new way. As a result, the church has not developed forms of address that work for both male and female priests. ordain women, through … My chaplain at school was a woman and she preferred to be called by her first name, though I would have no problem calling a female priest Mother if that was their preferred title, as my objection to the ordination of women stems from sacramental validity, not from headship. This includes titles! “[T]he so-called ‘presbyteresses’ or ‘presidentesses’ are not to be ordained in the Church” (Canon 11 [A.D. 360]). 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. Or just follow tradition, and live into the glory that is low church Virginia. There were some hopeful signs:  not only the ordination of women itself, but the church putting emphasis on the laity as an order of ministry and stressing the baptismal covenant as the ground of all ministry. Well, first we call them "priests," not "ministers." 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 … 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 know some priests feel uncomfortable, Male and female, with the terms and I know priests who tell people to call them Reverend. Send the hierarchy to Rome. The reality is that titles are not a problem for Bishops and Deacons, only priests. In an unlawful and basphemous ceremony . By Drew Nathaniel Keane. 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. They are called by their name informally, or more formally, the vicar, or in writing addressed as Reverend. 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. Afterall, God is called Father and so are priests. 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. Should we call a priest by his first name or last name? Secular/Diocesan priests were still being called “Mr” in the 18th century, as letters by Bp. Religious orders For a long time before that, the title ‘Father’ was used to refer to priests in religious orders.  “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. Original English useage seemed to restrict “Father” to monastic priests. Here’s a little history just for context. Paul J. Carling, PhD, Episcopal Chaplain.  Many of us hoped to move toward models of mutual ministry and more egalitarian practices. 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. For it is true that in baptism we are all anointed as priest, prophet, and king. There are various terms used i… . 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. 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. 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. Rev. "If I do 200mph, will you take off your clothes?" Father William Walters should be addressed as Father Walters or as Father, not as Father Bill 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. When I was a boy, it was expected that a priest would be called "Father," but things have become much less formal in many places since then. 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. 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