Afterall, God is called Father and so are priests. Or just follow tradition, and live into the glory that is low church Virginia. Well, first we call them "priests," not "ministers." Recently my dad celebrated a “milestone” birthday – one when the person is over 70 and their age is divisible by five. Paul J. Carling, PhD, Episcopal Chaplain. 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. John and Rev. There are, of course, no female priests in Catholicism, but The reality is that titles are not a problem for Bishops and Deacons, only priests. Hardly. . They are called by their name informally, or more formally, the vicar, or in writing addressed as Reverend. 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). Now with Women priests it is logical, and makes sense to say Mother. Just as I immediately think Father with a man, I think Mother with a woman. 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”. 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. All priests are entitled to be styled The Reverend and many male priests are called Father. The answer is simple. Sr_Sally October 1, 2007, 12:18am #4 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. An Abbess is greeted almost like a Priest (we kiss their hand). Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). . 43 views. Dr. Flora A. Keshgegian is a retired priest, seminary professor and university chaplain. No. There is as yet no widely used alternative title to “Father” for female priests. I need the archetypal divine feminine modeled precisely as a counter-balance to centuries of the divine masculine. How many candles are on a Hanukkah menorah? 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. 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. As more and more women enter the ministry, the question emerges in a new way. On the downside, this can be confusing because people aren’t sure how to address me. Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? First names are fine for us, even for bishops. When we are talking about priests here, we are talking about the ministerial priesthood, not the priesthood of believers. Religious orders For a long time before that, the title ‘Father’ was used to refer to priests in religious orders. As a result, the church has not developed forms of address that work for both male and female priests. "Reverend.". Reverend or parson would have been more common, with Father for religious priests. The kiss is one of respect for an elder or wise person. 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. What does contingent mean in real estate? In an unlawful and basphemous ceremony . No. ordain women, through … Jane believing that linguistic / grammatical flexibility is far more preferable to injustice. 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. Granted, I am in a setting where “Chaplain” covers everyone, lay or ordained, administrator, staff, or student. Send the hierarchy to Rome. Bard 1st degree (after candidacy/initiation) title used by the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids that is primarily centered … "Only a baptized man ( vir) validly receives sacred ordination. 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! So to call a priest "Father" is to use a metaphor that seems in odd tension with church teaching about celibacy. 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? 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