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August 14, 2006

Comments

Cajun Nick

When it comes to calling priests "sir", I can certainly vouch for Jimmy's explanation. It just pops out naturally in the flow of the conversation.

I think that I'd even respond with a "Yes, sir" to the Bishop, if I'd ever have the occasion to talk with him.

Although I've never met a non-Catholic bishop, I've met plenty of Protestant ministers; and being able to say "Sir" instead of "Pastor" has relief to me.

My Protestant friends may call him "Pastor So-and-so", but it just won't roll off my tongue. So, I fall back on "sir".

We've even got a law in Louisiana that schoolchildren below 6th Grade MUST refer to their teachers as "Ma'am" or "Sir".

(The enforcement, however, gets a little sticky.)

Tim J.

"...I can scarcely imagine that they would concede the title "pope" to an antipope (of which there are several at the moment, as there always are in every age of Church history since there are always kooks in every age of Church history)."

I love internet apologetics! Thanks, Jimmy, for cutting throught the fluff with that comment.

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

In Germany, diocesan priests are addressed as "Herr" ("Sir" or "Mister"), but not as "Vater" (the German word for "father"). However, if a priest belongs to a religious order, then the Germans address him as "Pater"-- the Latin word for "father. They simply don't use the German word "Vater" when addressing priests.

As for addressing a Protestan "bishop".... Of course we Catholics do not acknowledge them to be "bishops" sacramentally. However, we may retain the mental reservation that they function as true "overseers" or "supervisors"-- the literal meaning of the New Testament word "epĂ­skopos". In that sense we can call them bishops.

Maureen

I have to admit that I wouldn't want to call an English Anglican bishop "my lord". Got no problem with titles of nobility otherwise.

(Though on general principle of preserving the American right of address, I think I would cling to my republican principles enough to call any kings or queens I might meet "Sir" or "Madam". And no kneeling, either. That's perfectly polite for Americans to do -- we owe no feudal loyalty and give no service, so doing otherwise would be claiming membership in a club we don't belong to.)

arthur

Jimmy, I can beat running into Jerry Falwell at the Western Wall. Last time I was in Israel in 1993, I saw Axel Rose from Guns n Roses there!

--arthur

Matthew

I would call someone that is the head of a protestant communion "bishop" if that was his title in that Church. I would not call someone "bishop" if they claimed to be a Catholic Bishop but that was through something other than valid ordination or the Pope or other legitimate authority had advised the faithful to not address them under that title. I believe we do have to show respect for those in Christian Communions that are given titles as a sign of authority inside that Communion.

Matthew
http://360.yahoo.com/kc0lex

Marion (Mael Muire)

British Royalty are properly addressed as "sir" and "ma'am" in conversation once their formal styles, "Your Majesty" or "Your Royal Highness" have been used.

BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

Please forgive my need to nitpick.

>I can scarcely imagine that they would concede the title "pope" to an antipope (of which there are several at the moment)

I reply: Technically there are several "Papal Pretenders" but there are no real anti-Popes since historically anti-Popes where "elected" by persons who where valid Cardinals who regreted the election of the legitimate Pope. The modern Papal Pretenders can't even make this boast. In fact one of the "Popes" was elected by his own parents whose attic he lives in.

Some Day

I would not can a Protestant a "bishop"due to the fact he is as much a bishop as Arnold is a biomechanic cyborg. No Apostolic Succesion.
But a shismatic bishop, I will give him the dignity of a bishop, and might even call him by his pseudo-title. He has the Sacarament within him. Even Judas would have that. Not the Protestants.

Jeb Protestant

In 1998, the Catholic Anglican theological commission recognized the validity of Anglican orders and studiously avoided the use of "he" to refer to bishops.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/Arcicgf3.htm

JP II gave that druid clown Rowan Wiliams a pectoral cross.

So it looks to me like Rome hasn't quite made up its mind about the Anglicans.

Some Day

Ya, when I see the Pope say it ex catedra I'll believe it.

David B.

Ben,

I believe that you're referring to 'pope michael' , who lives somewhere in Kansas, and was 'elected' in a cellphone conclave. I'm not kidding.

Meg Q

Catholic bishops in the English-speaking world, outside the United States, *are* properly styled "My lord". In the US we say "Your Excellency". However, as the bishop is Jesus' representative, it is always proper to kneel and kiss his ring - even if the bishop himself doesn't like it!!!

Arvin

In 1998, the Catholic Anglican theological commission recognized the validity of Anglican orders and studiously avoided the use of "he" to refer to bishops.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/Arcicgf3.htm

Of course the disclaimer for this document is right at the beginning:

The Status of the Document

The Document published here is the work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). It is a joint statement of the Commission. The authorities who appointed the Commission have allowed the statement to be published so that it may be widely discussed. It is not an authoritative declaration by the Roman Catholic Church or by the Anglican Communion, who will evaluate the document in order to take a position on it in due time. [Emphasis added.]

Essentially, it's not an official document of the Catholic Church or the Anglican Communion: it's a document agreed upon by a group of theologians from both groups with no authority whatsoever.

More telling is Cardinal Kasper's recent address to the Anglican bishops:

http://www.cofe.anglican.org/news/pr6006b.html

Meg Q

BTW - I used to work in an American chancery - in Texas, actually - and most of the staff called the bishop "Bishop" and then "sir" when meeting him. I stuck with "Excellency", then "sir". Didn't kiss his ring though!

Some Day

Catholic bishops in the English-speaking world, outside the United States, *are* properly styled "My lord". In the US we say "Your Excellency". However, as the bishop is Jesus' representative, it is always proper to kneel and kiss his ring - even if the bishop himself doesn't like it!!!


Meg,
True, but these days you need to use "Vatican" diplomacy. You can't it force anymore.
So use good tactics. I wish Bishops would act like what they are too. But if it won't do anybody good, than I'll avoid a conflict till the time comes. And with our Pope, it is all ready within sights. Remember, when the Spanish came to America, they didn't scream and curse the indians for running naked. Nor did they clothe them forcefuly. They waited till there was a Divine Grace to back up that principle and slowly achieved their conversion.
With Blessings on the Vigil of The Assumption

Francis DS

I would probably call them Bishop but secretly spell it out with a small 'b'. "Good morning bishop Brown"

J.R. Stoodley

Isn't there a Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria who is also refered to as Pope?

Some Day

Good morning mr.Big-shot-protesTONTO-betrayer-shismatic-actor-something-something-...-uh...-wannabe-bishop, how's buisness*cough* church.
Or something a bit longer.
I am so bored, I just finished an essay due on the 2nd day of school at 1:40 in the morning, and I still got to finish praying the Liturgy of the Hours. School, "
"Math and Protestants are the Devil, so we recieved unto us the Calculator."
- Toby

Some Day

Good morning mr.Big-shot-protesTONTO-betrayer-shismatic-actor-something-something-...-uh...-wannabe-bishop, how's buisness*cough* church.
Or something a bit longer.
I am so bored, I just finished an essay due on the 2nd day of school at 1:40 in the morning, and I still got to finish praying the Liturgy of the Hours.
CORRECTION
"School, Math and Protestants are the Devil, so we recieved unto us the Calculator."
- Toby

J.R. Stoodley

Some Day,

What happend to "But if it won't do anybody good, than I'll avoid a conflict till the time comes."

Plus, since most Protestant ministers are honest and not running a "business" aka con-project I say your post is in bad taste.

Still, I won't judge you by it. My recent response to Puzzled on the Washington vs. Faulks post was similarly ill-advised.

Christopher

Prior to becoming Catholic, I was an Anglican from a pretty conservative diocese. We had female deacons, but not priests. It wasn't too tough using "Deacon so-and-so" as a form of address. Then, when I went off to college and there was a female priest.. well.. let's just say I wasn't comfortable calling her "Mother so-and-so"!

Some Day

Sorry, but where I am from, these protestontos got everyone brainwashed. They drag 700 teens to a camp, and God knows what happens there. If it isn't grace, then what attracts? The grey's need for God and to be at peace with him. Protestants say pay and your ok. And they are laid back on the rules, so the "prohibitive"Church looks bad.
And it's been driving me crazy these past few days. So much trash, and the worst part is OUR own priests look the same many times. But whatever, when the time comes, things will change.
One Flock, One Sheapard.
How is that going to happen?
The magnificence of the possibles makes me cry
God Bless on the Assumption of Our Lady

I met Reverend Falwell once in an airport. He was very polite and very gracious to those he spoke with. What struck me most was how soft-spoken he is in person.

A Simple Sinner

"However, as the bishop is Jesus' representative, it is always proper to kneel and kiss his ring - even if the bishop himself doesn't like it!!!"

Unless said bishop is an eastern bishop (Orthodox or Catholic) than you would hold out your hands and beg a blessing "Vladyika (master) a blessing!" or "Your Grace a blessing!" while standing he would bless you with the sign of the cross and put his fingers into your hand and then you may kiss them.

We aren't all Romans.

JP II gave that druid clown Rowan Wiliams a pectoral cross.

(Quickly skirting the issue of the lack of charity...) A pectoral cross does NOT a bishop make. It is not like Green Lantern's ring... a cross to wear around one's neck from the Pope of Rome does not make one a bishop. I believe what this much misunderstood gesture was intending to mean was simple (1) the Holy Father was giving a gift to welcome a visitor (2) the HF recognized that this person enjoyed (or suffered!) the dignity of a leadership role in an ecclesial community (not a particular church a la the Melkite Greek Catholic Church or Russian Orthodox Church!) (3) cufflinks seemed passé.

In a sense I think this sort of congenial gift-giving was more to underscore a demonstration of fraternal love and affection that was long-absent for centuries. Remember, it was not long ago that the Catholic Church in Ireland under the rule of the leader of the Anglican Church - the British Monarch - was banned! Receptions such as the ones we have seen in the last century are perhaps more to demonstrate those days of infighting are over.

If a foreign national who was a member of a judiciary came to the US on a visit and stopped at the Supreme Court it is concievable a SC Justice might greet him or her and present a gavel to that person as a show hospitality. That would not make them a US judge.

NOW, as far as what honorifics are appropriate for non-Catholic/non-Orthodox (Protestant) clergy persons. I think it is more accurate NOT to say that they are NOT bishops per se as it is the case they do not hold a sacramental office and do not claim to do so. It is more a case of language and titles being reappropriated to fit into the context of a person's understanding. Most protestant communities who use the term undertand it to indicate a senior pastor. In some situations - such as certain evangelical communities the term is meant to denote a senior clergy person rather than someone claiming historic orders or even authority over other pastors. While we as Catholics do not recognize this as a sacramental minsitry (something they would not claim for themselves anyway!) we may need to recognize that this is simply a term used for these leaders.

I do have to admit that in situations where the non-Catholic (or Orthodox) clergy-person was trying to replicate or claim sacramental parity with a Catholic (or Orthodox) clergy, I would have trouble using more "Catholic" sounding honorifics. I don't think I could handle calling anyone but a priest whose ministry is clearly recognized by the Catholic church (and that includes the seperated Orthodox) "Father." In a situation like that, "reverand" or "sir" would have to do.

And no it is not the case that the Catholic Church now recognizes Anglican orders as being valid. At best, the Catholic Church recognizes an intent in the Anglican Communion to practice a form of church governance that maintains a continuity with history, and we respect that they at least have maintained that much!

JACK

Thanks, Jimmy, for the post. Helps clarify for me the phrase "the pope of Rome" I hear in the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Catholic Church near me that I sometimes attend.

Brad

I know this is late.

But I will not call a Protestant by the title "Apostle" under any circumstances... falling back to "Bishop" instead. Hmm.

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