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Offline mike

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Titles
« on: October 17, 2013, 05:59:18 AM »
I've noticed there are two ways to referring to priests: "Rev." and "Fr." however both are not neutral and imply some spiritual authority. Does the English have something like that but neutral? Only that notes the person is a minister.

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Re: Titles
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 06:27:06 AM »
No.

'Fr' is short for 'Father' and is the established title for an Orthodox or Catholic clergyman of the presbyter rank, without any more bells and whistles.

Protestants, on the other hand, depending on their degree of aversion for Tradition, choose a variety of other titles to show that their clergy is not like them others. 'Rev' for 'Reverend' is the most common, although others prefer 'Dr', or throw out honorifics altogether and just say 'Pastor' or 'Parson' So-and-So.

High Church Anglicans favour 'Father' as well, but they're a small minority.

The only cases the 'Reverend' honorific is used for Orthodox clergy involve ranks from bishop and up, who can be addressed as 'Very Reverend' or 'Right Reverend' (corresponding to the Greek 'Sevasmiotatos' and 'Makariotatos').
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Offline mike

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Re: Titles
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 06:28:26 AM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".

Offline LBK

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Re: Titles
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 06:30:35 AM »

The only cases the 'Reverend' honorific is used for Orthodox clergy involve ranks from bishop and up, who can be addressed as 'Very Reverend' or 'Right Reverend' (corresponding to the Greek 'Sevasmiotatos' and 'Makariotatos').

Not quite. Reverend, at least in written form, can be used for priests of Russian tradition in the English-speaking world.
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Re: Titles
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 06:32:16 AM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".

Tough luck, then.
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Offline Romaios

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Re: Titles
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 06:38:58 AM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".

Certain Orthodox writers would refer to them as "pères" (with a slight derogatory nuance, as in "Frankish"). Not in French, but in Romanian, Greek, etc. 

For instance Fr. Rafail Noica, when rendering Elder Sophrony's correspondence with David Balfour from French into Romanian, left Saint Jean (of the Cross) untranslated.

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Re: Titles
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 10:15:09 AM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".

That was unexpected. 
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Titles
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 11:22:39 AM »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Titles
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 11:28:10 AM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".

I guess you refuse to call them "Roman" or "Catholic" also since they are neither of those.

Maybe "Frankish heretics" would be the most accurate?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 11:28:30 AM by Alpo »

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Titles
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 11:34:28 AM »

The only cases the 'Reverend' honorific is used for Orthodox clergy involve ranks from bishop and up, who can be addressed as 'Very Reverend' or 'Right Reverend' (corresponding to the Greek 'Sevasmiotatos' and 'Makariotatos').

Not quite. Reverend, at least in written form, can be used for priests of Russian tradition in the English-speaking world.


Not true, either. In the GOA 2013 Yearbook (published by the Archdiocese, btw), it clearly states that a Presbyter(priest) is to be addressed as Reverend Father (Rev. Fr.).
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Offline Santagranddad

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Re: Titles
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 11:46:45 AM »
I my memory serves me correctly the accepted English manner for English priests was 'Mr'. British Army personnel who would never dream of calling any clergyman 'Father' quite amiably settled for 'Padre'.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Titles
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 12:20:18 PM »

The only cases the 'Reverend' honorific is used for Orthodox clergy involve ranks from bishop and up, who can be addressed as 'Very Reverend' or 'Right Reverend' (corresponding to the Greek 'Sevasmiotatos' and 'Makariotatos').

Not quite. Reverend, at least in written form, can be used for priests of Russian tradition in the English-speaking world.


Not true, either. In the GOA 2013 Yearbook (published by the Archdiocese, btw), it clearly states that a Presbyter(priest) is to be addressed as Reverend Father (Rev. Fr.).

The usage I'm familiar with in English is that bishops, priests, and deacons are styled "Reverend", with the appropriate extras indicating whether the person is a bishop (e.g., "The Most Reverend"), archpriest (e.g., "The Very Reverend"), or deacon (e.g., "The Reverend Deacon" or sometimes "The Reverend Mr").  Priests are simply "The Reverend", no "Father" or anything else with it (unless they have a doctorate or something).  But this is in print. 

When addressing them personally, I don't think you should call them "Reverend Father" or "Reverend Deacon" or whatever.  It should be "Father X" or "(Father) Deacon X".  I suppose you could go with "Your Reverence", but I've never actually heard anyone do that.  It is sort of the equivalent of "Your Grace" for bishops (I don't think, for example, that bishops are ever styled "His Grace the Most Reverend", it's either one or the other).   

The style quoted from the GOA Yearbook sounds like an "ethnic" American usage rather than a standard American usage. 

I could be totally wrong on all of this, but it is consistent with my experience.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Titles
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 12:26:01 PM »
Batiushka Rose pray unto God for us.

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Offline Basil 320

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Re: Titles
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2013, 01:04:28 PM »

The only cases the 'Reverend' honorific is used for Orthodox clergy involve ranks from bishop and up, who can be addressed as 'Very Reverend' or 'Right Reverend' (corresponding to the Greek 'Sevasmiotatos' and 'Makariotatos').

Not quite. Reverend, at least in written form, can be used for priests of Russian tradition in the English-speaking world.

Also, "Very Reverend" would correspond to an Archimandrite, "Apanosiotatos."

"Right" Reverend corresponds to a bishop, including a Titular Bishop, i.e. His Grace, the Right Reverend Andonios, Titular Bishop of Phasiane, is the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of America.  
In Greek, O Theophilestatos Episcopos Phasianis Kyrios Andonios.

"Most" Reverend applies to a ruling diocesan hierarch of an archdiocese or a metropolis, i.e. The Most Reverend Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh.  O Sevasmiotatos Mitropolitis Pitsvourgu Kyrios Savvas.

Or The "Most" Reverend Demetrios, Archbishop of America, O Sevasmiotatos Archepiscopos Amerikis Kyrios Demetrios.

"Markariotatos," corresponds to the Heads of one of the autocephalous Holy Orthodox Churches, i.e. O Makariotatos Papas Ke Patriarchis Alexandrias Ke Pandis Afrikia, Kyrios, Kyrios Theodoros; His "Beatitude" The Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Lord, Lord, Theodore.

(Typically "Lord" is omitted in English language use. Kyrios is also translated to "Mr.")

« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 01:15:43 PM by Basil 320 »
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Re: Titles
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 01:09:08 PM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".
So what should an Evangelical Protestant ("call no man 'father'") call an Orthodox priest? I take it you're OK with being discourteous.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Titles
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2013, 01:20:56 PM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".
So what should an Evangelical Protestant ("call no man 'father'") call an Orthodox priest? I take it you're OK with being discourteous.

I had no problem calling an Orthodox priest "father" when I was inquiring into the Church.  I ran into trouble on what to call a bishop;  I had no idea.
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Offline mike

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Re: Titles
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2013, 01:33:42 PM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".
So what should an Evangelical Protestant ("call no man 'father'") call an Orthodox priest? I take it you're OK with being discourteous.

I'm not about being discorteous. I want just not being submissive.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Titles
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2013, 01:35:45 PM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".
So what should an Evangelical Protestant ("call no man 'father'") call an Orthodox priest? I take it you're OK with being discourteous.

I'm not about being discorteous. I want just not being submissive.

If you know for a fact they have a doctorate degree, you can call them "doctor."
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Re: Titles
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2013, 01:39:03 PM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".
So what should an Evangelical Protestant ("call no man 'father'") call an Orthodox priest? I take it you're OK with being discourteous.

Reverend? Pastor?
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Titles
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2013, 01:40:18 PM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".

Certain Orthodox writers would refer to them as "pères" (with a slight derogatory nuance, as in "Frankish"). Not in French, but in Romanian, Greek, etc. 

Or the Greek φρατωρ, the transliteration of frater.
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Offline Romaios

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Re: Titles
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2013, 02:09:22 PM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".
So what should an Evangelical Protestant ("call no man 'father'") call an Orthodox priest? I take it you're OK with being discourteous.

I'm not about being discorteous. I want just not being submissive.

Some of them you can address as "Monsignor" (not all priests bear this title, though); bishops are addressed with "Your [His] Excellence/Grace", cardinals "Your [His] Eminence", etc. These sound cold and distant enough for me. Latin "Pater" or Spanish "Padre" might work too - some say that cardinals or bishops wouldn't take too kindly to being called "just" that. Yet a Lutheran clergyman called Pope Benedict "Bruder Joseph" and he didn't mind at all...
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 02:38:40 PM by Romaios »

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Titles
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2013, 02:22:16 PM »
I've noticed there are two ways to referring to priests: "Rev." and "Fr." however both are not neutral and imply some spiritual authority. Does the English have something like that but neutral? Only that notes the person is a minister.

Most American RC Priests ain't gonna care what you call them if it ain't something like child molester.

Really, I think it is no big deal. I call RC Priests Father and did when I didn't care about any religious mumbo jumbo.

Most RC Priests I've known have earned some degree of respect, two syllables at the least.

But I call most people by their titles if that is what they want, nothing is worse than calling a German professor with two PhDs what they should be called, tremble if they managed to get some master's degree as well.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Titles
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2013, 02:25:26 PM »
I do not want to call eg. RC priests as "fathers".

That was unexpected.  

Why? Do you read his posts or know where he lives? (What board is this before I go spouting off about my problems with Polish RCs?)
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 02:26:54 PM by orthonorm »
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Offline mike

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Re: Titles
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2013, 02:33:09 PM »
But I call most people by their titles if that is what they want, nothing is worse than calling a German professor with two PhDs what they should be called, tremble if they managed to get some master's degree as well.

PhD is an impartial title that does not require evaluating the person. If he was awarded a title "most successful PhD in the world" it would also contain opinion that I'd like to avoid.

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Re: Titles
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2013, 02:36:13 PM »
But I call most people by their titles if that is what they want, nothing is worse than calling a German professor with two PhDs what they should be called, tremble if they managed to get some master's degree as well.

PhD is an impartial title that does not require evaluating the person. If he was awarded a title "most successful PhD in the world" it would also contain opinion that I'd like to avoid.

Even if he was considered to be the "most successful PhD in the world", he'd still be called "doctor."
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Titles
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2013, 03:06:42 PM »
But I call most people by their titles if that is what they want, nothing is worse than calling a German professor with two PhDs what they should be called, tremble if they managed to get some master's degree as well.

PhD is an impartial title that does not require evaluating the person. If he was awarded a title "most successful PhD in the world" it would also contain opinion that I'd like to avoid.

Wait till you meet Herr Professor Doktor Doktor Magister Herzog, calling a man Pope will seem like an insult after that.
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Re: Titles
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2013, 03:09:10 PM »
But I call most people by their titles if that is what they want, nothing is worse than calling a German professor with two PhDs what they should be called, tremble if they managed to get some master's degree as well.

PhD is an impartial title that does not require evaluating the person. If he was awarded a title "most successful PhD in the world" it would also contain opinion that I'd like to avoid.

Wait till you meet Herr Professor Doktor Doktor Magister Herzog, calling a man Pope will seem like an insult after that.

Ah, the pleasant German folk and their titular customs :laugh:.  It's true, though;  you better get it right.
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Titles
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2013, 03:12:30 PM »
But I call most people by their titles if that is what they want, nothing is worse than calling a German professor with two PhDs what they should be called, tremble if they managed to get some master's degree as well.

PhD is an impartial title that does not require evaluating the person. If he was awarded a title "most successful PhD in the world" it would also contain opinion that I'd like to avoid.

Wait till you meet Herr Professor Doktor Doktor Magister Herzog, calling a man Pope will seem like an insult after that.

Ah, the pleasant German folk and their titular customs :laugh:.  It's true, though;  you better get it right.
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Titles
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2013, 03:15:21 PM »
I'm confused why it is a problem to call an RC priest "Father" when that is the standard title used for priests of Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican clergy in informal/colloquial/'secular' English. Jewish teachers of the Torah are referred to without prejudice in English as "Rabbi", but the non-Jews who refer to them by that standard title are not in fact treating them as their masters, even though that's what that word literally means. So what exactly is the problem? The title has exactly the level of 'submission' that you give to it, unless you want to follow the literalist Protestant argument against calling any man "Father", which as an Orthodox Christian you probably don't.

Offline Romaios

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Re: Titles
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2013, 03:19:40 PM »
Herr Professor Doktor Doktor Magister Herzog

I've always been intrigued by such repetitions: they remind me of biological taxonomy where certain species have their names doubled to distinguish them from second brand versions of themselves - vulpes vulpes, pica pica, etc.

Our bishops are also twice Lords: Kyriou Kyr, Mor Moran.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Titles
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2013, 03:33:01 PM »
Herr Professor Doktor Doktor Magister Herzog

I've always been intrigued by such repetitions: they remind me of biological taxonomy where certain species have their names doubled to distinguish them from second brand versions of themselves - vulpes vulpes, pica pica, etc.

Our bishops are also twice Lords: Kyriou Kyr, Mor Moran.

Quit making my posts informative and useful.

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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Titles
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2013, 03:35:02 PM »
I'm confused why it is a problem to call an RC priest "Father" when that is the standard title used for priests of Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican clergy in informal/colloquial/'secular' English. Jewish teachers of the Torah are referred to without prejudice in English as "Rabbi", but the non-Jews who refer to them by that standard title are not in fact treating them as their masters, even though that's what that word literally means. So what exactly is the problem? The title has exactly the level of 'submission' that you give to it, unless you want to follow the literalist Protestant argument against calling any man "Father", which as an Orthodox Christian you probably don't.

Or you are Michal and have likely your own reasons which don't get parsed in some social nicety flowchart.

Really, I am not surprised by his hesitance given other posts of his. I don't share it, but I don't assume everyone is me though. A novel notion here, I know.
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Titles
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2013, 04:06:25 PM »
The question was asked in the "Practice English" subforum, so for the sake of understanding why the answer to the question in the OP is 'no', standard English usage should be explained. Whether or not Michal or anyone has their own reasons for not wanting to call an RC priest 'Father' is a different issue than whether or not calling an RC priest "Father" in standard English is considered a sign of submission or an evaluative term. It isn't, or at least not any more than calling a Jewish teacher of the Torah 'Rabbi' could be considered the same. There are probably some who don't like that, either, for their own reasons; that's neither here nor there, as it doesn't make the title a sign of submission or a value judgment on the part of those who use it. It may, however, point to ideological motivations on the part of those who won't.

Offline mike

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Re: Titles
« Reply #33 on: October 17, 2013, 04:10:15 PM »
Asking because in Polish there is honorific that means a person is a Christian priest without any further implications.

(some Catholics refuse to use it for Protestants because they do  not consider their ordinations valid but that's another one topic)

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Titles
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2013, 04:17:35 PM »
Yeah, there really isn't anything like that in English that I know of. "Father" as a title is a non-evaluative term for Catholic and Orthodox clergy in standard English; it only takes on prejudicial hues in specifically religious contexts, and often not even then (I have certainly heard and read statements from believers in many different creeds in which Catholic priests are referred to as "Father so-and-so", even in explicitly negative contexts). That's why I was confused about your reasoning.

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Re: Titles
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2013, 04:20:48 PM »
Understood! Finally!