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Author Topic: "Holy Father" ?  (Read 1568 times) Average Rating: 0
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TomS
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« on: June 22, 2006, 12:10:19 PM »

I wonder, should the Orthodox refer to the Bishop or Rome as "The Holy Father"?

From an article on the Archons of the EP website:

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Vatican, Jun. 14 (CWNews.com) - At his weekly public audience on June
14, Pope Benedict XVI continued his series of talks on the Church's apostolic tradition with a meditation on the special bond between the churches of Rome and Constantinople.

The Holy Father based his remarks on the figure of St. Andrew the apostle, "the first of the apostles to be called to follow Jesus." Later in life he is credited with having brought the Gospel to the Greek world, and today he is the patron saint of the Constantinople Patriarchate. Because he was the brother of St. Peter, those two apostles had a special tie, the Pope observed, just as "the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople feel themselves to be sisters."

---

http://www.archons.org/news/detail.asp?id=119
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2006, 12:25:44 PM »

Just a point of clarification: The article which refers to the Pope of Rome as the "Holy Father" appears on the Archons' Web site, but it was not written by the Archons. It is simply a re-printing of an article written by a Catholic news organization (CWNews.com) -- a fact which is made clear on the Archons' site. Thus, this is not a case of an Orthodox organization calling the Pope "Holy Father," but a case of CWNews.com doing so. We can hardly object to that.

P.S. I put "Holy Father" in quotes since, in both cases, it is a quote, not because I am trying to indicate anything about the title's acceptability.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2006, 12:40:37 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2006, 12:34:57 PM »

I wonder, should the Orthodox refer to the Bishop or Rome as "The Holy Father"?

From an article on the Archons of the EP website:

---

Vatican, Jun. 14 (CWNews.com) - At his weekly public audience on June
14, Pope Benedict XVI continued his series of talks on the Church's apostolic tradition with a meditation on the special bond between the churches of Rome and Constantinople.

The Holy Father based his remarks on the figure of St. Andrew the apostle, "the first of the apostles to be called to follow Jesus." Later in life he is credited with having brought the Gospel to the Greek world, and today he is the patron saint of the Constantinople Patriarchate. Because he was the brother of St. Peter, those two apostles had a special tie, the Pope observed, just as "the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople feel themselves to be sisters."

---

http://www.archons.org/news/detail.asp?id=119

I think you're making much ado about nothing really.

I was going to point out what pensateomnia did but the board was down when I first tried to post this: the story was obviously copied verbatim (probably with permission if necessary) from the Roman Catholic news service credited in the dateline. It was that news service's word choice, not the Archons'.

But as Anastasios wrote to another member recently, regardless of the range of Orthodox opinion on the status of non-Orthodox clergy, common courtesy is to use the titles the non-Orthodox churches use and without sarcastic inverted commas. (I know I was rough on Mr Hood but I didn't see much if any evidence of a congregation or ministry - obviously not an issue with the Pope, who leads the world's biggest group of Christians.) Official statements from the Orthodox to Roman Catholics, even from the 'undiplomatic' Russians, use these titles all the time.
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2006, 12:43:30 PM »

Just a point of clarification: The article which refers to the Pope of Rome as the "Holy Father" appears on the Archons' Web site, but it was not written by the Archons. It is simply a re-printing of an article written by a Catholic news organization (CWNews.com) -- a fact which is made clear on the Archons' site.

Thanks. I see that now. I was reading it off a Greek news blog, so I was not at the archon site. I just posted the link from the blog.
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2006, 01:43:06 PM »

Thanks. I see that now. I was reading it off a Greek news blog, so I was not at the archon site. I just posted the link from the blog.

NP. As far as the question in itself goes, we Orthodox refer to even our priests as "Holy Father" on a regular basis in liturgical settings. I suppose the difference is found in being called "THE Holy Father". 

(Might this title for the Pope of Rome simply be a matter of interpretation (or mis-interpretation), since Latin does not have a definite article?)
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2006, 03:35:47 PM »

Kudos to Serge (Old Fogey)

If one gets a full fledged dictionary there is usually a section on formal writing which includes the accepted diplomatic titles that are used in writing papers, correspondence etc.  This will give the appropriate titles that are used in educational settings, diplomatic activities, and polite society when addressing Clergy of various denominations including the Rioman Catholic Pope.

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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2006, 04:13:51 PM »

If one gets a full fledged dictionary there is usually a section on formal writing which includes the accepted diplomatic titles that are used in writing papers, correspondence etc.  This will give the appropriate titles that are used in educational settings, diplomatic activities, and polite society when addressing Clergy of various denominations including the Rioman Catholic Pope.

And which of these full-fledged dictionaries advises an educated writer to refer to the Pope of Rome as "the Holy Father"? It's been a few years since my days as a journalist, but I am quite sure that The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law advises no such thing, nor does Follett's Modern American Usage and certainly not the estimable A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by H.W. Fowler. For that matter, I am fairly sure that neither does The Chicago Manual of Style, and I would be rather surprised if Webster's Third New International Dictionary recommends any such thing in its style guide (although I'm sure that the dictionary itself has an entry under "Holy Father" for definitional purposes).

Is Holy Father even an official title of the Pope, or is it simply a popular term of endearment, which pious Roman Catholics use to refer to the Pontifex Maximus? (Or must I follow style guide stipulations and write "Supreme Pontiff"? No foreign language phrases allowed, ya know, especially if they are in Latin.)

P.S. Fowler, ever perspicacious, has this to say in his entry on Titles (I think this situation is analagous and the principle is certainly applicable):

Quote
A curious & regrettable change has come about in the last twenty or thirty years. Whereas we used, except on formal occasions, to talk & write of Lord Salisbury, Lord Derby, Lord Palmertson, & to be very sparing of the prefixes Marquis, Earl, & Viscount, the newspapers are now full of Marquis Curzon, Earl Beatty, Viscount Rothermore, & similarly Marchioness this & Countess that have replaced the Lady that used to be good enough for ordinary wear...our adoption of the fashion is more remarkable than pleasing.

Indeed, all the English usage guides in my little library call for one to write about "Pope Benedict XVI," but to otherwise write about the "pope," who decided to give a homily in St. Peter's Square yesterday. Any other fashionable trends in diction are more remarkable than pleasing. Wink Or, in this case, more a matter of popular Roman Catholic piety?
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 04:38:22 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2006, 04:20:58 PM »

Quote
Kudos to Serge (Old Fogey)

You mean young fogey Wink  Serge, why don't you link that article you cite on your blog that explains what a young fogey is?  Some participants might be curious at your moniker.

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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2006, 05:17:13 PM »

From what I remember in etiquette books you should address the Pope in writing as:

Your Holiness:

or

Most Holy Father:

In secular newspaper style, in third person the Pope is fine but again this story came from a Roman Catholic news service.

What a young fogey is.
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2006, 05:39:49 PM »

From what I remember in etiquette books you should address the Pope in writing as:

Your Holiness: or Most Holy Father:

In secular newspaper style, in third person the Pope is fine but again this story came from a Roman Catholic news service.

Makes good sense. Titles used for address are quite a different matter than titles used in writing. RC news services seem to have adopted the popular language (as has the Vatican State, for that matter), but English language usage guides are pretty clear. For example, one should write: "the Reverend Dr. Daniel Blake," using the definite article, the honorific title, the academic title if he's got one, then the full name (including surname). Why? According to Follett et al., if one were to write "Reverend Blake" or even "the Reverend Blake," one would, in effect, be saying that some Blake was, in point of fact, a sublime human being worthy of adoration or reverence. While this may be the original intent of the honorific, it is necessary to distinguish between the word as a title and the word "reverend" as an adjective.

As Follett says: "It is not Blake or some Blake or other who is reverend but this particular Daniel Blake or Mr. Blake."
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 05:41:50 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2006, 12:12:41 AM »

You are right it would have been in the writing etiquette portion of one of those enormous old fashioned dictioonaries that used to be popular in public and school libraries.  As I think of it that is where I found how to address correspoondence with church leaders about a religous scholarship I applied for in 1979 when I first went to college.

Thanks,
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2006, 01:55:07 AM »

I wonder, should the Orthodox refer to the Bishop or Rome as "The Holy Father"?

Had I ever the opportunity to meet the Pope, I would address him as Your Holiness as a matter of protocol, probably in the same way I would address the Dalai Lama. But (and this is my personal feeling; I'm not trying to say anything universal) for me, the term "Holy Father" is personal and should be reserved for one under whose spiritual authority you actually are -- whether it be a spiritual father, father confessor, or bishop. I would also not kiss his ring or ask for his blessing, though I would be genuinely honored to meet him.

I must say, as a topical point, that I would not use any typical episcopal protocal should I meet the new primate of the Episcopalian Church. A female bishop is no bishop.
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2006, 11:22:59 AM »

I tend to fudge like that with Protestant ministers too. A Methodist bishop may be 'the Revd John Smith' but I'd call him 'Mr or Dr Smith'. I might call him 'Bishop Smith' just to be polite. In my book if you do the actual work of a pastor you deserve that respect; theoretical stuff about your orders is an important but separate issue. Likewise with the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church ('Episcopalian' is a noun for a person who belongs to it): 'the Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori' but 'Mrs Jefferts Schori' (holders of honorary doctorates don't go by 'Dr').
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2006, 05:44:20 PM »

I know very little on this that may be helpful, but here are some things I recall on the topic:

Early Bishops of Rome were designated "vicar (representative) of Peter", for later Popes the more authouritative "vicar of Christ" was substituted ; this designation was first used by the Roman Synod of AD 495 to refer to Pope Gelasius 1 an originator of papal supremacy amoung the patriarchs.

The title Pope is an informal one, the formal title of the Pope is Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West (which Benedict recently dropped with controversey) Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Soveregin of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God (rarely seen or used in full), In canon law the Roman Catholic Pope is referred to as the "Roman Pontiff" (Pontifex Romanus). he is styled "Your Holiness" (Sanctitas Vostra) and is frequently referred to as "the Holy Father"
The Popes signature is usually in the format "NN.PP.X" (e.g., Pope Paul VI signed his name "Paulus PP.VI") the PP standing for Princeps Pastorum ("Prince of the Shepards")

There is more, but my fingers need a break....
Thanks for bearing with the long post...
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