Magazine article Anglican Journal

Don't Call Him 'Father'

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Don't Call Him 'Father'

Article excerpt

Today, one of our wardens read a letter from our bishop. We have a new rector, a man. Perhaps it's time to consider the issue of calling male clergy "Father."

My dad was an Anglican priest. He never wanted to be called "Father."

Calling a priest "Father" sets him apart from his congregation. I don't accept the notion that my rector is my father. Also, it sets him apart from other clergy in the community; from the broader secular community; and from other Anglican clergy who don't want to be called "Father"... or who may be women. Is it a patriarchal device intended to set women clergy apart from the men? Perhaps our women clergy should start saying, "I want you to call me Father." (I doubt many want to be called "Father," but it would highlight the issue!)

When [my mother] was in her 80s--before there was any sign of dementia--I asked her, "Mum, if you had a chance to live your life over, would you change anything? …

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