|JOHN "CALL ME FATHER" MC KEEVER|
OUR ARMAGH YOUNG MAN, JAMES MC CONNELL - WHO WANTS TO DEFECT FROM THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH - VISITED THE ARMAGH VICE CHANCELLOR JOHN MC KEEVER THIS WEEK TO SEEK ADVICE.
He was spoken to on the doorstep by the reverend gentleman who was wearing a formal three-piece suit on the way to "say a Mass in the prison".
James got a lecture from the young priest and was told to call him "Father" and not John.
According to McKeever the only ones who can call him "John" are his family and friends.
"When did the use of “Father” become a practice in the Catholic Church for ordained priests?
The answer is: much later than we might think!
The early church seems to have avoided any titles for Christians, except for the egalitarian “brother” and “sister.” Matthew’s gospel, which is very concerned about the rules of conduct within a Christian community, records this teaching of Jesus: “Call no one on earth your father, you have but one Father in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). Jesus seems to be suggesting that titles are a way of claiming rank over and above others and therefore were not proper for a disciple who sought to be a servant to all.
With the passage of time, however, the title “Father” crept into Christian etiquette as a way of describing the relationship of a priest or monk with those to whom he ministered. The custom arose among the followers of the monastic orders of St. Benedict to address the leader of a monastery as “abbot” and the leader of a convent as “abbess.” This word was a variation of the Aramaic word for father, “Abba.”
Bishops also began claiming the title “Father” to describe the nature of their teaching authority over a local church. In the Middle Ages, as the practice of making a private confession to a priest grew, priests who served as confessors were called “Father.” So were mendicant friars like the Franciscans and Dominicans.
Despite these precedents, the use of “Father” as the normal title for ALL priests, whether attached to a diocese or members of a religious order, is a very recent practice. It originated in Ireland and spread to the United States with the Irish immigration of the 1840’s. When Cardinal Manning was archbishop of Westminster (1865-1892) he worked hard to establish this custom as the universal practice in England as well. It is still largely restricted to English speaking countries (although in France, Catholics use “Pere” in addressing a priest".
I am a bit shocked that a young priest in this day and age is saying: "YOU HAVE TO CALL ME FATHER. I AM A PROFESSIONAL LIKE A DOCTOR".
Did not Jesus, at the Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday night tell priests that they were SERVANTS?
When I meet everybody I introduce myself as Pat Buckley.
If they ask me what they should call me I tell them that I am happy for them to call me what my mother called me - Pat.
I do not see myself as a "professional".
I see myself as a priest servant to anybody who needs me.
Many people will go on to call me Father Pat or Bishop Pat and that is fine.
Intelligent people do not introduce themselves with a prefix attached.
Nor would I dream of going into a prison to say Mass in a formal three-piece suit.
What kind of message does that give to prisoners?
Indeed one of the problems that the priesthood has is that it has become, like the Pharisees of old, A "professional" class or clique.
That is the clericalism that Pope Francis condemns.