A priest elevates the host during a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City in 2020. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

America 14 juli 2022

” I’m a Catholic priest. But please don’t call me Father.” Under denna rubrik skriver Jim Mc Dermott SJ och biträdande redaktör för AMERICA

”I have been a priest for almost 20 years, and I have never liked being called “Father.”

”We will all be a lot better off when fewer distinctions are made between us clergy and everyone else”

”My dislike of the title isn’t coming from any lack of self-esteem, either. (Did I not mention, I am a Jesuit.) I think not calling me Father is in your best interest.” 

”We’re raised to think that priests are worthy of the utmost regard, but in fact people in the church today have just as many reasons to be cautious or skeptical of clergy as my students did of me. The church’s history of abuse and cover-up, clerical expressions of privilege and stories of clerics putting ideology or political agendas ahead of pastoral care all have undermined the legitimacy of our role as leaders.”

”So don’t hesitate to, well, hesitate. Make us prove we’re worthy of your trust before you give it. That’s not being judgmental or unfair, just prudent. Your choice to take it slow might even empower those around you to realize they have the right to ask the same.”

”Here’s the other thing I don’t like about being called “Father”: The term draws an unhelpful distinction between we who are priests from everyone else in the church.”

” Clericalism has been a part of our church for so many centuries that I think it’s very hard for us to recognize the full extent of it even when it’s right there in front of us. I’m sure that most people think they are just doing what they’re supposed to when they call me Father or when they refrain from telling me that my homily was terrible….”

”Sometimes the best show of respect for someone is not putting them on a pedestal, but rather letting them walk beside you on this crazy road.”


// Irène