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  #1  
Old Apr 23, '08, 5:59 am
Larowyn Larowyn is offline
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Default Catholic Protocol

I was thinking about protocol, and I realized that I was unclear on how to address certain members of the Church, such as deacons, retired members of the clergy, monks, priors, abbots, and monsignors.

So this is what I think I'm sure of right now (correct me if I'm wrong):

Priest: Father
Bishop: Your excellency
Cardinal: Your eminence
Pope: Your holiness
Nun: Sister
Mother: Mother

Also, is it appropriate to address any Catholic priest as father, even if he is not known or not the pastor of my parish?

Another question: when is it appropriate to kiss the ring of a bishop? I once met the bishop of the Clark County diocese (which Las Vegas is part of), and everyone after Mass kissed his ring, but I've never seen that in my diocese whenever a bishop visited my parish or at an event he was involved in.
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  #2  
Old Apr 23, '08, 6:41 am
Freshman88 Freshman88 is offline
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Join Date: October 5, 2006
Posts: 1,217
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Default Re: Catholic Protocol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larowyn View Post
I was thinking about protocol, and I realized that I was unclear on how to address certain members of the Church, such as deacons, retired members of the clergy, monks, priors, abbots, and monsignors.

So this is what I think I'm sure of right now (correct me if I'm wrong):

Priest: Father
Bishop:Your excellency
Cardinal: Your eminence
Pope: Your holiness
Nun: Sister
Mother: Mother
Those are correct but there are some nuances if you are interested but the list you have is sufficient since I don't know how often you come across some of the special titles and positions that they list. I would however add "Monsignor" to your list in order to address monsignors correctly.

New advent has a section on how to address the clergy, check out the English-speaking section, its fairly thorough.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01137a.htm
Quote:

Also, is it appropriate to address any Catholic priest as father, even if he is not known or not the pastor of my parish?
Oh most certainly you should address all Catholic priests with father, all priest should be addressed as such unless you are on very familiar terms, and even then I would still advocate the use of father. The reason for this is to respect their position as a clergymen and to acknowledge them as your spiritual superiors.
Quote:
Another question: when is it appropriate to kiss the ring of a bishop? I once met the bishop of the Clark County diocese (which Las Vegas is part of), and everyone after Mass kissed his ring, but I've never seen that in my diocese whenever a bishop visited my parish or at an event he was involved in.
Some parishes are more, shall we say, "rooted" in Orthodoxy than others.

It certainly is perfectly fine to kiss the bishops ring out of respect for his office and this can be done at formal occasions, introductions , etc... pretty much any time where you have the opportunity to do so, you should - its a great sign of respect for the office of the bishop.

Also, there is the practice of kissing a priests hand but I understand this is more common in Europe.Otherwise, traditionalists tend to favor this practice, so in North America your more likely to see this at an EF community, but otherwise it's fairly rare around these parts. I would'nt just kiss the hand of a random priest, I would speculate that many are not aware of this practice.
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  #3  
Old Apr 23, '08, 8:14 am
SuscipeMeDomine SuscipeMeDomine is offline
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Join Date: April 19, 2007
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Default Re: Catholic Protocol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larowyn View Post
I was thinking about protocol, and I realized that I was unclear on how to address certain members of the Church, such as deacons, retired members of the clergy, monks, priors, abbots, and monsignors.
Deacons and Abbots are addressed as Deacon or Abbot. I don't think retirement changes anything so a retired priest would still be addressed as Father. Monks would be addressed as Father or Brother depending on which category they fall into.

As far as kissing the bishop's ring, I think some bishops may be more comfortable with that idea than others. And I don't think it's at all universal among the laity that they know about kissing it or want to.
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  #4  
Old Apr 23, '08, 9:36 am
Larowyn Larowyn is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Protocol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshman88 View Post
Those are correct but there are some nuances if you are interested but the list you have is sufficient since I don't know how often you come across some of the special titles and positions that they list. I would however add "Monsignor" to your list in order to address monsignors correctly.

New advent has a section on how to address the clergy, check out the English-speaking section, its fairly thorough.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01137a.htm
I didn't add monsignor to my list because the list was of addresses I was pretty sure of. I wasn't sure how to address a monsignor, so that wasn't on the list.

Quote:
It certainly is perfectly fine to kiss the bishops ring out of respect for his office and this can be done at formal occasions, introductions , etc... pretty much any time where you have the opportunity to do so, you should - its a great sign of respect for the office of the bishop.

Also, there is the practice of kissing a priests hand but I understand this is more common in Europe.Otherwise, traditionalists tend to favor this practice, so in North America your more likely to see this at an EF community, but otherwise it's fairly rare around these parts. I would'nt just kiss the hand of a random priest, I would speculate that many are not aware of this practice.
My practice has always been to observe other people. If they kiss the bishop's hand, then I do as well. My diocesan bishop seems to prefer a handshake.
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