Are Catholics bound to respect religious titles of Protestants?

This is a kind of random topic, but I haven’t really been able to find anything that touches on this at all (maybe I’m looking in the wrong places?.

I am Catholic. Let’s say I run into an Anglican bishop or something, let’s say the Archbishop of Banterbury. Do I need to call him “Most Reverend”?

Personally, I think that would be the right thing to do in terms of respect… But if doing so calls your faith in the Catholic Church into question -then it would be the wrong thing to do. Remember that nurturing your own faith is Gods greatest commandment.

=albertus_magnus;9801911]This is a kind of random topic, but I haven’t really been able to find anything that touches on this at all (maybe I’m looking in the wrong places?.

I am Catholic. Let’s say I run into an Anglican bishop or something, let’s say the Archbishop of Banterbury. Do I need to call him “Most Reverend”?


and IF ones Knows the Proper adress term


1st. Cor. chapter 13: 1-6

God Bless,

You would call a judge “Your Honor” and a king “Your Majesty,” right? Even though all glory belongs to God and His majesty triumphs over all?

Use other people’s titles properly. It’s a form of rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. God knows you know who should be addressed how.

Yes, I would. It’s just respect, and he is a respectable man even though he isn’t Catholic. It’s just more decent to call people by their titles. It’ll make you look better, and make them feel better.

There ought to be a polite way to address people who have no authority over you, such as kings and leaders of other countries, leaders of other religions. etc., but one which is different from the address used by those under that person’s authority.

I think it is the respectful thing to do.

I don’t get why you put the question that way. Wouldn’t anyone want to extend normal courtesy to a fellow human being? Wouldn’t the question rather be whether you are bound not to use the title? And from what I’ve heard Catholics say before, I think the answer is no.

But if you really don’t want to extend normal courtesies to your fellow human beings, I’m not really sure anyone will care much, except insofar as they love and care about you and want you to behave in a civilized manner.


It works both ways.

We would like the general public (non-Catholic) to address priests, nuns, brothers, bishops, Cardinals by their respective titles. Shouldn’t we afford them the same respect?

I’ve thought about this before, and I think its more polite to call them what they want to be called, even though in God’s truth they may be no more ordained than you or I. Even before Vatican II, the holy father would show some special respect to the heads of various sects, as a courtesy. I wouldn’t go out of my way to be deferent though, the way I would for a Catholic priest or bishop.


Well, it’d be polite and respectful…

I try to, though I can never remember what people are supposed to be called, regardless of faith.

If I remember right, a American is not supposed to bow before any monarch. Isn’t it kind of the same thing as not calling another religion by their title? Doesn’t mean you should disrespect them.

Incidentally, if you met him in person you wouldn’t call him the “most reverend”. The correct form of address is actually “your grace” or (interestingly) “father”. “Most reverend” would be appropriate on a letter.


The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York are both styled as “The Most Reverend”; retired archbishops are styled as “The Right Reverend”. Archbishops are, by convention, appointed to the Privy Council and may, therefore, also use the style of “The Right Honourable” for life (unless they are later removed from the council). In formal documents, the Archbishop of Canterbury is referred to as “The Most Reverend Father in God, Forenames, by Divine Providence Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan”. In debates in the House of Lords, the archbishop is referred to as “The Most Reverend Primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury”. “The Right Honourable” is not used in either instance. He may also be formally addressed as “Your Grace”—or, more often these days, simply as “Archbishop”, “Father” or (in the current instance) “Dr Williams”.

There was another thread about this topic not long ago. In it I referenced a letter written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to Bavarian Lutheran bishop Johannes Hanselmann.

The greeting is:
Dear Provincial Bishop,

Now Bishop Hanselmann held a doctorate, and it would have been quite respectful to address him as* Dear Dr. Hanselmann*, but he didn’t. I think Cardinal Ratzinger sets a good example in this way for all of us. I have a good friend who is a Catholic priest. I could simply call him Larry, and he wouldn’t blink an eye, but I always refer to him as either Father, or Father Larry.


Er, actually, loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving your neighbour as yourself are God’s greatest commandments, at least according to Jesus. Being polite is directly in accordance with the latter, and certainly no contradiction to the former.

As for being Catholic, maintaining faith in what the Catholic Church teaches is loving God in the most complete way. If that faith becomes compromised with thoughts of doubt -then Gods greatest commandment has been neglected. No amount of politeness can ever come before Faith.

My mind is set on this, so it’s no use trying to convince me otherwise. :slight_smile:

I think respect goes a long way even if you don’t agree with what their church says.

I say this because I have an uncle who is baptist and a glazier.
He was installing stained glass in a Catholic church in Texas and called the pastor of that church “young man”. He was showing his disregard for both the church and the title “father”, young man indeed.

As christians we are to return good for evil.

I call baptists what they want out of respect, whether it be Brother, reverend, or his first name.

Exactly, we have to think about how it makes us feel when people don’t respect Catholics. Whatever they want to be called we should call them that. I mean, their love for God makes them respectable in my book.

…well sometimes I like to be mean. But if someone is truly tolerant, then that shouldn’t be a problem then.

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