Something I always wondered about Catholics

I’m pretty knowledgeable of (traditional) Catholic beliefs and practices, but one thing always stumped me, and I guess this the best place to ask.

Why do Catholics refer to priests as just “Father”? As in, “Let’s see what Father says”. Doesn’t the priest use his last name too? And how do you then distinguish between two or more different priests?

I ran into this problem in another way, because my mother was recently in a (Catholic) hospital for a month before her passing.

The (Catholic) nurses kept referring to my mom’s doctor as “Doctor” (no last name.)

Also, why do Catholics refer to God or Jesus as “Our Lord” as opposed to the Protestant or Jewish “The Lord”? It always sounded to me, esp. when I was little (I grew up in an immigrant Jewish and Catholic neighborhood), as if Catholics felt God or Jesus belonged only to them, hence the use of the term, “our”!

Can anyone give some background or insight to this?

I think it all depends. If in a conversation we all know the priest in question then I’d use Father, otherwise I’d say oh shall we go and visit Father …

As for Our Lord, he’s your Lord too :wink:

No, he’s not mine (unless you mean HaShem, who is God.) Its not that I felt left out because they said “Our”, I just always wondered why they say that rather than the more common “The (Lord)”.

It makes it more personal.

And Catholics believe that Our Lord is the same Lord as the God of the Jewish people.

NO carolsdaugther he is your lord. wether you like it or not.

Why do Catholics refer to priests as just “Father”? As in, “Let’s see what Father says”. Doesn’t the priest use his last name too? And how do you then distinguish between two or more different priests?

Well, if a Parish only has one priest then it’s a given when you say “Father” which one you’re speaking about. Often the context will let you know if there’s more than one, or you can say Father McConville or Father Bob, or what have you.

I use the full name – Father O’Rourke, for example. Other people just say “Father” when everyone knows who we’re talking about.

If I see a priest or nun that I don’t know, I’ll say, 'Good Morning, Father." or “Good Mornng, Sister.” It’s a respectful way to address a nun or priest when you don’t know their name.

I don’t know about the “Our Lord” thing. I don’t think I’ve ever used the term. I know that all Christians say “Our Father, who art…”

Yep, ours has 4 resident, and four regular visitors as well as a studying/long term visiting priest. We usually have to include their name. Also our community has a lot of non Catholics so just saying ‘‘father’’ often draws some odd looks from those who don’t understand its usage.

It the parish has only one priest, then when someone says," I talked to Father about it yesterday," eveyone knows who they are referring to. If the parish has more than one then they may say Father with the preists first or last name, such as, Father Dave, or Father Smith.

We refer to God as both “Our Lord” and “The Lord” . I think “Our Lord” is used because we are a community, one body in Christ. Just as when one member of the body sins, the sin does not just affect the one person but it impacts the entire body, and similarily when one member of the body is uplifted the entire body is impacted by it. As St. Paul said, "And if one member suffer any thing, all the members suffer with it; or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it. " And also there is only one God, and he the God of all - and no matter who you are he is “Our God” the God of all of humanity.

Stillkickin

When we say “Our Father, Who art in Heaven…” we mean ALL humanity and creation.

The same with “Our Lord.” It is the perception of the listener that infers the term to be exclusive. It is INCLUSIVE.

I often say it even as the only Christian in a circle of conversants. They probably think I’m ‘cornering the market’ when in fact I see them all in the market place with me!

:cool:

Who are you referring to? God? Or Jesus? Because, you know, I don’t regard them as one and the same (chas ve’sholom). I realize you do, but Jews don’t.

And don’t you find the “whether you like it or not” comment rather adversarial? I would not push my beliefs on you, why do the same to me?

It might surprise you to learn that I personally do not believe Jesus ever existed (based on the extreme lack of historical and archaelogical evidence). So in such a case, there is no way he can be my “lord”.

Shlomo Yeshou Mshiho minokhoun

I don’t think latinrite was trying to be pushy at all. He/she was doing it out of love, at least that’s how it came across to me. If you believed to have the entire truth, wouldn’t you try to share it with others in hopes that they would find it too?

Not trying to come off as adversarial at all, so please don’t think that. Have you read any of Josephus? He gives a lot of historical evidence and so do other secular authors as well.

Alaha minokhoun
Andrew

Since we believe He is everyone’s Lord, it is accurate to say “Our” when speaking to anyone. It reflects our belief.

No, he’s not mine (unless you mean HaShem, who is God.) Its not that I felt left out because they said “Our”, I just always wondered why they say that rather than the more common “The (Lord)”.

Yes, He is. Jesus is your Lord, whether you admit it or not.

you want archeological evidence to believe on Jesus, but yet you say yuo believe in God. did you find archeological evidence of God before you came to believe Him?

Wisdomseeker, this is an excellent point. Thank you.

I have found members of the Jewish faith who use the term Rabbi in the same manner that Father is used by Catholics.

The Lord, your Lord, is Our Lord.

that is true. for i believe that is where we got the term from. Father Abraham, and Paul always refered to as our fathers those from the temple. and Paul said to the converts “I am your father, i have made you in Christ Jesus.”

Also, why do Catholics refer to God or Jesus as “Our Lord” as opposed to the Protestant or Jewish “The Lord”? It always sounded to me, esp. when I was little (I grew up in an immigrant Jewish and Catholic neighborhood), as if Catholics felt God or Jesus belonged only to them, hence the use of the term, “our”!

Jesus say " this is how you should pray: Our Father in Haven hallowed be thy name, your kingdom came, your will be done, on earth as it is in Haven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil."
so we say our Father, our Lord, our Savior, our GOD

To answer those who asked, there is archaeological proof of the existence of many Jewish Biblical figures, I didn’t mean to say I woud need archaeological proof of GOD Himself, that is a matter of faith, of course!

As for Josephus, I am quite familiar with his writings, I own a copy of the Works of Josephus. He only gives one reference to a “Christus” and some scholars feel his one reference had a political rationale having to do with the Romans (I forget the details, its been a long time since I’ve had reason to read him.)

My point was that the historical evidence for the existence of Jesus is very, very scarce. I think the Jesus personality may have actually been a melange of several different Judean itinerant preachers active at the time.

But if Gentiles choose to believe in him, I have absolutely NO problem at all with that, and in many cases would encourage it even if I disbelieve it. My only concern is when people try to convince JEWS that we too must accept a non-Jewish belief system.

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