Saturday, April 05, 2008
Priests as Lords
In an article entitled "Calling Priests 'Father' in Latin" (April 4, 2008), Jimmy Akin tells how he discovered -- first through reading the Latin abbreviations "D.ns" -- that priests are not addressed as "Father" in Latin but as "Lord" ("Dominus"). "Pater" is not used in Latin as a form of addressing priests. When the election of Pope Benedict XVI was announced, he was referred to "dominum Iosephum, sanctæ romanæ Ecclesiæ cardinalem Ratzinger," Akin observes. A commentator speculates that this may be the reason why some monks and clergy are addressed as "Dom" (short for 'Dominus'), or sometimes "Don" (as in Don Bosco). Another reader points out that in Latin, "Dominus" or "Reverendus Dominus" (R.D.) is used for diocesan priests. "Pater" or "Reverendus Pater" (R.P.) is used for religious priests.