Don’t call me Father

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jun 03, 2019

John Dew thinks that Catholics should stop addressing priests as “Father.”

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “Who cares what he thinks, and why can’t you guys spell ‘John Doe’ correctly?”

But you see it’s not John Doe. It really is John Dew. As in Cardinal John Dew, the Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand.

Hmmm. When I left off his title, you didn’t care what he thought.

Do you see what I did there?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: feedback - Jun. 04, 2019 5:36 PM ET USA

    Dew claims that omitting the title "Father" will stop pedophilia, which is caused by clericalism, which is the result of using the title "Father." But where did John Dew get the idea that pedophiles on a prowl want to be called "Fathers"? The most disgraced pedophile to date demanded to be called "Uncle Ted."

  • Posted by: Philopus - Jun. 03, 2019 3:52 PM ET USA

    Oh brother, what next?! It is worth noting that Jorge Bergoglio made John Dew a Cardinal.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jun. 03, 2019 2:03 PM ET USA

    Makes the Church look like a loser organization that is throwing up its hands in defeat. "Here I am. I have no dignity. Kick me some more." The easier and more workable solution is to say "no" to sin. But, of course, saying "no" to evil is to acknowledge the reality of right and wrong moral acts. This sort of logic filters all the way back to a God of mercy _and of justice_. Justice delivers to its subject that which is due. To the good--merit. To the bad--punishment. It's all "black and white."