TEC Diocese of Connecticut Resolution #12: To Promote the Use of Gender Neutral Titles for Priests

…AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, while context, culture, and class are critically important dimensions of ministry, and that while there is not yet a consensus on the use of a common gender neutral title for priests, to advance the goal of developing and using such titles, it is a necessary first to eliminate any gendered titles for priests still in use in parishes, such as “Father” and “Mother,” while encouraging congregational conversations about thepreferred use of gender neutral titles;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in all parishes in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, we commit to ending the use of gendered titles for priests no later than the 231st Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that parishes in which female and male priests serve together shall begin using a specific common gender neutral title, according to the shared preference of the clergy in that parish;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that parishes in which title changes are to occur begin, as soon as is practicable, to engage in congregational education and discussion about the reasons for, and the benefits of this change…

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology

18 comments on “TEC Diocese of Connecticut Resolution #12: To Promote the Use of Gender Neutral Titles for Priests

  1. Milton says:

    More rearranging, not of the deck chairs, but of the icebergs that sunk the Titanic.

    What will they call their clergy? “Priest”, “Minister”, “Robed One”, “Cousin It”?

  2. David Keller says:

    I agree with Milton–I don’t get it. I guess TEC is going to become like the SBC and everyone will be call “reverend” (ie not “The Reverend”) or “pastor” or “minister”, the first of which is non-grammatical and all of which are totally non-Anglican. And what about Mr. and Miss/Mrs./Ms.? All I can say is if you are a woman cleric and you are that insecure, I’d rather you not be my priest. It is becoming more and more obvious that TEC is the DNC in vestments. They get paid for dressing up in neat Almy robes and whining. What a job.

  3. Catholic Mom says:

    [blockquote]it is a necessary first to eliminate any gendered titles for priests still in use in parishes, such as “Father” and “Mother,” [/blockquote]

    “Parental Unit”??

  4. tjmcmahon says:

    And no doubt, it will shortly be considered heretical to recite the Lord’s Prayer (both because it is not the Gender Neutral Rather Important Person’s prayer, and because it begins “Our Father,…”) or the Nicene Creed in any remotely accurate translation.

  5. Jim the Puritan says:

    I am reminded of a Non-Denominational Winter Holiday story.

  6. magnolia says:

    they are just unitarians who like to wear the funny pope hat.

  7. Br. Michael says:

    How about “Purple Penguins”?

  8. Adam 12 says:

    I was at the funeral of an episcopal priest where the communion service leaflet read “Leader” and “People.” You would not be surprised to know that revisionist bishops were there of some notoriety. Sitting in an assembly such as this one in Connecticut seems like a perfectly good waste of a Saturday afternoon.

  9. William Witt says:

    “Hey, you”?

  10. Nikolaus says:

    Well…from a historical perspective “Mr.” was a perfectly acceptable form of address among low church clergy. But I suppose that’s not neutral enough. As I’ve aged (not well mind you) I wish we would return to more formal terms of address. I really can’t stand references to Fr. “Skip” Mother “Muffy” or Bishop “Katharine.”

  11. Nikolaus says:

    …but “Cousin It” and “hey, you” work for me!

  12. Katherine says:

    #10, I too am very tired of the assumption that we’re all on first-name terms.

  13. rwkachur says:

    For me the irony is that the standard liberal line is that it is the individual’s prerogative to choose their title. Thus a transgendered person can demand to be called “sir” or “ma’am” or whatever and out of respect for their self-proclaimed identity we all must demur. But now they are saying that a priest cannot request that he be referred to as “father” even if that’s how he would choose to be identified. It’s the classic “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. Fundamentally, you get to “choose” only if you are in the selected class of persons.

  14. Br. Michael says:

    13, Or so long as you choose correctly. Just like states are totaly free to define marriage so long as they define it correctly as determined by federal courts.

  15. wyclif says:

    TEC desperately needs to re-learn (if they ever knew it in the first place) Crockford’s “How to address the clergy”:


  16. MichaelA says:

    “where the communion service leaflet read “Leader” and “People.”…”

    Just as well it wasn’t in German then… :o|

  17. magnolia says:

    no. 10 i agree. i get very annoyed when complete strangers address me by my Christian name. i’ve determined that next time at starbucks i will give my first name as Mrs. Magnolia. i was looking through some old church bulletins from the 1940’s. EVERYONE listed was a Mr. Mrs. or Miss. sigh…

  18. Jim the Puritan says:

    #17, at my son’s conservative Lutheran high school, there was still a custom that the teachers and the parents still always addressed each other as Mr., Mrs., etc. even if you knew each other well and worked on school committees together–boundaries I guess.