Episode 33 - "Mr." Priest

Episode 27 · February 13th, 2011 · 31 mins 54 secs

About this Episode

This podcast is about professional titles:

the more reduced in circumstances an institution,
the more high-flown its titles.
Did you know that until about 1970 Episcopal clergy were always called
'Mr." ? (They were never called 'Father', except in one parish, max two,
per city.) The later Cardinal Newman was 'Mr. Newman', and Edward Bouverie Pusey was 'Mr. Pusey'.
But don't take my word for it. Read W. M. Thackerey, read E.M. Forster. See 'Showboat', the 1936 version.
An interesting principle seems to be at work: when things are going great, the leader is just a regular person, like everybody else. He's 'Mr. Irwine', as in Eliot's "Adam Bede".
But when things begin to go south, and the world gets against you, the leader becomes: The Most Metropolitical and Right Honorable Dr. of Sacred Letters Obadiah Slope.
Anyway, I'd sure rather be Mr. Midshipman Easy!
Listen to this, and you may want to work for the car wash down the street.
Oh, and no one will believe you anyway.
Maybe if you tell 'em, Father Paul told you.