The Very Reverend
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (May 2017)
|The Reverend styles|
In the Catholic Church, the style is given, by custom, to priests who hold positions of particular note: e.g. vicars general, episcopal vicars, judicial vicars, ecclesiastical judges, vicars forane (deans or archpriests), provincials of religious orders, rectors or presidents of cathedrals, seminaries or colleges/universities, priors of monasteries, canons, for instance. (This title is ignored if the holder is a monsignor or a bishop; otherwise, a priest who is "Very Reverend" continues to be addressed as Father.) Monsignors of the grade of Chaplain of His Holiness were formerly styled as The Very Reverend Monsignor, while Honorary Prelate and Protonotary Apostolic were styled The Right Reverend Monsignor. An extant example is the Very Reverend John Talamo, Jr. Fr. Talamo is both the pastor of his parish and holds an exalted position in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Now, apart from legitimate custom or acquired right, most monsignors are simply styled The Reverend Monsignor. The title is also accorded in the Dominican Order to holders of the title of Master of Sacred Theology.
In the Anglican Communion, the style is used with certain senior priests in a diocese. The senior priest of a cathedral, whether a dean or a provost, is usually styled as The Very Reverend regardless of whether the priest is also the rector of the cathedral parish, or whether the cathedral is a parish church. In the Episcopal Church USA, the dean of a seminary or divinity school is also styled in this form, as is the priest who is either appointed by the local bishop or elected by fellow priests as the leader of a deanery, which is a geographic subdivision of a diocese. In some Episcopal dioceses convocation is used in lieu of deanery. The deans of dioceses in the Scottish Episcopal Church (who do not head a cathedral chapter) and the Anglican Church of Canada (who do) are also styled as The Very Reverend.
- a former Moderator of the United Church of Canada who is an ordained minister (as laypeople can also be elected to the position of moderator)
- a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland
- a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.