At the end of Mass the other day - I was just finishing the three invocations at the end of the Leonine Prayers - a bloke wandered into the church. "Hello Padre", he called. "Hi! But I'm English, not Italian", I replied. "But I was in the Army", he retorted. "The Italian Army!" I cried. "Eccellente! Buongiorno, Capitano! Un espresso, per favore!" "No, the British Army", he carefully explained. " We used to call our Godbotherers 'Padre'".
I felt a bit of a cad afterwards.
23 November 2009
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I'm a yank and I knew it from watching war movies.
Don't feel too bad, I do a similar thing when I am called a "Roman".
The interesting thing is that in Italy, to avoid using the term 'Padre', the secularly-inclined Italian laity will address you as 'Reverendo' - even in the environs of St. Peter's!
I was always under the impression that the Army picked up the expression during the Peninsular Campaign.
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