Time and again, the word “emeritus” is heard. Here and then wherefore, the question is asked: What does the term “emeritus” mean? And the answer are different, depending of the knowledge, the interest or even the mood of the person asked. And this is what makes the nomenclature quite interesting - - hereunder thus pointing out the three following more common answer to such a cryptic title or mysterious appendage:
First: It can be traced to the word “Emirate” with “Emir” as its derivative. This is indeed saying much and thinking high. The conclusion is obvious: Someone after whose name the term “Emeritus” is appended, clearly means that the individual comes from an “Emirate” and his proper title is “Emir”. Well and good, but false and fake. Sounds great but ridiculous.
Second: It means “finished”, “worn out”, “done with” or something similar with such a finality or terminal feature. Wherefore, when somebody is called or qualified as “Emeritus”, this says in so many words that the person concerned is in effect, dismissed, discarded, fired, set aside as one worn out - - or simply given his walking papers. This is a pity but it is the truth.
Third: It has reference to an individual “who has served his time” or “who has done the service”. He is wherefore some kind of a “veteran” who is good to have around as a souvenir of the past - -a reminder that after all and in due time, everybody has an ending to say and/or to be told “Good-bye”. In other words, an “Emeritus” is some kind of a remnant that is still around - - until he is no more. This is cruel but real.
It is the Catholic Church as a kind and considerate Institution that has invented the title “Emeritus” and that has appended it to old, weak and sickly, or simply spent, undependable and wherefore dispensable members of the Hierarchy. Strictly speaking, physical age has nothing to do with it - - notwithstanding what the appendage of “Emeritus” after one’s name is to be expendable. And that’s it.
In more ways that one, the phenomenon of being certified as an “Emeritus” brings about a good number of lessons - - for the Member of the Church Hierarchy in particular - - some of the said teaching are the following: You too will be “set apart” from the all others. You too will be “discharged”. You too will be “just around”. Thus it is.
Prior to being given the title, you are called to do this and that, be here and there. Upon getting the title, you make the calls - - upon yourself.
2 AUGUST 2010