I ran across an interesting signature line on this answer:

God bless you, a Catholic Priest.

In general SE sites are pretty strict about not including signature lines in posts. However, the fact that this one identifies the OP as someone with some knowledge on this subject seems like a valuable piece of information. Note that I edited out an intro line from the answer already, but I didn't want to throw away the signature.

Is there a good way to edit this bit of information into the post itself? How should we prompt the OP to handle this in the future?

  • 2
    Has the OP changed his profile name since your edit? Right now it is "A Catholic Priest" which would do the trick as long as he doesn't change it again.
    – jimreed
    Sep 20, 2011 at 13:37
  • Similar: stackoverflow.com/questions/1712879/…
    – TRiG
    Sep 20, 2011 at 16:02
  • 2
    I would still discourage signatures as a matter of policy. Being that you felt removing the "information" would decrease the quality of the post, you can leave a thoughtful note describing the hesitation. "We discourage use of signatures but if the information is important to the post, can you please include it in a more narrative fashion. Thank you." Sep 20, 2011 at 23:32

3 Answers 3


We ran into a similar issue on Parenting.SE, where we had a number of individuals who worked in professions related to parenting and child care. Some of them made note of this in the majority of our answers.

The guideline we agreed upon was that citing your professional reference is valid so long as it is directly relevant to the context of the question or answer provided.

In this case, I think that it would be perfectly appropriate to indicate that one is a Catholic Priest if answering a question specific to Catholicism (as the question prompting this discussion was). However, citing oneself as a Catholic Priest when answering about topics that are not directly related to Catholicism (this question, for example) should be discouraged, and possibly edited out if it occurs.

  • Thanks for chiming in here. Do you have any references to meta discussion on Parenting.SE?
    – Caleb
    Sep 20, 2011 at 21:28
  • Parenting.SE Meta We don't have many active participants in our meta, so there isn't really much "discussion" in that thread. The policy proposed reflects the results of discussion in our public chat room.
    – Beofett
    Sep 20, 2011 at 22:02

He should identify himself as such in his profile and mention priesthood in context where appropriate. Now since this is an edit I'd leave it as it provides context


Well, I for one appreciated it. And it was pretty miraculous that he even showed up on the site and answered my question perfectly.

An acceptable edit would probably be. "I'm a Catholic Priest..." ...answer... "God bless you" It may be a double standard, but I don't think there could be anything wrong with saying "God bless you" at the end of an answer to anyone reading.

It's more like saying "Good luck in pursuing your devotion" or on Cooking.SE "Now have fun making borscht"

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