Hello folks, I am a catholic, and my catholicism is deeply shaking about the “Call no one father on Earth” of Matthew 23:9: “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”
I have seen some responses, of Jimmy Akin and others, but they did not seem fully convincing to me, and I am please want anyone to give me a full, and convincing answer for this.
There is the argument which Jesus was not forbiding anyone to call his biological fathers as “father”. But that doesn’t make sense to me, because Jesus is obviously talking about Fatherhood in a Spiritual sense not in a biological sense. Jesus says that we can’t call anyone “Teacher”, “Father” and “Rabbi” on earth, which he refers as titles of spiritual authority, and catholics do Believe the Pope is an authority to say what God wants on Earth. When we see the priest consacrating the Eucharist in the mass, it is clear that the Father is in Jesus place when he rises the host in the mass.
The argument which Jesus was making a Hyperbole to make a point, I think if Jesus meant to do that, he could make a Hyperbole in other way in order not to confuse us, and that would allow people use his hyperbole against his church. He could have said: “The Fatherhood of God is supreme above all fatherhoods, and the leaders will just share this fatherhood in a smaller way” It would be better than make a Hyperbole that would sound contradictory like: “Call no one father on earth” when we in fact are calling people father on earth.
Other point is that the Catholic Church is not an Earthly institution and when we are calling the Father as Father, we are calling him in a Divine Instituion on this earth. But it still did not sound convincing to me because it obviously the Catholic church is, Also, an Earthly institution.
And the case that Paul, Saint Stephen and others call father as a spiritual authority in other books of the New Testament may answer a Protestant Objection, but it does not respond to a “Non-christian objection”, an atheist, or a Muslim, a Jew, might say that Paul, Saint Stephen, Peter got Jesus wrong in his message and Paul and others are taking Jesus wrong.
Anyone could help me with that? Thank you!