Saturday Mass readings (Call no man your father but respect Church leaders)

August 22, 2009

Reading 1
Ru 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17

Naomi had a prominent kinsman named Boaz,
of the clan of her husband Elimelech.
Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi,
“Let me go and glean ears of grain in the field
of anyone who will allow me that favor.”
Naomi said to her, “Go, my daughter,” and she went.
The field she entered to glean after the harvesters
happened to be the section belonging to Boaz
of the clan of Elimelech.

Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter!
Do not go to glean in anyone else’s field;
you are not to leave here.
Stay here with my women servants.
Watch to see which field is to be harvested, and follow them;
I have commanded the young men to do you no harm.
When you are thirsty, you may go and drink from the vessels
the young men have filled.”
Casting herself prostrate upon the ground, Ruth said to him,
“Why should I, a foreigner, be favored with your notice?”
Boaz answered her:
“I have had a complete account of what you have done
for your mother-in-law after your husband’s death;
***you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth,
and have come to a people whom you did not know previously.”***Boaz took Ruth.

When they came together as man and wife,
the LORD enabled her to conceive and she bore a son.
Then the women said to Naomi,
“Blessed is the LORD who has not failed
to provide you today with an heir!
May he become famous in Israel!

He will be your comfort and the support of your old age,
for his mother is the daughter-in-law who loves you.
She is worth more to you than seven sons!”
Naomi took the child, placed him on her lap, and became his nurse.
And the neighbor women gave him his name,
at the news that a grandson had been born to Naomi.
They called him Obed.
He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 128:1b-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (4) See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.
You wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
R. See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. ***See how the Lord blesses those who fear him. ***

Mt 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.

They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
***you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” ***

*Here Jesus shows the importance of respecting Church leaders (pope, bishops, priests) but only if / when they are not acting contrary to Jesus Christ). Many priests these days seem very liberal and we are NOT to listen to what they say if they are telling us something that, say, contradicts the pope. Even so, the pope must also be living a Christ-like life (some past popes have not, although they never taught that their sinful actions were to be imitated)

If we were to take this psg literally, about calling no one our father, we couldn’t even call our biological fathers by that title… What Jesus means is that we are not to follow someone blindly

not even political leaders… :rolleyes: *

A question. Who appointed the scribes and Pharisees to the seat of Moses? Nobody. Jesus tells us they have seated themselves. With respect to calling no man father, notice the context of the whole passage given. As you have pointed out it is dealing with religious leaders. The scribes and Pharisees liked respectful greetings and titles. It is at this point that Jesus tells us to call no man father, in a discourse on religious leadership.

where does it say that? And even if it Does say that… Jesus said to do everything they say, just don’t do as they DO… so whether they seated themselves or not, its irrelevent…

With respect to calling no man father, notice the context of the whole passage given. As you have pointed out it is dealing with religious leaders. The scribes and Pharisees liked respectful greetings and titles. It is at this point that Jesus tells us to call no man father, in a discourse on religious leadership.

i don’t get your point?

are you saying Catholics are wrong to call priests Father?

why no answer SyCarl??

I am saying that I myself would not do so. Jesus is talking about church or religios leaders when He says call no man on earth father. A priest is a church leader and I would not take the chance by falling him Father.

Take a chance??? I thought you were a protestant, born again. I thought it was only them cat-licks that don’t know for sure they “got saved”.

How do you reconcile this with the epistle writings about the Church leaders, Bishops, Priests and Deacons?

Do we call them Jack, Sam and Fred?

The problem with your assertion is it doesn’t hold up to the test of scripture. The fact that you take this teaching out of context can be refuted by the same scripture you site. Weak I must admit.

Matthew’s Gospel tell us to “go to our inner room to pray”. Your heavenly Father will repay you in private, then in a later chapter he says to go to the house top and proclaim the good news.

Which is correct? One must be able to see the scripture in its entirety, old and new. Until you do you are outside of the truth. These words are said with the love of Christ my brother.

The New Testament does not really distinguish between priests and bishops, but where does it say to address them as father?

You can be told to pray in more than one place. It does not say only pray in private. However I do not believe I am taking this passage out of context. Jesus is talking about church leadership from verse 1 through to verse 33. This includes calling no man father. Now we know that we can call our biological father father, and similarly our ancestors can be referred to as our forefathers. However a priest seems to fall within the scope of what Jesus is talking about. If it doesn’t, it must fall just at the edge. I won’t criticize anyone if they think it is okay but I am not willing to see how far I can stretch what is permissible.

What about in Mark 11…

9Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!“
10"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”

They were referring to David in the sense of forefather and in his office of King. They are not referring to him as a religious leader in this passage.

This is simple, don’t complicate things. Who was Jesus speaking to? Who was He speaking about? When was He speaking? Put it into context and you can see the truth in His statement.

He was speaking to THE church leaders, one group, Jews; the same group that had perverted the church of the God of Abraham.

How was Abraham a righteous man? Was it because he followed the law? No, his faith gave him righteousness. Where does the law come into play? The Pharisees, Jewish church leaders of the times who distorted the teachings of the Torah were in need of these titles.

Jesus taught against following these false teachers and leaders. He did not teach the Apostles not to call each other or their successors, father; this is just a misuse of this verse.

1 Timothy 3:1-13 = Bishops (episkopos) and Deacons (diakonia)

1 Timothy 5:17-25 (presbyter)

No, scripture does not say its okay to call a priest father, but neither does it say that you can call your high school teacher “teacher”. According to the scripture you site, I can’t call my seminary teachers “teacher”. That seems a little silly to me. That is not what Jesus is teaching here.

Abraham was righteous because of his faith, not works of the law, Paul wrote about this fact many times. Jesus chastised the Jewish leaders for demanding their followers to live by law they themselves would not follow. Matt 23:3 reads, “do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.” If the Apostles would follow them in their actions and call them their leaders, they could not follow Jesus who was with them.

He did not tell them to wander around not ever to have a leader again after He had ascended. In fact He left them a leader, Peter the “rock”.

The tradition of the Church tells us that the Priesthood of a man, who is ordained a priest, is the priesthood of Christ, no the man is not Christ. But he is ordained into that very Priesthood of our High Priest Jesus Christ, so to that I call him father!

Christ established ONE Church on Earth and if that Church says its ok to call priests Father then its ok… (the Church has been doing this for centuries)…

If you knew what i knew, you would accept that the Roman Catholic Church is the Original Church…

since you don’t know what i know… RCIA classes are beginning in September… You can ask as mnay questions as you want…

and No one will force you to become Catholic… i promise… :smiley:

Catholic Answers has a tract addressing this issue. I’ll quote it here because I couldn’t say it better myself.

It goes as follow:

The Apostles Show the Way

The New Testament is filled with examples of and references to spiritual father-son and father-child relationships. Many people are not aware just how common these are, so it is worth quoting some of them here.

Paul regularly referred to Timothy as his child: “Therefore I sent to you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ” (1 Cor. 4:17); “To Timothy, my true child in the faith: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (1 Tim. 1:2); “To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (2 Tim. 1:2).

He also referred to Timothy as his son: “This charge I commit to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophetic utterances which pointed to you, that inspired by them you may wage the good warfare” (1 Tim 1:18); “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:1); “But Timothy’s worth you know, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel” (Phil. 2:22).

Paul also referred to other of his converts in this way: “To Titus, my true child in a common faith: grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior” (Titus 1:4); “I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment” (Philem. 10). None of these men were Paul’s literal, biological sons. Rather, Paul is emphasizing his spiritual fatherhood with them.

Spiritual Fatherhood

Perhaps the most pointed New Testament reference to the theology of the spiritual fatherhood of priests is Paul’s statement, “I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (1 Cor. 4:14–15).

Peter followed the same custom, referring to Mark as his son: “She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark” (1 Pet. 5:13). The apostles sometimes referred to entire churches under their care as their children. Paul writes, “Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children” (2 Cor. 12:14); and, “My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!” (Gal. 4:19).

John said, “My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1); “No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth” (3 John 4). In fact, John also addresses men in his congregations as “fathers” (1 John 2:13–14).

By referring to these people as their spiritual sons and spiritual children, Peter, Paul, and John imply their own roles as spiritual fathers. Since the Bible frequently speaks of this spiritual fatherhood, we Catholics acknowledge it and follow the custom of the apostles by calling priests “father.” Failure to acknowledge this is a failure to recognize and honor a great gift God has bestowed on the Church: the spiritual fatherhood of the priesthood.

Catholics know that as members of a parish, they have been committed to a priest’s spiritual care, thus they have great filial affection for priests and call them “father.” Priests, in turn, follow the apostles’ biblical example by referring to members of their flock as “my son” or “my child” (cf. Gal. 4:19; 1 Tim. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:1; Philem. 10; 1 Pet. 5:13; 1 John 2:1; 3 John 4).

All of these passages were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and they express the infallibly recorded truth that Christ’s ministers do have a role as spiritual fathers. Jesus is not against acknowledging that. It is he who gave these men their role as spiritual fathers, and it is his Holy Spirit who recorded this role for us in the pages of Scripture. To acknowledge spiritual fatherhood is to acknowledge the truth, and no amount of anti-Catholic grumbling will change that fact.

You can read the whole tract by clicking on anti-Catholic in the tract library box on the Faith tab, then on “Call No Man Father?”


but you forgot (as i did also) about Abraham being called Father Abraham…

i just find it difficult to call a liberal priest Father… :mad:

if you study the history of the Church, you will find many things. For one thing there is the Didache, which i admit i haven’t read, but have read parts of it…

there are books that go back to the time of the Apostles… that speak of how the Church was in the beginning, waht the Church taught, etc…

The Eucharist is mentioned over and over… meaning Transubstantiation… Deferring to the “bishop of Rome” for final judgment is also mentioned (the pope)…

The New & Old Testament refer to Abraham as "Father Abraham’

are we to call him Father Abraham but not those who know Jesus Christ personally? St. paul referred to himself as a ‘father’ to Timothy … and i believe to others as well…

besides, if nothing else… it is just a word. What Jesus meant may be much different than what the words may be saying… it is wrong to just focus on the words w/o focusing on the meaning of them… *Call no man your father *means do not follow someone blindly, as children follow their father when they are very young.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit