Title of Catholic Priests


#1

Hi, Just arrived. There is a question that plays on my mind.
Why is it that Catholic Priests are called Father, when the bible says call no one Father except God himself?
I hope this question doesn’t cause offence.


#2

This should help:
catholic.com/library/Call_No_Man_Father.asp


#3

[quote=pachman]Hi, Just arrived. There is a question that plays on my mind.
Why is it that Catholic Priests are called Father, when the bible says call no one Father except God himself?
I hope this question doesn’t cause offence.
[/quote]

**Because the Bible does not mean that NO man should be called “Father.” 1. Cruden’s Concordance (which is a non-Catholic concordance) at the beginning of the citation under the word “father” says:"In addition to its common use, this word is also used in the sense of seniors . . . of ancestors . . . founders of trades or professions . . . head of the inhabitants of a town, etc."
The word "Father” is found almost a 1000 times and only about half of these refer to God. The others refer to HUMAN BEINGS who are called "Father."2. It was not the intention of Christ that NO man should be called “Father.” (a) In Matthew XIII, 1-3 . . . He is admonishing the people to follow the teachings of the Pharisees . . . but not their example: "But do not act according to their works."According to these verses, no master is to be followed who would lead us away from Christ.
**
(b)Christ Himself permitted and used the word FOR OTHERS than God. (a) In John 4:12, He did not correct the Samaritan woman who said: “Art thou greater than our father Jacob who gave us the well? . . .”
(b) In John 8:56, He Himself used the term, for Abraham: "Abraham your father rejoiced that he was to see my day . . . **
3. Saint Paul, following the example of Christ, did not take these words in their literal sense. (a)
He calls the Corinthians his spiritual children: “For although you have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet you have not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, through the gospel, did I beget you.” (1 Cor. 4:15) **
(b)
He calls Timothy his “beloved SON in the faith.” (1 Tim. 1:2) **
©
He speaks of the Corinthians as his CHILDREN: “. . . but I admonish you as my dearest children.” (1 Cor. 4:14) **
(d)
He tells the Philippians that the proof of Timothy’s loyalty is to be found in the fact that he had served Paul in the Gospel as “a Son with the FATHER.” (Phil. 2:22) **
(e)
See also: 1 Thes. 2:11. **

III. If we adhere to the literal interpretation: 1. All honorary titles would be forbidden. Judges, mayors, etc., could not be called “Your Honor.” Presidents, ambassadors, etc., could not be called "Your Excellency.“
2. Physicians could not be called 'Doctor” and ministers could not be called "Reverend."
3. We could not call our own male parent “Father” for there would be no exceptions under the literal interpretation.
4. Likewise we could no longer call Washington the "Father of the Country."
5. We could not use the expression “Mister” for this is equivalent to “Master” and the same text says, "Neither be ye called masters. …"
6. Nor could we use the term “Sir” for this is a contraction of “Sire” which means “Lord” or "Master."
THEREFORE, this text of St. Matthew is not to be taken literally or as a general law. Catholic priests do not DEMAND this title. It is for them a source of HUMILITY rather than of PRIDE, for it reminds the priest of his OBLIGATIONS as a spiritual FATHER to his flock.


#4

[quote=pachman]Hi, Just arrived. There is a question that plays on my mind.
Why is it that Catholic Priests are called Father, when the bible says call no one Father except God himself?
I hope this question doesn’t cause offence.
[/quote]

I agree with you Jesus told us not to call any man father.

I haven’t read anywhere where Peter, James, John, or Paul ever was addressed as father. If they had they would have been disobeying Jesus.

(Matthew 23:8-12) “You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.

Jesus was most likely telling us that we only have one master and all praise and glory belong to Him not to anyone else. Father is used in the church to give honor to another Christian who has been set aside by the church as someone special. Jesus says we are all brothers not one above another.
Giver


#5

So I stop referring to my biological father as Father?


#6

[quote=josephdavid]So I stop referring to my biological father as Father?
[/quote]

I’ll answer you this way: before I would call my biological father, “father” I would go to Jesus and ask Him what is right for me to do. Personally, I am called dad buy my children, which seems to have less formal connotation.

I restate: Jesus was most likely telling us that we only have one master and all praise and glory belong to Him not to anyone else. Father is used in the church to give honor to another Christian who has been set aside by the church as someone special. Jesus says we are all brothers not one above another.
Giver


#7

The common protest against this, is ignoring consistancy of teaching. Either it is wrong to call people Father or not, if it is not wrong then, Jesus meant something else other than a prohibition against using the word. If it is wrong to call someone Father then as a truth of belief it should be held and consistantly upheld.

In seeing the inconsistancy of belief in this and the lack of any belief system which consistantly prohibits it, then everyone is wrong on this, if it is a prohibiton of using the word Father, Master etc… This cannot be the case so then why do people protest against using the word Father in some cases as an inconsistant prohibition?
Is it to uphold truth or just to try and find something wrong with Catholicism?

Let me sing you a song you can hear in most non-catholic and catholic schools.

Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
And I am one of them and so are you
So lets all praise the Lord.

God Bless
Scylla


#8

[quote=Giver]I’ll answer you this way: before I would call my biological father, “father” I would go to Jesus and ask Him what is right for me to do. Personally, I am called dad buy my children, which seems to have less formal connotation.

I restate: Jesus was most likely telling us that we only have one master and all praise and glory belong to Him not to anyone else. Father is used in the church to give honor to another Christian who has been set aside by the church as someone special. Jesus says we are all brothers not one above another.
Giver
[/quote]

You obviously haven’t bothered to read the link provided above–or if you have, you have failed to address any of the arguments it gives against your time-worn claim.


#9

[quote=scylla]The common protest against this, is ignoring consistancy of teaching. Either it is wrong to call people Father or not, if it is not wrong then, Jesus meant something else other than a prohibition against using the word. If it is wrong to call someone Father then as a truth of belief it should be held and consistantly upheld.

In seeing the inconsistancy of belief in this and the lack of any belief system which consistantly prohibits it, then everyone is wrong on this, if it is a prohibiton of using the word Father, Master etc… This cannot be the case so then why do people protest against using the word Father in some cases as an inconsistant prohibition?
Is it to uphold truth or just to try and find something wrong with Catholicism?

Let me sing you a song you can hear in most non-catholic and catholic schools.

Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
And I am one of them and so are you
So lets all praise the Lord.

God Bless
Scylla
[/quote]

I restate: Jesus was most likely telling us that we only have one master and all praise and glory belong to Him not to anyone else. Father is used in the church to give honor to another Christian who has been set aside by the church as someone special. Jesus says** we are all brothers not one above another. **

(Matthew 23:8-12) “You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, **and you are all ** **brothers. ** You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.

This is something I just can’t understand: why so often even when there is written proof that Jesus told us to do or not to do something, people look for any obscure way to get around what He said.

We need to stop trying to figure out God and just follow Him.
Giver


#10

So…that would mean that you are a Catholic who believes in the Real Presence, and all that Jesus said in John 6??

Four times He makes it clear what His teaching is… hmmm?


#11

If it is good enough for St. Paul, it is good enough for me. Perhaps you suppose that you know better than St. Paul uin regards to understanding what Jesus meant?

Rom 9:10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac.

1Cor 4:15-16 Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

Phil 2:22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because **as a son with his father **he has served with me in the work of the gospel.

1Thes 2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,


#12

[quote=Giver]I restate: Jesus was most likely telling us that we only have one master and all praise and glory belong to Him not to anyone else. Father is used in the church to give honor to another Christian who has been set aside by the church as someone special. Jesus says** we are all brothers not one above another**.

This is something I just can’t understand: why so often even when there is written proof that Jesus told us to do or not to do something, people look for any obscure way to get around what He said.

We need to stop trying to figure out God and just follow Him.
Giver
[/quote]

There always have been elders of the Church called to serve others and as a family we all respect each other.
This is exactly why Catholic priests each year get on their knees and wash the congregations feet. I see Catholicism providing a consistant teaching here and a protest against it, as an inconsistant teaching. Is it right to call someone Father or not? Does this apply to the term Father only, or Teacher or Master also? Please clarify.

Regarding obscurity all Catholicism is easily explained and understood as it is all consistant.
It doesn’t look very obscure when it is a consistant belief, it really contradicts scripture and reason when it is interpreted as a vocabulary prohibition, since this is a novel new interpretation which teaching is obscure?

Does the Bible contradict itself when Paul uses the title himself?
1 Cor 4:14-15
Or contradicts your interpretation by calling Timothy his son or child? Shouldn’t he have just called him my brother, in order to not break the supposed prohibition?
1 Tim. 1:18

There are many other examples from Scripture if you read the links provided by previous posters.

Please provide a consistant belief and it will bolster support for your interpretation unless you want to re-examine it. If your interpretation is flawless then it will consistantly be held and understood by all people who are based off the Bible alone.

God Bless
Scylla


#13

(Matthew 23:8-12) “You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.

So then all children in any school whether secular or Christian are going against the teachings of Jesus by addressing their educators as “Teacher”. Oh, woe to all of them!!! All these “educators” who are addressing themselves as “teacher” are exalting themselves and woe to them? Woe be to my Jewish brothers who have “rabbis” leading their congregation.

Personally, I am called dad buy my children, which seems to have less formal connotation.

Do your children search the stores and give you a “Happy Dad’s Day” card?
When filling out forms what require the name of “father” and “mother”. Do you scratch out the word “father” and write in “dad”?[font=Comic Sans MS]
Oh, and hmm, I guess we are not allowed to have any sisters. All parents should discard any female born to them as we should only be “brothers” or maybe have the doctors change their sex immediately. Hey!!! That’s what’s Jesus said…… See how ridiculous your self-interpretation can be? [/font]


#14

This is what happens when one interprets Scripture apart from what was handed down from the Church, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).


#15

Now I am not sure how you can respond so I will invite you to examine the teaching which led you to this interpretation. We do not respond to attack you or try and make you look bad but to expose the extremes of contradiction that must be accepted to follow Sola Scriptura.

We cannot believe in a faith that is just guessing what God wants us to believe, or else it is just opinion and not fact that leads us. There is a difference between saying what “Jesus most likely was saying” and “this is what He was saying”

I invite you to look at the Church with an open heart and see if maybe there is a chance that there is a consistant belief and understanding of the Christian faith here.

May God Bless you and keep posting
Scylla


#16

Hmmm. You might want to reread. Not only does Paul call himself father, but Peter, James, and John all call others father, and they did this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Was the Holy Spirit disobeying Jesus?


#17

[quote=Giver]I restate: Jesus was most likely telling us that we only have one master and all praise and glory belong to Him not to anyone else. Father is used in the church to give honor to another Christian who has been set aside by the church as someone special. Jesus says** we are all brothers not one above another**.

(Matthew 23:8-12) “You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, **and you are all ** brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.

This is something I just can’t understand: why so often even when there is written proof that Jesus told us to do or not to do something, people look for any obscure way to get around what He said.

We need to stop trying to figure out God and just follow Him.
Giver
[/quote]

Matthew 23:9 Call none your father–Neither be ye called masters, etc… The meaning is that our Father in heaven is incomparably more to be regarded, than any father upon earth: and no master to be followed, who would lead us away from Christ. But this does not hinder but that we are by the law of God to have a due respect both for our parents and spiritual fathers ], and for our masters and teachers.

1 Corinthians 4:15. For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.
IN LATIN: Nam si decem milia pedagogorum habeatis in Christo sed non multos patres nam in Christo Iesu per evangelium ego vos genui


#18

Please read thoroughly.

matt1618.freeyellow.com/father.html


#19

[quote=Giver]. . .This is something I just can’t understand: why so often even when there is written proof that Jesus told us to do or not to do something, people look for any obscure way to get around what He said. . . .
[/quote]

Many times in the Gospels Jesus refers to our earthly fathers as well as our Heavenly Father; if the command to call no one on earth father were in the strict literal sense, He would not have done so. Similarly, we would not be commanded to “Honor your father and mother,” (Exodus 20:12).

Father Mitch Pacwa points out that “There are 144 occasions in the New Testament when the title of father is used for someone other than God. It is applied to the patriarchs of Israel, the fathers of families, to Jewish leaders and to Christian leaders” (“Call No Man Father?”, THIS ROCK, January 1991).

Many Christians call their ministers “Pastor.” Pastor means shepherd. In John 10:14-16 Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.” If we reason that we cannot call a priest Father because we “have one Father who is in heaven,” then can we not also reason that we cannot call a minister Pastor because there is only “one Shepherd?”

God is Father and Jesus is Shepherd in the ultimate sense. Church leaders are shepherds and fathers in a lesser sense. Why else would Peter say in 1 Peter 5:2-4, “Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.” The term “Chief Shepherd” indicates that there are subordinate shepherds. One scripture verse clarifies another, and so it is with the different verses pertaining to the title of father.

Here are a few more scriptural examples which support the usage:

Acts 7:1 - Here Stephen addresses the Sanhedrin as “my brothers” and " my fathers". If the Lord’s words are to be taken as literally as some would take them, would not Stephen now be sinning in the very act of defending the faith? - a faith for which he was about to be martyred?

In Acts 22:1 we see St. Paul addressing the crowd in Jerusalem with the same words as St. Stephen, “My brothers, my FATHERS.” Is St. Paul committing the same “sin” as St. Stephen?

In 1 Thess. 2, is not St. Paul refering to himself as a spiritual father? And in 1 Corinthians 4 does he not say, “You have in Christ ten thousands teachers, but not many fathers, because in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through announcing the gospel. Therefore I exhort you to become imitators of me.”

St. Paul further writes: “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 Corinthians 4:14-15).

St. Paul refers to Timothy as “my son” and Titus as “true child of mine.” Is he not then arrogating to himself the position that only God the Father should have in their lives according to the way some read the Lord’s words?

Look into 1 John 2 where the beloved disciple calls the Christian men “Fathers.” Was he sinning in doing so? The cumulative effect of these verses certainly casts doubt on a literalistic reading of Matt 23.

In the NT, besides the passages already cited, we have both James and Paul speaking of “our father Abraham”. If one were to apply the Lord’s words in Matthew 23 as stringently as some question suggest, would they not be sinning - or at least in error - by referring to Abraham as “father”?

Looking at the manner in which Our Lord is speaking, we have to remember, too, that the limited vocabularly of Hebrew and Aramaic necessitated the use of hyperbole to get points across. We see this, e.g, in His words about “if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off - if your eye, pluck it out, . . . [etc]”.

The Catholic priest is a spiritual father to those who have been placed in his charge. He acts as Christ’s instrument by bringing new members into His Body through Baptism, proclaims the Gospel, reconciles us to God through the Sacrament of Penance, and feeds us with the Body and Blood of our great High Priest. That some have not lived up to these awesome responsibilities no more calls into doubt the applicability of the word “father” for them then does the sinning of those men who contributed to our conception and nurtured and taught us in our natural lives.


#20

[quote=MrS]So…that would mean that you are a Catholic who believes in the Real Presence, and all that Jesus said in John 6??

Four times He makes it clear what His teaching is… hmmm?
[/quote]

I am no longer a Roman Catholic, but I do believe that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ.


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