Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you, but do so with gentleness and reverence.”
cf. 1 Peter 3:15-16
A daily morsel of Catholic education and faith formation.
Calling priests “father”
QUESTION OR COMMON OBJECTION:
Matthew 23:9 says “do not call anyone on earth father.” Why do Catholics call priests “father?”
That verse means not to honor a man like you honor God. Jesus didn’t mean you couldn’t call your dad or a priest “father.” St. Paul wrote …
I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
1 Corinthians 4:15
The Church has always considered her priests to be like St. Paul – “spiritual fathers” under the authority of our Heavenly Father.
Other References: Acts 7:2-5; Rom 4:16, 9:10; 1 Tim 1:2; Tit 1:4; Phlm 1:10
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from the author
As it relates to a biblical understanding of Christianity and the scriptures, stay close to the Church and you won’t be led down the wrong path. Often, bible verses like this one can be misconstrued and misunderstood, thereby misleading well-intentioned people, maybe like you, who desire to know God’s word. But the farther one strays from the apostolic teaching of Holy Scripture, the farther one gets from the apostolic understanding of Holy Scripture. Don’t get off the straight and narrow path.
For more about “Call No Man Father” please visit our blog article here.
dr. brant pitre
catechism of the Catholic Church
For information about what the Catholic Church believes, answers to FAQs, and an encompassing resource addressing common objections and misconceptions non-Catholics and Catholics alike may have about the Church and what it teaches, we invite you to visit the online version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Let us pray.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you.”
Saint John Paul II, pope
Jesus, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (cf. John 6:68).
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.