How Can a Sinner be Infallible?

Q. How can the words or decrees of any man (or woman) be judged to be infallible?

A. Who wrote the Scriptures? Men. How can they, sinners, be judged to be infallible? Only by the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit. Only God can make a fallen man infallible in his words or decrees. Our Pope is not infallible in every utterance or writing. Only when teaching on faith or morals to the whole church. This is how God protects His Church from error.
Infallible does not mean he is sinless. No, he goes to confession every week. See my post Infallible?

Q. God’s Word alone is Infallible.

A. Is this a Protestant oral tradition? Where does it say, Gods’ Word alone is infallible,  in Scripture?

Q. I have a question: Why (since this goes against scripture) is the pope referred to as “The Holy Father?”

Words of Jesus: “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

A. Your interpretation of this verse contradicts Christian practice and the New Testament. To find out why see my post Scripture vs The Catholic Church.

Q. As for the term “Holy Father” – to the best of my knowledge this is only used once in the Bible, in John 17v11 and refers to God Himself. To address any man on this earth as “Holy Father” is nothing short of blasphemy. The term refers to God – and God alone.

A. Again we come to the cultural difference between Protestantism (either/or) and Catholicism (both/and). The title of Holy Father is a title of honor. Of course it can be used to address God. But we use it to address our Pope, to honor him as the Prime Minister of Christ on Earth. We honor those who are honored by Christ to shepherd His Church. It is not blasphemy. Where in scripture does it say:
“The term (Holy Father) refers to God – and God alone.”

Protestants believe many things not found in Scripture but rather in their tradition of scripture interpretation, and/or their oral tradition. But, being comfortable with these traditions they never recognize that they cannot actually be supported in the scriptures alone any more than some of the Catholic beliefs for which they are always demanding, “WHERE IS THAT IS SCRIPTURE?” This is the pot calling the kettle black.

6 Responses

  1. Dear bfhu,

    I understand the extreme difficulty of admitting that you may be wrong. I used to be an Atheist. I had to admit that my faith had absolutely nothing to back it up, and that Christianity, which I despised for a time, is actually true. The facts are indisputable and Jesus so compelling. I am so glad that I fell in love with Him. Admitting my error is the best thing I ever did, but for a time it was very difficult to admit error.

    Therefore, I understand your reluctance to see your own error. You seem to have an all too common and yet very strange concept of biblical “interpretation.” It is as if you think that any interpretation is legitimate, even if it is not allowable by the text that is being “interpreted.”

    Please do not think that I do not recognize that Catholicism gets some things correct. Of course, it gets that there is one God, Jesus is His Son, and that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. However, please answer the following:

    how do you interpret Jesus’ words, “9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven, (Matthew 23: 9, KJV)?” Does this really mean, “And call no man your father upon the earth, except the Pope if you really want to honor him: for two, or maybe more, are your father, one in heaven and the other in Rome, and perhaps others elsewhere also,”? Please, give us an analysis of Jesus words here in the context of this passage and the Scriptures as a whole. I am open minded.

    I wonder how you “interpret” the 1 Timothy 3 passage. Let’s assume that we go in and change the original so that it no longer says, “1This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

    2A bishop then MUST BE blameless, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE,… (1 Timothy 3: 1-2; KJV),” We want to support our doctrine so we change it to, “1This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

    2 IT BEHOOVES A BISHOP then to be blameless, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE…”

    Now after making the above change to the Scriptures, we make it so that if a man wants to be a bishop, he must swear an oath of celibacy. Now, our interpretation of the, now changed scripture, is “”1This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.


    How does your method of interpretation work? What is the process that takes the Scriptures from where they actually are and bring them to where your practice and religion are? How is this legitimately interpreting the Scriptures?

    Thank you for your thoughtful answers ahead of time,



  2. Dear Joseph,
    I was a zealous, Bible only Christian for 40 years. Yes, it was horrifying to admit I was wrong. But now that I finally made the switch to the glorious, intellectually satisfying, cohesive, sublime, breathtakingly beautiful, poetic Faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ; after eleven years, I still can’t keep my heart from singing. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, BEING CATHOLIC!!!!

    You could respond to every post on this site but I will never be persuaded. I have been there, done that. I do not have a single doubt. I love the Bible, every word! It cracks me up when people quote scripture thinking it will have some magical, eye opening effect because they think I don’t know scripture since that is what their leaders have told them. LOL. I LOVE THE HOLY SACRED SCRIPTURES EVERY SINGLE WORD.




    N—O—T—H—I—N—G ! ! ! ! !

  3. Dear bfhu,

    I have no doubt that you laugh when people quote the Scriptures or that you love Catholicism, however, you do not hold to what the Scriptures plainly say. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormon’s and etc. claim to hold to the Scriptures. They “interpret” the Scriptures in their own way. What I am asking you is, how can you possibly “interpret” the Scriptures in a way that actually contradicts what the Scriptures plainly say and call in “interpreting” them?

    For example, the Scriptures say, “1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a BISHOP,[a] he desires a good work. 2 A BISHOP THEN MUST BE BLAMELESS, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach…(1 Timothy 3: 1-2; NKJV)”

    I know that at one point you claimed that the “must be” only applied to the “blameless”, but this is not possible. The rest of the characteristic qualifications in the list would not be tethered to the sentence and would have no place there if that were true.

    How do you interpret this?


    • What follows is quoted from Catholic Answers: Celibacy and the Priesthood


      Another, quite different Fundamentalist confusion is the notion that celibacy is unbiblical, or even “unnatural.” Every man, it is claimed, must obey the biblical injunction to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28); and Paul commands that “each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2). It is even argued that celibacy somehow “causes,” or at least correlates with higher incidence of, illicit sexual behavior or perversion.

      All of this is false. Although most people are at some point in their lives called to the married state, the vocation of celibacy is explicitly advocated—as well as practiced—by both Jesus and Paul.

      So far from “commanding” marriage in 1 Corinthians 7, in that very chapter Paul actually endorses celibacy for those capable of it: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion” (7:8-9).

      It is only because of this “temptation to immorality” (7:2) that Paul gives the teaching about each man and woman having a spouse and giving each other their “conjugal rights” (7:3); he specifically clarifies, “I say this by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another” (7:6-7, emphasis added).

      Paul even goes on to make a case for preferring celibacy to marriage: “Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. . . those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband” (7:27-34).

      Paul’s conclusion: He who marries “does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better” (7:38).

      Paul was not the first apostle to conclude that celibacy is, in some sense, “better” than marriage. After Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 on divorce and remarriage, the disciples exclaimed, “If such is the case between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry” (Matt 19:10). This remark prompted Jesus’ teaching on the value of celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom”:

      “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” (Matt. 19:11–12).

      Notice that this sort of celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom” is a gift, a call that is not granted to all, or even most people, but is granted to some. Other people are called to marriage. It is true that too often individuals in both vocations fall short of the requirements of their state, but this does not diminish either vocation, nor does it mean that the individuals in question were “not really called” to that vocation. The sin of a priest doesn’t necessarily prove that he never should have taken a vow of celibacy, any more than the sin of a married man or woman proves that he or she never should have gotten married. It is possible for us to fall short of our own true calling.

      Celibacy is neither unnatural nor unbiblical. “Be fruitful and multiply” is not binding upon every individual; rather, it is a general precept for the human race. Otherwise, every unmarried man and woman of marrying age would be in a state of sin by remaining single, and Jesus and Paul would be guilty of advocating sin as well as committing it.


      Another Fundamentalist argument, related to the last, is that marriage is mandatory for Church leaders. For Paul says a bishop must be “the husband of one wife,” and “must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s Church?” (1 Tim. 3:2, 4–5). This means, they argue, that only a man who has demonstrably looked after a family is fit to care for God’s Church; an unmarried man, it is implied, is somehow untried or unproven.

      This interpretation leads to obvious absurdities. For one, if “the husband of one wife” really meant that a bishop had to be married, then by the same logic “keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way” would mean that he had to have children. Childless husbands (or even fathers of only one child, since Paul uses the plural) would not qualify.

      In fact, following this style of interpretation to its final absurdity, since Paul speaks of bishops meeting these requirements (not of their having met them, or of candidates for bishop meeting them), it would even follow that an ordained bishop whose wife or children died would become unqualified for ministry! Clearly such excessive literalism must be rejected.

      The theory that Church leaders must be married also contradicts the obvious fact that Paul himself, an eminent Church leader, was single and happy to be so. Unless Paul was a hypocrite, he could hardly have imposed a requirement on bishops which he did not himself meet. Consider, too, the implications regarding Paul’s positive attitude toward celibacy in 1 Corinthians 7: the married have worldly anxieties and divided interests, yet only they are qualified to be bishops; whereas the unmarried have single-minded devotion to the Lord, yet are barred from ministry!

      The suggestion that the unmarried man is somehow untried or unproven is equally absurd. Each vocation has its own proper challenges: the celibate man must exercise “self-control” (1 Cor. 7:9); the husband must love and care for his wife selflessly (Eph. 5:25); and the father must raise his children well (1 Tim. 3:4). Every man must meet Paul’s standard of “managing his household well,” even if his “household” is only himself. If anything, the chaste celibate man meets a higher standard than the respectable family man.

      Clearly, the point of Paul’s requirement that a bishop be “the husband of one wife” is not that he must have one wife, but that he must have only one wife. Expressed conversely, Paul is saying that a bishop must not have unruly or undisciplined children (not that he must have children who are well behaved), and must not be married more than once (not that he must be married).

      The truth is, it is precisely those who are uniquely “concerned about the affairs of the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:32), those to whom it has been given to “renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom” (Matt. 19:12), who are ideally suited to follow in the footsteps of those who have “left everything” to follow Christ (cf. Matt. 19:27)—the calling of the clergy and consecrated religious (i.e., monks and nuns).

      Thus Paul warned Timothy, a young bishop, that those called to be “soldiers” of Christ must avoid “civilian pursuits”: “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him” (2 Tim. 2:3–4). In light of Paul’s remarks in 1 Corinthians 7 about the advantages of celibacy, marriage and family clearly stand out in connection with these “civilian pursuits.”

      An example of ministerial celibacy can also be seen in the Old Testament. The prophet Jeremiah, as part of his prophetic ministry, was forbidden to take a wife: “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place’” (Jer. 16:1–2). Of course, this is different from Catholic priestly celibacy, which is not divinely ordained; yet the divine precedent still supports the legitimacy of the human institution.


      Yet none of these passages give us an example of humanly mandated celibacy. Jeremiah’s celibacy was mandatory, but it was from the Lord. Paul’s remark to Timothy about “civilian pursuits” is only a general admonition, not a specific command; and even in 1 Corinthians 7 Paul qualifies his strong endorsement of celibacy by adding: “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord” (7:35).

      This brings us to Fundamentalism’s last line of attack: that, by requiring at least some of its clerics and its religious not to marry, the Catholic Church falls under Paul’s condemnation in 1 Timothy 4:3 against apostates who “forbid marriage.”

      In fact, the Catholic Church forbids no one to marry. No one is required to take a vow of celibacy; those who do, do so voluntarily. They “renounce marriage” (Matt. 19:12); no one forbids it to them. Any Catholic who doesn’t wish to take such a vow doesn’t have to, and is almost always free to marry with the Church’s blessing. The Church simply elects candidates for the priesthood (or, in the Eastern rites, for the episcopacy) from among those who voluntarily renounce marriage.

      But is there scriptural precedent for this practice of restricting membership in a group to those who take a voluntary vow of celibacy? Yes. Paul, writing once again to Timothy, mentions an order of widows pledged not to remarry (1 Tim 5:9-16); in particular advising: “But refuse to enroll younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge” (5:11–12).

      This “first pledge” broken by remarriage cannot refer to previous wedding vows, for Paul does not condemn widows for remarrying (cf. Rom. 7:2-3). It can only refer to a vow not to remarry taken by widows enrolled in this group. In effect, they were an early form of women religious—New Testament nuns. The New Testament Church did contain orders with mandatory celibacy, just as the Catholic Church does today.

      Such orders are not, then, what Paul meant when he warned against “forbidding to marry.” The real culprits here are the many Gnostic sects through the ages which denounced marriage, sex, and the body as intrinsically evil. Some early heretics fit this description, as did the medieval Albigensians and Catharists (whom, ironically, some anti-Catholic writers admire in ignorance, apparently purely because they happened to have insisted on using their own vernacular translation of the Bible; see the Catholic Answers tract Catholic Inventions).

      The Dignity of Celibacy and Marriage

      Most Catholics marry, and all Catholics are taught to venerate marriage as a holy institution—a sacrament, an action of God upon our souls; one of the holiest things we encounter in this life.

      In fact, it is precisely the holiness of marriage that makes celibacy precious; for only what is good and holy in itself can be given up for God as a sacrifice. Just as fasting presupposes the goodness of food, celibacy presupposes the goodness of marriage. To despise celibacy, therefore, is to undermine marriage itself—as the early Fathers pointed out.

      Celibacy is also a life-affirming institution. In the Old Testament, where celibacy was almost unknown, the childless were often despised by others and themselves; only through children, it was felt, did one acquire value. By renouncing marriage, the celibate affirms the intrinsic value of each human life in itself, regardless of offspring.

      Finally, celibacy is an eschatological sign to the Church, a living-out in the present of the universal celibacy of heaven: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matt. 22:30).
      Catholic Answers:

      • Dear BFHU,

        Thank you for your extensive explanation. This is exactly what I was looking for from you, and I appreciate you offering it. I understand that it can take a while to complete such a work.

        I very much appreciate that you understand my interpretation of 1 Tim 3 (…A bishop then MUST BE blameless, the husband of one wife…). Unfortunately, I cannot reciprocate the sentiment because I do not understand how you interpret it the way you do, for several reasons. There are so many errors here I can only address a few for the sake of time.

        First, Your initial point may be both correct and incorrect. You wrote:

        “Celibacy is neither unnatural nor unbiblical. “Be fruitful and multiply” is not binding upon every individual; rather, it is a general precept for the human race. Otherwise, every unmarried man and woman of marrying age would be in a state of sin by remaining single, and Jesus and Paul would be guilty of advocating sin as well as committing it.”

        It may be incorrect in assuming that anyone claims that celibacy is unnatural or unbiblical. It may be a straw man argument. It is also an error to assume that Jesus remained celibate for any reason other than because of the fact that the church is His bride. That is the reason He came, to prepare His bride as it were.

        Next, you claim that the argument against the Roman Catholic Church practice of refusing to allow a man to be a bishop unless he swears an oath of celibacy is an argument that all church leaders must be married. This is not the case. There is no biblical command that an Apostle be the husband of one wife. There is no command that an Evangelist be the husband of one wife. There is a command that a bishop be the husband of one wife, and there is a statement that Deacons must be husbands of one wife (1 Timothy 3: 12). Therefore, Deacons must have wives.

        Next, you claim that the argument that a bishop must be married and have children is because a man cannot lead the church well unless he has demonstrated that he can rule his household well. This is untrue at least of my argument. My argument is that God says what He means and means what He says. He plainly says that a bishop MUST BE the husband of one wife, therefore, a bishop MUST BE THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE. Therefore, since a Bishop must have a faithful wife and children, if he does not rule them well, it is a clear demonstration that he cannot rule well the house of God. That is a logical conclusion. That is what the Apostle is pointing out. It is not that he needs the wife and children in order to lead the house of God. God had other reasons for commanding that Bishops and Deacons have wives and children.

        You claim certain “absurdities” result from such interpretation such as the idea that a bishop must have faithful children. Why is this absurd to you? Is the fact that this is absurd to you enough of a reason to conclude that God could not possibly require it? Are you then the judge of spiritual matters? Do you sit in judgement of God’s will?

        I do not think that you presume to do this; however, that is exactly what you do if you use this type of reasoning and interpretation. It makes no difference that it is absurd to you. If God said it, that settles it, whether you believe it or not. Paul made this point clear that the Jews erred in their interpretation of God’s word by thinking that the promises were to Abraham and to all his descendants when he taught the Galatians about the passing of the Law of Moses. Paul said, “16Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

        We must heed every word that the Holy Spirit spoke to us through the Scriptures. We must heed the very tense of each word. God said,
        “2A bishop then MUST BE blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;… 4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

        5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
        (1 Timothy 3: 1-5; KJV)”

        You then proceed to say that the final absurdity of such interpretation is that if an ordained bishop’s wife died, he would no longer qualify for the office. Again, I say unto you, it does not matter if you think it is absurd, if God said it, that settles it. We cannot claim that we truly want to be in subjection to the will of God and then reject everything God says that we, in our great wisdom, find absurd, in favor of whatever seems good in our own eyes. That would be an absurdity!

        After this you mention “The theory that Church leaders must be married also contradicts the obvious fact that Paul himself, an eminent Church leader, was single and happy to be so.”

        Again, this is based on the straw man argument that all church leaders are commanded to be married. As I said above, all church leaders were not commanded to be married, only Bishops and Deacons were. Paul did not hold either of these two offices. He was an Apostle and perhaps an evangelist, but definitely not a Bishop or Deacon.

        You then “attempt” to express the 1 Timothy 3 passage “conversely” to prove your point. You say, “Expressed conversely, Paul is saying that a bishop must not have unruly or undisciplined children (not that he must have children who are well behaved), and must not be married more than once (not that he must be married).” Please note, in one sense, this may be seen as both correct and incorrect, however, in essence it is just plain wrong. You rightly say that Paul is saying that a bishop must not have unruly children or be married to more than one wife. However, you then make the same error Satan made in the garden, you add a NOT where God did not place it. You say, “(not that he must have children who are well behaved),” and “(not that he must be married).” To prove this I quote, ” 2A bishop then MUST BE blameless, the husband of one wife,…4 (MUST BE applies from verse 2, JD) One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (1 Timothy 3: 2, 4; KJV)”

        Timothy was not a bishop, he was an evangelist. Therefore, it was not necessary for him to be married.

        The rest of your conclusions in this section are based on the fallacious arguments and conclusions already mentioned and false applications of a couple of other “evidences”.

        Therefore, God says that a bishop must be the husband of one wife. How then can a man say that a man must swear an oath of celibacy in order to be considered for the office of a bishop? Even if all God said was that a bishop may be the husband of one wife and have children in subjection, how can any man say that one must swear an oath of celibacy in order to be a bishop? You verily make the word of God of none effect by your traditions.

        You then say that this is not dogma but only practice. You admit that this practice is not rock solid, therefore, you hold to something with less import than dogma rather than to the commandment of God. This is not better; it is worse. Full well you reject the command of God for the sake of your traditions.

        Next, you claim that the commandments concerning the church caring for certain widows is support for the practice of requiring men to swear oaths of celibacy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. These women were widows seeking support from the church. Paul is giving commandment on how to deal with this situation. If there was another way for them to be cared for without being a burden to the church, they were to seek such. If there was no other means for their support, Paul said that they may be cared for by the church, but that they must contribute what they could. They were not to simply loaf around and be a resource drain. God wants all of His servants to work, else they are not walking uprightly.

        The Scripture says, “10For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

        11For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

        12Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread (2 Thessalonians 3: 10-12; KJV).”

        This applies to those widows also. So this passage applies to these widows also. These widows are not to be cared for by the church if they are going to remarry. If they remarry, let their husbands take care of them. Let them not take advantage of the church. This passage in no way authorizes men to command that other men swear oaths of celibacy before considering them for the office of bishopric.

        Additionally, this passage in no way authorizes the Roman Catholic Church practice of keeping nuns. This arrangement was clearly not the establishment of another career choice. This was not for women who simply did not desire to marry and wanted to be cared for by the church or to have a career working for the church. These women were clearly not nuns. They were widows over the age of sixty, I believe, and they were not able to provide for themselves. A very large number of nuns are under the age of sixty, few of them are widows, and many of them have other means of support. Most nuns become nuns as a career choice. Many of them are very able to marry and to have a husband to care for them if they choose and therefore ought to do so as not to be a burden on the church.

        Just carefully read over the passage (1 Timothy 5: 9-16). He ends by saying, “16If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed (1 Timothy 5: 16; KJV).”

        Much, much more could be said.

        Thank you for your time and hopefully thoughtful consideration.

  4. Dear Joe,
    We Catholics interpret the verses based on the literal meaning first. But if this contradicts other scriptures then we look for an explanation other that the literal meaning.

    Protestants do this with

    John 6:51 Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”

    53 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54 But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”

    We all do this with this verse also in John 6, because both Protestants and Catholics get physically hungry and thirsty despite having consumed the “bread of Life” according to their respective traditions.

    Jn 6:35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

    And this verse too, since as far as I know both Protestants and Catholics physically die, eventually.

    Jn 6:50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die.

    So, I hope we can agree that even non Catholics, do not actually take every single verse absolutely literally. Therefore, since every verse in the Bible does not necessarily have to be taken dead literally verses must be explained.

    Other times a verse, if taken dead literally, as in “call no man on earth father,” contradicts other scriptures so then we must look for an explanation that does not detract or nullify any of the verses. This calls for study and interpretation. The reason we do not take the verse about calling no man “father” on earth literally is explained in this post–>Call No Man Father

    I do not say that the Protestant interpretation is illegitimate. It is perfectly fine to interpret it that way. But, the problem with your interpretation is that you multiply the other verses (in the linked post above) that must then be explained just in order to interpret that one verse literally and use it to condemn Catholic practice.

    You run into the same thing with the verses about the brothers and sisters of Jesus. There is nothing inherently wrong with the interpretation that these were the SIBLINGS AND CHILDREN OF MARY AND JOSEPH. If all you have is the words of scripture of course you would interpret them that way.

    But the Catholic Church has lived and been present throughout all of Christian history. The the literal interpretation contradicts other teachings that Mary was ever a virgin and had no other children. While this is not in scripture it was always and everywhere believed and handed down from the infancy of Christianity. So, since we cling to all that St. Paul taught both oral and written we do not interpret the verses about Jesus’ brothers and sisters literally. I explain this in another post–>Who Were the Brothers & Sisters of Jesus?

    The founder of Protest-antism believed in the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

    Luther on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary?

    And you might find this post interesting also.
    Mary Did Not Have Sex “UNTIL” Jesus was Born.

    Regarding the requirements for a bishop I understand your interpretation. But Jesus gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom and the authority to rule the Church. And at the time that that verse was written priests and bishops WERE married. Peter had been married. And celibacy is a practice NOT a DOGMA of the church and could be changed. In fact, we do have married priests in the Catholic Church, but no married bishops.

    Anyway, if you look at the passage in context it is not about marriage and the necessity of it in order to be a minister of the Church. It seems to be more about morality and adherence to Christ’s teaching against divorce and remarriage.

    Jesus never taught that one MUST be married. St. Paul was NOT married. We know nothing about the marital status of the other apostles. They do not seem to have been married at the time Jesus called them. Never the less, married men were ordained to the priesthood in the early Church. But, b/c of the example of Jesus and Paul and probably of the other disciples as well, and the fact that in Heaven there is no marriage, and for practical reasons a celibate priesthood became the norm.

    This is merely a discipline/practice it is not dogmatic and it could change at some time in the future. But that is very doubtful. Click the link for a summary of a book, The Case for Clerical Celibacy.

    The verse about a bishop being a husband of one wife seems to be more about a bishop being chaste and pure than about marriage being qualifier for being a bishop.

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