Call No Man “Father”

images-5STEVE: The practice of calling your priest “father” is not Scriptural, no matter how you spin it.

(Mat 23:9) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

BREAD FROM HEAVEN: Please see my post–> Scripture vs. the Catholic Church: Call No Man Father

I always find it interesting that Protestants become indignant that we call our Priests “Father” supposedly in direct opposition to the very words of Jesus. Then they quote only part of the verse, just as you have quoted it, because the rest of the verse reveals that they are not truly zealous to obey the very words of Jesus but only use part of the verse as a stick to beat on the Catholic Church. Because Protestants use all of the titles, that Jesus, according to their interpretation, prohibits.

Mt.23:8 But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

They call their fathers …”father”, their teachers “teacher”, and leaders “leader”. You have no objection to Jews calling their teacher Rabbi.

They try to give themselves permission to do this by asserting that Jesus was prohibiting spiritual fathers, teachers, leaders, Rabbis. And yet St. Paul clearly referred to himself as a father “in the Lord” to some of his spiritual children. So this argument falls apart. I also know for a fact, that many Protestants refer to their pastor as a teacher and/or leader. And many laymen are “Leaders” of this group or that in the church and therefore spiritual leaders.

Besides there is no qualifyier in the scripture about fathers, teachers, leaders, rabbis in the flesh or worldly sense vs spiritual etc. This is just an attempt to legitimize their use of these terms while still criticizing Catholicism. But it all falls apart when we look at all of scripture. They hate to give this one up b/c it is so effective to quote the verse to an unsuspecting Catholic that may fall for the deception.

Does “call no man father” Contradict the Church?


Steve: I will address this really fast.

(Mat 23:9) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

I believe the proper title used in the catholic church for the priest/preacher is “father” and the title you have given your pope is “holy father”

These are the ministers you send into the world, and immediately a Scripture is contradicted and a command from Jesus is broken.

It doesn’t matter how a catholic and a protestant interprets Scripture, it matters how God does. If we as men don’t interpret His way, what does it matter?

BFHU: The call no man father verse does seem to contradict Catholic practice; so, Protestants use this verse very effectively to seemingly “prove” that the Catholic Church advocates something clearly prohibited by scripture. But the reality is that, once again this is just another case of the Catholic Church contradicting Protestant interpretation of scripture and not actually contradicting scripture at all.

Because, as any Protestant worth his salt will tell you scripture cannot be taken out of context. But, that is exactly what Protestants do with this verse in order to denigrate Catholic practice. The author of “call no man father” is Jesus. Now, if what he meant, was that the faithful should NEVER call their priests “father” then one would have to conclude that St. Paul was a heretic. How else can a Protestant explain:

St. Paul addresses the Jewish religious leaders as fathers. Did St. Paul also ignore Jesus’ rule?

Acts 22:1“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

1 Corinthians 4:14-15
I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15 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.

St. Paul continues this father/child relationship in the following epistles. He identifies himself as a spiritual father either directly as in I Thess. or indirectly by calling Timothy and Titus his “true son in faith”.

1 Thessalonians 2:11

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith(that makes Paul a father in the faith): Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

St.Paul fathered those he brought to life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And he had no problem with appropriating this title to himself.

And there is more. Even Jesus Himself called a religious leader Father.This would make Jesus a hypocrite according to Protestant interpretation of the call no man father verse

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

Luke 16:24 & 30 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire….’No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

Once again we see that the Catholic Church merely imitates our Lord and St. Paul in calling our priests, father. We uphold ALL of Scripture. And the Church founded by Jesus is able to interpret scripture His way. Do you claim the ability to infallibly interpret scripture?

Please see my post Scripture vs the Catholic Church

Rock? Peter Rebuked! Priestshood. Papal Infallibility!

Leroy made many comments about several issues on the post (click)–>Peter/Petra Controversy.

He contended that the Church was built on Christ’s confession not Peter, that Peter was rebuked by Paul and therefore disqualified in some way from being pope, dismissed infallibility of the Pope, and proclaimed the priesthood of all believers. You can read his whole comment by clicking on the link above.

Dear Leroy,
What you say is true of course but it isn’t the whole truth. Please see this post about Peter:

Rock: Peter or his confession?

Jesus did not say that the gates of Hell will not prevail over Peter but they would not prevail over His Church. And the Catholic Church is the only Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself over 2000 years ago and over which the Gates of Hell have not yet prevailed against. Damaged? Yes but not conquered.

All men are silenced by death eventually, but that does NOT mean that Hell has prevailed over them. You have veered into heresy here.

As for Paul and Peter please read:

Paul Rebuked Peter

All believers belong to the priesthood but so did all the Jews in the OT. And just like the Jews, the Catholic Church has both a priesthood of all believers and a ministerial priesthood. Please see this post:
Priesthood of All Believers

Regarding Infallibility. You believe the writers of the the books of the Bible were infallible in their writings so if God could make them infallible why not the leader of the Church He founded? Please see this post: Infallible??

Priests are not Found in New Testament.

David D: The ROLE AND FUNCTION of PRIESTS disappears after the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus. The ministry offices are listed in the New Testament Some Apostles, Some pastors, some teachers, etc. There is NEVER ONE priest mentioned in the New Testament Church. Why? The PURPOSE in Jesus coming to earth was to make REPARATIONS and RECONCILE MAN BACK TO GOD so we dont need a ‘GO BETWEEN’ MAN can ONCE AGAIN become RIGHTEOUS & FELLOWSHIP with GOD DIRECTLY.

BFHU: Are you aware that the English root for Priest is the Greek word presbuteros which is in the NT. Please click –>Priesthood in NT Scripture

And what about the priesthood of all believers?
1 Peter 2:5 & 9 …you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. …. 9. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


David D: 3. PENANCE. This is NEVER taught in the New Testament. This was synonymous with the SELLING OF INDULGENCES in which the catholic church would SELL ADMISSION to heaven wealthy nobles and other rich parishioners such as Kings and Counts and Princes for a HIGH PRICE.

BFHU: I am certain this is what you have been taught but it is a complete distortion of what the Church actually teaches. Only through Christ can anyone gain admission to Heaven. However, we believe that we must be purified before we can enter into the presence of Holy God. Our Purification or Sanctification is something we do with God’s help but He doesn’t do it all for us without our effort and cooperation. Indulgences do not buy admission to Heaven at all. That is just silly.  But  acts of Faith & Love or sufferings for the Faith etc accomplish this purification and under certain circumstances one can gain  indulgences which may accomplish some or all of the purification needed. Indulgences may obtain for a person the avoidance of Purgatory not the avoidance of Hell. Purgatory is not a second chance for Heaven. It is a “layover” for the soul to be purified on its way to Heaven. Anyone who makes it to Purgatory will go to Heaven.

David D: It would also enlist the aid of KNIGHTS in the Crusades (massacres) by which the catholic church would promise FORGIVENESS of sins for payment of SERVICE to the catholic church.

BFHU: It is very weird that the Christian Crusades are always characterized as unjust war against the peaceful Muslims. That is propaganda. The Muslims had warred against Christians for 450 years before the first Crusade. The Crusades were launched to right wrongs and defend Christian lands. Did all the Catholics acquit themselves perfectly? No. There were atrocities. But these were NOT sanctioned by the Church. These were committed by sinful men. Please click here–>First Crusade.

It is true that those who went on Crusade were offered an indulgence, for the complete purification of the individual. They were not offered “the Forgiveness of sins” in the sense of salvation. Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. The Church DID NOT  offer this, nor could she for going on crusade. The language used is confusing to Protestants who reject the idea that sin has a two-fold consequence. Eternal and Temporal. Jesus atoned for the Eternal consequences of our sin but we atone for the temporal consequences. For a better explanation please see this post–>   Where is Purgatory in Scripture?

David D: The DOCTRINES, RITUALS, CHARACTER, etc of the roman catholic church lay a foundation of deception, violence, and out right blasphemy.

BFHU: Wow those are some very serious accusations. But, exactly how can you support this opinion?

David D: If you throw the idea of this ambiguous ‘SACRED TRADITION’ whats left? ONLY the WRITTEN SCRIPTURES.

BFHU:Right. and that is exactly what the Protestants think they did. They are blind to the fact that they still hold to many Catholic Traditions.

We do not think Sacred Tradition is ambiguous (except to Protestants) and we aren’t about to throw out the precious teachings of Jesus handed over to His apostles and down to us.

David D: If the catholic church is to be held solely to the WRITTEN SCRIPTURES it is seen or what it is. The MARRIAGE of ROMAN paganism & CHRISTIANITY.

BFHU:But, why should the Catholic Church “be held solely to the written Scriptures?” Why should the Catholic Church obey you? Why should the Catholic Church obey Martin Luther, John Calvin or any other Protest-ant?

The Scriptures nowhere demand that we be held “solely to the written scriptures. So, by what authority do you suggest that the Catholic Church should abandon Sacred Tradition?

David D: Has the world forgotten that Rome killed Jesus? This is the closest Rome ever got to Christianity.

BFHU:Your logic escapes me.

Can I Marry a Priest?

Q. I am a young woman. There is a young man that I know whom I am very much attracted to. He wants to become a priest. He says that God has called him to this duty. I believe that is true, but I also believe that I am in love with him. Does that mean that I can’t marry him if he becomes a priest? I’ve been through many very extremely tough and painful spots in my life, and I do not think God would keep me from marrying him. Could you explain to me?

A. A man with the character and integrity to consider the priesthood is very attractive, indeed. I am not surprised that you love him. But, I am sorry, but once a man is ordained to the Priesthood of the Catholic Church, in all rites (Latin & Eastern) –he may not subsequently, marry. There are some rites in the Catholic Church where a married man can be ordained to the priesthood after marriage but he would have to be a member of this rite already.

The celibacy of the priesthood is a beautiful discipline of our Church. Our priests imitate Jesus who was not married. They also imitate the Heavenly state in which none are married or given in marriage.

Matthew 22:30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Mark 12:25 “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Luke 20:35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

In this way they are able to be undivided in their interests whereas a married man has a divided focus–Wife and family on the one hand and the congregation on the other.

I Cor. 7 32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

By forgoing marriage and family, he proves his serious devotion to Christ and a willingness to sacrifice his own pleasure to further the kingdom. His “wife” is his church and the people are his children. Through baptism he begets children for the kingdom of God.

This is a discipline of the Church. It is very old and very beautiful. However, it could be changed by the hierarchy. But I seriously doubt that it will be changed because the advantages of priestly celibacy, far outweigh the disadvantages.

Atheist Columnist Rejects Myth of Mass Rape by Catholic Priests

A fascinating article today by the atheist Left-wing columnist Brendan O’Neill, editor of spiked, rubbishing claims that thousands of children were “raped by the Catholic Church’s army of paedophile priests”. Here’s an extract:

Were 10,000 children in America and thousands more in Ireland really raped by Catholic priests? In a word, no. Instead, what has happened is that in the increasingly caliginous, almost Inquisitorial mindset of sections of the New Atheist anti-pope lobby, every allegation of abuse against a Catholic priest … has been lumped together under the heading of ‘rape’, and every allegation has been described as an actual proven ‘rape’ regardless of whether it resulted in a legal trial, never mind a conviction.

The term ‘paedophile priest’ has become such a part of everyday cultural lingo that most people, when they read in last week’s relatively respectable UK Independent that ‘over 10,000 children have come forward to say they were raped [by Catholic priests]’, would probably think, ‘Yeah, that’s possible’. But it isn’t true.

You’ll need to read O’Neill’s piece to grasp the full details, but in essence he makes two points:

1. In America, between 1950 and 2002, a total of 10,667 people made allegations against 4,392 priests (ie, four per cent of priests in ministry during that period). Of these accusers, 1,203 made allegations of what we would consider rape. O’Neill asks:

How did a complex US report about all manner of allegations against priests come to be translated in the words of the Independent into the idea that ‘over 10,000 people have come forward to say they were raped [by priests]’? Because in the outlook of certain sections of the intolerant New Atheist lobby, everything from sex talk to fondling to being shown a porn flick is ‘rape’ – if it’s done by a priest, that is – and every priest is guilty of what he is accused of despite the question of whether or not he was convicted in a court of law.

In other words, the Catholic-baiting Independent seriously misled its readers.

2. In 2009, the Irish and British press reported that “thousands of children were raped” by Catholic priests and religious in Irish reform schools. The reality is that 242 male witnesses made 253 reports of sexual abuse against the staff of Irish reform schools at the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse – and of these, 68 claimed to have been raped. O’Neill adds:

Once again, not all of the allegations resulted in convictions. Some witness reports involved priests who had died, and out of the 253 male reports of sexual abuse, 207 related to the period of 1969 or earlier; 46 related to the 1970s and 1980s. How did 68 claims of anal rape made against the staff of Irish reform schools over a 59-year period translate into headlines about thousands being raped? Because once again, everything from being neglected to being smacked to being emotionally abused – which thousands of Irish reform-school kids were subjected to – was lumped together with being raped, creating a warped image of a religious institution that rapes children on an almost daily basis.

For the rest of the article click the link below:

Mass rape by paedophile Catholic priests is a myth, says secular humanist magazine

Damian Thompson

Damian Thompson is Editor of Telegraph Blogs and a journalist specialising in religion. He was once described by The Church Times as a “blood-crazed ferret”. He is on Twitter as HolySmoke.

What are Newman Centers

Newman Centers

Statue of Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman by Donny MacManus

Young John Henry Newman  (painting at Keble College, Oxford)

Reblogged from John Henry Newman with permission from Fr. Velez

Newman spent much of his life working in educational endeavors, first as a tutor and a mentor at Oriel College, Oxford University, and later as founder and rector of the Catholic University of Ireland, now University College Ireland. He also founded the Oratory School for boys at Birmingham.

His ideas in education are contained in the Idea of a University which is a rich source of inspiration for many. In this work Newman vindicated the role of theology as an indispensable part of university education. He explained the complementary relationship between faith and reason, theology and science. In this book he also articulated the importance of the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. And at the same time he invited future medical doctors to use their knowledge and skill as a “link” between religion and science.

During his life time some Oxford students started a Catholic Club which in 1888 they renamed the Oxford University Newman Society, later commonly referred to as “The Newman.” This club and Newman’s writing inspired the foundation of similar clubs, known as Newman Centers, in other English speaking countries. The first Newman Center in the United States was established in 1893 at the University of Pennsylvania.

Newman Centers are centers for Catholic life and thought at non-Catholic universities. The study of Newman’s life and writings at these centers can contribute to the needed evangelization of culture and the world of science and technology. Newman was aware of the vital role that educated laymen and university students have in shaping the culture and laws of society. Today, Newman not only inspires Newman Centers but he challenges them to be an effective leaven for the Gospel in the university world and society at large.