(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.