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Call no man father.

De Maria's picture

Hello all,

On another topic, the Esteemed Julabee Jones is castigating Catholics roundly for calling priests, father.

She bases that opinion on Jesus' injunction, "call no man father". Now I don't see any qualifications there. Jesus didn't say, don't call priests father. He said
And call no man your father upon the earth.... Matthew 23:9

Yet, I've met no one, Protestant or Catholic, who doesn't call their dad, father. Except a few disrespectful children.

So I was wondering, what do you call your father? A question, by the way, which the sweet Julabee, has yet to answer.


De Maria

JeffLogan's picture

Jeff asked Isn't the

Jeff asked

    Isn't the explanaion found in the next verse?

    AV Mt 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

DM responded

    You didn't give enough information. Do you mean the explanation for my understanding or for a condemnation of the fatherhood of the priesthood?

    I believe it summarizes my understanding very well. I don't think it has anything to do with condemning the use of the term father to describe the priesthood, since it is they whom Jesus put in charge of our souls:

    Hebrews 13:17
    Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

    Therefore it is He who exalted them in the first place.

Jeff writes -
I think you understand correctly. The man is not to exalt himself.

Jeff wrote

    But I will ask them when I am at Mass next. Say, is Fr. Dan the name of your Father? If not, what is the name of your Father at your church? How do you think they will answer?

DM responded

    I believe your question will confuse any Catholic whom you ask that question as you phrased it. They will say something like this:

    "Do you mean the priest?" Or they might say, "my father's name is John. You must have me confused."

    Or they might put two and two together and say, "Oh you mean our priest. Yes, his name is Father Dan."

Jeff writes -
You might be right. I am not trying to be cute here, I just wonder if they understand it as you say they should. I tend to think they have come to place explicit authority with their priest and have in practice, if not in profession, made him their spiritual guide. And, I differentiate here between two methods of spiritual guidance. One is persuasive and the other is coercive. The first allows for disagreement. The later does not. The one method allows the Holy Spirit to guide the conscience while the other method tends to be their conscience. In other words, the "lording over" happens when the leader requires the individuals to submits their will to him such that he tells them what they must believe and do. The last scenario can carry grave consequences if the student doesn't accept every instruction. And, the voice of the guide can drowned out the voice of the Holy Spirit or even override it, at times.

“The path of true piety is so plain as to require
but little political direction.” --George Washington,
re: absence of "Jesus Christ" in U.S. Constitution.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. -Proverbs 18:2 NIV