"seemingly contradicting Jesus commands"


I was wondering why Catholics and others have their priests and pastors, etc, be referred to as "Father"?

- especially since Jesus says "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven." - Matthew 23:9.

I don't want to sound like a smart alec, but it's there in black and white. I am curious how this practice, seemingly contradicting Jesus commands, came to be generally accepted?


Timotheus Rex

(aka Tim Rudge)


Dear Timotheus,

Fair question. The practice goes back, at least, to the mid first century. St. Paul told the Corinthians he was their father (I Cor 4:15) and referred to Timothy, Titus and others as his "sons." Jesus himself called certain human beings "father." Thus, it appears in Mt 23:9 he was speaking about the unique, singular fatherhood of God from which, as St. Paul says, flows all human fatherhood.

I had a discussion of this with a guy named Lance if you care to take a look and tell me what you think.

God bless,

Fr. Bloom

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