Why do Catholics call their priests “father,” when Jesus himself commands us in Mathew 23:9 to “call no man father?”


In Matthew 23:1-12, when Jesus tells us to call no man father or teacher, He is using figurative language to emphasize that all legitimate authority and truth ultimately come from God.  We are not to take these passages literally.

Throughout the Bible men are called fathers and teachers.  Both Catholics and Protestants call earthly men fathers and teachers.  St Stephen and St. Paul call the Jewish religious leaders “fathers (Acts 7:2 and 22:1).”  St Paul calls the Corinthians “my beloved children…for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel” (1 Cor 4:14-15; also see 1 Thess 2:11, 1 Tim 1:2, and Tit 1:4).  St. Paul became their spiritual father because he cooperated with God in giving them spiritual life, just as biological fathers cooperate with God in giving physical life.  Catholics call their priests “father” because, like St. Paul, priests cooperate with God in giving spiritual life to their flock by preaching the Gospel and administering the sacraments.




What are your thoughts on call no man father?


2 thoughts on “Call no man Father

  1. I find it hard to know when Jesus was speaking literally or figuratively. How do you know? Where do you find this out? Some say one thing and another says it is another way. AAAGGGHHH!!!!! I never know.

    1. Hey, Jerry, thanks for the comment, I hope it didn’t get you too upset.
      It can be hard to tell when Jesus talking literally or figuratively.
      As a Catholic, we are so blest. I wrote a post about this that you can read at anytime. But we are blest as Catholics because we have the One True Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Catholic Church to tell us when Jesus is talking literally or figuratively. You see, the Church was established by Christ himself, which is good. This means that we follow the one and only Jesus, not some man that decides he wants to change something about his church and begin another, so he set up his own church. This has happened many times, in fact almost 40,000 times, and it continues today. The Catholic Church also is the oldest Christian faith, almost 2,000 years old. The Church has went thru lots of bad times and has suffered plenty and has had many growing pains, but has many years of experience in teaching the truth about God. As a Catholic, I don’t have to decipher for myself what is right or wrong, the answer is already there for me to find. People a lot smarter than me, in union with the Holy Spirit have already found the right answer. It is just that easy, search out the answer from the Catholic Church.
      I hope this helps. Please don’t get so upset in trying to find the truth, it is already found for you, it is in the Catholic Church.
      Thanks and God Bless

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