The Titles Priest and Father

Over the last few years I have heard complaints of people calling Catholic Ministers Priest and Father.  To be honest, before I came to understand the reasoning for calling a Catholic Minister Father, I had a problem with that title myself.  After extensive research into this, I am more than happy to call them Priest (although I never had that problem), and I am as happy in calling them Father.

First let us talk about the title Priest.  Priest is a translation of the Greek presbýteros, which is translated into Elder or Leader.  It was the Greek word used to establish those appointed by God/Jesus to the position of leading His Church.  So, Priest is a valid title today, and many non-Catholic Christian Churches actually use the translated title of “Elder” in their Church today based on that same foundation.

Now, as to Father.  The attack on the Catholic Church stems form Matthew 23:1-12 in which Jesus tells us to call no man “father or “teacher”, where he is using figurative language to emphasize that all legitimate authority and truth ultimately come from God.  We cannot take these passages literally, or we would be reading a contradiction by Jesus in the 4th Commandment when He repeats “honor your father and your mother” in Matthew 19:19, and when he referees to “Father Abraham” in Luke 16:24.

In 1Corinthians 4:14-15, 1 Thessalonians 2:11, 1 Timothy 1:2 and Titus 1;4 Saint Paul calls himself each area their father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.  He is calling himself Father, as he represents God here on earth.

Both titles are Biblical and appropriate to their position as given to them by God through Jesus.

In Christ!

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