Calling some father

Question from Joseph Hirsch on 9/30/2007:

why do we call the prist Father ? Mathew 23:9 Do not call anyone on earth Father for you have one Father,and He is in heaven.

Answer by Matthew Bunson on 10/7/2007:

The use of Father for a minister is supported clearly by St. Paul in 1Cor. 4:15, when he describes himself as the spiritual father of those whom he has converted. The title father is used for priests not as a diminution of God’s rightful authority but in recognition of the place of priests as the ordinary ministers of the sacrament of Baptism. Through Baptism the faithful are given a new birth of supernatural grace (cf. Jn. 3:5).

Further, priests serve as spiritual fathers to all of the faithful under their pastoral care. In Church history, the term Father has been used for the greatest saints and theologians of the early Church, and it was commonplace for the first hermits and monks in Egypt to refer to each other as Fathers.

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