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Daily Catholic Question

Why do Catholics call priests ‘Father?’

Jesus instruction to call no man "father" was an effort to emphasize the need for a religion that is at least as interior as it is exterior, for religious integrity and for a sense of service.

The same passage also says not to call anyone rabbi (teacher) or master.

Do you call your male parent Father? Don't most Christians do that? If so, are they violating Jesus' command? Christians have not understood Jesus' command as preventing them from calling someone teacher. In our society, the term master is used rarely.

This is not to dismiss Jesus' teaching on the subject of titles. Chapter 23 of the Gospel of Matthew opens with 36 verses on the scribes and Pharisees and ends with three verses of lament over Jerusalem.

If all of us strive for what Jesus requested, using the terms father, teacher or master in any context will cause fewer problems.

St. Paul described himself as a father to the Christians in Thessalonika (1 Thessalonians 2:11) and in Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:15). Applying the term father to priests is a custom and not an obligation.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Daily Catholic Question for 4/14/2014 Daily Catholic Question for 4/16/2014


Hilarion: Despite his best efforts to live in prayer and solitude, today’s saint found it difficult to achieve his deepest desire. People were naturally drawn to Hilarion as a source of spiritual wisdom and peace. He had reached such fame by the time of his death that his body had to be secretly removed so that a shrine would not be built in his honor. Instead, he was buried in his home village. 
<p>St. Hilarion the Great, as he is sometimes called, was born in Palestine. After his conversion to Christianity he spent some time with St. Anthony of Egypt, another holy man drawn to solitude. Hilarion lived a life of hardship and simplicity in the desert, where he also experienced spiritual dryness that included temptations to despair. At the same time, miracles were attributed to him. </p><p>As his fame grew, a small group of disciples wanted to follow Hilarion. He began a series of journeys to find a place where he could live away from the world. He finally settled on Cyprus, where he died in 371 at about age 80. </p><p>Hilarion is celebrated as the founder of monasticism in Palestine. Much of his fame flows from the biography of him written by St. Jerome.</p> American Catholic Blog Therefore if any thought agitates you, this agitation never comes from God, who gives you peace, being the Spirit of Peace, but from the devil.

 
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