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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.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

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


John of Capistrano: It has been said the Christian saints are the world’s greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ’s redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events. 
<p>Imagine being born in the 14th century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times. </p><p>John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later. </p><p>His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion. </p><p>The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the "Spirituals" were freed from interference in their stricter observance. </p><p>He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement. </p><p>When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Hunyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to an infection after the battle. He died October 23, 1456.</p> American Catholic Blog When we are linked by the power of prayer, we as it were, hold each other’s hand as we walk side by side along a slippery path; and thus by the bounteous disposition of charity, it comes about that the harder each one leans on the other, the more firmly we are riveted together in brotherly love. —St. Gregory the Great

 
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