Jesus says in मत्ती 23:9, “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”
Some have misused this verse to denounce the Catholic practice of calling priests “Father.” Jesus’ words here are not meant to be taken literally, हुनत. They are an hyperbole designed to emphasize our heavenly Father’s sovereignty: that He is the true source of life and wisdom (पावलको हेर्न एफिसीहरूलाई पत्र 3:14-15).
We know the Apostles did not take Jesus’ words in मत्ती 23:9 literally, लागि they called themselves Father!
Saint Paul, उदाहरणका लागि, wrote in his कोरिन्थीहरूलाई पहिलो पत्र, "हुनत लागि तपाईं ख्रीष्टमा असंख्य गाइड छ, तपाईं धेरै बुबाहरू छैन. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (4:15).
Paul considered himself the “father” of the Corinthians because he had spiritually begotten them through the Gospel. This is the same sense in which the title is used by Catholic priests today. We call priests “पिता,” not because they somehow take the place of God the Father, but because they are meant to serve as witnesses, living reminders, of His love, guidance and authority in our lives.
The fact is, the interpretation of मत्ती 23:9 goes against the overwhelming evidence of Scripture.
न्यायकर्ता 18:19, उदाहरण को रुपमा, भन्छन्, “Come with us, and be to us a father and a priest.” In First Thessalonians 2:11, Paul writes, “You know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you.” (See also Matt. 1:2 एफएफ।; 15:4-5; लूका 14:26; प्रेरित 7:2; 21:40-22:1; रोम. 4:11 एफएफ।; 1 कोरि. 4:14-16; Eph. 6:2; फिल. 2:22; 1 टिम. 1:2; तीतस 1:4; Philem. 1:10; छ. 12:9; तिनीहरूलाई. 2:21; 1 Pet. 5:13; 1 यूहन्ना 2:1, एट अल।).
The practice of calling priests Father continued in the early centuries of the Church. करिब 107 A.D., उदाहरणका लागि, Saint Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch implored the faithful to “respect the bishop as a type of the Father” (Letter to the Trallians 3:1).
मा 177, the leaders of the Church of Lyons wrote to Pope Saint Eleutherus, यसो, “We pray, Father Eleutherus, that you may rejoice in God in all things and always” (Letter of the Holy Martyrs of Lyons; Eusebius Pamphilus, मण्डली इतिहास 5:4:2).
Coincidentally, the title “Pope” (ग्रीक, Papa), which means Father, was for a time commonly used for all bishops, but eventually came to refer exclusively to the Bishop of Rome.
Given the biblical and historical evidence, Catholics might rightly ask why others do not call their spiritual leaders “Father.”