Father Nonsense

Bing Crosby in Belles of St. Mary's
Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley in Belles of St. Mary's.

One of the rules of the Roman Catholic Church is that everyone is supposed to call members of the clergy “Father”.

A priest could be 30 years old and, yet, be addressed as “Father” by an 86 year-old man or woman.

Hollywood has produced many famous “Fathers”. There is “Father O’Malley”, played by Bing Crosby in The Belles of St. Mary’s and Pat O’Brien’s “Father Flanagan” of Boys’ Town and many others.

There are also famous “Fathers” on the news.

Everybody knows “Father” (Michael) Pfleger, Barack Obama’s buddy from the south side of Chicago. “Father” (Frank) Pavone has made quite a name for himself as the head of Priests for Life, sort of like the Jesse Jackson of the pro-life movement. Many news channels have their own go-to “Fathers” to call in whenever they need an expert on Roman Catholicism. For Fox News Channel, it’s usually “Father” Jonathan. I don’t even remember his last name.

I’m thinking it was back in the seventies when it became permissible to call priests by their first name, but only, of course, if accompanied by the required “Father”. When I was in junior high, we called all the priests by their surnames – “Father Sullivan”, “Father Harnett”, “Father Bates”. However, when a young deacon who was preparing to enter the priesthood came to our parish, we all called him “Father Marc”. Then, it was cool to call a priest – or deacon – by his first name. It was like he was more of a peer – on our level – than some high and mighty godlike being.

Michael Pfleger wearing a sweatshirt over his Roman collar uniform
“Father” Michael Pfleger actually became a father when he adopted two boys – Lamar and Baronti – and had a foster son, Jarvis. Jarvis was shot to death in Chicago and Beronti suffered a fatal collapse at the age of 33.

Apparently, some priests wanted others to think they were cool. I know of some who allowed parishioners and others to call them “Padre”. Not very long ago, I attended a funeral which was led by a priest with a mullet. He drove a Jeep Wrangler to the cemetery – with the top down. His license plate read, “Da Rev”.

So, it seems that there has been a bit of a backlash against the use of “Father”, at least in certain circles. Overall, however, the title enjoys widespread use among Catholics and non-Catholics. Even journalists have bought into the “Father” title by identifying Catholic priests in their stories as “Father” So-and-So.

The first question is, why does the Catholic Church force its members to address priests as “Father”?

I am sure apologists have all types of answers and they can point to what Augustine and Aquinas said way back when. But, the answer is much more simple than that. The Roman Church wants people to believe that Catholic priests are 1) “other Christs”, and 2) moral authorities over the rest of us.

The apostles, who the Church teaches are the predecessors of Roman Catholic priests, were never called “Father” by anyone but their own offspring. (Yes, the ‘original priests’ were married with children!) Even Jesus Christ was never called “Father”. Usually, his disciples called him “Teacher”. In the bible, “Father” was reserved for God in heaven.

Matthew 23:9 reads, ‘Do not call anyone on earth your father. Only one is your father, the One in heaven.” 

The title of the Matthew 23 is “Hypocrisy of the Scribes and the Pharisees”. I encourage you to read it for it describes the Roman Catholic hierarchy to a tee.

I have racked my brain trying to remember hearing that particular passage in a Mass or a catechism class or anywhere. Then, I remembered: Every biblical passage that makes it into the liturgy missals and catechism books must first be approved by the Church. Apparently, the don’t-call-anyone-on-earth-your-father verse ended up on the Vatican cutting room floor. 

This is the kind of father you do not want. The founder of the Legions of Christ Catholic order, Marcial Maciel Degollado fathered at least six children and sexually abused at least two of them. Still, Pope JPII blessed him.
This is the kind of father you do not want to have. The founder of the Legions of Christ Catholic order, Marcial Maciel Degollado fathered at least six children and sexually abused at least two of them. Still, Pope JPII blessed him.

Gee, I wonder why!

The Fourth Commandment (before the Roman Church’s edits) states, “Honor thy father and thy mother”. The nuns taught us that meant we were supposed to obey our moms and dads, oh, and the priests, too! “Yes, Father. Of course, Father. Anything you say, Father. The earth is flat, Father.”

When thousands of Roman Catholic priests told little kids to do this or do that, most of them did, with reluctance and through unimaginable pain. Honor and obey “Father”. “Father” knows best. “Father” is God. And you don’t say “No” to God.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please share them in the comment section below.

 

6 Comments

  1. The Vatican popes as “Holy Father” and Catholic priests as reverend “Father” do absolutely nothing for the daily wellbeing and interests of children worldwide. In fact, these church titles only confuse children and especially women.

    Popes and priests do not work to give children’s daily essential needs of food, clothing and shelter — which those children’s biological fathers or adoptive fathers provide through their daily sweat and toil.

    The popes and priests as Reverend and Holy “Father” instill terror and harness paralyzing obedience in children (and especially in Catholic women) which is why the title “Father” must be eradicated from all Catholic priests and the title “Holy Father” must be obliterated from the popes – forever – starting NOW in this 21st century.

    Popes and priests terrorize children and women. http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/11/john-paul-ii-holy-father-of-lies.html

  2. Abolish the title “Father” for priests and “Holy Father” for popes!

    http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/11/john-paul-ii-holy-father-of-lies.html

    We call on the media and all governments to strip the title “Father” from priests and eliminate the title “Holy Father” from popes because they have stolen this title which they do not deserve — as all they do is sit in the lap-of-luxury in their million dollars rectories and the Pope sits on his throne at the Vatican meeting only with European Royalties and billionaire investors in secret Vatican Swiss Banks and those arrogant CSC priests sit on millions of dollars at the Oratory of St. Joseph as they use “saint” Brother Andre as their Golden Cash Cow!

    It is time for men, women and children to stop giving holy reverence to priests and the popes – who do nothing for their essential needs for food, clothing and shelter — and stop looking at priests and popes as the “official representatives of God” because God is as oxygen, he/she is everywhere and has no need for representatives. God as oxygen cannot be monopolized by popes and priests. God is everywhere as Jesus said, The Kingdom of God is within you – meaning God is not in the golden tabernacle but inside each person just like oxygen is inside each person — without need for popes and priests.

    Humankind breathes in God/oxygen without need for priests and popes, read our related article, Oratory of Saint Joseph http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/11/oratory-of-saint-joseph-pedophile.html

  3. The JP2 Army prayer: Children’s most important prayer– more important than the Eucharist and the Rosary
    JP2 Army with me, JP2 Army before me, JP2 Army behind me,
    JP2 Army in me, JP2 Army beneath me, JP2 Army above me,
    JP2 Army on my right, JP2 Army on my left,
    JP2 Army when I lie down, JP2 Army when I sit down
    JP2 Army when I ariseSee origin of JP2 Army Prayer http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2011/12/eucharist-feeds-dysfunction.html
    To remember the JP2 Army is protect children forever from predator pedophile priests and from all kinds of pedophiles so that they are able to pierce through their theological mask as “representative of Christ” and it will empower children to see through John Paul II writings which are heartless, read our related article Theology and John Paul II are heartless and together they made the immoral Fr. Marcial Maciel thrive… and they also made complicit Cardinal Bernard Law thrive, read our related article here http://jp2m.blogspot.ca/2010/05/theology-and-john-paul-ii-are-heartless.html

    Victims in USA – Attackers – Responsible Leaders

    WTC & 9/11 attacks – 3,000 victims – 19 Muslims – Osama bin Laden

    JP2 Army – 100,000 victims – 6,100 pedophile priests (Los Angeles, Boston, etc)- John Paul II & Benedict XVI & Opus Dei, the new Vatican Trinity

    Amnesty International Report Vatican “Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment” on tens of thousands of children sexually abused by priests in Ireland http://popecrimes.blogspot.com/2011/09/amnesty-international-report-vatican.html

  4. Again, very good. I have started reading, and loving, and cherishing, the Bible since I started reading Josephy Murphy and Emmet Fox, and others. It’s not that complicated and it’s really, really beautiful.

  5. Thank you, Cathy. You are right. It’s very simple and straightforward but the men running the Church aim to complicate things and muddy the waters to the point that others cannot see the obvious. I’ll check out those two authors. Thanks for the tip!

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