How to Answer Protestants Forum: Calling no man your father
Calling no man your father QUESTION from David on May 7, 2002 I have read the reply on this page to the question of a Catholic reply to the Call no man your father passage of Matthew 23:9.
But if a Protestant, even after reading 1 Corinthians 4:14-16, feels uncomfortable addressing a priest as father, is there an alternative method of addressing or referring to a priest that a Protestant may use that conveys a respect for the priest and for his position but does not require a non-Catholic to feel unfomfortable?
For example, could someone who is uncomfortable calling a priest father address a priest whose last name is Smith as Mr. Smith? Pastor Smith? Reverend Smith? Priest Smith? Or would it be better to avoid the issue and just say Sir?
ANSWER by Mr. Troy Martz on July 22, 2002 David:
Thank you for your question. I too struggled with this issue before my conversion. Fortunately for me the first priest I talked with regularly was during my service in the Army and I could just call him Colonel or Sir.
Though you should continue to search out the truth and work to understand (and hopefully accept) the teachings of the Church in this matter, I know from personal experience that this can take time. Until then, any priest would be happy if you referred to him as Reverend (much the same as I would address a non-Catholic clergy. It shows an appropriate level of respect for his position within the community without your need to falsely profess a teaching that you haven't yet fully accepted.
Keep working and studying and praying faithfully and the Lord will reward your efforts. Knock and it shall be opened.
Pax Christi, Troy
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