Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
This passage of scripture makes a direct reference to the practice of calling bishops and priests father, and the injunction of Christ takes it even further, by cautioning the disciples not to assume the title of master, for we have only one Master, and that is Christ. Those who refer to the pope as the holy father are thereby bestowing on a mere mortal, the title and reverence that is due to God alone, and even though in many cases it may be done in ignorance by the multitudes, yet the scripture says it must never be done, for it is one of the ways in which the High-priestly ministry of Christ in the heavens has been usurped by a counterfeit priesthood here on planet earth. Let's read:
Psalm 111:2 The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. 3 His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
When Christ prayed the model prayer, He addressed God in heaven as "Father", so for us now to come and use the same title to refer to a mere mortal man, will be doing God a very great disservice, and will be the equivalent of belittling His title and office, bringing it down to the same level as those who presume to stand in His stead. When the pope arrives in the United States later this month, many will be repeating the same error of calling him father, and if this practice continues without confession to "Our Father, who art in heaven" then both the earthly father and his children will fall short of the glory of God, and the practice will stand as a sure witness against all who indulge in it, for whatever reason.
We therefore end with a passage of scripture which teaches us how to approach our heavenly Father, who created and redeemed us through the blood of Christ Jesus, and it is the will of God, that the human family give Him the respect and reverence that is due to His holy name. Let' read:
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
May The Lord add His blessing to the study and practice of His every word. God bless!