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Why is the pope called the “Holy Father” instead of just “Father”?

Full Question

Why is the pope called the “Holy Father” instead of just “Father”?

Answer

Catholics call the pope “Holy Father” not as an acknowledgement of his personal state of soul but as an expression of respect for his office as successor to Peter and head of the Church on earth. His is a holy office.










35 comments

  1. jason Reply

    Pope and even peter is not the head of the church of God unless you catholic have different God other than God the father and God the son Jesus Christ. If you pretend of these then you guys are the antichrist!?!?

    1. alex Reply

      Wow, not interested in anything other than your own bigoted views ? We pray you stop giving in to your self and give more to God. Seek truth and communion for the sake of your soul and the love of Christ.

    2. Micheal Reply

      N what makes u say that,,,are u God to judge the church. U speak like a person who doesn’t read the Bible

    3. Etienne Reply

      Stop beeing so zealous and understand what is said by “the head of the Church on earth”. Or do you Mean the Lord Jesus was wrong when He confided the church to Peter, a simple human being?

    4. davepinoy Reply

      Scripture and Tradition attest to the primacy of Peter and his successors as head of the Church. Traditions means early writings of the Church Fathers, the apostles, and the disciples of the apostles. Various scriptural citation sustains such tradition and the authority of the Magisterium Support it…NOW WHAT DO YOU HAVE AS YOUR BASIS AND AUTHORITY FOR MAKING SUCH AN ASSERTION…ARE YOU BETTER AND HOLIER THAN THE DISCIPLES OF THE APOSTLES, OR THE EARLY FATHERS, OR SCRIPTURE?…IF SO PROVE IT…

    5. Monica Reply

      Do not pay attention and waste replies to such person like Jason. You can tell he has no knowledge of what to say because he does not read. He is just playing genius. Poor soul.

    6. abel Reply

      IF U COMMENT ABOUT CATHOLIC CHURCH, YOU MUST PUT ALSO ON WHAT SECTA OR GROUP U BELONG, JASON ikaw ang antichrist…….

    7. emmanuel nsoh Reply

      My dear, jason the catholic does not have a different God and are not pretenders either. pls read matt. 16:18-19 and take it easy with the catholics

  2. mariah Reply

    Jesus is the head of the church but duly represented by the Pope…simple logic….

    1. timm Reply

      very well said indeed amen,,,

      holy father s the TITLE for anyone who is the VICAR of CHRIST.

  3. Jerry K. Mero Reply

    Certainly a tree can be distinguish from its fruits. What is it that catholism had taught that would justify the most offensive label that we are the anti Christ?

  4. Barbara Ogg Reply

    The fruit is a good way to distinguish a tree Jerry and the catholic church does not bear any fruit in resemblance of Christ. the Catholic church has veered so far from the truth that if Catholics really did read their Bibles they would know the truth and not believe the lies and the twisted truth the catholic church teaches them. The Catholic church does not and never has had the authority to change God’s word and no where in the Bible is Peter referred to as the holy father. If anyone would have called Peter by such a name Peter and all of the other apostles would have rebuked them to no end. That is a ridiculous concept. Please ask God to open your eyes to the truth. The Catholic church will lead you strait to hell.

    1. Christopher Weyer Reply

      Agreed Barbara, “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Mat 7:17) But the fruit of the Catholic Church does indeed reflect that of Christ, in fact, the church is the fruit of Christ. “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Mat 16:18) The Catholic Church does not and has not ever attempted to change the word of God, only to express it as truth. While Peter is not referred to as “Holy Father,” in the Bible itself, he is granted be Jesus the keys of the kingdom — and at the time He said that, the Jews knew well that the steward who held the keys was held in very high esteem and had a very important role (see the OT).

      From Catholic Answers:
      —–
      Only God is holy by his very essence; however, by a person, place, or thing’s association with God, it too can be called holy. To be called holy is to express the idea of consecration, that someone or something belongs to God. That is why the Bible can call many persons, places, and things holy.

      In Genesis 28:16, the place God appears is “holy.” In Exodus 19:6, God tells the Israelites through Moses, “and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” God’s dwelling place in the Tabernacle is “holy” (Ex 28:43), as is the city of Jerusalem (Is 48:2). Even a goat, the victim of sacrifice to God, is called “holy” in Leviticus 10:17.

      After Christ’s death and resurrection the Christians called themselves and each other “holy ones” or “saints,” called by God to be his (Rom 1:7). In 1 Peter 1:16 we read, “it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

      Since we are his holy people, and his people are the Church, it is fitting that the head of his holy people be called Holy Father—not because of his own merit, but because Christ died for him and for the Church that he leads on earth.
      —–

      The primacy of Peter can also be found and explored using the following Bible verses: Mt 16:18, Mt 16:19, Lk 22:32, Jn 21:17, Mk 16:7, Lk 24:34, Acts 1:13-26, Acts 2:14, Acts 2:41, Acts 3:6-7, Acts 5:1-11, Acts 8:21, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 15:7, Acts 15:19, Gal 1:18… in addition, Peter’s name appears 195 times, more than all the rest of the apostles put together.

      Apostolic Succession can be found and explored using the following Bible verses: 2 Chr 19:11, Mal 2:7, Eph 2:20, Eph 4:11, 1 Cor 12:28-29, Acts 1:20, Acts 1:25-26, 1 Tim 3:1, 1 Tim 3:8, 1 Tim 5:17, 1 Tim 4:14, 1 Tim 5:22, Act 14:23, 2 Tim 2:2, Titus 1:5

      I know that you are referring to many issues you see in the Church, but I would be happy to help open you eyes, using the Bible, to the Truth in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the Church that gave us the Canon of Scripture, so I am sure there is nothing in it that could contradict the teaching of the Church, being that the Bible itself is part of the teaching of the Church, but we also learn from tradition (word of mouth) not just what was written down. (1 Cor 11:2, 2 Thess 2:15, 2 Thess 3:6, Jn 21:25, etc.)

      Thank you for your great concern and passion for the Truth!

    2. Celso Reply

      It was already explained: “Holy Father" not as an acknowledgement of his personal state of soul but as an expression of respect for his office as successor to Peter and head of the Church on earth. What’s the problem with you? You must read your Bible many times with the help of the Holy Spirit. Don’t judge! Are you holy? Please ask God to open your eyes to the truth also

    3. Ron Reply

      @Barbara Ogg ,If you remain ignorant of the History of the Church and the history of the Bible, hell is really waiting for you. You don’t believed the teaching of the one and only true church established by Christ and yet you believed teaching founded by other men in the last 500 years? Wake up!

    4. Marquess Reply

      U are lost and doomed for corruption if u are not careful

  5. mich Reply

    Our Lord said to St. Peter, “You are ‘Rock,’ and on this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The name change itself from Simon to Peter indicates the Apostle being called to a special role of leadership; recall how Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, or Jacob’s to Israel, or Saul’s to Paul, when each of them was called to assume a special role of leadership among God’s people.

    The word “rock” also has special significance. On one hand, to be called “rock” was a Semitic expression designating the solid foundation upon which a community would be built. For instance, Abraham was considered “rock” because he was the father of the Jewish people (and we refer to him as our father in faith) and the one with whom the covenant was first made.

    On the other hand, no one except God was called specifically “rock,” nor was it ever used as a proper name except for God. To give the name “rock” to St. Peter indicates that our Lord entrusted to him a special authority. Some antipapal parties try to play linguistic games with the original Greek Gospel text, where the masculine-gender word “petros,” meaning a small, moveable rock, refers to St. Peter while the feminine-gender word “petra,” meaning a massive, immoveable rock, refers to the foundation of the Church. However, in the original Aramaic language, which is what Jesus spoke and which is believed to be the original language of St. Matthew’s Gospel, the word “Kepha,” meaning rock, would be used in both places without gender distinction or difference in meaning. The gender problem arises when translating from Aramaic to Greek and using the proper form to modify the masculine word “Peter” or feminine word “Church.” SOME ANTI-CATHOLIC DID NOT RECOGNIZE THAT JESUS IS SPEAKING IN ARAMIAC”.. that KEPHA MEANS ROCK in aramiac……..,

    “The gates of hell” is also an interesting Semitic expression. The heaviest forces were positioned at gates; so this expression captures the greatest warmaking power of a nation. Here this expression refers to the powers opposed to what our Lord is establishing-the Church. (A similar expression is used in reference to our Lord in Acts 2:24: “God freed Him from the bitter pangs of hell, however, and raised Him up again, for it was impossible that death should keep its hold on Him.”) Jesus associated St. Peter and his office so closely with Himself that He became a visible force protecting the Church and keeping back the power of hell.

    Second, Jesus says, “I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In the Old Testament, the “number two” person in the Kingdom literally held the keys. In Isaiah 22: 19-22 we find a reference to Eliakim, the master of the palace of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17ff) and keeper of the keys. As a sign of his position, the one who held the keys represented the king, acted with his authority and had to act in accord with the king’s mind. Therefore, St. Peter and each of his successors represent our Lord on this earth as His Vicar and lead the faithful flock of the Church to the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Finally, Jesus says, “Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” This is rabbinic terminology. A rabbi could bind, declaring an act forbidden or excommunicating a person for serious sin; or a rabbi could loose, declaring an act permissible or reconciling an excommunicated sinner to the community.

    Here, Christ entrusted a special authority to St. Peter to preserve, interpret and teach His truth. In all, this understanding of Matthew 16 was unchallenged until the Protestant leaders wanted to legitimize their rejection of papal authority and the office of the pope. Even the Orthodox Churches recognize the pope as the successor of St. Peter; however, they do not honor his binding jurisdiction over the whole Church but grant him a position of “first among equals.”

    St. Peter’s role in the New Testament further substantiates the Catholic belief concerning the papacy and what Jesus said in Matthew 16. St. Peter held a preeminent position among the Apostles. He is always listed first (Mt. 10:14; Mk. 3:16-19; Lk. 6:14-1 5; Acts 1:13) and is sometimes the only one mentioned (Lk. 9:32). He speaks for the Apostles (Mt. 18:21; Mk. 8:28; Lk. 12:41; Jn. 6:69).

    When our Lord selects a group of three for some special event, such as the Transfiguration, St. Peter is in the first position. Our Lord chose to teach from St. Peter’s boat. At Pentecost St. Peter preached to the crowds and told of the mission of the Church (Acts 2;14-40). He performed the first miraculous healing (Acts 3:6-7). SL Peter also received the revelation that the Gentiles were to be baptized (Acts 10:9-48) and sided with St. Paul against the need for circumcision (Acts 15). At the end of his life, St. Peter was crucified, but in his humility asked to be crucified upside down.

    As Catholics, we believe that the authority given to St. Peter did not end with his life but was handed on to his successors. The earliest writings attest to this belief. St. Irenaeus in his Adversus Haereses described how the Church at Rome was founded by St. Peter and St. Paul and traced the handing on of the office of St. Peter through Linus, Cletus (also called Anacletus), and so on, through 12 successors to his own present day, Pope Eleutherius. Tertullian in De Praescriptione Haereticorum asserted the same point as did Origen in his Commentaries on John, St. Cyprian of Carthage in his The Unity of the Catholic Church and many others.

    Granted, the expression of papal authority becomes magnified after the legalization of Christianity and especially after the fall of the Roman Empire and the ensuing political chaos. Nevertheless, our Church boasts of an unbroken line of legitimate successors of St. Peter who stand in the stead of Christ We must always remember that one of the official titles of the pope, first taken by Pope Gregory the Great is “Servant of the Servants of God.”

    As we think of this answer, may we be mindful of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, and pray for his intentions.

    , our Lord said to St. Peter, “You are ‘Rock,’ and on this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The name change itself from Simon to Peter indicates the Apostle being called to a special role of leadership; recall how Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, or Jacob’s to Israel, or Saul’s to Paul, when each of them was called to assume a special role of leadership among God’s people.

    The word “rock” also has special significance. On one hand, to be called “rock” was a Semitic expression designating the solid foundation upon which a community would be built. For instance, Abraham was considered “rock” because he was the father of the Jewish people (and we refer to him as our father in faith) and the one with whom the covenant was first made.

    On the other hand, no one except God was called specifically “rock,” nor was it ever used as a proper name except for God. To give the name “rock” to St. Peter indicates that our Lord entrusted to him a special authority. Some antipapal parties try to play linguistic games with the original Greek Gospel text, where the masculine-gender word “petros,” meaning a small, moveable rock, refers to St. Peter while the feminine-gender word “petra,” meaning a massive, immoveable rock, refers to the foundation of the Church. However, in the original Aramaic language, which is what Jesus spoke and which is believed to be the original language of St. Matthew’s Gospel, the word “Kepha,” meaning rock, would be used in both places without gender distinction or difference in meaning. The gender problem arises when translating from Aramaic to Greek and using the proper form to modify the masculine word “Peter” or feminine word “Church.”

    “The gates of hell” is also an interesting Semitic expression. The heaviest forces were positioned at gates; so this expression captures the greatest warmaking power of a nation. Here this expression refers to the powers opposed to what our Lord is establishing-the Church. (A similar expression is used in reference to our Lord in Acts 2:24: “God freed Him from the bitter pangs of hell, however, and raised Him up again, for it was impossible that death should keep its hold on Him.”) Jesus associated St. Peter and his office so closely with Himself that He became a visible force protecting the Church and keeping back the power of hell.

    Second, Jesus says, “I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In the Old Testament, the “number two” person in the Kingdom literally held the keys. In Isaiah 22: 19-22 we find a reference to Eliakim, the master of the palace of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17ff) and keeper of the keys. As a sign of his position, the one who held the keys represented the king, acted with his authority and had to act in accord with the king’s mind. Therefore, St. Peter and each of his successors represent our Lord on this earth as His Vicar and lead the faithful flock of the Church to the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Finally, Jesus says, “Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” This is rabbinic terminology. A rabbi could bind, declaring an act forbidden or excommunicating a person for serious sin; or a rabbi could loose, declaring an act permissible or reconciling an excommunicated sinner to the community.

    Here, Christ entrusted a special authority to St. Peter to preserve, interpret and teach His truth. In all, this understanding of Matthew 16 was unchallenged until the Protestant leaders wanted to legitimize their rejection of papal authority and the office of the pope. Even the Orthodox Churches recognize the pope as the successor of St. Peter; however, they do not honor his binding jurisdiction over the whole Church but grant him a position of “first among equals.”

    St. Peter’s role in the New Testament further substantiates the Catholic belief concerning the papacy and what Jesus said in Matthew 16. St. Peter held a preeminent position among the Apostles. He is always listed first (Mt. 10:14; Mk. 3:16-19; Lk. 6:14-1 5; Acts 1:13) and is sometimes the only one mentioned (Lk. 9:32). He speaks for the Apostles (Mt. 18:21; Mk. 8:28; Lk. 12:41; Jn. 6:69).

    When our Lord selects a group of three for some special event, such as the Transfiguration, St. Peter is in the first position. Our Lord chose to teach from St. Peter’s boat. At Pentecost St. Peter preached to the crowds and told of the mission of the Church (Acts 2;14-40). He performed the first miraculous healing (Acts 3:6-7). SL Peter also received the revelation that the Gentiles were to be baptized (Acts 10:9-48) and sided with St. Paul against the need for circumcision (Acts 15). At the end of his life, St. Peter was crucified, but in his humility asked to be crucified upside down.

    As Catholics, we believe that the authority given to St. Peter did not end with his life but was handed on to his successors. The earliest writings attest to this belief. St. Irenaeus in his Adversus Haereses described how the Church at Rome was founded by St. Peter and St. Paul and traced the handing on of the office of St. Peter through Linus, Cletus (also called Anacletus), and so on, through 12 successors to his own present day, Pope Eleutherius. Tertullian in De Praescriptione Haereticorum asserted the same point as did Origen in his Commentaries on John, St. Cyprian of Carthage in his The Unity of the Catholic Church and many others.

    Granted, the expression of papal authority becomes magnified after the legalization of Christianity and especially after the fall of the Roman Empire and the ensuing political chaos. Nevertheless, our Church boasts of an unbroken line of legitimate successors of St. Peter who stand in the stead of Christ We must always remember that one of the official titles of the pope, first taken by Pope Gregory the Great is “Servant of the Servants of God.”

    As we think of this answer, may we be mindful of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, and pray for his intentions.

    , our Lord said to St. Peter, “You are ‘Rock,’ and on this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The name change itself from Simon to Peter indicates the Apostle being called to a special role of leadership; recall how Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, or Jacob’s to Israel, or Saul’s to Paul, when each of them was called to assume a special role of leadership among God’s people.

    The word “rock” also has special significance. On one hand, to be called “rock” was a Semitic expression designating the solid foundation upon which a community would be built. For instance, Abraham was considered “rock” because he was the father of the Jewish people (and we refer to him as our father in faith) and the one with whom the covenant was first made.

    On the other hand, no one except God was called specifically “rock,” nor was it ever used as a proper name except for God. To give the name “rock” to St. Peter indicates that our Lord entrusted to him a special authority. Some antipapal parties try to play linguistic games with the original Greek Gospel text, where the masculine-gender word “petros,” meaning a small, moveable rock, refers to St. Peter while the feminine-gender word “petra,” meaning a massive, immoveable rock, refers to the foundation of the Church. However, in the original Aramaic language, which is what Jesus spoke and which is believed to be the original language of St. Matthew’s Gospel, the word “Kepha,” meaning rock, would be used in both places without gender distinction or difference in meaning. The gender problem arises when translating from Aramaic to Greek and using the proper form to modify the masculine word “Peter” or feminine word “Church.”

    “The gates of hell” is also an interesting Semitic expression. The heaviest forces were positioned at gates; so this expression captures the greatest warmaking power of a nation. Here this expression refers to the powers opposed to what our Lord is establishing-the Church. (A similar expression is used in reference to our Lord in Acts 2:24: “God freed Him from the bitter pangs of hell, however, and raised Him up again, for it was impossible that death should keep its hold on Him.”) Jesus associated St. Peter and his office so closely with Himself that He became a visible force protecting the Church and keeping back the power of hell.

    Second, Jesus says, “I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In the Old Testament, the “number two” person in the Kingdom literally held the keys. In Isaiah 22: 19-22 we find a reference to Eliakim, the master of the palace of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17ff) and keeper of the keys. As a sign of his position, the one who held the keys represented the king, acted with his authority and had to act in accord with the king’s mind. Therefore, St. Peter and each of his successors represent our Lord on this earth as His Vicar and lead the faithful flock of the Church to the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Finally, Jesus says, “Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” This is rabbinic terminology. A rabbi could bind, declaring an act forbidden or excommunicating a person for serious sin; or a rabbi could loose, declaring an act permissible or reconciling an excommunicated sinner to the community.

    Here, Christ entrusted a special authority to St. Peter to preserve, interpret and teach His truth. In all, this understanding of Matthew 16 was unchallenged until the Protestant leaders wanted to legitimize their rejection of papal authority and the office of the pope. Even the Orthodox Churches recognize the pope as the successor of St. Peter; however, they do not honor his binding jurisdiction over the whole Church but grant him a position of “first among equals.”

    St. Peter’s role in the New Testament further substantiates the Catholic belief concerning the papacy and what Jesus said in Matthew 16. St. Peter held a preeminent position among the Apostles. He is always listed first (Mt. 10:14; Mk. 3:16-19; Lk. 6:14-1 5; Acts 1:13) and is sometimes the only one mentioned (Lk. 9:32). He speaks for the Apostles (Mt. 18:21; Mk. 8:28; Lk. 12:41; Jn. 6:69).

    When our Lord selects a group of three for some special event, such as the Transfiguration, St. Peter is in the first position. Our Lord chose to teach from St. Peter’s boat. At Pentecost St. Peter preached to the crowds and told of the mission of the Church (Acts 2;14-40). He performed the first miraculous healing (Acts 3:6-7). SL Peter also received the revelation that the Gentiles were to be baptized (Acts 10:9-48) and sided with St. Paul against the need for circumcision (Acts 15). At the end of his life, St. Peter was crucified, but in his humility asked to be crucified upside down.

    As Catholics, we believe that the authority given to St. Peter did not end with his life but was handed on to his successors. The earliest writings attest to this belief. St. Irenaeus in his Adversus Haereses described how the Church at Rome was founded by St. Peter and St. Paul and traced the handing on of the office of St. Peter through Linus, Cletus (also called Anacletus), and so on, through 12 successors to his own present day, Pope Eleutherius. Tertullian in De Praescriptione Haereticorum asserted the same point as did Origen in his Commentaries on John, St. Cyprian of Carthage in his The Unity of the Catholic Church and many others.

    Granted, the expression of papal authority becomes magnified after the legalization of Christianity and especially after the fall of the Roman Empire and the ensuing political chaos. Nevertheless, our Church boasts of an unbroken line of legitimate successors of St. Peter who stand in the stead of Christ We must always remember that one of the official titles of the pope, first taken by Pope Gregory the Great is “Servant of the Servants of God.”

    As we think of this answer, may we be mindful of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, and pray for his intentions.

    ha
    “The gates of hell” is also an interesting Semitic expression. The heaviest forces were positioned at gates; so this expression captures the greatest warmaking power of a nation. Here this expression refers to the powers opposed to what our Lord is establishing-the Church. (A similar expression is used in reference to our Lord in Acts 2:24: “God freed Him from the bitter pangs of hell, however, and raised Him up again, for it was impossible that death should keep its hold on Him.”) Jesus associated St. Peter and his office so closely with Himself that He became a visible force protecting the Church and keeping back the power of hell.

    Second, Jesus says, “I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In the Old Testament, the “number two” person in the Kingdom literally held the keys. In Isaiah 22: 19-22 we find a reference to Eliakim, the master of the palace of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17ff) and keeper of the keys. As a sign of his position, the one who held the keys represented the king, acted with his authority and had to act in accord with the king’s mind. Therefore, St. Peter and each of his successors represent our Lord on this earth as His Vicar and lead the faithful flock of the Church to the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Finally, Jesus says, “Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” This is rabbinic terminology. A rabbi could bind, declaring an act forbidden or excommunicating a person for serious sin; or a rabbi could loose, declaring an act permissible or reconciling an excommunicated sinner to the community.

    Here, Christ entrusted a special authority to St. Peter to preserve, interpret and teach His truth. In all, this understanding of Matthew 16 was unchallenged until the Protestant leaders wanted to legitimize their rejection of papal authority and the office of the pope. Even the Orthodox Churches recognize the pope as the successor of St. Peter; however, they do not honor his binding jurisdiction over the whole Church but grant him a position of “first among equals.”

    St. Peter’s role in the New Testament further substantiates the Catholic belief concerning the papacy and what Jesus said in Matthew 16. St. Peter held a preeminent position among the Apostles. He is always listed first (Mt. 10:14; Mk. 3:16-19; Lk. 6:14-1 5; Acts 1:13) and is sometimes the only one mentioned (Lk. 9:32). He speaks for the Apostles (Mt. 18:21; Mk. 8:28; Lk. 12:41; Jn. 6:69).

    When our Lord selects a group of three for some special event, such as the Transfiguration, St. Peter is in the first position. Our Lord chose to teach from St. Peter’s boat. At Pentecost St. Peter preached to the crowds and told of the mission of the Church (Acts 2;14-40). He performed the first miraculous healing (Acts 3:6-7). SL Peter also received the revelation that the Gentiles were to be baptized (Acts 10:9-48) and sided with St. Paul against the need for circumcision (Acts 15). At the end of his life, St. Peter was crucified, but in his humility asked to be crucified upside down.

    As Catholics, we believe that the authority given to St. Peter did not end with his life but was handed on to his successors. The earliest writings attest to this belief. St. Irenaeus in his Adversus Haereses described how the Church at Rome was founded by St. Peter and St. Paul and traced the handing on of the office of St. Peter through Linus, Cletus (also called Anacletus), and so on, through 12 successors to his own present day, Pope Eleutherius. Tertullian in De Praescriptione Haereticorum asserted the same point as did Origen in his Commentaries on John, St. Cyprian of Carthage in his The Unity of the Catholic Church and many others.

    Granted, the expression of papal authority becomes magnified after the legalization of Christianity and especially after the fall of the Roman Empire and the ensuing political chaos. Nevertheless, our Church boasts of an unbroken line of legitimate successors of St. Peter who stand in the stead of Christ We must always remember that one of the official titles of the pope, first taken by Pope Gregory the Great is “Servant of the Servants of God.”

    As we think of this answer, may we be mindful of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, and pray for his intentions.

  6. melinda M. maligmat Reply

    we Catholics strongly believes in HOLY TRINITY IN ONE GOD SO WITH OUR MOTHER VIRGIN MARY if we can follow the TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD then we are good CHRISTIANS and no need to argue brothers and sisters . . .

  7. George Reply

    no one knows who is going to hell or heaven until Christ second coming.

  8. Jhon Pogi Reply

    “Holy Father” refers only to “GOD ALONE” not the “POPE” the Pope should have a title of “Holy father” instead of “Holy Father” #Fvsf

  9. Totet Matias Reply

    Dear all anti-Catholics we heard them ALL! Anything new you can throw us? The Bible is written by the Early Church Fathers from the disciples of the disciples of the apostles of Christ to preserve the infallibility of Christ’s teachings to prevent heretics like you from misinterpreting it. If it’s not St. Peter who was the closest to Christ then who? St. Paul? Why would be it Paul it wasn’t written in the Bible, he didn’t witnessed Christ’s resurrection, teachings, miracles nor touched or ate with Him like the 12 apostles did. Here read the Biblical verses and STOP being a thousand little popes. Wrong Again! http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/saints/teachings-of-church-fathers/the-papacy/

  10. Totet Matias Reply

    You guys are the one NOT reading the whole Bible with 76 books. You do not even know that Christ’s Church is designed from the Davidic Kingdom where Christ’s lineage came from. You are not even aware that the New Testament is the FULFILLMENT of the Old Testament, the Judaism of our elder brothers, ancient Israel. That Christ and Mary’s were prophesied all over the Old Testament, the New Testament is hidden in the OT. You’re missing the most important and highest form of praying. When Catholics go to House of God, we see God, we see and receive the REAL Presence of Christ in His Church. Who do you worship in your communities, your pastors? http://www.catholicbible101.com/the-mass-what-is-it

  11. Patrick Alexander Briggs Reply

    Get your silly self out of our blog, IDIOT!!! I wonder why you non-Catholics won’t just f* off and mind you business. And yes we worship a different God ( God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and we have a sense of direction in the way we do things we are not as confused as Protestants who can not even agree on the nature of Jesus who they calm to profess.

  12. John Reply

    I do not attend any church, nor am I on the membership roll of any church. I do, however, read the Bible, also the Quran and other “religious” documents and publications.

    If the Bible is to be taken as the inspired, infallible, ever-relevant word of God, which I am told Roman Catholics believe it to be, then it seems the following passages would have influence over the way the word “Father” is used. The passage is at Ephesians 4:1 through 6.

    “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forebearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is over all and through all and in all.”

    Since the mention of “God and Father” is followed by “…who IS over all”, rather than by “…who ARE over all” then it appears that the writer is referring to God as being “the Father of us all.”

    And too, the passage at Matthew 23: 9, a statement being attributed to Jesus, reads as follows: “And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in Heaven”.

    Jesus is then quoted as having said, “And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is , Christ.”

    To me these are wonderfully simple, clarify statements and directives. Though I do not identify myself with any religious organization, I do, nontheless, believe in a loving Creator. It is only to this incomprehensible Divinity, that I think of as my “Father”. So, it appears that inadvertently I’m in sync with Jesus….at least on this point. I like that. 🙂

  13. may Reply

    That is for God to sau not by a bigot like u barbs. The Church exists for more than 2000 yrs. Wht abt ur church dt teaches u bigotry. How old is it. Can u trace it fr St. Peter? D Catholic Church does not condemn even non believers to hell. You too are God’s creatures. Jesus died for u too. But find out first why d Catholic faith is impregnable. No matter how unbelievers have been trying to destroy it, it still exists. Bec Jesus promised dt He will never abandon d Church. After all it was He who founded it. Be enlightened. God bless u

  14. Shane Reply

    I am Catholic, and i acknowledge our Head. But confused with the label “Holy Father”, coz i know Holy Father is no other than our “God” , logic tells me that it is blasphemy (a representative cannot own the title of his boss). Is Sunday really the Sabbath day? After reading the Bible confusion really hit me, we have ways that contradicts, like idolatry, jan9 quiapo day black nazarene is a good example of idolatry. I believe inGod, I am still Catholic but i dont go to catholic church anymore after reading the Bible (no one encourage me to read the Bible, it’s just by myself, to note also that my Uncle in-law is a monsignor in Catholic church)

  15. Shane Reply

    can any Catholic enlighten me? pls?

    1. Christopher Weyer Reply

      Shane, it’s a shame you are no longer going to Catholic Mass, but here is a resource that I hope will help answer ALL of your questions: catholic.com — This is the website for Catholic Answers and they have answers to just about every thinkable question, and I’m sure they’d be willing to answer any additional questions you may have if you contact them as well. God Bless!

    2. Christopher Weyer Reply

      Perhaps it would be helpful for me to outline answers to your specific questions here as well… our Pope is called “Holy Father” since we are his holy people, and his people are the Church — it is fitting that the head of his holy people be called Holy Father—not because of his own merit, but because Christ died for him and for the Church that he leads on earth. Perhaps it is confusing that Jesus seems to have condemned calling anyone Father “for you have but one Father in heaven” (Mat 23:9). But this verse, in context, is being addressed to the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees who were using the terms to exalt themselves. “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mat 23:12) He was using hyperbole (exaggeration to make a point) to show the Scribes and Pharisees how sinful and proud they were for not looking humbly to God as the source of all authority and fatherhood and teaching, and instead setting themselves up as the ultimate authorities, father figures, and teachers. Jesus is not forbidding us to call men “fathers” who actually are such—either literally or spiritually. (See below on the apostolic example of spiritual fatherhood.) To refer to such people as fathers is only to acknowledge the truth, and Jesus is not against that. He is warning people against inaccurately attributing fatherhood—or a particular kind or degree of fatherhood—to those who do not have it.

      When it comes to the Sabbath day, we should understand what the Sabbath was. It was a day set aside for worship and remembrance of the gifts of God. For the Jews, under the Old Testament, it was declared to be on Saturday, but Christians are not bound by the same law of the Jews, as Jesus brought this law to completion. Since Jesus completed this with his resurrection from the dead on a Sunday, it is right for us to now set aside Sunday as our day of worship. The earliest Christians did this, and Catholics continue to do so still today.

      It is also important to note that the Black Nazarene is not, nor are any other statues, a form of idolatry. As Catholics, we do not worship the image or the statue, but rather use statues as aids to our prayer. This is a much more complex issue, and as such, I’ll refer you and anyone else to — http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/so-catholics-worship-statues — to relieve you of any confusion about statues.

      You can contact me at weyerchris@hotmail.com if you have many more questions or need any assistance! God Bless!

    3. joeymarcos Reply

      many things in this world will destroy your faith…. just look at the grace you receives in every day of your life…. and keep your faith… about some issues about religion esp. catholism where we both belong is too deep and broad… we can seek advice from the church within… if we try to listen to other’s belief we might get confuse and a tendency to stray… we must pray always to our LORD JESUS CHRIST in order to keep on track… peace be with you… GODSPEED….

  16. boi Reply

    Jason, in the gospel of John, Christ affirmed Peter as visible head of the church when he asks Peter 3x if he loves Him….To feed, tender His sheep. Isn’t it obvious that Peter is the head of the church and the Pope is successor of Peter…?

  17. Marx Robert Reply

    Christara Ogg and Jason, read your scriptures and meditate on the “Word” and stop passing comments if you got nothing good to say. Ask yourselves this question, – to whom did Jesus appoint to be leader and head of the Church, who did Jesus gave the power and authority to bind and pound things on earth, who did Jesus gave the keys of the gates of heaven, and who kept all these traditions from of old until today, where, how and who kept all these sources, these teachings and the truth about Christ so we may come to know about Christ, the early followers and the Church of God. You are just a tiny little ant that was just born yesterday and learned how to sit down today, grow up and when you both can write your own scriptures and prove that you are worthy than the Church and the early fathers than you can talk, otherwise just keep your mouth shut. Try to appreciate and acknowledge the hardwork, the efforts, the sufferings and the pain the Catholic Church faced in trying to defend and protect the truth about the faith so you and maybe saved and gain salvation through Christ. Read the signs of the time.

  18. Marx Robert Reply

    Sorry its not Christara Ogg, its Barbara Ogg….

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