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Harold Bergman wrote:


  • Why does the pagan Roman Church call their homosexual priests and child molesters father when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ said, Call no man father in the book of Matthew?
  • Also, when people go to see his Unholiness, they bow down and grovel at his pagan feet but when Peter, the Apostle, went to see Cornelius, the Roman Centurion in the book of Acts, fell at Peter's feet and Peter told him to get up and said, "I am only a man."

You pagans have twisted the Word of God to your own damnation.

Please reply.

Harold

  { Why does your pagan Church call pedophile priests father and grovel at the feet of the Pope? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi Harold,

Thank you for the question.

The homosexual molesters and child molesters really have forfeited the title of father, and after due process, the Church is stripping them of that title.

  • Do you call your father, a father?

I am sure you do. The earliest Apostles referred to themselves as fathers and so did the next generation. My learned colleagues will supply you with citations. Christ was speaking in a common Semitic way. Sarcasm is a common American way of speaking in English. You might say, Don't Daddy me! in anger to a child who was being sassy.

Well, absolute active forms of speech are Semitic, like when Jesus is talking about the cost of discipleship in Luke 14.

26 “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

His intent is to mean not to prefer them above God.

As for bowing, Cornelius, as a Roman, thought Peter was a god of some sort. We bend the knee, though we don't have to, to bishops as a gesture of respect.

We do this to the Pope to show respect for his office as Vicar of Christ. The gesture itself is a medieval feudal, one indicating respect and submission, not a Roman one indicating idolatry. Gestures change meaning over time and cultures.

  • For example, does a man commit idolatry when he kneels to ask the hand of a woman?

As for twisting the Word of God: Catholics have relied on the eyewitnesses (the Apostles) and their successors for understanding the Word of God. These are they to whom Christ promised the Holy Spirit who would bring them into all truth and open the Scriptures to them as He did on the road to Emmaus.

I know you are motivated by concern for the salvation of Catholics, and by a desire to protect the holiness of God and of Scripture. For that, I thank you and I respect you.

To avoid sterile polemics, you might read the Catholic Catechism along with the Scriptures it cites. Also, you can go to The Journey Home's web page to see what other fundamentalist Christians learned about these things.

God bless.

Mary Ann

Eric replied:

Hi Harold,

With respect to your question, what Mary Ann pointed out was quite correct.

You would never conclude that you cannot call the man who raised you Father because of what Jesus said here. Jesus is using hyperbole. He also forbids terms such as teacher, but I've never heard anyone, zealous to deny the title Father to priests, be equally zealous to deny the title Teacher to teachers.

The point of this passage is do not treat men with the honor and worship due to God alone.

This point is brought out by other places in the New Testament when the title Father is used:

"Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel."

(1 Corinthians 4:15)

"To this he replied: 'Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran.'"

(Acts 7:2)

"Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense."

(Acts 22:1)

"As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed — the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were."

Romans 4:17
Speaking of Abraham

"For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory."

(1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

A good way to understand this is to go to Ephesians 3:14-15, which says,

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom all fatherhood in Heaven and on earth derives its name."

God the Father is the pattern and source of all fatherhood. When fatherhood is rightly ordered to the prerogatives of God the Father, it is good. When it attempts to usurp its source, it is bad. That latter case is what Jesus was talking about, but by no means does it exclude all senses of fatherhood, as this passage makes clear.

An even better answer to your question may be found from the Catholic Answers web site:

Do check it out.

On bowing, there are lots of instances in Scripture when men bow to one another and it is legitimate. It was a common form of reverence in the Middle East.

The exact same Hebrew phraseology used in first commandment in Exodus is used by righteous Isaac in speaking to Jacob in Genesis 27:29: "May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you."

"Bathsheba bowed low and knelt before the king. 'What is it you want?' the king asked."
1 Kings 1:16
No rebuke from David.

1 King 1:22-23

Then Bathsheba bowed low with her face to the ground and, kneeling before the king, said, "May my lord King David live forever!"

1 Kings 1:31

"Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, 'My Lord and king!' When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground."

1 Samuel 24:8

"And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid."

1 Samuel 25:23-24

And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.

1 Samuel 25:41

"Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground."

1 Samuel 28:14

"When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.

David said, 'Mephibosheth! . . .

Don't be afraid, for I will surely show you kindness . . .

Mephibosheth bowed down and said, 'What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?'"

2 Samuel 9:6-8

"Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom."

2 Samuel 14:33

"Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, 'All is well!' He bowed down before the king [David] with his face to the ground . . ."

2 Samuel 18:28

in David's song of praise to the Lord: "You made my adversaries bow at my feet."

2 Samuel 22:40 and Psalm 18:39

"While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. And they told the king, 'Nathan the prophet is here.' So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground."

1 King 1:22-23
Nathan, the prophet, bowing to King David! What blasphemy! ;-)
(cf. Exodus 34:14)

"When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne."

1 Kings 2:19

"As Obadiah was walking along, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down to the ground, and said, 'Is it really you, my lord Elijah?'"

1 Kings 18:7
Verse 3 says Obadiah was a devout believer in the Lord.

"The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, 'The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.' And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him."

2 Kings 2:15

See also:
2 Samuel 15:5, 2 Samuel 24:20, 1 Kings 1:53, 2 Kings 4:37, 1 Chronicles 21:21

With respect to your comment about Peter correcting Cornelius's bowing, this is not always the case when people bow down to holy men in Scripture. cf. Genesis 19:1, Numbers 22:31 for starters. Note that in Revelation 22:8, it explicitly says that John fell down to worship at the feet of the angel. The angel rebuked him, Worship God! Thus it was the worship he was objecting to; not the bowing. As a matter of fact, my concordance and my online KJV do not find any occurrences of people bowing to angels and being rebuked simply for bowing.

On a number of occasions in the Old Testament, you find people bowing down to one another, even prophets to kings or people to prophets, without anyone indicating that something is wrong.

Bowing in Eastern culture is a form of honor, and not exclusively associated with worship. This is evident because very frequently, when the Scriptures speak of bowing down in worship to a deity, it says explicitly, so and so bowed down and worshiped. But in other places, when people bow down to other people in a non-worship context, it simply says that they bowed down.

Thus worship is not inherent in bowing. cf.

So it is simplistic to point to one Scripture where someone is rebuked for bowing and draw the conclusion that bowing is always, and everywhere, and for every reason, forbidden.

Hope this helps,

Eric

John replied:


Not to mention the fact that just about every kid that's gone to the Protestant Vacation Bible School learns the song Father Abraham.

John

Harold replied:

You answered the first part of my question but not biblically.

What you call the Pope, is a homosexual pagan. He should be called his unholiness in the Vatican: the most evil place in the world.

People grovel in their attire to kiss his pagan ring when in the Bible the Apostle Peter told Cornelius not to bow down to him and to get up — that he, Peter, was only a man. Only the Roman pagan Pope demands such obedience.

Answer this question. I know when you pagans gain world power again, under the Anti-Christ, you will bring me and other true believers to your wonderful torturous inquisition and try to get us to worship that chief homosexual in the Vatican who wears a crown of gold.

My Savior, Jesus Christ wore a crown but it was not gold like that pagan who is the head of all the:

  • child molesters
  • queers
  • pedophiles, and
  • ungodly Roman priests.

He wore a crown of thorns.

Please reply.

Harold

Mike replied:

Hi Harold,

Thanks for writing today!

I read your last reply to us and could not find a question in what you said.

It appears that, like many outside the Catholic Church, as well as some inside the Church, you have been misinformed about:

  • Who Jesus Christ is?
  • What He established on St. Peter: see Matthew 16:13-20 and 1 Timothy 3:15
  • What the Catholic Church is and whose Church it is? (Jesus')

I hope and pray that you do not fall into the non-Christian believer category.
You can read my commentary on this type of visitor to our web site below:

Mary Ann said:
To avoid sterile polemics, you might read the Catholic Catechism . . .

I agree. 

I use to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer have the financial or operational means to do this anymore. Nevertheless, if you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.

If you, or any visitor, has been helped by our work at AskACatholic.com, consider financially supporting us today.

You said:
You answered the first part of my question but not biblically.

I suggest you re-read Eric's reply. He gave six Bible verses for the Biblical foundation and proper understanding of using the word Father.

Plus the Lord did not write any books of the Bible while he was on earth. Neither did He command that his followers read the Bible. He couldn't have because the books of the Bible were not known until 382 A.D. at the Council of Rome! and Our Lord had already ascended into Heaven 349 years earlier!

Also remember no where in the Bible, does it say, The Bible alone is the sole guide to faith. Churches and Christian congregations that use this premise to teach and instruct the faithful are using a non-biblical principle.

The Holy Bible was written by Catholics and their ancestors, for Catholics, for use in the Catholic Mass, our worship service. That is just History 101! The Bible isn't a Catechism or body of beliefs but is a liturgical book meant for use in the Catholic Mass.

You said:
I know when you pagans gain world power again, under the Anti-Christ, you will bring me and other true believers to your wonderful torturous inquisition and try to get us to worship that chief homosexual in the Vatican who wears a crown of gold.

Unlike those that follow Islam, all Christians, Catholics included, respect each individual's free will, whether they are a man or woman. No Christian believes in forcing someone to believe in a certain faith against their will. If you believe the Catholic Church is the anti-Christ you have the freedom not to join.

What you are not free to do is to slander a faith without good evidence and there is no good evidence for the claims you are making.

The hatred in your e-mail, toward the Catholic Church and the Holy Father can only come from people who:

  • hate the Church
  • were poorly catechized and never knew the whole faith of the Church
  • know what the Church teaches but have rejected Her teachings, or
  • from people who have been hurt by bad examples in the Church.

If the hatred in your e-mail comes from this last reason, remember, we have no control over another person's free will. I can't control Mary Ann's free will nor can I control Eric or John's free will.

There are bad people in most every organization, but that doesn't make the whole organization necessarily bad. Just because some seminaries are poorly run with the result being some priests becoming pedophiles, doesn't mean all priests in the Catholic Church are pedophiles. Most priests in the Church are holy priests, or I would pray they are.

You just won't hear about them on the 6:00pm news :-)

I will pray for you but if you are sincere in your beliefs, please pray for our Church and the members of our Church!

We can't be saved by hatred, but can and are saved by truth and love. (John 14:6)

Mike

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