The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

The Priest: Image of God the Father

Authored by Dr. Caroline Farey in Issue #32.1 of The Sower
In the Lord’s Prayer we address God as ‘Father’. Catechesis on God the Father is central to our transmission of the faith. Catechists are often asked about the analogy between earthly fathers and our heavenly Father – is God our Father like an earthly father? Less often do catechists think of the priest, this other earthly ‘father’ that Catholics have, and ask: Can the priest, whom we also call ‘father’, help us appreciate and understand God’s fatherhood more fully? Yet I believe this is a valuable key. Many say that the father of a family is a ‘real’ father and the fatherhood of the priest is only ‘something similar’. It is also common to think that the word ‘father’ really applies to the father of a family and only by analogy do we apply the term to God, that God is also ‘something similar’. The view is frequently heard, too, that married Catholic priests are, at last, able to be fathers in the true sense of the word and that rather than this be an exception, it should be an open possibility for all priests of the Catholic Church. Celibacy is understood here in negative terms as renunciation of ‘real fatherhood’. I, however, would argue that not only the fatherhood of the Catholic priest but celibate fatherhood is the fullest form of fatherhood possible for man because this is closest to the Fatherhood of God. Let me explain.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact [email protected]

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections— The Eucharistic Congress and the Missionary Year
By Dr. James Pauley
Catholics in the United States have a long history of hosting both national and international Eucharistic congresses. The first of these was in Washington, DC, in 1895, and the last was in Philadelphia in 1976. If your ancestors were Catholic and lived in North America, they may have participated in one of these congresses—in St. Louis (1901), or... Read more
Missionary Worship
By Sr. Jude Andrew Link, OP
There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs in nearly every culture across history: man ritualizes worship. All over the world the similarities are astounding—animal sacrifices, burnt offerings, gifts of grain, the joy of ecstatic praise. It points to a universal sense within man that not only recognizes that there is a God but also knows that... Read more
Ask, Seek, Knock: The Pitfalls and Potential of Catholic Door-to-Door Evangelization
By Joshua Kenny
“He’s just too small,” sobbed a woman we had just met. It was a sunny summer day, and the pastor, transitional deacon, and I were out knocking on doors within our parish boundaries. This woman’s door was within eyesight of the rectory, and it happened to be the first one we had visited. The conversation had started off just as awkwardly as one... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now