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Thursday, March 23, 2006
Why use "Holy Father"?
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A reader of my blog asked a few days ago why Catholics use the title "Holy Father" in regard to the Pope. Now, Holy Father is not an official title of the Pope. As of this year, the Pope's official titles are "Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God."

Read this site for more Information:

As we have seen at the outset of our historical review, the expression “Holy Father” means:

1. On the part of the faithful, a filial, loving relationship, which recognizes in the one so addressed or spoken to, a mission of spiritual fatherhood, expressing that of God toward us, in the threefold charge confided to the Church of preaching the Good News of salvation, of sanctifying the believers, and of gathering together the dispersed children of God. This is a special and supreme responsibility of the Pope in the Church’s threefold mission of teaching, governing and sanctifying, as Prophet, Priest and Shepherd.

2. On the part of the one who is so designated, the responsibility to live this mission in perfect conformity to the will of Christ, “the Holy One of God,” to live what God already asked of His People through Moses: “Be holy, for I am holy” (Lv 11:44; 19:2).

The early Church even used the expression "Holy Father" to refer to those holy members of the time:

Especially remember those whose memory we this day celebrate, and our holy father Mark, the apostle and evangelist, who has shown us the way of salvation. The Divine Liturgy of the Holy Apostle And Evangelist Mark

The life and conversation of our holy Father, Antony: written and sent to the monks in foreign parts by our Father among the Saints, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. St. Athanasius, Life of Anthony

I beseech you to convey my respectful salutation to the holy father Alypius, worthy of all esteem. St. Augustine, Letter LXXXI

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