Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 11, 1956

"Why A Priest Is Called 'Reverend Father'

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri

The title of this article is taken directly from a 'booklet written by a Roman Catholic priest, and said booklet was written for the consumption of 'lay' Catholics and their non-Catholic friends.

The points brought out in the booklet are so completely opposite to the teachings of 'Christ on the subject of meekness, humbleness and humility, that the quotations which we submit are absurd if they were not designed to further lead people from the actual teachings of Christ Jesus.

"Why Is A Priest 'Reverend'?"

The first portion of the pamphlet deals with the above question. We copy their reply as follows:

"The Catholic priest is 'reverend' because in the acts of his office he is an 'alter Christus' — another Christ."

"And people who see in the priest only a man, a human personality — do not know their catechism."

"The priest is made to be the mediator between God and the man of sin, who in his sinfulness not only dare not but can not approach the God whom he has offended."

The best reply to the above pretentious and presumptions are quotations from the Bible. Here they are: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matt. 24:23-24.)

"And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man." (Acts 10:25-26.)

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. 2:5.)

Now, for some comments of our own concerning the above copied Catholic claims, and the scriptures relating to them. Christ himself warns his disciples that sometimes in the future from the time of his personal ministry, that there would be those who would term themselves "OTHER CHRISTS." The disciples were being WARNED of such impostures. They were said to be FALSE CHRISTS. This writer knows of no 'FALSE CHRIST' any MORE false, than the so-called 'other Christs' of Roman Catholicism.

The Apostle Peter (who by the way is 'claimed' by the Roman Church as her 'first pope'), would not allow Cornelius to fall down and worship him . . . . but Peter said .... I myself also am a man. Obviously, Peter knew nothing about a Catholic Catechism.

Although Catholicism would have petitions directed to Mary, and in turn, she directs her petitions (allegedly) to the throne of God (thus making her a mediatrix), the Bible still states that there is ONE MEDIATOR between God and man .... and Paul gave the man's NAME .... "the man Christ Jesus." This also excludes ALL the 'other Christs,' as the Catholic Church terms her priests.

More Catholic Quotations

"Oh yes, the Priest does have the power of miracles.

"Spiritually, he cures deafness, blindness, paralysis and death in the sacraments. When the Priest performs the office to which he is ordained and for which the Spirit of God is given him, he is an 'alter Christus' — another Christ. That is his sublime dignity. That is why we have to call him 'reverend'."

"It is more than a sin to lay violent hands on a priest; it is a sacrilege. Thus, he stands out among men as one who demands admiration, awe, a profound reverence .... on account of the grace and vocation of 'God and His gift of the Spirit."

"When I go to him (a Catholic priest) to confess my sins, I believe that I am confessing to God who uses my Father Confessor as His instrument. Eagerly I wait to see his sacred hand raised in absolution and I see there and I hear in his words the power and the loving kindness of my Saviour Jesus Christ. — Not the human weaknesses nor peculiarity of a mere man." (Pages 9 and 10.)

It is interesting to note the manner in which the Catholic priest side-stepped the subject of priestly 'miracle-working.' It is not physical at all, as were the miracles of Christ and the apostles, but "Spiritually, he cures deafness, blindness, paralysis, and death in the sacraments." Actually, it appears that the "Blind is leading the blind, and both have fallen into the ditch." (Matt. 15:14.)

Far be it from us to lay hands violently upon anyone, even a Catholic priest, but it is so unique ... this admonition . . . coming from a priest ... that a priest "stands out among men as one who DEMANDS admiration, awe, a profound reverence . . . ." Yet. the only occasion in which the translators of the King James Version of the Bible saw fit to use the term 'reverend' was in reference to God himself. (Psalms 111:9.)

The very emulation, almost adoration, indicated by the words of the priestly writer . . . "Eagerly I wait to see his SACRED hand raised, etc " shows the desired attitude . . . that is, the attitude the PRIESTS desire the LAITY' to manifest toward the 'clergy.' But Christ said: "You know that those who are regarded as rulers among the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not so among you. On the contrary, whoever wishes to become great shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be the slave of all; " (Mark 10:42-43. Catholic Confraternity Version.)

"And call no one on earth your father; for one is your Father, who is in heaven." (Matt. 23:9.)

To all that have been washed from our sins in the blood of Christ, John the apostle wrote: "And hath made us kings and priests unto God ...." (Rev. 1:6.) The child of God needs nor requires no other priest than Jesus Christ our HIGH PRIEST, who is our ONE MEDIATOR, between us and our heavenly FATHER, God himself. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all ...." "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; . . For by ONE OFFERING he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (See Hebrews 10:10-12-14.)

It is, thus, nothing short of blasphemy, to call some mere man, 'reverend-father' as a spiritual or religious title.