A priest is a spiritual "Father", as your blood father is your natural father.If we take Hebrews 13 seriously. They have a Fatherly responsibility. They have a responsibility to teach us correctly. They have to give an account to God for their actions.
Priests are instrumental in bringing us into his grace, giving us strength through the Holy Spirit, making possible for us that we can receive the marvelous gift of Jesus Body and Blood which forgives sins, are God?s instruments in bringing us back to God when we disfellowship ourselves from God with mortal sins, or cleanse us when we have only venial sin, and give grace on our deathbed. From the beginning of our spiritual life, to the end of our spiritual life, it is priests who nourish Catholics with the Sacraments, and are instrumental in bringing us the means of salvation, in the beginning, middle, and the end of our lives. Priests are God?s instruments for our benefit, and they surely deserve the title ?Father?. In 1Corinthians 4:14-16, Paul said, "I am writing you this not to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. Even if you should have countless guides to Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel. Therefore, I urge you, be imitators of me." In Judges 17:10, "Stay with me, Micha said to him. Be Father and Priest to me..."
*Judges 18:19, "Come with us and be our Father and Priest."
He brings us into the kingdom of Christ by baptizing us. Christ gave the apostles the commission to baptize us in the name of the Trinity (Mt. 28:19, Mk. 16:16). Salvation is dependent upon that, according to Jesus (Jn. 3:5). Baptism saves us (1 Pet. 3:21). Baptism sets us free from the bondage of sin (Jn. 8:31, 36, cf., Rom. 6:3-7) and makes us children of God and makes us put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). Although in emergency cases, it is possible for a non-priest to baptize validly, in most cases, it is the Priest, as Father, who baptizes.
2) Bishops are given the authority to give to us the sacrament of confirmation, which gives us a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us (Acts 8:14-17, 9:6`). Here is where we grow in our faith with a special gift of the Holy Spirit which empowers us to do God?s work.
3) Jesus gave to his apostles and their successors the authority and power to make bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus. He commanded the apostles to ?do this in remembrance of me? (Lk. 22:19). Do what? To consecrate what was bread and wine, and make it the Body and Blood of Christ (Lk. 22:19-20, Mk. 26:26-28, Mk. 14:22-24, 1 Cor. 11:23-29). This is a flesh that becomes true food, and blood that is true drink for followers of Jesus (Jn. 6:54-56). This food is what nourishes us spiritually. This sacrament forgives sins (Mt. 26:28). Here we participate in a sacrifice much superior to anything in the old covenant (Heb. 9:23, 13:10, 1 Cor. 10:16-21). Now it is the priest that makes this happen. He is the means to communicate this Eucharistic grace to his children who partake of His Body and Blood.
4) If we fall short in sin, Jesus himself gives us the means of being reconciled to him. How does he do that? Well, in his commission after his death and resurrection, he established the sacrament of a confession of sin. He said that if you (the apostles) forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if they retained the sins of any, they are retained. This is done only through the Holy Spirit, (John 20:22-23, cf., Mt. 16:18, 18:18). Paul himself saw that he was a minister of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18).
5) It is the Ministers (or Priests), who were commissioned by God to pray for healing of both body and soul, for those who are sick (Jm. 5:13-14). The priests have the authority to save the sick man, and he will be forgiven sins, in that rite as well, and possibly heal those that are sick. The anointing of the sick is another gift for our spiritual benefit.
6) And of course the Priest speaks the word of God to us, and relates from the Bible and tradition, the truths of Christ (Heb. 13:7).
The Bible says that holding on to correct doctrine (1 Tim. 4:16).In Matthew 23:9, "And call no one on earth your father; for one is your father, who is in heaven." The meaning of that verse is, 'no earthly father must come before your heavenly father'. This is shown in Matthew 10:37, when He said, "He who loves 'father' or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me." Jesus is making a point about the scribes and the Pharisees. He states to the crowds that they should observe them (Pharisees and scribes) but not do as they do. He states that the Pharisees and the scribes want their works to be "seen" by men and that they love to be called Rabbi, or Father, or Master. Jesus wanted the crowds to see that the Pharisees and scribes did not deserve the titles given to them, they were not worthy of them. In Mt 23:8-10 :As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.' You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called 'Master'; you have but one master, the Messiah.
If this passage was meant to be taken literally, then we all offend the Scripture. We all have used "father" to designate our birth father; and "teacher," our instructors at school. On the other hand, the meaning of the scripture is that no person should be given the respect and honor due ultimately to God the Father.
1 Thess 2:11-12 :As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children, exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you conduct yourselves as worthy of the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Just as your earthly father cares for your physical needs and wants throughout your life, a priest also cares for his flock, but in a spiritual sense. A priest is there for parishioners' at rebirth (baptism) and throughout life. When one of his flock is in the hospital he is there, he is there even when the spirit departs the body at death. Let us look at some verses that use the term "father."
(1 Cor 4:15,16) - For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
(Acts 7:2) - And he said, Men, brethren and fathers, hearken; the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
(Acts 1:73) - The oath which he swore to our father Abraham.
Catholics know that as members of a parish, they have been committed to a priest?s spiritual care, thus they have great filial affection for priests and call them "father." Priests, in turn, follow the apostles? biblical example by referring to members of their flock as "my son" or "my child" (. Gal. 4:19; 1 Tim. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:1; Philem. 10; 1 Pet. 5:13; 1 John 2:1; 3 John 4).