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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Why Is the Pope Called the “Holy Father” Instead of Just “Father?”

Question:

Why is the pope called the "Holy Father" instead of just "Father?"

Answer:

Catholics call the pope “Holy Father” not as an acknowledgement of his personal state of soul but as an expression of respect for his office as successor to Peter and head of the Church on earth. His is a holy office.

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