1. Why profess our sins to a Priest when the Lord hears our confessions Himself?
John 20:19-23 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you! 20. After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21. Again Jesus said, Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. 22. And with that he breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit. 23. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.
There is also a good answer here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20121015134058AA3Lhco
2. Why are Priests called "Father" when the Lord is our Father?
The above is a lengthy read, but offers a very detailed explanation to anyone interested.
I think a lot of what people dislike about the Catholic Church stems from misunderstanding.
Why are Priests called "Father" when the Lord is our Father? http://www.catholic.com/tracts/call-no-man-father The above is a lengthy read.
Of course is a lengthy read (after the emergency appeal for money) as the NT nowhere distinctively calls or titles NT pastors priests (hiereus), and only refers to them as such as part of the general priesthood (hierateuma) of all believers. (1Pt. 2:9)
<Titus 1:5-7: Bishops and elders were one: the former (episkopos=superintendent or overseer,[from epi and skopos (watch) in the sense of episkopeō, to oversee, Strong's) refers to function; the latter (presbuteros=senior) to seniority (in age, implying maturity, or position). Titus was to set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders [presbuteros] in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop [episkopos] must be blameless... (Titus 1:5-7) Paul also "sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church," (Acts 20:17) who are said to be episkopos in v. 28. Elders are also what were ordained for every church in Acts 14:23, and bishops along with deacons are the only two classes of clergy whom Paul addresses in writing to the church in Phil. 1:1. This does not exclude that there could have been archbishops/elders in the New Testament church who were head pastors over others, but there is no titular distinctions in Scripture denoting such, and which distinctions are part of the hierarchical class distinctions which came later, and foster love of titles and position which the Lord warned about. (Mk. 10:42-44; Mt. 23:8-10).
Does presbyter or elder mean priest?
In her effort to conform the Bible to her erroneous understanding of what the elements used in the Lord's Supper (Eucharist), Roman Catholicism (and near kin) came to render presbuteros as priests in English (which the RC Douay Rheims Bible inconsistently does: Acts 20:17; Titus 1:5), and sometimes episkopos, but neither of which is the same word which is distinctly used for priests*, that being hiereus or archiereus. (Heb. 4:15; 10:11) Nor does presbuteros or episkopos denote a unique sacrificial function, and hiereus (as archiereus=chief priests) is used in distinction to elders in such places as Lk. 22:66; Acts 22:5.
The only priesthood (hierateuma) of the church is that of all believers as they function as priests, offering both gifts and sacrifices response to being forgiven of sins, in thanksgiving and service to God and for others. (1Pt. 2:5; Rm. 12:1; 15:16; Phil. 2:17; 4:18; Heb. 13:15,16; cf. 9:9)
Jewish elders as a body existed before the priesthood, most likely as heads of household or clans, and being an elder did not necessarily make one a Levitical priest (Ex. 3:16,18, 18:12; 19:7; 24:1; Num. 11:6; Dt. 21:2; 22:5-7; 31:9,28; 32:7; Josh. 23:2; 2Chron. 5:4; Lam. 1:9; cf. Mt. 21:13; 26:47) or a high priest, offering both gifts and sacrifices for sins. (Heb. 5:1) A priest could be an elder, and could elders exercise some priestly functions such as praying and laying hands on sacrifices, but unlike presbuteros and episkopos. the two were not the same in language or in function, as one could be a elder without formally being a priest. Even the Latin word (sacerdos) which corresponds to priest has no morphological or lingual relationship with the Latin word for presbyter.
Despite the Scriptural distinctions in titles, Rome made the word presbyteros (elders) to mean priest by way of functional equivalence, supposing that the bishops turn bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ which is then physically consumed. However, the elements used in the commemoration of the Lord death (the Lord's supper, and called the Eucharist by Catholics) symbolically represent Christ death (see here), and the sacrifice involved in this is one which all communicants are to engage in, that of unselfish love for His body, the church (as shown here in the exegesis of 1Cor. 11:17-33). Moreover, despite Rome's centralization of this act as a cardinal doctrine, little is taught on it, the description of the Lord's supper and of disciples breaking bread neither assigns nor infers that pastors engaged in transforming the elements, but simply show it to be a communal meal. Thus formally identifying a distinctive class of Christian clergy as priests rather than presbyters (elders) is not only grammatically incorrect by is functionally unwarranted and unscriptural.
In response to a query on this issue, the web site of International Standard Version (not my preferred translation) states,
No Greek lexicons or other scholarly sources suggest that "presbyteros" means "priest" instead of "elder". The Greek word is equivalent to the Hebrew ZAQEN, which means "elder", and not priest. You can see the ZAQENIM described in Exodus 18:21-22 using some of the same equivalent Hebrew terms as Paul uses in the GK of 1&2 Timothy and Titus. Note that the ZAQENIM are NOT priests (i.e., from the tribe of Levi) but are rather men of distinctive maturity that qualifies them for ministerial roles among the people.
Therefore the NT equivalent of the ZAQENIM cannot be the Levitical priests. The Greek "presbyteros" (literally, the comparative of the Greek word for "old" and therefore translated as "one who is older") thus describes the character qualities of the "episkopos". The term "elder" would therefore appear to describe the character, while the term "overseer" (for that is the literal rendering of "episkopos") connotes the job description.
To sum up, far from obfuscating the meaning of "presbyteros", our rendering of "elder" most closely associates the original Greek term with its OT counterpart, the ZAQENIM. ...we would also question the fundamental assumption that you bring up in your last observation, i.e., that "the church has always had priests among its ordained clergy". We can find no documentation of that claim. ( http://isvbible.com/catacombs/elders.htm) Later
Wrong. There is no misunderstanding their man made teachings which oppose God's Word.