Doctors of the Church
Doctors of the Church ( Latin : doctores ecclesiae ) are theologians and saints who had a formative influence on the theology of the Christian church. Only a few people were awarded this honorary title; in earlier times (and to this day in the Eastern Churches ) this happened relatively spontaneously, but also through some councils . In the Western Church , the elevation to the position of Doctor of the Church is formally pronounced by the Pope. Some outstanding early Christian writers up to around the 6th century are also referred to as church fathers .
In his February 2009 commentary by early Christian writers, Pope Benedict XVI. the designation chosen by Bede the Venerable ( doctores ac doctrices ) for scholars of both sexes. When Saint Hildegard was appointed Doctor of the Church by Benedict XVI. on October 7, 2012, however, he resorted to the title form Doctor Ecclesiae universalis .
The first eight Doctors of the Eastern and Western Churches are designated as such by both churches. The Roman Catholic Church defined the title of Doctor of the Church during the Counter-Reformation and also bestowed it on theologians of later centuries.
Doctors of the Eastern Churches
In the Eastern Church there were originally three Doctors of the Church, John Chrysostom , Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianz , to whom the feast of the three hierarchs on January 30th is dedicated in the Orthodox Church . Later, Athanasius of Alexandria was added analogous to the four Doctors of the Western Church . In the Orthodox Churches , the concept of the Doctor of the Church is not precisely defined. However, one can probably include Gregory of Nyssa , Pope Leo the Great , Maximus the Confessor , John of Damascus , Symeon the New Theologians , Gregorios Palamas and Mark of Ephesus to a large extent undisputedly.
Doctor of the Latin Church
Originally only Hieronymus , Ambrosius of Milan , Augustine of Hippo and Pope Gregory the Great were teachers of the church in the Latin Church. They were confirmed as such by Pope Boniface VIII in 1295 . The list was expanded for the first time in the 16th century. Pope Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas and 1568 Athanasius the Great , Basil the Great , Gregory of Nazianzen and John Chrysostom to be doctors of the church. Bonaventure followed in 1588 . On the one hand, it was a matter of emphasizing the importance of Aquinas and his Summa theologica as an authoritative textbook in theology; on the other hand, the interest in the Greek theologians of the early Church had increased through humanism and the Counter-Reformation. A consensus patrum that supported the Roman Catholic position was a valuable argument in controversial theological discussions at the time.
More church teachers have been added since the 18th century, most recently in 2015 with Gregor von Narek, also a member of the Armenian Church . There are four women among the Doctors of the Roman Catholic Church: Teresa of Ávila , Catherine of Siena , Thérèse of Lisieux and Hildegard of Bingen . They were added to the list of Doctors of the Church in 1970 or later. This shows a higher evaluation of women by the church, but also a stronger weighting of mystical talent and spirituality for the award of the title of church teacher.
The title is bestowed in the Latin Church by the Congregation for Canonization and approved by the Pope after the saint's writings have been carefully examined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith . This is regulated in the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus , June 28, 1988, Art. 73. This is not a decision ex cathedra and it does not explain that there is no error in the writings of the Doctor of the Church. The Catholic Church has set out the conditions for the title - orthodoxa doctrina ( orthodoxy , but not inerrancy), eminens doctrina (outstanding doctrine), insignis vitae sanctitas (a high degree of holiness) and ecclesiae declaratio (elevation to the position of Doctor of the Church by the Church). This summarizing statement comes from Pope Benedict XIV. ( De servorum Dei beativficatione et beatorum canonizatione , 1741).
Complete list of Catholic Doctors of the Church (36 saints)
|Gregory the Great||540||604||1295||Pope|
|Ambrose of Milan||340||397||1295||Bishop of Milan|
|Augustine of Hippo||354||430||1295||Bishop of Hippo|
|Jerome||347||420||1295||Priest, Bible translator|
|Thomas Aquinas||1225||1274||1567||Italian Dominican , main exponent of scholasticism|
|John Chrysostom||349/350||407||1568||Archbishop of Constantinople|
|Basil of Caesarea||330||379||1568||Bishop of Caesarea|
|Gregory of Nazianz||329||390||1568||Archbishop of Constantinople|
|Athanasius the great||298||373||1568||Bishop of Alexandria|
|Johannes Bonaventure||1221||1274||1588||Franciscan , Bishop of Albano|
|Anselm of Canterbury||1033||1109||1720||Benedictine , Archbishop of Canterbury, founder of scholasticism|
|Isidore of Seville||560||636||1722||Bishop of Seville|
|Peter Chrysologus||380||450||1729||Bishop of Ravenna|
|Leo the Great||400||461||1754||Pope|
|Petrus Damiani||1006||1072||1828||Benedictine , Bishop of Ostia|
|Bernhard of Clairvaux||1090||1153||1830||French Cistercian , mystic|
|Hilary of Poitiers||315||367||1851||Bishop of Poitiers|
|Alfons Maria di Liguori||1696||1787||1871||Bishop of Sant'Agata de 'Goti and founder of the Redemptorist Order|
|Francis de Sales||1567||1622||1877||Bishop of Geneva , founder of the Salesian Sisters|
|Cyril of Alexandria||376||444||1883||Patriarch of Alexandria|
|Cyril of Jerusalem||315||386||1883||Bishop of Jerusalem|
|John of Damascus||650||754||1890||Monk, dogmatist|
|Beda Venerabilis||673||735||1899||English Benedictine historian|
|Ephraem the Syrian||306||373||1920||hermit|
|Petrus Canisius||1521||1597||1925||first German Jesuit|
|John of the Cross||1542||1591||1926||Spanish Carmelite and mystic, founder of the Discalced Carmelites|
|Robert Bellarmine||1542||1621||1931||Jesuit , Archbishop of Capua|
|Albertus Magnus||around1200||1280||1931||Dominican , Bishop of Regensburg , universal scholar|
|Anthony of Padua||1195||1231||1946||Portuguese Franciscan , preacher|
|Lawrence of Brindisi||1559||1619||1959||Italian Capuchin|
|Teresa of Ávila||1515||1582||1970||Spanish Carmelite , mystic, founder of the Discalced Carmelites|
|Catherine of Siena||1347||1380||1970||Italian mystic|
|Thérèse of Lisieux||1873||1897||1997||French Carmelite|
|John of Avila||1499||1569||2012||Priests, mystics|
|Hildegard von Bingen||1098||1179||2012||Benedictine , mystic|
|Gregory of Narek||951||1003||2015||Armenian monk and mystic|
- Benedict XVI. : Doctors of the modern age. With a foreword by Daniel Eichhorn. Bonn Lepanto Verlag 2012. ISBN 978-3-942605-04-5 .
- Ferdinand Holböck : The 33 church teachers . Christiana-Verlag, Stein am Rhein 2003. ISBN 3-7171-1107-8
- Walter Kasper (ed.): Lexicon for theology and church. Sixth volume , Freiburg i. Br. 2006. ISBN 978-3-451-22012-8
- Paul Bernhard Wodrazka: The procedure for the elevation of a saint to a doctor of the church (Canonical series 26) St. Ottilien 2015.
- Apostolic letter of Benedict XVI. from October 7, 2012 in Latin and German
- Heribert Smolinsky : Doctor of the Church, Doctor of the Church . In: Walter Kasper (Ed.): Lexicon for Theology and Church . 3. Edition. tape 6 . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1997, Sp. 20-22 .
- San Gregorio di Narek Dottore della Chiesa Universale. In: Daily Bulletin. Holy See Press Office, February 23, 2015, accessed February 23, 2015 (Italian).