Thursday, October 01, 2009

Pope John Paul II a Doctor of the Church: Irish bishop

Bishop Michael Smith of Meath in Ireland thinks that Pope John Paul II is likely to be made a Doctor of the Church, a status much rarer in the Church than sainthood.

Bishop Smith, who was centrally involved in organising John Paul’s visit to Ireland 30 years ago, said his opinion was such because of the late pope’s teachings on human sexuality and especially those on the dignity of the human person, the Irish Times reported.

The report said just 33 of the many thousands of saints in the Church are designated Doctors of the Church.

These are men and women who have, Bishop Smith said, “been identified as having made an extraordinary contribution to the teaching of the church and to the interpretation of the words of Christ, and to elaboration of the whole understanding of the church.”

Among Doctors of the Church are St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, St Francis de Sales, St John of the Cross, St Anthony of Padua, St Teresa of Avila, St Catherine of Siena and St Therese of Lisieux.
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SIC: TIME

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