In Roman Catholicism, a Doctor of the Church is a theologian from whose teachings the whole Christian church is held to have derived great advantage and to whom eminent learning and great sanctity have been attributed by a proclamation of the Pope or of an ecumenical council. This honor is given very rarely, only posthumously and only after canonization. No ecumenical council has yet exercised its prerogative of proclaiming a Doctor of the Church.
The Catholic Church lists the following thirty-three Doctors of the Church; date of promotion to Doctor is listed, if available. Note that the use of the term Eastern Orthodox here indicates that the Saint in question is also honored by Eastern Orthodoxy, but the Eastern Orthodox Church itself does not use the term Doctor of the Church.
Last updated: 10-25-2005 18:35:53