Who Are The Fathers Of The Church?

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These are the old ecclesiastical writers who on account of their learning and holiness have been recognised and expressly honoured with this title by the church.

There are four criteria for knowing who qualifies as a Father of the Church. These are as follows:

Orthodoxy:

It refers to the truthfulness of the doctrines. What they have written and taught must be in line with the truth of the gospel.

Holiness of Life:

The ecclesiastical writer must have witnessed to the true gospel of Christ. They must have lived out what they have written.

Antiquity:

This covers the period between first and eight century AD. This implies that ecclesiastical writers being considered are those that lived between the post-Apostolic time to the time of Saint Gregory the great (for the Latin fathers) and John Damascene (for Greek fathers).

Church’s Approval:

The church approbation was the official recognition that the particular Father had met all the other attributes (orthodoxy, sanctity and antiquity).

Some of the Fathers of the church are St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin Martyr, St. Augustine, St. Jerome and St. John Chrysostom among others.

Shalom.

Adapted from the teachings of Rev. Fr. Dr. Evaristus Ifeanacho of the Fides School of Theology, Okpuno.

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