Why Do Catholics ...?

How many doctors of the Church are there? What are the requisites to be declared a doctor of the Church?

“There are 33 doctors of the Church, only three of whom are women [Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena and Thérèse of Lisieux]. During World Youth Day [2011], Benedict XVI announced that the Spanish San Juan de Avila (St. John of Avila) would also be appointed as a doctor of the Church,” reported Rome Reports.

“Benedict XVI is set to appoint [and canonize] Hildegard of Bingen as a doctor of the Church in October of 2012. She was a German Benedictine nun and was known for her visions and prophecies.”
“With this appointment,” Rome Reports noted, “the Church recognizes a person’s contribution to Catholic theology, which is still felt despite the passage of time.”

Adds The Catholic Encyclopedia, “The requisite conditions are enumerated as three: eminens doctrina, insignis vitae sanctitas, Ecclesiae declaratio (i.e., eminent learning, a high degree of sanctity and proclamation by the Church).”

Have you always wondered about some aspect of the faith? Or maybe you’d like to know some trivia about Pope Benedict. If you do, email us your question at [email protected] and look for the answer in an upcoming issue.