Rorate Caeli

A new Doctor of the Church?

The semi-official daily of the Church in France, La Croix, reported yesterday that the procedure for the proclamation of Saint John of Avila Doctor of the Church is all but completed.

The move was first proposed by the Spanish episcopate. After a favorable opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the matter was considered by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints which, on May 3, also approved the proclamation. The proclamation is now under the final consideration of the Holy Father, who could issue the announcement during "World Youth Day", in Madrid (Aug. 2011).

La Croix also mentions that "there are no other causes of doctors of the Church under analysis", and that the "cause of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort is 'suspended'."

[Tip: Le Salon Beige]


  1. M. A.2:24 PM

    But the cause for St. Louis de Montfort is suspended....?

    It must discomfort some to hear "too much of Mary".

  2. Lucas Carvalho2:50 PM

    It seems to be a very certain issue. Take a look on the new release of BAC:

  3. DefensorFidei4:28 PM


    The title "Doctor of the Church" is normally given only to outstanding ecclesiastical writers who, among other things, were deeply original in their writings even as they remained faithful to Tradition.

    St. Louis De Montfort, by his own admission, wasn't teaching anything new; he merely summarized and passed on -- in an easily accessible and popular format -- the teaching of the "Berullian School" of spirituality regarding the slavery to Mary.

  4. St. Bernardine of Siena was proposed for declaration as a Doctor of the Church way back in 1882. St. Thomas of Villanova was also proposed for the honor prior to the Council. No one's pursuing their cases anymore?

  5. "the proclamation of Saint John of Avila Doctor of the Church is all but completed."

    Zenit said the same thing in 2004:

  6. True, Lucas. But so was the proclamation of St. John Mary Vianney as patron saint of all priests - how did that work out? Let us wait for the official proclamation.

    I personally believe that the proclamation of a doctor should be based not only on the orthodoxy of his writings (which is to be expected) but on a certain universal influence of his teachings, and in all levels of the Church - something I really do not see, with all due respect, in Saint John of Avila (it is certainly much more discernible in Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, and can be also said about both Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, to mention recent proclamations).
    DefensorFidei, I do not think that "eminens doctrina" necessarily means being "deeply original" at all. As Father Dr. Joseph Mausbach said in Catholic Moral Teaching, "Because a man deserves credit as a teacher, the eminens doctrina of Patrologists does not mean that he must have been a creative genius or a profound scholar cutting new paths in our sense of the words; the expression is justified if he displayed remarkable energy in one or other department of teaching, and if his activity was beneficial to the age in which he lived." That can certainly be applied to Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort.


  7. There was a formal decision of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints this week, Pascal.

  8. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Did St. John of Avila have avante-garde ideas? That's the only reason I can think of why they are doing this. Maybe he thought along the lines of Blessed Rosmini.


  9. But the cause for St. Louis de Montfort is suspended....?

    It must discomfort some to hear "too much of Mary".

    Or perhaps those who had been advocating for it have died and the effort has since languished?

    Did St. John of Avila have avante-garde ideas? That's the only reason I can think of why they are doing this. Maybe he thought along the lines of Blessed Rosmini.

    How could St. John have thought along the lines of a philosopher who was not to be born for some two centuries or more?

    From what I can tell, it can't be said that St. John's teaching included "avante-garde ideas."

  10. Anonymous5:39 PM

    Jordanes, I never mean to give the impression that I know what I am talking about since I am a confused mess. I am sure it comes as no surprise to Rorate readers and posters.

    But I didn't mean that he copied Rosmini's ideas. Surely Rosmini wasn't the first person to think those things (whatever they were...I only knew his ideas did not sit well with the Vatican when he lived in this vale of tears).

    The bottom line of what I mean is that it would be surprising to me for the Vatican to award anyone sounding truly Catholic these days with the title Doctor of the Church.

    Delphina (I would add "the Dunce" after my name but have stopped using that word since I found out that it was started as a slur against Duns Scotus.)

  11. Anonymous12:58 AM

    Some of the comments on here border on parody. Declaring St. John a Doctor does not preclude the advancement of the cause for St. Louis. St. John of Avila is a glorious saint and I hope that his works become more accessible to everyone through his new title.

  12. Prof. Basto3:46 AM

    I agree with New Catholic regarding the scope of the title "Doctor of the Church universal".

    Othodoxy of the writings is only the first step regarding "eminent doctrine". In order to qualify for the title the writer must have made a huge impact, his writings need to be trully regarded as "eminent" by the Church, faithful theologians, etc.

    This "eminence" of the writings has to do with how much they are relied upon by the Church, by priests, by theologians, etc. That's the "universal influence of the teachings in all levels of the Church" that New Catholic is talking about.

    With all due respect that a Saint deserves, I don't think the writings of St. John of Ávila are as regaded upon, and as influential, as those of other doctors of the Church, such as St. Anthony, St. John of the Cross, St. John Crysostom, St. Anselm, etc.

    I believe the proclamation of the title with regard to St. Louis de Montfort makes more sense.


    sooner or later St. Louis Monfort will be declare a Doctor of the Church as tie approaching to its



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