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Women Saints: Doctors of the Church

"Doctor of the Church" is a title given to those whose writings deem to be in accord with the doctrine of the church and which the church believes can be used as teachings. There's some irony in this title for these women, as the church has used words of Paul as an argument against ordination of women: Paul's words are usually interpreted to forbid women from teaching in the church.

Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avila

In 1970, the Roman Catholic Church declared two women saints to be Doctors of the Church: Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), a Dominican tertiary, and Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), founder of the Discalced Carmelites. Both were of a mystical bent, and their writings are available on the web today.

Térèse of Lisieux and Hildegard of Bingen

A third woman was added as Doctor of the Church in 1997: Saint Térèse of Lisieux. Térèse, like Teresa of Avila, was a Carmelite nun.

In October, 2012, Pope Benedict named German saint Hildegard of Bingen, a Benedictine abbess and mystic, the fourth woman among the Doctors of the Church.

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Author: Jone Johnson Lewis.
Title: "Women Saints: Doctors of the Church"
This URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa021599.htm

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